There’s no question that Kurt Angle is one of the most decorative and successful athletes to step foot in a WWE ring. He’s an Olympic gold winner, multiple time WWE Champion, IC, European, and Tag Team Champion. He’s also won the 2000 King of the Ring. And he’s had one of the most successful first year run in WWE history. All of this earned him a place in the hall of fame. So when Kurt Angle announced he will be having his retirement match at Wrestlemania, we fans assumed he would have a proper send off with a suitable opponent. So WWE gave went and gave us….Baron Corbin? Really, WWE?
There are literally a number of people that would make a fitting final opponent for Kurt Angle instead of Corbin. For starters we have John Cena. Angle was Cena’s very first opponent on the main roster and even introduced us to the Ruthless Aggression Era in 2002. Many, including myself, didn’t know who John Cena was or even knew what he could bring to WWE. But that match proved that Cena was not only here, but he was here to stay as a household brand and we can thank Kurt for that fantastic match. Even though Cena lost, by no means was it a squash or a bury. Quite the contrary. Kurt helped elevate John Cena and made sure he was well taken care of. It would be a very fitting, even poetic ending to have Cena be the last guy.
We also have the Undertaker as a strong opponent. It sounds bizarre considering the Deadman, but if you saw their matches during the Ruthless Aggression and pre-PG era, you know these two can control an arena when these two are together. Personally, their best match took place in February 2006 for the World Heavyweight Championship at No Way Out. The two put out a Wrestlemania style main event that should’ve been saved for the flagship show, minus the interference from Mark Henry. If there was ever a person that had the right to end Taker’s impressive undefeated streak, it would be Angle.
If we’re talking about the future, tradition, and putting over top stars, then Kurt could’ve had a great match with Daniel Bryan. Now obviously, that ship has sailed, what with Bryan defending the Championship against Kofi, but if this was planned out months ago, this had match of the year contender written all over. Angle mentioned that he would love to have a match with Daniel Bryan before calling it a career and maybe there’s still time since we have two more shows before Mania, but these two definitely deserved the grand stage. Especially if Kurt plans to pass the torch to Bryan.
Kurt Angle has achieved so much and has given us fans a massive amount of memories that will be remembered for years, even decades to come. From an outstanding rookie year and winning his first WWE Championship, to his iconic Wrestlemania matches with worthy contenders such as Brock Lesnar, Shawn Michaels, and Chris Jericho. And WWE is going to send him into the sunset by giving us a guy like Baron Corbin? I’m sorry, but there’s nothing in his personality or skills that gives me the impression he should close Angle’s career. The reaction he gets is embarrassing and his personality is drier than an unused towel. I hope WWE decides to swerve us and change the opponent either this week or the day of the show. HBK retired Ric Flair. Taker retired HBK. Shouldn’t Angle have a strong opponent to send him off to the sunset? Because Corbin is not that guy.