KARACHI : Oh, it’s interesting what illness can do! Kurt Angle returned home to WWE earlier this year when he was inducted in the company’s Hall of Fame. Soon after, he began his duties as the Raw general manager. His in-ring return, however, was a big question that rose in every fan’s mind. No more, wrestling junkies.
The wrestling gods have answered, and Angle is set to perform in a WWE ring at this Sunday’s TLC pay-per-view, according to WWE.com. Coming back to illness, yes, specifically viral meningitis, which has recently hit WWE superstars. In an attempt to reduce the damage, three stars Roman Reigns, Bray Wyatt and Bo Dallas, who have been diagnosed with the disease have been sent home to recover, while the rest are being tested, immunised and ensured they are given the green signal to compete at the show.
Angle replaces Reigns in what was supposed to be the reunited Shield’s first match together. He will compete alongside Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins against The Miz, Cesaro, Sheamus, Braun Strowman and Kane in a Tables, Ladders and Chairs (TLC) match.
While Reigns is not the only superstar to be replaced (as AJ Styles replaces Wyatt in a match against Finn Balor), Angle’s return comes off a huge surprise. For months, there has been speculation regarding his in-ring return and the belief was that the WWE was holding it off against WrestleMania next year.
It would clearly have been a grander stage for Angle’s return, yet this was more than a welcome surprise for wrestling fans. As soon as the news broke, it sent fans and wrestlers alike into a complete frenzy with stars such as Booker T, NXT Champion Drew McIntyre, and others tweeting their shock and excitement on Twitter.
As far as post-TLC plans are concerned, it’s unclear how WWE will clarify and incorporate the changes in the storylines. This also changes the heavily anticipated the reunited Shield’s first match after three years of the split. And although the call to have return him return on a two-day notice tells a lot of the scare within the company over the viral disease, no one is disappointed with the Olympic gold medalist’s inclusion in the match.
However, one concern would be that the match type is not only a regular singles match, but a TLC one. It begs worry over Angle’s health. He is 48 years old and has had several neck injuries over the years. Having him compete against wrestlers such as Sheamus, Cesaro and especially Strowman in a match that almost guarantees sore bodies and broken spirits, it clearly puts the mat technician’s wellbeing at risk.
However, after all is said and done, with Survivor Series right around the corner, Angle’s addition in TLC might help shape up the plans for Raw and SmackDown Live rivalry matches. And as we slowly and steadily approach WrestleMania season, which the former WWE champ is bound to be a part of, it might also lay the foundation for his opponent for the Grandest Stage of Them All.
The bottom line is: Kurt Angle is back in the ring. It’s true!
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