There are times in life when you have an idea in place. You have a plan all worked out. You know what you are going to say and what you are going to do. It’s there, in front of you, waiting for you to put it in motion. And then life happens. You can’t always do whatever you want to do. Sometimes you just have to go in the direction life takes you. Working with the flow often gets you farther than working against it. However, sometimes you wind up in the wrong location and have to recalibrate.
With that being said, it’s time to Fantasy Book some wrestling. Kurt Angle has made it known many times that he wishes to wrestle again. Whether his body can stand up to the physical pounding is another story. But it has been in a news quite a bit lately (mostly due to Kurt himself talking about it), so I thought I would fantasy book a possible return for our hero.
The way I see it, there are a couple very obvious paths on which Angle can return. He could be fired as GM and go to SmackDown Live! where he would unite with American Alpha to form a “Goofy Americans” unit. He could play cheerleader to the team, he could play mentor to the guys, he could even play the “player-coach” angle where he has them watch what he does in the ring.
One thing that I think could work, and play to everyone’s strengths, is Angle going over to SD and begin hanging out with Jordan and Gable. Gable could proudly talk about his “Ready, Willing, and Gable” catchphrase which Angle would dismiss. He would basically insult Gable and Jordan a lot while telling them that he loves their work and wants to help them. This would confuse Jordan and Gable for weeks, until Angle tells them to just watch what he does. Then Angle would return to the ring against Jinder Mahal or someone. This would turn into a “Coach” Angle preaching to American Alpha to “Do what he does, not what he says.” The comedy out of the communication confusion between the three in contrast to the impressive ring work would be excellent.
The second obvious path, and the one that would be a slightly tougher sell, is that Angle remains Raw’s GM for quite a while. Eventually Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman return and run down the Raw roster. Lesnar actually wrestles a couple times on Raw, just annihilating his opponents. Lesnar could also destroy his planned SummerSlam opponent (whoever that may be) and putting him on the shelf. Angle, now having to deal with a depleted roster due to Lesnar’s rampaging, confronts Lesnar and Heyman and threatens them. Lesnar does not take kindly to this and Ubers Angle to Suplex City.
After a week of selling an injury, Angle can make his return and declare that he is finished with his GM role. He can be upset that Stephanie McMahon didn’t suspend Lesnar or something if that is necessary to get the storyline line approved. Then he can say that before he resigns, he has one more thing he has to do as GM. He still needs to complete the SummerSlam card, and Lesnar’s actions have put the Universal title in question at that event. So, his last act as GM is to name Lesnar’s opponent for SummerSlam. Of course he announces himself as that opponent, drops the mic, and heads to the PPV.
Why would this be a tougher sell? A couple of reasons actually. First, it involves awarding an Universal title match to someone who hasn’t wrestled in the company for years. However, given the recent Goldberg precedent, The Rock’s return a couple years ago, or even John Cena returning to steal the World Title from AJ Styles, I think we can let that slide a bit. Second, it doesn’t help any of the current wrestlers on the roster. True, but I still think that match has enough cache to be interesting to fans. Third, the main event of arguably the second biggest PPV of the year will be headlined by a part-timer and someone coming out of semi-retirement. Again, recent WWE precedent makes this issue fairly moot. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I am not sure how well Angle’s neck can hold out in a match against Lesnar. I know these guys have wrestled before, in a pretty good match, mind you, and they are both excellent amateur wrestlers, so I think they would have a good match. But Lesnar’s thing now is how many German suplexes he can throw on an opponent. Having Kurt take a dozen or so bumps on his neck can not be a good thing. This match is not worth having Angle not being able to walk in a year or two.
To be honest, I like both of those angles detailed above. Obvious or not, they sort of work for me. But there is one more story that I think can be told. Angle is at a point in his career where working with younger wrestlers is beneficial to those wrestlers’ development. It is also beneficial to how those newer guys are seen by the audience. If you have The Rock come in and destroy someone new, that person is sort of buried right away. But if you have someone relatively new get a signature victory over someone like Triple H, it could jumpstart a stuttering face turn (see Seth Rollins).
