The WWE recently announced that Kurt Angle would be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this April. Now, fans are hoping for one last farewell match involving the Olympic Gold Medalist and a worthy contender. Angle, who has not competed with the WWE since 2006, has an idea of whom he’d like to go up against if he had a chance.
In an interview with former WWE ring announcer Lillian Garcia, Angle named AJ Styles as the one guy he’d like to wrestle not only because he’s “the hottest right now in WWE” but also because of the respect he feels for him due to their shared history.
“I wrestled AJ in TNA, and I can tell you that he is every bit as good as Shawn Michaels,” Angle said. “The thing with AJ Styles, and I want everybody to realize this is you don’t have to do anything with him. He does all the work. So it’s an easy match for you. He flies around the ring. He does all the bumping.”
Kurt had nothing but respect and admiration for Styles. “AJ is a special individual where you can go in that ring and literally just stand in the middle and he does everything for you,” Angle said during the interview. “I have never had a match with anybody that’s been so easy, and every time I worked with him it was a five star match. So AJ’s that kind of talent. He only comes around once in a lifetime, so I’d really love to shake it up with him one more time if I could.”
Angle departed from the WWE in 2006 due to health concerns. During the interview with Lillian, he opened up about his struggle with addiction, saying that his injuries fueled his dependence on pain kills. In the span of two years working for the WWE, Angle broke his neck twice, forcing him to retire from wrestling for an indefinite period of time.
But his injuries and his struggle with addiction didn’t stop Angle from competing. In 2016, he competed on TNA and in the independent circuit, fueling the rumors that he would make a surprise appearance at one of the WWE’s events. The rumors intensified when the company announced him as the first member of the 2017 Hall of Fame, where he will be inducted right before WrestleMania.
Due to the strict health and safety rules imposed by WWE doctors, the best thing fans can hope for is for him to be cleared on a short program rather than a long-term contract, like Goldberg and Sting.