Should Kurt Angle Return To WWE?
Posted by Justin Watry on 05.11.2014
Is Kurt Angle really done with TNA Impact Wrestling in a few months, and if he is, should he make a WWE return? 411’s Justin Watry examines…
...that is what the Kurt Angle vs. Ethan Carter III match was able to draw on television on Thursday night. While that kind of number may be the 'new normal' for TNA Impact Wrestling in 2014, it holds more meaning than meets the eye. During the match Kurt Angle sold injury to his knee and was rolled up by EC3 in just minutes. One, two, three. Match over! Another cheap win for the young heel. Another way to save face for an aging veteran through story line. Well, life often imitates life. As we would later find out, TNA was actually writing Kurt off TV so he could legitimately have surgery and be gone for a few months.
The real twist comes when learning his contract with TNA expires in a few months. Now, remember that 0.87 rating the match was able to muster up on Thursday night? That may be the final time we see Kurt Angle wrestle in TNA. If the reports are true (just go with it here), his recovery time works right up to renewal time on his current deal. I may be overreacting here bit, but there is plenty to discuss here for Angle, his health, and a possible WWE return.
Well Being: Christian, Rey Mysterio, Mark Henry, Edge, and Kurt Angle are seemingly always on the injured list. All of them will be in the WWE Hall of Fame someday (Edge already is). However, like Ken Griffey Jr. in baseball and Grant Hill in basketball, it does make you wonder "What if?" with their careers. Imagine them being full board for their entire WWE careers. Unbelievable potential there. With Angle, he has finally reached that point as well. I never want to see him go to the top of a steel cage again. Even the top rope should be banned for him. Also, live events are done. Cut them out too. No more. Since TNA seems to have very little of Wellness testing (read: none), the concern is if he could actually pass a WWE physical upon returning. I have my doubts, but if, if, if, IF everything checks out, a part-time run is certainly possible when his deal expires in Fall 2014.
NXT Trainer: This is the popular rumor as we speak. If he is unable to actually compete for WWE but wants to be welcomed back into the family so to speak, NXT is right there waiting. The huge facility looks amazing and by all accounts is being taken very seriously right now with Triple H leading the charge. I have no idea if Angle will accept this kind of role or feel like it is insult, but he should not take it that way at all. Veterans should give back to the wrestling industry, and if that is not possible to do inside the squared circle, training or helping the younger guys is the next best option.
Sting: What does Sting have to do with Kurt Angle? We are already beginning to see that. A new Sting DVD is set for a September release. Has there ever been a major WWE DVD on Kurt Angle with a documentary and the like? I know I would love to see that. He certainly deserves that. With the WWE Network gaining momentum, Sting has appeared. Official contract or not, it seems The Stinger is at least working with WWE on different projects. I image a Hall of Fame induction is right around the corner. Exactly what Angle should be eyeing up. You can add in Hulk Hogan and Bruno Sammartino too. Even in 2014, these guys have a place in wrestling. Legends deals are there for a reason Kurt. From your debut to your final match, it can all be represented. With the way Angle speaks and how often he mentions WWE in media interviews, even he knows it and openly says so. WWE is the place to be. If Bruno and Sting can sign a WWE deal, all bets are off.
Time To Move On: One last time, remember that 0.87 quarter hour rating his match drew on Impact? That says it all. Eventually, all big name WWE stars just wish to move on. Or actually move on...back to WWE. There is nothing left for Kurt to do. Like Mick Foley. Booker T. Sting. Kevin Nash. Hulk Hogan. The list goes on and on. Those guys went there, had some fun, worked the lighter schedule, collected a truck load of money, all the while knowing who is king. That is WWE. In every conceivable way, their ring is where you want to retire and be remembered. Those 0.87 ratings are not going to get any higher for Kurt in TNA. I am sure the sight of empty arenas and listening to pins drop as 500 non-paying tourists watch you wrestle also demoralized you at some point too. Assuming he is healthy in late 2014 and has a WWE contract on the table, why stay in TNA? Why? There is nothing left to accomplish and absolutely zero sense in staying put.
Fans: - Reckless or not, Kurt Angle has always given his all to wrestling fans. Thus, it would only be fair he listen to the fans once last time before retiring for good. Daniel Bryan is in WWE. Cesaro is in WWE. Bad News Barrett is in WWE. Jack Swagger is in WWE. John Cena is in WWE. Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose are in WWE. Sheamus is in WWE. Roman Reigns is in WWE. Then you have the old guard like Triple H, Undertaker (may be done), Brock Lesnar, Batista, and others who love a rematch with Kurt. Or how about the amazing NXT roster? Set the stage with a "shocking" Royal Rumble 2015 entry. Now pick WrestleMania 31 as the location with a month or two of build for a dream match against anybody really. Tell me you would not love to see it.
Conclusion: I am not a big fan of conspiracy theories or wild speculation without facts. However, a part of me feels that Kurt Angle *finally* got surgery this past week in preparation for a WWE comeback. Maybe I am off base here? Perhaps WWE does not even want Mr. Kurt Angle back? This entire column could be a waste of time, but there are too many signs to ignore. Just my opinion, but Angle wants out of TNA and feels now may be the best time to get completely healthy and then head up north.
What do all of YOU think? Should Kurt Angle return to WWE?