From the moment Kurt Angle left TNA, speculation was rife regarding the Olympic Hero’s WWE homecoming. It felt like it was only a matter of time, and sure enough, he was the first man announced for the 2017 Hall of Fame. Hopes were high for a return to WWE during the Royal Rumble, but of course, that never came to fruition.
All of the speculation regarding Angle’s post-WrestleMania involvement with the company suggests that he is to replace Mick Foley as General Manager of Raw. This is because the soon-to-be HOF’er is scheduled to appear on Raw this coming Monday, but curiously, he is also set to appear on Smackdown the following night. In my opinion, this points to something quite different…
With no further ado, let’s look at Kurt Angle’s 2017 through the Turnbuckle Time Machine – a new feature peaking into wrestling’s future.
24 Hours after John Cena probably laid down some sick bars to honour the career of the man, Kurt Angle walks out on stage at WrestleMania with the rest of the 2017 Hall of Fame class. As with previous years, it’s a simple ‘smile and wave’ moment with Kurt as the centrepiece. The crowd start a “See you Monday” chant, allowing Kurt to give a knowing wink…
During the second hour of Raw, those famous horns hit, causing an eruption among the fans. Kurt cuts a heartfelt promo with all of the standard returnee bullet points.
- Great to be back
- Love the fans
- Nothing quite compares to WWE
- WWE Network
- NXT and great young talent
It’s a fairly standard cookie cutter ‘legend promo’, much like the one cut by The Ultimate Warrior in 2014, just twenty four hours before his death. Hopefully this one comes with less riddles and eerie turns of phrase.
Raw goes off the air later in the night with no further sighting of Kurt Angle.
Daniel Bryan opens the show alone. He explains the events of Sunday night’s match between Commissioner Shane McMahon and AJ Styles, in which Styles pulverised Shane O’Mac. According to Daniel, Shane is going to be out for “a pretty long time”. Daniel cites his attempt to fire AJ during the build to ‘Mania, and says that this time Shane isn’t here to stop him…
The horns hit. Kurt Angle makes his way out, walking pretty quickly. He jumps in the ring and goes face to face with Bryan as the crowd pops. He asks if Daniel is serious.
Kurt Angle: “AJ Styles is the biggest asset on your roster. I’ve faced the guy all over the world – mostly here in Florida – and I can tell you without a shadow of doubt; he’s a star. Oh it’s true, it’s damn true. 15 years ago, some punk kid came out here and challenged me to a fight. He said he had ‘Ruthless Aggression’, and I’m man enough to admit he did. He’s now one of the biggest stars in the history of this business. Now, Daniel, you know something about being ruthless, and you’ve fought against your own boss before, so how can you stand here, and tell us that what AJ Styles did at WrestleMania was wrong?”
Daniel Bryan: “AJ took it too far. He could have just pinned Shane and had his WrestleMania moment, but no. He had to hit another Styles Clash. He had to drag Shane all over the arena, causing multiple injuries to the son of this company’s owner-“
Angle: “And has the owner of the company told you to fire AJ Styles?”
Bryan: “Well, he has not, bu-“
Angle: “He has not. You know why? Because he knows what sells. If Mr. McMahon hadn’t had his ass beat by Stone Cold Steve Austin every week, we’d be on WCW Thunder right now. AJ made damn sure he got his WrestleMania match, and it was Shane who challenged him. And guess what? There are a lot of people here tonight who wanted to see AJ Styles win on Sunday, and they want to keep seeing him on Tuesdays.”
Bryan says he’s the only one with power now that Shane is gone, but Kurt cuts him off, and says that’s simply not true. He points to the big screen, and we see Shane in a hospital bed. Shane says that AJ Styles will not be fired. He goes on to say that he feels Bryan could use a little help running Smackdown while he takes a sabbatical, and the crowd pops. Angle is the Interim Commissioner of Smackdown Live!
Daniel sighs, and eventually shakes Angle’s hand, but as he goes to exit the ring, Angle pulls him back. Kurt says that since they’re here, they may as well make some matches. He proposes Cena vs. Styles in the main event, and Bryan reluctantly bows to Angle’s word.
In the main event, Styles defeats Cena after a great match in which AJ targeted Cena’s surgically repaired neck and shoulder. After AJ celebrates, Cena goes to shake hands with The Phenomenal One. He gets attacked for his troubles, and AJ inflicts yet more damage to the neck and shoulder.
The show ends with the announce team speculating, as Cena gets checked by doctors. (This writes him off TV)
What happens next?
On a special Talking Smack following the show, with Bryan and Angle as the focus, the GM is once again angered by AJ Styles’ actions. Kurt wins the day again, mostly thanks to him having the superior rank, and again reminding Bryan that AJ is an asset.
Over the coming weeks and months, Kurt and Daniel actually gel nicely in their roles. AJ ultimately still has to force some opportunities from Bryan on weeks Kurt is not present, but eventually wins Money In The Bank.
Bryan can be written off somewhere down the line by Shane (via Satellite), to allow him to be with his newborn child. This feels like quite a messy point in my idea, but maybe they could just be honest about him wanting to stay home with Brie and the baby?
Six weeks before SummerSlam, Shane returns. Kurt Angle has been running the show solo for some time now with very little interference from Shane, who took time to clear his head after the AJ assault. Angle doesn’t particularly want to give up his current role, and doesn’t accept Shane’s offer of working alongside him as GM.
Things get more and more intense between them over the next couple of weeks, leading to a match at Summerslam for control of Smackdown.
What Do You Think?
Who wins control of Smackdown at Summerslam? Who plays the heel? Does any of this work in any way? Let me know in the comments and in the UKPW group! Until next time, that was Turnbuckle Time Machine!