So what if Angle embraced working with some of the younger superstars. Just working with Angle would teach these guys a lot, but if they could come out on top in a feud with Angle, all the better.
To fantasy book this, I would have Angle resign as Raw General Manager. He would say his heart is not in management, it is in wrestling. And if he wants to do it, and he still can do it, then why not? He announces that he has booked a physical and if he passes, the next time the Raw crowd sees him, it will be inside of the ring.
Angle’s first few matches back would be glorified squashes. Then he would take on Bo Dallas. Angle would win fairly easily in their first match. The next week, Dallas would call out Angle saying that he wasn’t ready last week and that Angle’s victory was soft. He can even steal the Big Cass catchphrase, but make sure to spell it properly and insult Big Cass at the same time. Angle would come out and defeat him again.
The next week, Angle would come out and say that Dallas has been calling and calling and texting and emailing and calling trying to get one more shot at Angle. Angle says that if Bo wants one more match against him, that’s fine, but that’s it. The match will be more competitive this time, with the announcers playing up how Dallas has learned from his previously encounters with Angle. In the end, Dallas will win with a surprise small package. Angle will be shocked, but make a congratulatory statement later.
The next week Angle would call out Dallas and say that he was impressed last week… but maybe he was taking him lightly. He is an Olympic gold medalist after all, and Bo Dallas is just Bo Dallas. Incensed, Dallas will grab the microphone and shove Angle down. Dallas will lay into Angle verbally saying that the “great” Kurt Angle is no more. Dallas will begin third-person speak here, marking a minor change in his character. He says that Bo Dallas took that away from him. In turn, that makes Bo Dallas great. And Bo Dallas is not a gold medalist, but he is more than “just Bo Dallas.” Bo Dallas is greatness and nastiness. He says that Bo Dallas is the brother of the devil and that Angle better Bo-lieve.
This will set up a match on a PPV between Dallas and Angle. The match will be a very good match thanks to Angle, but Dallas will be made to look really good. Angle will get the win with an Angle Slam and the ankle lock after a hard fought contest. Post-match, Angle will look to extend a hand to Dallas in a show of respect. This brief series of matches could turn Dallas into a legitimate challenge for other wrestlers and not just comedy fodder.
But wait, there’s more. After Angle extends his hand to Dallas, Dallas hesitates. Finally, he begins to stretch out his hand but the lights go out. When they come back on, Dallas is no where to be found and Bray Wyatt is in the ring behind Angle. Wyatt jumps Angle from behind, beats him down, and hits him with Sister Abigail. This will be the angle that helps rebuild Bray Wyatt. Angle should be able to get some good-to-great matches out of Wyatt. Wyatt should be able to scare Angle without resorting to silly supernatural gimmicks. In fact, Wyatt could mention Angle’s past demons and how they have been coaching him. Things like that.
For this to work, Wyatt needs to come out on top here. Angle can get a win or two, and even chase Wyatt off once or twice, but at the end of the day, this storyline needs to be viewed as Wyatt pretty much owning Angle. Wyatt needs the rebuild a lot more than Angle does. Kurt, even if he is pretty much decimated in this feud, can always go back to his gold medal winning as a point to re-establish himself. But if Wyatt can take down, if not out, a Hall of Famer like Kurt Angle, maybe it is time to take him seriously again.
During this whole battle with Angle, Bo Dallas would be away and off TV. After Wyatt beats Angle for good at the end of the feud, you have several options. Dallas could join his brother in the Wyatt Family. Dallas could acknowledge his brother as his brother but become very annoyed that Wyatt felt he had to step into his battle against Angle. Dallas could return and not say anything about Bray Wyatt, allowing the possibility of that reveal to come at a later time. And Angle could go on to fight The Miz or Cesaro or another new guy after successfully helping Bo Dallas and Bray Wyatt get over.
So, what do you think? Do you like any of these options better than the others? Which way should Angle go? Sound off in the comments below.
Until next week…
Tags: American Alpha, Big Cass, Bo Dallas, Bray Wyatt, Brock Lesnar, Cesaro, Kurt Angle, paul heyman, SummerSlam, The Miz