For those of you getting your hopes up that recent talks between WWE and Kurt Angle would lead to a return to the company for the Olympic gold medallist as an in ring performer early next year, I have some bad news for you. The latest gossip suggests that Angle will likely re-sign with TNA instead.
According to Dave Meltzer on his latest subscriber only podcast, the rumour he's hearing is that Kurt's staying with TNA and that TNA management are actively encouraging him to give the impression that he's leaving the promotion in media interviews, so that when he returns it will be a big shock and thus get a much greater reaction.
Of course, that's all dependent upon TNA finding a new television partner that gives them enough money in rights fees that they can afford to pay Angle what he's used to making. They seem confident that they will announce such a deal within the next ten days, but until they put pen to paper, you can't bank on anything regarding TNA's future.
Independently, Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com has claimed that talks between Angle and WWE have already broken down over the terms of the contract offered (Kurt has been lobbying for a limited dates contract, but was given a full time deal by Triple H instead). Moreover, TNA has no qualms about offering Kurt the part-time deal he's looking for and thus he'll eventually decide to stay put. Part of Kurt's desire for working a reduced schedule, on top of the already mentioned concerns that his body can't handle the punishment any longer, is that he wants to attempt to get more acting roles and prepare for his career after wrestling.
Personally, I believe the conspiracy theories floating around that WWE weren't really all that interested in Kurt Angle's services and only offered him a full time deal because they knew he'd turn it down, as a polite way of saying "thanks, but no thanks". I think that they have no confidence that Kurt could pass all the rigorous WWE medicals and physical testing that all their wrestlers must pass to be cleared to compete in their squared circle at this late stage of his career, and even if he could, his recent injury prone track record suggests that he'd be on WWE's disabled list in no time.