On Friday, the WWE stunned wrestling fans by announcing that after an 11 year absence, Kurt Angle would make his triumphant return to the biggest brand in wrestling. The 48-year-old WWE legend was tapped to replace Roman Reigns, out due to "medical issues," in the main event at Sunday's Tables, Ladders & Chairs pay-per-view event.
Given the short notice and Angle's long hiatus from the spotlight, few knew what to expect from the hall of famer. On Sunday night we found out and to the surprise of no one, he delivered.
For the match, Angle joined Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose in Shield to take on a five-man squad of Cesaro, Sheamus, Kane, Braun Strowman and The Miz.
The match was wild, as any main event at TLC event must be. Angle participated in most of it. When it was time for Rollins and Ambrose to frog splash from the tops of ladders on to Kane and Strowman below, he was content to cheer them on from ground level like a proud papa who knows his ladder diving days are well behind him.
Angle didn't avoid the action entirely though. One of the loudest moments of the night came when he hit the Miz, Sheamus and Cesaro each with a German suplex, one of his all-time favorite moves.
There was a LOT more madness in the match, but the big takeaway was the return of one of wrestling's biggest stars. One thing about Angle's return that's worth noting is that he did it in the trademark vest and pants of The Shield. And when he entered the arena it was to the group's music.
As ESPN's Tim Fiorvanti notes, this sets up a future moment where Angle returns to the ring like the Angle of old:
It could've been another kind of moment entirely had we gotten the horns and the red-white-and-blue singlet, but after coming out of this match seemingly unscathed, it may well be a case of saving that for Angle's individual moment -- a WrestleMania-worthy pop if ever there was one.
We can't wait to hear the crowd tell him he sucks.