Kurt Angle: Ex-WWE Star Axed Over Salary Demands

Promising WWE Talent's Career Takes a Hit Amid Salary Dispute.

by Atia Mukhtar
Kurt Angle: Ex-WWE Star Axed Over Salary Demands

Kurt Angle, a celebrated WWE Hall of Famer known for his incredible wrestling prowess and Olympic Gold triumph, recently shed light on a significant incident that led to an unfortunate end for a promising talent within the company.

The talent in question was Daniel Puder, who gained prominence through his participation in the fourth season of Tough Enough, an acclaimed reality-TV inspired training program offering the winner a coveted WWE contract. The turning point came during an unscripted segment of Tough Enough in front of a live audience, where Kurt Angle challenged the season finalists to a match.

After dispatching Chris Nawrocki, Angle squared off against Daniel Puder, and the unexpected occurred. Puder managed to lock Angle in a kimura hold, leaving the WWE Legend in a tough spot unable to break free. Angle attempted a pin, and although Puder's shoulders were not properly on the mat, the referee controversially counted to three, declaring Angle the victor.

WWE's Response to Puder's Salary Demand

Despite the incident, WWE still saw potential in Puder and granted him opportunities to compete at Armageddon 2004 and the 2005 Royal Rumble. However, the situation took a negative turn when Puder made a demand that would ultimately impact his career trajectory.

As Kurt Angle shared during an on-stage discussion with Inside The Ropes, the young wrestler insisted on higher pay even though he hadn't achieved much within the company yet. WWE offered him another deal, but they turned him down after the salary dispute.

Had Puder approached the situation differently, Angle believes he could have enjoyed a prosperous career within WWE. Unfortunately, his insistence on greater compensation led to his release in 2005. Following his departure, Puder found himself working with various promotions like Ohio Valley Wrestling, Ring of Honor, and New Japan Pro Wrestling.

In a separate conversation on his podcast, The Kurt Angle Show, the Olympic Hero fondly reminisced about his amusing encounters with another WWE Hall of Famer, Ric Flair. Angle and Flair engaged in four thrilling battles, including a memorable "woo off" during their 2005 feud.

Their comedic timing and entertaining performances added to their popularity among fans, showcasing their versatility and rapport in and out of the ring. While Daniel Puder's story serves as a cautionary tale about managing career choices wisely, Kurt Angle's reminiscence with Ric Flair reminds fans of the enjoyable camaraderie between legendary figures in the wrestling world.

Both anecdotes stand as valuable testaments to the intricacies of life and careers within the highly competitive and dynamic world of professional wrestling.

Kurt Angle