Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon relieved Kurt Angle of his General Manager duties, turning them over to her overseer of Raw and lackey, “Constable” Baron Corbin. However, Angle’s departure might be for more reason than just storyline.
According to Ringside News, Mike Johnson of Pro Wrestling Insider said on a recent podcast that Angle has been training to get back in the ring.
“Unless something has changed in the last 48 hours or so, Kurt Angle had been training for another return match” Johnson said. “So it could be that this is the beginning of that storyline to bring him back to the wrestling ring.”
“So either to move him temporarily from the General Manager or remove him completely from the General Manager and have him wrestle every now and again,” Johnson continued. “Up until this past week, Kurt Angle had been training and had been working out in preparation for another return to the ring for WWE.”
PWInsider has more on what the plan is for Angle.
“PWInsider.com has also confirmed that Angle has been training very hard for a planned return to the ring of late, but no word yet who his opponent(s) could be.”
Angle hasn’t been in the ring since the “Greatest Royal Rumble” in Saudi Arabia in April. In fact, his in-ring work since returning to WWE has been very limited. One appearance being his joining The Shield for one night at TLC in 2017.
— WWE (@WWE) October 23, 2017
The other primary match being playing second fiddle to Ronda Rousey’s ring debut at WrestleMania this year.
Should Kurt Angle Wrestle Again?
That’s about it. If I’m forgetting anything, please forgive me, but the fact is Angle simply hasn’t done much in the ring since coming back to WWE last year.
But prior to that, Angle had been having some memorable matches on the independent scene. Perhaps most notably with technical wizard Zack Sabre, Jr. in 2016 for British promotion RevPro.
Angle also faced Alberto el Patron for WhatCulture in October 2017.
Wrestling announcing legend Jim Ross actually called the Angle-Patron match for WhatCulture along with Lucha Underground’s Matt Striker, and said in January 2017 of Angle, before his WWE return:
“I saw him in England in October. He had a match and looked great. I can see him having a match here and there. Nobody can debate the fact if Kurt Angle can have a match. Of course he can have a match. The issue is how often do you want to saddle him up and run him back out the track and take him back to the barn and bring him back out. I just don’t see the money in that. I see a one-off deal at best. And call it a day.
But will Angle’s in-ring return, if the reports are true, be something more permanent? Why couldn’t a performer who in just the last year or two was putting on great matches with the likes of Sabre, Jr. and Patron, not to mention his WWE bouts, continue to work at a top level with an endless array of pairings available in the WWE?
Then again, perhaps JR is right. This month, Ross reiterated that he doesn’t believe Angle should be wrestling permanently, but also, he doesn’t even think he needs a ring comeback, period. Ross said just a week ago on his podcast:
“Kurt’s going to soon be 50 [years old] and he’s talking about wrestling again. ‘One more run,’ the repulsive trait that many people have, ‘I need one more run. I’ve got one more in me.’ I’ve had those same pangs. I still don’t know why I’m not the lead broadcaster at WrestleMania. Because my time has come! That’s not the decision that management wants to make. I have no problem with that. I get it. It’s a young man’s business, but Kurt Angle doesn’t need to have another run in my opinion.
What Does He Have Left To Prove?
Angle is still considered one of the greatest in-ring performers in WWE and pro wrestling history, and of course the only Olympic gold medalist in the business. Whether or not his return is just a few matches or something more permanent, it’s going to be a run most fans will relish. “You suck” just might be the most ironic chant in wrestling today, because virtually everyone shouting it at him believes the opposite.
I, for one, will take as much Kurt Angle as his health will allow, or that WWE is willing to give me.