Kurt Angle's WWE return lasted for two years - from 2017 up until 2019. Kurt Angle was re-introduced to the WWE Universe a few days after his Hall of Fame induction when Vince McMahon announced on the RAW after WrestleMania 33 that he would be the general manager of the red brand. It was a role that Kurt Angle did well in and there's no doubt that his run helped him elevate a group of WWE superstars.
Kurt Angle may not have had his most memorable matches in the run, but there were a handful of memorable moments too. As with many of the "old guard" who wanted to face the younger and current generation of superstars, Kurt Angle was no different.
When Matt Hardy was talking about how WWE would never acknowledge superstars like Rusev because they're no longer in the "WWE realm", Kurt Angle's wife Giovanna Angle praised Rusev, revealing that not only did Kurt Angle want to face him first on his WWE return, but he stated that Rusev was one of the reasons he returned to WWE:
Did WWE miss the ship on a money-making angle with Kurt Angle?
While the Russian version of Rusev from 2014-15 vs the Patriotic Kurt Angle would have been a big-money angle back in the day, it must be remembered that Rusev was far past that in 2017.
He was in a very different stage altogether and it would be later that year where he would stumble upon the Rusev Day gimmick unintentionally. Kurt Angle seems to have an eye for talent and just like many others, the Hall of Famer could see something in Rusev that the WWE higher-ups evidently couldn't.
It could have been a great angle to go within 2017, but Kurt Angle's in-ring return was held off for six months until he was inserted as an impromptu replacement for Roman Reigns at TLC that year.
Kurt Angle would ultimately call it quits to his in-ring career at WrestleMania 35 in 2019 when he lost to Baron Corbin. One can only wonder how different things would have been for Rusev had he gotten the match that Kurt Angle wanted.Published 07 Sep 2020, 04:14 IST