On January 31st, Kurt Angle wrestled his final match for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling on their Impact UK Tour. After nearly ten years with the company, Kurt Angle had decided against renewing his contract, closing that chapter of his career, and possibly beginning a new chapter from an old book. There will always be speculation of Kurt Angle rejoining World Wrestling Entertainment, especially with his former TNA running mates Sting and the Dudley Boys already doing so. At the very least, it is suspected that Angle would return to take a rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame.
If Angle does return with a legends deal, it is possible that he could have a few matches left in the tank before retiring, should be he pass WWE’s rigorous impact testing and physical process. If that turned out to be the case, then there are a number of dream matches on the table waiting for Angle to participate in. While the general consensus is that fans have already lost out on their biggest dream match against Daniel Bryan, here are five match ups that I think would be worthwhile for Angle’s final run in WWE.
Kurt Angle vs. Kalisto
Kalisto isn’t exactly a big name yet, and because of that, some might feel as though Kalisto isn’t big enough of a star to face a legend like Kurt Angle. I will argue that is exactly the reason this makes for a great match, as Angle has the ability to catapult Kalisto into the main event. In terms of match quality, Angle has proved that no matter the size of the competitor, he is capable of having a fantastic match. Let’s not forget that when Rey Mysterio Jr. joined WWE back in 2002, his first major opponent was Kurt Angle. Those two made magic every time they stepped foot in a ring together. What would stop these two from doing the same thing now?
Kurt Angle vs. Brock Lesnar
Sure, you’ve seen it before, but I can’t be the only person on the planet that would pay money to see one more showdown between arguably the two best amateur athletes to ever set foot in a WWE ring? The matches between these two are still being talked about to this day and even if they are both a little older, they’ve also grown in experience and in the case of Brock Lesnar, is doing some of his best storytelling work in his entire career. If Brock Lesnar and the Undertaker can create a series of matches that earns them awards and praise, certainly Kurt and Brock can do the same. We can never make it 2003 again, but having just a taste of it would be a lot of fun.
Kurt Angle & American Alpha vs The League of Nations
I realize that I’m cheating a little by having a six man tag in here to cross off three names in one shot, but I honestly would like to see Kurt Angle have matches with Rusev, Sheamus, and Aleberto Del Rio, and I would love to see him do it with the closest thing to his old Team Angle running mates Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas. What an opportunity it would be for Chad Gabel and Jason Jordan to team with such a legendary star to help fight for their country. With Gabel also being an Olympian and Jordan a stand out amateur, the team just makes sense. Seeing Those three square off against the League of Nations could ignite such a patriot hype about the match that team USA would need to travel across the country in a bus promoting it.
Kurt Angle vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Cesaro
Yes, I am definitely cheating in this case. It isn’t like this idea is totally outside the realm of possibility. In terms of technical prowess, Dolph Ziggler and Cesaro were likely just behind Daniel Bryan, so seeing the Showoff and the Swiss Superman face the Olympic Hero is not a bad consolation prize. Angle has always taken a strong interest in opponents with an amateur background, and Dolph was quite the accomplished wrestler in College. Cesaro shares the qualities that Angle’s greatest opponents have all had. These three could put on the kind of match that fans would want to see from Kurt Angle on his retirement tour. Lots of big selling bumps, very good storytelling, and the kind of technical wrestling that would have purists clamoring.
Kurt Angle vs Roman Reigns
I can already feel the collective eye rolling of the Reigns haters reading this entry, but no matter what you think of Reigns character, he has proven time and time again to be a solid in ring performer, especially when the pressure is on in a big match situation. Sound like any Olympic Gold Medalists you know? Also consider that whether you like it or not, WWE is making Roman Reign their top guy, and if you want to see Kurt Angle face the top talent in the company, Reigns has to be on this list. In terms of intensity and power, Roman might actually be the closest thing on the roster to 2003 Brock Lesnar, so if you want to see if Angle can still run with the big dogs, here is the test. At the very least, wouldn’t you like to see Angle try to break Roman’s ankle?
A Future Undetermined
Of course, these dream matches could end up being just that, as one of the reasons Kurt left the employ of WWE back in 2007 was because of issues stemming from his health. While lots has changed in that time, both positive and negative for Angle’s health, WWE has much stricter policies in place for the health and safety of their performers. Then again, they also are more open to part time performers, so who knows what the future holds?
Kurt Angle is enough of a star that honestly, you could put him against Heath Slater and it would make money, not to mention all the hilarity from whatever backstage stuff they could do together. Outside of the ring, Angle could be just as valuable for the company working as an agent, talent scout, trainer, or even as a good will ambassador. Kurt Angle is one of the most versatile and entertaining performers to ever step foot in a WWE ring. Let’s just hope he get to step foot in that ring one, or five, more times.