When Kurt Angle was last seen on WWE television, it was the aftermath of his WrestleMania match with Brock Lesnar. Kurt and Brock hugged showing a sign of true sportsmanship. Angle then took his leave of absence to undergo neck surgery. Angle went to great heights as WWE Champion, and certainly is missed by any normal wrestling fan.
With that said, the return of Kurt Angle without a doubt will be huge. Kurt Angle’s presence in the ring, though may be somewhat affected by the surgery, should still be one of the better performers in the company, and his natural charisma on the mic will still be as good as previously. Kurt Angle is in the perfect setup to return as the company’s number one superstar, which normally is portrayed as a face. Yet, recent rumors suggest that WWE wants to return him as a heel. My thought is, just what are they thinking?
Wrestling fans who just appreciate the entertainment and don’t care about actual wrestling hate Kurt Angle because his character only cares about himself and he gloats about his gold medals. When a heel gets you to hate him with that much passion, he is doing his job right. Fans who appreciate great wrestling love Angle for his ability with in the ring and because he is one of the best entertainers as well.
Kurt Angle as a face easily will set him up as the number one superstar in the company. He will continue to be loved by the fans of great wrestling, and he will be loved by those who follow the sport for the entertainment aspect. In Angle’s previous role as a face, he was extremely over with the fans, and was the unoffical leader of WWE during the invasion storyline (prior to his supposed defection to the Alliance). Angle was the WWE during the summer of 2001.
Kurt Angle has played the role of a perfect heel since his arrival in WWE, but his role as a heel is becoming worn out. Before his injury, Angle was paired with an up and coming tag team, and labeled them Team Angle, so they could hopefully get some of the rub off of him. The role of Angle as a heel has been done to all limits, and while it may be effective sometime in the future, the time for Angle to turn face is immediately upon his return.
And with most superstars who are over, when you are gone for a while, the fans cheer you regardless if you are a heel or face. Triple H left WWE as a heel when he tore his quad, and returned to one of the biggest pops in recent memory. Fans who loved him and hated him were all excited about his return. The fans without a doubt will pop big for Kurt Angle when he returns. So why fight the natural fan reaction? Instead of trying to go against the momentum, why not use it? Push Kurt Angle as a face, regardless if he is the champion or not.
A babyface Kurt Angle wrestling and overcoming challenges to earn his spot back again is a storyline fans will pay attention to. Kurt Angle is a ratings magnet for all wrestling fans, regardless their what their prime interest in the product is. Kurt Angle has all the motivation in the world to be the company’s biggest star in a time where Triple H is not well liked, The Rock is gone, and Steve Austin is partially retired. Brock Lesnar is not nearly as over as WWE would have liked him to be. WWE’s golden opportunity is within Kurt Angle. WWE please, do the right thing.
Just a wild thought… and this is really really really pushing it. What if Mr. America continues to be portrayed as Hogan through the next month in a half, only to be unmasked as Kurt Angle?
Just a thought.
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