Kurt Angle Says Brock Lesnar Wanted to Join TNA After WWE Exit, but Execs Declined

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVDecember 4, 2022

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - APRIL 22: Brock Lesnar, former WWE champion and UFC champion, flexes for the crowd during a game between the Arizona Coyotes and Washington Capitals at Gila River Arena on April 22, 2022 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)
Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images

Brock Lesnar's pro wrestling comeback nearly came a lot sooner—except it wasn't going to be back in WWE.

Kurt Angle revealed Lesnar wanted to join TNA in 2007, but the company balked at paying him like a top star.

"OK, Brock calls me. He is not in the WWE. He says, 'Listen, man. Can you get me in TNA?'" Angle said on his podcast. "I probably shouldn't even be saying this now. But you know what? Brock doesn't care. He said, 'Hey, what are you making?' And I said what I was making. He said, 'If you can get me that, I'll come.' I approached TNA, and they said, 'No, we're not going to give him that kind of money.'"

Talk about a missed opportunity.

Lesnar is the type of groundbreaking talent who could have taken TNA into the next stratosphere—all while acting as a major coup against WWE. This was before Lesnar's UFC four-year run, so his cache wasn't quite as high, but he was an absolutely in-his-prime generational athlete.

Lesnar was coming off a run in New Japan Pro-Wrestling that ended when Angle tapped him out for the IWGP championship. It would have been nothing short of a home run to add Lesnar to the TNA roster and resume that program on American soil.

Keeping in mind that TNA later paid the likes of Hulk Hogan, Mick Foley and several other well-past-their-prime stars top dollar, so rejecting Lesnar looks like an even more egregious mistake.

Stories of TNA's mismanagement have long been a part of wrestling lore, so fumbling the Lesnar situation should come as no surprise. That said, it's an interesting never-before-heard story of a massive missed opportunity.

Lesnar returned to WWE in 2012 and remains one of the company's top draws.

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