A tidbit about WWE’s post-brand split ‘New Era’ getting an infusion of old talent has wrestling fans buzzing this week.
While the source of the tidbit, Wrestling Observer editor Dave Meltzer, was vague, an article posted on Saturday on Forbes.com provides details about who WWE may be contacting about a return.
Anthony DiMoro writes that his sources say the “40+ year old guys” Meltzer mentioned include Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy, Rey Mysterio and Goldberg. Each guy would draw some interest to the product once SmackDown moves to live Tuesdays on July 19, but there are barriers to each signing – before we even get into the mixed messages an influx of stars of yesteryear would send.
Angle and Goldberg are free of long-term deals with other wrestling promotions, and the former is currently working independent dates. Kurt’s been open about being interested in a return to the company he was a top star for from the late 90s to the mid-Aughts, but how a guy with a history of concussions and multiple neck surgeries would pass WWE’s medical screening has been a big concern when the Olympic gold medalist’s name has come up in the past.
Despite his recent association with WWE’s brand via their 2K video game license, Goldberg’s relationship with the main corporation has been rocky since he left after a brief run back in 2004. The former football player has not worked regularly in a long-time, either, making any return likely limited to run-ins or a big match or two, similar to fellow WCW legend Sting’s work with WWE.
Hardy and Mysterio present far stickier situations. Both are under contract to other promotions, TNA and AAA/Lucha Underground, respectively. The Charismatic Enigma may be closer to being a free agent, and recently fantasy booked his WrestleMania return while speaking to Sports Illustrated. The lucha legend’s never closed the door on a return to WWE, but only recently smoothed things over with his Mexican employers – and their Hollywood partner has been very active in defending their contracts.
While those four names are the big prizes mentioned in DiMoro’s story, he also says he’s heard of discussions with Carlito, John Morrison, Cryme Tyme (JTG and Shad Gaspard) and Shelton Benjamin.
Meltzer addressed the report on Sunday, where he said, “Also, some of those names were never contacted.”
Also, some of those names were never contacted https://t.co/kuD1NpoclQ
— Dave Meltzer (@davemeltzerWON) June 19, 2016