10 Dream Opponents For A Kurt Angle WWE In-Ring Return

His Ladyballs-imposed vacation on this week's Raw is leading to a wrestling return, apparently...

And I thought the majority of the rumour and innuendo in my life ended when the transfer window closed just before the new Premier League season started. It's in full swing in the wrestling world right now, with Kurt Angle at the centre of an absolute whopper.

According to Mike Johnson over at PWInsider - and looking at the following quote, I don't know whether this is just hacks elsewhere putting two and two together and jumping to a conclusion he doesn't mention at all - Angle was forced to go on holiday by Stephanie McMahon on this week's Raw so he can train for an in-ring return. "It could be that this is the beginning of that storyline to bring him back to the wrestling ring. So either to move him temporarily from General Manager or remove him completely from the GM role and have him wrestle every now and again," Johnson said.

When Angle is scheduled to return to the ring is anyone's guess at this stage. You would have thought that getting him involved in the Super Show-Down in October is a no-brainer, or perhaps WWE will hold off any potential return until the next of their fabled Big Five, Survivor Series, in November.

Whatever the weather, Angle proved in the months and years before his WWE return that he can still put on fantastic matches so the following 10 Superstars would be in for a treat, should they step into the ring with him.

10. Seth Rollins


I've got to be honest, I originally had AJ Styles in this position but then I thought to myself 'could the pair really replicate the brilliance we saw in TNA a decade or so ago?'

I very much doubt they could. So instead, let's have arguably the best worker of this generation take on arguably the best of the last generation. And in what has to be seen as a bit of a brucie bonus in this situation, there's a bit of a story to be exploited.

As we all saw at TLC last year, Kurt played the role of a father on Halloween, as he dressed up like Messrs Rollins and Ambrose to take on The Miz, Braun Strowman, Kane, Cesaro and Sheamus.

I'm not entirely sure how WWE would play this one considering Rollins is arguably the hottest babyface in the company right now, while Kurt has been playing a lovable oaf since his return following WrestleMania 33. Although, with The Shield's edgy ending to this week's Raw, it would be great to see a heelish Rollins lambast Angle for bringing shame to the iconic, black paintball vests to kick the story off. Rollins is way better as a heel, isn't he?

9. Pete Dunne


I know, we're climaxing too soon in this list, aren't we? Can you just imagine this one? A contrast of styles that would produce some of the most liquid wrestling we've seen since... erm... Finn Balor lathered himself in baby oil that time. OOOOOPH!

Dunne is the grittier of the pair who can bring out the faster-paced, more flamboyant stuff when the time calls for it, while Angle is just the bloody master, isn't he?

Of course, the mind will always wander to 'oh, what could have been' when a potential pairing like this is mentioned, but let's forget about the fact that poor Kurt can't go as hard as he once could, a few potentially cool moments are possible here, with a significant passing of the torch rounding it all off nicely - in my mind at least.

8. Shinsuke Nakamura


Kurt Angle and Shinsuke Nakamura have only ever had one singles match together, and that took place at a show called 'NJPW Circuit 2008 - New Japan ism - Day 8' and that's just a collection of words for somebody like me who isn't really up to speed with the wrestles over in Japan. I'm sure it was really good though.

I reckon less than 5 per cent of the WWE Universe watching today's product saw that match, so the world is missing out on something special. Therefore, to get the gift that is Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kurt Angle out there, they need to have one more round inside a WWE ring.

And the perfect scenario is there if the company want to use it. Nakamura mentioned this week that he rules the United States of Nak-America, so who better to battle with him in an attempt to win back the United States Championship for Old Glory FIREWORKS PATRIOTISM etc etc etc, than Kurt Angle?

7. Jason Jordan


At the time of writing, Jason Jodan's future is more than a little up in the air. Rumours surrounding the end of his in-ring career are still circulating, while many outlets are reporting that he produced the match between Peyton Royce and Naomi from this week's SmackDown Live.

If he does make a return, surely a match with his father is at the top of any list. Before his time away from the ring, we had Jason Jordan gagging to get himself involved in many situations he wasn't ready for, with Daddy Kurt putting him in his place. This potential feud writes itself, doesn't it? With the delusional Jordan thinking he can topple his wily fox of a father, only to find out he's bitten off more than he can chew as he receives a broken ankle.

No? A man can dream.

6. Chad Gable


Remember Chad? He's the man who should have been revealed as Kurt Angle's son way back when, in my humble opinion.

The fact that Chad finds himself in the no man's land he does today is one of those injustices that creeps into WWE's roster from time to time. It's such a waste. Jason Jordan would be floundering in NXT no man's land if it wasn't for Chad. Chad was the one who gave Jordan a hint of a character, and brought out the fire we see when he gets back into a corner and sticks his tongue out and whatnot.

Gable is another one of those Superstars who appears to just 'get' the character based stuff that comes with being a WWE Superstar, while he's also capable of putting on amazing matches - one throwaway bout with Kevin Owens from a random SmackDown Live springs to mind.

Imagine, "hello dad, I doctored Jason Jordan's birth certificate because I knew the eyes of the entire world would be on me, and that would have broken me like it has Jason. Now, I'm ready to be your son - let's either wrestle because you're annoyed at me or take over the world together MUHAHAHA!"

I don't know why, but I said all of that in my head in the voice of Plankton from Spongebob Squarepants.

