The storyline we have been watching unfold on Raw these past few weeks might well be the beginning of the build to Kurt Angle's final match.
When Kurt Angle returned to WWE, it wasn't clear whether he would be coming back in a wrestling capacity. The main reason WWE hired the wrestling legend back was to rightfully induct him into its Hall Of Fame. Angle was then made GM on Raw and a further six months after that, he returned to the ring.
That return has been far from full time. In the two years Angle has been back with WWE, he has wrestled 12 matches, and only three of those have been singles affairs. However, what is interesting is that Angle has competed on the last three episodes of Raw, plus made an appearance in the men's Royal Rumble match less than three weeks ago.
REMEMBER WHEN: A PRE UNDISPUTED ERA RODERICK STRONG TOOK ON KURT ANGLE
It feels as if WWE and Angle are building to something. Just last week, it was strongly hinted that the Olympic gold medalist was planning on hanging up his wrestling boots for good. According to Brad Shepard of Oh, You Didn't Know, that is indeed the plan. On the podcast this week, Shepard stated the Hall Of Famer is "definitely on his way out."
The time of year and the storyline unfolding would certainly suggest that. By time of year, we mean the proximity of WrestleMania. A man who has done as much for the business as Angle deserves to retire from in-ring competition on the grandest stage of them all. What we might see is a Ric Flair style storyline akin to when the Nature Boy retired. He kept winning all the way up to his retirement match against Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XXIV.
Whatever WWE is planning for what could be Angle's retirement, we hope a lot of thought has gone into it. We also hope that if the Olympic Hero's in-ring career will come to an end at WrestleMania 35, he gets a fair few dominant wins in between now and then. Last but not least, even when he isn't wrestling, we sincerely hope Angle sticks around and doesn't leave the business entirely.