Kurt Angle Recalls Turning Down Multi-Million Dollar Deal With WWE In 1996, Getting $75,000 Per Year

Kurt Angle had a big offer on the table from WWE, but his agent thought he was too real for "fake" wrestling.

Fresh off his Olympic Gold Medal in 1996, Angle was a wanted man by WWE and they were willing to break the bank to have him.

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"After I won the Olympics, I went on a media tour and during that time WWE and Vince McMahon called my agent and said they were interested in giving me a ten-year contract, a multi-million dollar contract. My agent brought me into his office and said, 'You're not going to do this. This is fake wrestling. You're the real deal. I don't want you doing it.' I said, 'Okay, but that's a lot of money.' He said he would get me something else. He did....he got me a sportscasting job in Pittsburgh for FOX. That lasted a year and didn't work out very well. I turned down the offer for Vince, spent the year doing broadcasting, and around 1998, I decided to contact WWE and asked if the offer still stood," Angle recalled in an interview with Knockin Doors Down.

Unfortunately for Angle, the offer no longer stood and he was going to have to start at the bottom and prove himself.

"I talked to Jim Ross and said, 'No, you have to come and tryout.' I'm used to proving myself so I did it. I passed up a great money opportunity, but I ended up doing pretty well. I made just as much money as I would have made if I had started in 1996. I tried out and the first day I picked up on everything so quickly. They offered me a deal right away. It wasn't a multi-million dollar deal. $75,000 per year was the offer. It was good money, not great money. You have expenses and that $75,000 doesn't last long. That was when I was training. After a year, I started on TV and started getting paid more. The guarantee stayed the same, but the more you work, the more you make. You're getting at least $1,000 per show and that's the low-end. Pay-per-view and TV you're getting a lot more money. It was tough at the beginning, but once I started on TV, it was a lot better," said Angle.

Angle made his television debut at Survivor Series 1999, defeating Shawn Stasiak. Angle would have one of the most successful rookie years in all of wrestling as he would win the WWE Championship from The Rock in October 2000.

Elsewhere during the interview, Angle revealed he's currently working on a television show with WWE potentially involved. You can find his full comments by clicking here.

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