On Monday, WWE announced that Kurt Angle will headline this year’s Hall of Fame ceremony on April 1 in Orlando, Florida. It’ll be the first time that Angle has done anything with the company since his abrupt exit in the summer of 2006.
There’s been a ton of speculation surrounding who will induct Angle into the Hall of Fame, and there are a few names floating around like Brock Lesnar, John Cena, Charlie Haas, and Shelton Benjamin. But if it’s completely up to Angle, he’d have “Stone Cold” Steve Austin induct him.
During a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, Angle said that having Austin induct him is a “no brainer.” In the past, Angle has credited Austin with teaching him the most about the pro wrestling business.
“That’s a no-brainer. I had just started with WWE and had a program with Austin right after I beat Rock for the world title. I had a quick skit with Stephanie and Triple H, and then it was right on to Austin. We had some memorable feuds and some very funny segments, so he is at the top of my list.”
Austin has regularly attended WWE’s annual Hall of Fame ceremony since his retirement in 2003, so he’ll likely be in Orlando on April 1, and he probably wouldn’t have an issue with inducting Kurt Angle. The last time Austin inducted someone was when he inducted Bret “The Hitman” Hart back in 2006.
Angle’s Hall of Fame announcement was a bit of a shocker, mostly because he wasn’t one of the rumored inductees leading up to it. In recent weeks, we had heard names like Diamond Dallas Page and Rick Rude, but we didn’t hear anything about Kurt Angle.
There have been rumors surrounding Angle’s possible involvement in the Royal Rumble, which takes place in just under two weeks. But Angle told ESPN on Monday that his primary focus at the moment is the Hall of Fame. He also said that he hasn’t even spoken with WWE about wrestling again.
“We have not talked about any wrestling. Whether we do or not, that remains to be seen. There are no guarantees. I think right now the most important thing is the Hall of Fame — and I think both sides feel that way.”
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter said on Monday that the only way WWE will allow Angle to wrestle for them again is if he passes a physical exam. If he can’t, then they won’t let him get back in the ring, no matter how huge a potential return match may be.
If Angle is able to pass a physical, there are a ton of potential opponents for him. Among them is Rusev, who called Angle out on Twitter following his Hall of Fame announcement.
One Too many HEROES under one WWE— Rusev MACHKA (@RusevBUL) January 17, 2017
Other dream opponents for Angle include all three members of The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, and Seth Rollins), Finn Balor, and Kevin Owens. Fans would also probably enjoy seeing him get back in the ring with some of his old rivals like Brock Lesnar, Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, and John Cena.
It’ll be interesting to see who WWE puts Angle in the ring with if he’s physically able to wrestle again. Of course, he has been wrestling sporadically at select independent shows over the past year. In fact, he has an upcoming match with former WWE star Alberto Del Rio. So, he’s clearly still able to wrestle. But can he pass WWE’s physical? We’ll see. But if he’s unable to, WWE fans will be extremely disappointed.
[Featured Image by WWE]