The entire pro wrestling world got thrown for a loop on Friday, when the sudden news broke that Kurt Angle would be making his WWE in-ring return after not having wrestled in the company for 11 years. Yes, on just two days’ notice, Kurt Angle would be in a main-event Tables, Ladders and Chairs Match at the TLC pay-per-view.
The reason for Angle’s sudden return was due to a last-minute reshuffling of the card, because Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt had to be removed from the event. There is a meningitis virus spreading backstage, and all members of the WWE roster are currently being tested to make sure they’re not infected.
Despite this frightening news, fans were understandably looking forward to this new-look TLC card, and for the return of Kurt Angle. Angle’s last match on the indies came back in March, and he’s spent the past decade wrestling in TNA and Japan, among other places. Still, everyone was on pins and needles wondering what sort of crazy stuff the man might get up to in a TLC match.
After the team of Miz, Sheamus, Cesaro, Braun Strowman and Kane made their entrances, it was time for the not-Shield to arrive. Angle was partnering with Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins in place of Reigns, but most fans probably didn’t expect Angle to go with full Shield cosplay for his first match back.
Angle, perhaps very wisely, didn’t take a lot of risks in the notoriously dangerous match, but he did give the crowd what they wanted: vintage Kurt Angle, including the Angle Lock (of course) and the rolling German suplexes that have been sorely missing from WWE for most of the past decade.
The WWE Hall of Famer and Olympic gold medalist DID get put through a table, courtesy of Braun Strowman, and had to be helped to the back mid-match.
But in the finest pro wrestling tradition, Angle made a heroic (an heroic) return later in the match to help out his team. After the heels attempted to do a murder on Ambrose and Rollins using a garbage truck, Kane turned on Braun Strowman and attempted to murder him via a hole in the ground and chairs.
Strowman recovered, but his former teammates put him in the garbage truck and then it was driven away. Miz’s team went for the kill (the figurative kind, not like how they crushed Braun Strowman in a garbage truck), and that’s when Angle returned. He gave Sheamus an Olympic Slam on the ramp, gave Cesaro another through a table, and after the Shield dispatched Kane, they hit all of their finishers on Miz for the win. And I mean ALL their finishers.
Angle will likely return to action again soon, probably at next month’s Survivor Series, which is shaping up to be a huge cross-brand event.