Kurt Angle Returns To The Ring This Sunday, But WWE Still Lacks His "Three I's"
Due to medical issues impacting two WWE Superstars scheduled to appear at WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs, streaming live on WWE Network this Sunday, the special event will now feature Kurt Angle competing in a WWE ring for the first time in more than 11 years, as he replaces Roman Reigns. In addition, former WWE Champion AJ Styles will replace Bray Wyatt and face “The Demon” Finn Bálor.
A WWE Hall of Famer and the current General Manager of Raw, Angle will join forces with Raw Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose to battle the daunting combination of Braun Strowman, Intercontinental Champion The Miz, Cesaro, Sheamus and The Big Red Machine Kane in a Tables, Ladders & Chairs 5-on-3 Handicap Match.
The showdown between “The Demon” and Styles is one that the WWE Universe has been wanting for a long time and promises to be one of the most exciting matches of 2017.
Check back with WWE.com as more information becomes available. Don’t miss a moment of WWE TLC, streaming live on WWE Network, this Sunday at 8 ET/5 PT.
Those "medical issues" of Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt? They are apparently meningitis - not to be mistaken with gingivitis, the gum disease, which Kurt Angle wouldn't get because he's an Olympic Hero and has very strong gums due to his love for milk, America, and professional wrestling.
I love Kurt Angle. Pittsburgh born and bred, an amazing wrestler, and follows the three I's: Intensity, Integrity and Intelligence. WWE as a product has followed none of those I's and this move, while awesome, is a questionable one. Here's how WWE is not utilizing that famous Angle catchphrase in this pretty surreal situation:
LACKING INTENSITY - If WWE handled their booking and character development properly, there would be no need for this in the first place. Think about it, if Vince wasn't so hellbent on getting Roman Reigns over, there would be no need for a Shield reunion, and therefore, if a main eventer can't wrestle for some reason, you have other established stars to put in his place, but they don't. From Nakamura to Bayley to even legacy players like the Hardys, WWE whittled away the intensity that a lot of this talent could bring to the product.
LACKING INTEGRITY - Just like Daniel Bryan's, Angle's physical health is a concern. His health has been one of the big question marks in Angle ever stepping foot in a wrestling ring again as a competitor, especially WWE. McMahon and the gang have been extremely adamant about not letting Daniel Bryan return to the ring because of his previous concussion problems, so this move, even if Angle is cleared physically, is just a wee bit hypocritical considering Bryan has been cleared to wrestle again. Probably why my boy D-Bry decided to Tweet this out:
Honestly, if either of their health is any of a concern, I'd really prefer the two never step in a ring again, despite how much I'd love to see both of them do so. It's pretty trashy on WWE's part to withhold Bryan if they're allowing Kurt to lace up the boots. They are both two guys absolutely love to wrestle, but when push comes to shove it's WWE's responsibility to protect them from themselves if need be, for some reason they're doing that with Bryan, but not Angle.
LACKING INTELLIGENCE - They have had absolutely no build-up to this. Sure, we're missing out on The Shield reuniting to action, but is it really worth hot-shotting an Angle return with only two days notice? If you're going to have a major star like that return to action after 11 years, you'd think Vinny Mac would want to milk that cash cow for as much as possible. Him having Angle return this abruptly probably isn't the best way to cultivate hype.
Will this still pay off? Health worries notwithstanding, most likely, but none of this will pack as much punch as it could of if Vince ultimately would put his ego in check and loosen his reigns on not just Roman, but everybody.