5. Kevin Owens


The story is there if WWE want to capitalise on it. For the longest time, probably because Owens was hired to Raw above his head by Stephanie McMahon, Kurt Angle had it in for poor old Kev. Braun Strowman bullied that man and did a lot of disturbing things to his body and possessions in the process. I really felt sorry for the victim of the piece, so now it's time for KO to get some modicum of revenge on the man who allowed these travesties to happen.

Owens is one of the best workers in WWE today, and is one of the few who truly understands the silly side of sports entertainment - meaning he can do it and pass it off as funny, rather than pure, unadulterated cringe.

With the storyline in place, this rivalry could be a serious one or a bit of nonsense in the middle of the card. Both men are versatile enough to pull off both scenarios and give us some really great television in the process.

4. Neville


I miss this man. I miss this man with all my heart. I wish we lived in a world where Triple H would meet with Neville, tell him something we all know in that he's way too good for 205 Live, and see my Geordie prince is back in WWE competing for every major title possible.

It's a bloody shame what has happened over the past year, isn't it? I'm sure you will agree with me The King of the Cruiserweights was one of, if not the best heel in all of WWE before his hiatus, and given the fact that nobody really wants to boo Kurt Angle these days, surely Neville would be the perfect character to stick the Olympic gold medalist in the ring with.

Oh, and Neville's really, really good at the wrestling - arguably the best in the world when he's really ticking along. Any match between these two would be a relentless classic. Again, whether Kurt could keep up with someone like Neville over a longer stretch of time is a question that will undoubtedly be raised once again, but to that I point you in the direction of SummerSlam 2002 and perhaps the best under 10-minute match in WWE history between Kurt and Rey Mysterio. I sense similar vibes to that bout from any potential meeting between Kurt and Neville.

3. Daniel Bryan


Heading out of WrestleMania 33 in Orlando, I went on the record stating that Daniel Bryan would take on Kurt Angle in a battle of the GMs at WrestleMania 34 in New Orleans. While that plan didn't pan out as I thought it would have, I still really want to see this match.

Obviously, this one would have been way better and surely a contender for the best match to ever happen if it was taking place in say, 2006. But here we are in 2018, and while any match between those two would still be great, I'm sure your mind, like mine, won't be able to stop itself thinking 'oh, what could have been.'

Believe it or not, Kurt Angle and Daniel Bryan/Bryan Danielson have only ever been a part of the same match on one occasion over the course of their respective illustrious careers - and that was the Greatest Royal Rumble in April. Quite frankly, that is a crime against wrestling and is a stat that needs to be eradicated as soon as possible.

2. Brock Lesnar


I know what you're thinking, Brock would absolutely murder Kurt today, wouldn't he? I don't think that has to be the case though - this match doesn't need to be any longer than five minutes for it to be an absolute barnstormer. 'Get your sh*t in, boys, then take that son of a b*tch home!' That's how the wrestlers would say it, right?

When I started watching WWE properly in my youth these two were tearing it up on SmackDown, so this is much more of a nostalgic pick than most. But as I said in the intro, I saw Angle take part in a couple of high profile bouts in 2017 and he can definitely still 'go' - not as hard as he used to, but that's what age and a million miles on your pro wrestling clock does to you.

Imagine when SmackDown has debuted on Fox and is officially WWE's new flagship show - they've got an extra hour to fill - they show highlights of all the stellar Lesnar/Angle matches from way back in the day - the pair come out and throw several of their best bombs in a match that not only takes the breath away as two technical wizards do their thing, but also casts our minds back to better, more innocent times. Or, you know, have it take place on a massive PPV - whatever floats your boat.

1. Ronda Rousey


The article's called 'dream' matches, right? I know there's absolutely no chance in hell that WWE would put on a singles match between a man and a woman (I know they did for Messrs Ellsworth and Lynch, but that's a completely different scenario to this potential one) but I really, really want to see Ronda Rousey take on Kurt Angle in a SIMULATED COMBAT SCENARIO.

Of course, this suggestion is going to bring up the whole intergender wrestling debate once again, something I believe to be a load of nonsense. I know we're in an era of Strong Style and our favourites hitting a little bit harder than they used to, but every single professional wrestling match you see taking place inside, or just around the side of a professional wrestling ring is simulated combat. Those in wider mainstream media will see a man striking a woman (with a worked punch or kick, of course) and come down on WWE like a ton of bricks, and that's just wrong. They just don't understand what professional wrestling is and it's robbing us fans of so many opportunities.

(I know the likes of Lucha Underground and others have shown us how NOT to do intergender matches, as they've booked bouts where a man unceremoniously beats a woman down with zero comeback - nobody wants to see that, that's now what I'm advocating here.)  

As we all saw, upon her arrival in WWE Ronda Rousey was under the wing of Kurt Angle ahead of the pair's battle with Stephanie McMahon and Triple H at WrestleMania 34. Many people have compared Ronda's early success in WWE to that of Kurt Angle's way back in 99/00. Both have taken to pro wrestling like ducks to water, and the ties are there to create a pretty compelling tale over a few weeks or so.

It's just a shame that too many people do not understand what pro wrestling is for matches like this to take place.

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Ross Tweddell

Written by Ross Tweddell

Presenter over on the Cultaholic Wrestling YouTube channel. Email: [email protected]