With Wrestle Kingdom 11 and the WWE United Kingdom Championship tournament, 2017 has presented some quality wrestling content.
Now, for the first time since 2006, Kurt Angle is back in the WWE, as the first inductee in the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2017.
This is an honor that is absolutely deserved. He came into the company with a distinguish amateur background, winning a gold medal in the 1996 with a broken freaking neck.
In his first year of the WWE, he became the European and Intercontinental Champion at the same time and later won the WWF Championship against Rock at No Mercy 2000.
Upon losing the title back to The Rock at No Way Out 2001, he developed an aggressive side to his character. He added the ankle lock as one of his signature moves and entered a feud with Chris Benoit (the Voldemort of wrestling).
He played the perfect protagonist against “Stone Cold” Steve Austin during a very imperfect WCW/ECW invasion storyline. The feud culmination in Angle winning the WWF Title in his hometown as friends and family celebrated in the ring.
The beginning of that feud displayed Kurt Angle natural comedic timing as he and Austin fought for the attention of their boss Vince McMahon. This was also a way for Angle to recuperate from a concussion he suffered in a classic match against Shane McMahon at King of the Ring 2001.
Other fine moments of Angle’s comedic timing include preaching accidents at a local college, parodying Shawn Michael’s theme song, and male bonding with Brock Lesnar.
Angle and Lesnar were also perfect opponents for each other given their amateur backgrounds. Both also Accomplish much in their first year of wrestling. They closed out Wrestlemania 19, had an entertaining rematch at Summerslam 2003, and closed out their feud with an hourlong Iron Man match on Smackdown.
Some of the best moments of Angle’s career was against Benoit, with their best match at the Royal Rumble 2003. They were also tag team, competing against the Los Guerreros and Edge and Rey Mysterio making Smackdown a very exciting brand in 2002. These moments will likely not be reminisce time because Chris Benoit became a heel in real life (Google it if you don’t know what I’m referring to).
Angle helped John Cena in the rise of his carrier and was Cena’s Smackdown debut match. He would he a strong challenger for Cena’s first reign in 2005.
He also used genetics to get Edge over. When Angle realized his hairline was receding, he let Edge defeat him in a Hair vs Hair match. It’s a fun feud that’s seldomly talked about.
his time away from the biggest wrestling company in the West, Angle went to TNA (also referred to as Impact Wrestling). There he squared off against current superstars including Bobby Roode, Samoa Joe, AJ Styles. There’s even a fun cage match with Mr. Anderson… Anderson.
Currently he is wrestling in select independent wrestling companies (mostly in the United Kingdom) having matches with the likes of Joe Coffey, Zack Sabre Jr, and Cody Rhodes.
Alberto El Patron is an upcoming opponet in What Culture Pro Wrestling.
The hope for fans and probably Angle himself is there to be at least one more match. There is a large list of potential dream matches.
The Internet has been calling for an Angle vs Russev match ever since the “Bulgarian Brute” had “U-S-A” chants hurled at him. Some of the mystic is gone but if WWE starts making Russev looking strong, and put him in less comedy bits (although he shines in them), this would still be a fun match to watch.
There are athletic specimens like Seth Rollins, Finn Balor, Cesaro, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Dolph Ziggler that would guarantee to be first time classics.
I would personally love to see Angle fight Kevin Owens. Both are great storytellers in the ring. It would be thrilling for the live crowd and those at home would get to see Owens talk thrash about Angle’s three I’s (intensity, integrity, intelligence).
One of the reasons Angle left the WWE was an addiction to pain killers. With his mind and body recovering and his outspoken nature about his addiction, the Hall of Fame is an opportunity to address the epidemic more.
Angle’s induction is much deserved and this is a great opportunity to get more of his content on the WWE Network. They could add one of their collections and record interview. Maybe they can use some content from Impact Wrestling.