In recent years, we’ve seen legends such as The Ultimate Warrior, Bret Hart, Bruno Sammartino, and Bill Goldberg return to WWE. One thing all four men had in common is that they all had major heat with the company, and its chairman — Vince McMahon — for various reasons, and many believed that we’d never see them put water under the bridge and rejoin the worldwide leader in sports entertainment. But, they all did — whether it was for a Hall of Fame induction, or a series of matches — they all came back.
There are only a few big names left that could come back and have one more match, and among them is former WWE World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle, who left WWE a little over a decade ago.
In the summer of 2006, Kurt Angle asked Vince McMahon for his release, which was a request that the WWE chairman granted. At the time, Angle was battling several issues, including a painkiller addiction, which he detailed on a recent edition of the Steve Austin Show, and overall health issues, which, in his mind, were preventing him from fulfilling all of his commitments with the company.
Angle joined WWE’s chief competitor — TNA — shortly after McMahon granted him his release, and while he probably had the best matches of his career there, he also continued to deal with some of the aforementioned issues, which led to him getting hit with four separate DUI charges during his tenure there.
Our Olympic Hero’s personal issues were very public, and because of that, the WWE chairman had qualms about bringing him back to the company, even when he was a complete free agent, and had publicly expressed his desire to return to the company that helped turn him into a worldwide superstar.
In recent years — most notably in 2014 when WWE brought back Scott Hall and Jake Roberts — WWE has rewarded guys who had issues similar to Angle’s for cleaning up their life, and, according to Angle himself, he’s been completely clean for the better part of the last three years. Does that mean that WWE is open to bringing back to the company in 2017? Perhaps Vince McMahon is the only person who knows the answer to that question. But, an Angle return does seem extremely likely.
Kurt Angle celebrated his 48th birthday on Friday, and for the first time since he left the company, WWE publicly reached out to him via their Instagram page, as they wished him a happy birthday, which has wrestling fans thinking that there is a plan in place to bring our Olympic Hero back at some point next year.
Some believe that Angle will show up as a surprise entrant in the 2017 Royal Rumble, while others believe that his return will be held off until late next year, as 2K Sports — the company that produces the annual WWE video game — could make him the pre-order bonus for next year’s video game.
Angle finished up with TNA back in February, and he’s been a free agent ever since. Right now, he’s wrestling at select independent shows on a very part-time basis, but he plans to return on a more regular basis to a major promotion at some point next year.
Several months ago, Angle said that he had a conversation with Paul Levesque — better known to WWE fans as Triple H — who is now in charge of signing talent. In fact, Levesque was very pivotal in bringing back guys like Bruno Sammartino and The Ultimate Warrior. So, he could very well play a pivotal part in bringing our Olympic Hero back to WWE at some point in 2017.
[Featured Image by WWE]