The WWE may be attempting to move towards a 'New Era' in which they focus on younger, up-and-coming talent, but there will always be room in the organisation for the legends of the business.
As a result, talk of Kurt Angle returning to the company in which he was a four-time World Champion is never too far away, especially as the WWE will likely need to add to their roster ahead of the upcoming brand split in order to ensure RAW and SmackDown have enough talent.
WWE fans hoping to see Angle back in the WWE ring might be waiting a long time, however, after a report today revealed Vince McMahon is "real strong on not hiring him" because of one fairly paranoid reason.
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Speaking during an appearance on Wrestling Observer Radio, WWE insider Dave Meltzer said:
“It’s doubtful that WWE will bring in Kurt Angle. Vince is real strong on not hiring him, and he’s got his reasons why.
"He feels if something bad happens to Kurt it’ll really hurt the company because of his status as a gold medalist, and a real sports figure, and then people will start asking questions, and they’ll have sponsor issues. But, if Kurt isn’t under their watch and something happens, then they’ll be fine.”
In some respects, McMahon's thought process is understandable. Angle has a history of issues with substance abuse - including a failed test for steroids under the WWE's Wellness Policy and several DUI arrests between 2009-2013.
With the WWE having, in recent times, taken steps to promote themselves as a clean-cut organisation, they can ill-afford an issue involving one of the biggest names in wrestling occurring on their watch.
Although obviously a different issue altogether, you only have to look at the headlines that surrounded Hulk Hogan's 2015 racism controversy to see why McMahon wants to employ stars he can trust to stay off the front pages.
Nevertheless, Angle has steered clear from trouble for almost three years now and, having come to the end of his TNA contract recently, is free to sign with any promotion he pleases right now. He has even spoken in the not too distant past about making a return to the WWE.
WWE fans would surely love to see the Olympic champion have one last run in the WWE, even if it was only in a non-wrestling capacity.
Unfortunately, while the brand split appears to be the ideal way to re-introduce legends such as Angle, it looks like Vince McMahon is dead set against such an idea.
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