The wrestling world is reeling this morning from the news that WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle is to make a shock return to the ring on Sunday night at the TLC pay-per-view.
In a statement to ESPN last night the WWE confirmed that Roman Reigns isn’t able to compete in TLC’s main event due to a viral infection and will be replaced by Angle, who wrestles his first match in the company since August 2006.
Having returned to our screens in April as the general manager of Monday Night Raw, fans have hoped to see Angle back in the ring at some point. However, a return to competitive action hadn’t even been hinted at until last night.
— WWE (@WWE) October 21, 2017
We couldn’t be happier to see the four-time WWE champion back in the squared-circle and to celebrate we’ve decided to have a look back at five of our Olympic Hero’s best feuds from his first run in Vince McMahon’s show. Here they are in no particular order:
Kurt Angle v Stone Cold – Unforgiven 2001
After kicking out of three Stunners at Summerslam only to see Stone Cold Steve Austin get himself intentionally disqualified, Angle kidnapped The Rattlesnake in a successful effort to secure a rematch at Unforgiven.
Kurt headed into his home town of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and whipped Stone Cold like a government mule to claim his second WWF title with the Ankle Lock. There were emotional scenes in the aftermath as the Angle family invaded the ring to join the celebrations.
Kurt Angle v Shane McMahon – King of the Ring 2001
When he’s not risking his life leaping repeatedly off Hell in a Cell, the chairman’s son Shane McMahon has a classic match in him from time-to-time and King of the Ring in 2001 was one of those nights.
McMahon and Angle had been battling it out for weeks leading into the event and earlier in the night Shane upped the ante by costing Kurt the King of the Ring final against Edge. In his third match of the evening the 1996 Olympic gold medal winner had a street fight for the ages with McMahon, eventually coming out victorious thanks to an Angle Slam top rope.
Kurt Angle v Triple H v The Rock – Summerslam 2000
To be honest, this feud had nothing to do with The Rock and had everything to do with Triple H’s wife Stephanie McMahon. Kurt had been trying to worm his way into Stephanie’s affections for weeks and enraged The Game by kissing his wife before Summerslam in 2000.
It didn’t work out for either man though, as The Rock would beat Triple H to retain the WWF title – while Angle ended up on a stretcher after being Pedigreed through the announcers table.
Kurt Angle v The Rock – No Mercy 2000
Often the target of The Great One’s hilarious jibes, Angle has The Rock to thank for winning his first WWF title in late 2000.
A distracted Rock was in the mist of the awful ‘Rikishi ran over Stone Cold’ storyline and Kurt took full advantage with an Angle Slam to reach the top of the mountain for the first time.
Kurt Angle v Shawn Michaels – Wrestlemania 21 2005
It was never going to be a bad match was it? But, it turned out to be one of the greatest wrestling clinics over witnessed on the Grandest Stage Of Them All.
HBK felt the full wrath of Angle after he eliminated our Olympic Hero from the Royal Rumble. Kurt then kept feud alive by repeatedly attacking former tag partners and managers of Michael leading to a clash between them at Wrestlemania 21.
If you have the WWE Network go back and check it out, as we could never do the match justice here.