WWE Hall of Famer and Raw general manager Kurt Angle made his in-ring return at last month's TLC pay-per-view event. He joined up with The Shield (while Roman Reigns was absent with the mumps), and helped them defeat Team Miz in the 3-on-5 match.
It marked Angle's first WWE match in 11 years. A month later, he captained Team Raw to victory over Team SmackDown at Survivor Series. Despite his age (48), and a string of injuries, Angle received clearance from WWE doctors and has proven that he can still put on great matches.
Angle recently appeared at an event in New Jersey and answered questions about his return at TLC. According to Bill Pritchard of WrestleZone, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose turned the Olympic gold medalist "into a fanboy":
"I didn’t expect that to be my first wrestling match, and with a faction that popular. They’re one of the most popular factions of all time, they’ve done an incredible job. Ever since they came up from NXT they’ve been legendary so it was an honor for me.
"Mr. McMahon thought Kurt Angle would fill that spot. It was awesome, I had a lot of fun that night. I didn’t have to do much in my first match, but it was really cool. When you saw me walk out, you kind of saw the ‘fanboy’ look on my face. Seth [Rollins] and Dean [Ambrose] were serious, and here I am, going It was a lot of fun, and it was a complete honor."
Angle was announced as Reigns' replacement just days before the TLC show. He looked as strong and healthy as ever, performing some great moves in The Shield's victory.
When Angle left the WWE in 2006, it was to take time off and nurse a series of neck injuries he had suffered. Angle was released from his contract and would join TNA in 2006, where he competed for 10 years.
Angle's return has been largely successful for the WWE. Unlike predecessor Mick Foley, the current Raw GM brings excellent microphone skills and is capable of putting on clinical matches, when needed.
Thanks to Ambrose and Rollins, Angle felt like a "fanboy" once again and was able to erase any doubt in regards to his wrestling shape at this stage of his career. We'll soon see what matches are next for the Olympic gold medalist.