WWE TLC 2017 saw Kurt Angle make his return to the WWE ring after an 11 year hiatus, competing in a wild tag team main event. Fans are still somewhat reeling from this turn of events, as back at the beginning of this week, the idea of an impending in-ring comeback from Raw GM Angle seemed like wishful thinking at best. Yet, an illness outbreak among WWE’s roster caused top star Roman Reigns to be sidelined from TLC’s scheduled main event, leading company brass to take the drastic measure of replacing “The Big Dog” with Hall of Fame inductee Angle.
With Reigns out of action, Angle teamed up with remaining Shield members Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins to take on the mammoth combination of The Miz, Sheamus, Cesaro, Braun Strowman, and Kane. Four of those men are former WWE or World champions, while Cesaro is nearly superhuman from an athletic standpoint, and Braun is one of the most dominant monsters in wrestling history.
In addition to the fact that the match was three-on-five, there was also a question going into TLC as to whether Angle would be fighting ring rust, having not competed in a televised match of any kind since a March 2016 edition of TNA Impact. While he didn’t quite seem like the Olympic gold medalist of old, Angle still made his presence felt, proving that he definitely hasn’t reached the point where he would be better off permanently retiring from in-ring action.
Due to the nature of the match stipulation, Angle spent a lot of time smacking his opponents with chairs and other blunt objects, but the first taste of old school Angle came when the multi-time WWE champion busted out his patented German suplexes. While said suplexes are now most commonly associated with Brock Lesnar, Angle was doing them long before “The Beast,” and put them to good use on Miz and company. Unfortunately, Angle was then taken out of the equation for a long while, courtesy of a huge running powerslam through a table from Strowman.
As the match wore on, things began to look dire for Ambrose and Rollins. That is until Kane and Strowman turned on each other, with Kane then burying Strowman under a mountain of chairs. The “Monster Among Men” would reemerge in a foul mood, attacking his teammates, only to be overtaken and tossed in the back of a garbage truck that Miz had brought out. Just when all truly seemed lost for the partial Shield, Angle returned from backstage and proceeded to clean house. This led to Angle filling in for Reigns during the execution of a triple powerbomb on Miz, and picking up the victory for his team. Kurt Angle is back. It’s true, it’s damn true.