When wrestling superstar Kurt Angle made the bold move from WWE to TNA in 2006, the wrestling world was abuzz. Angle’s transition marked one of the most notable moments in TNA Wrestling's storied history, given his decorated tenure with WWE.
During his stellar run with WWE, Angle cemented his status as a main event icon, accumulating six World Titles and clinching every available championship. Behind the scenes, though, not everything was smooth sailing. A well-documented rift with WWE mogul Vince McMahon was linked, as Angle later revealed, to his struggles with painkiller addiction.
The relentless WWE touring schedule weighed heavily on Angle, prompting him to seek alternative arenas.
TNA's Rigorous Schedule
TNA, though offering a less grueling itinerary than WWE during the late 2000s, still had a demanding lineup of live events, TV broadcasts, and monthly Pay-Per-Views.
As TNA's crowning jewel, Angle found himself in the epicenter of it all. On a recent episode of the "Kurt Angle Show" podcast, where TNA No Surrender 2008 was the topic of discussion, Angle shared insights into his prominent TNA role.
“Upon signing, I knew the commitment was immense. Given the hefty contract, there wasn't any chance I’d be on the sidelines. I was set to feature in virtually every event, predominantly in main events,” said Angle.
Emphasizing the responsibility that came with being the face of TNA, Angle added, “Being the company's emblem means stepping up to the plate. The compensation was generous, and with that came an obligation. I ensured I lived up to every clause in that contract”.
Though known for his bouts with multiple neck injuries and other physical setbacks over his illustrious career, Angle was relatively injury-free during his early TNA days. Recalling his health during 2008, his second full year with TNA, Angle commented, “My physical state was relatively stable back then.
While I was seldom completely fit, I had the knack for navigating around injuries. The neck, although not entirely perfect, was the only nagging concern”. Now in his 50s, Angle's rigorous wrestling career has necessitated multiple surgeries, a testament to his enduring commitment to the sport and entertainment.