No one on the WWE creative team or on the WWE roster knew that Shane McMahon was coming back to the organization in February. In a day and age when wrestling surprises are few and far between, Shane’s return qualified as a bona fide shocker.
Given the social media explosion based on his return and the brief ratings boom, WWE probably realized it should be in the shocking return business a little more often.
Now, there are probably only two other men on the planet right now who would garner a “Shane-esque” pop right now: CM Punk. And Kurt Angle.
Punk isn’t returning. But Angle just may. In time for WrestleMania 32.
Angle just completed his “farewell tour” in TNA and the time finally feels right for a return to the company that made him a star. Angle no longer lists himself as a member of TNA on his Twitter page, @RealKurtAngle and is currently “taking bookings.”
Angle told Sports Illustrated in January, “I’m not going to talk to them,” referencing WWE. But that was January. His “farewell tour” in TNA garnered record low ratings, so it finally might be the case that Dixie Carter doesn’t care whether Angle stays or goes. Carter and Angle have been extremely loyal to one another, but it now seems right for a parting.
As for how Angle could get involved in WrestleMania is the fun part.
Shane’s greatest WWE match of all-time was in a street fight against Angle – when the Olympic gold medalist nearly suplexed Shane to his grave. They could easily play up the “respect” angle (wow, it’s really hard to avoid using the word angle in a Kurt Angle story) and have Kurt run in and help Shane beat the Undertaker in their WrestleMania match. Angle, of course, had some major beef with Vince McMahon around the time he parted for TNA in 2006 and WWE knows full well that real life drama equals ratings and money.