Tomorrow night on RAW, Seth Rollins is set to speak about his most recent knee injury, which he suffered at the hands of the debuting Samoa Joe. It would, of course, be very unfortunate if Seth Rollins were to miss yet another WrestleMania. Speculation has been swirling if Rollins’ injury is too convenient in the building of Samoa Joe to be true. So, we’re hoping that this is just a minor tweak of the knee and he just needed a couple weeks off as a precaution. This could have also just been a straight up work, but we won’t know for sure until tomorrow night.
And while we wait to hear from Rollins, there are a few others who we have yet to hear from. Not getting frequent updates on a wrestler is a bit unusual these days, where instead of surprising the audience with a return, it will be advertised to boost viewership. It’s becoming less and less likely that we’ll actually see a Kurt Angle match at WrestleMania, but it’s highly likely that we’ll at least get a Kurt Angle segment. I don’t expect them to simply have him walk out with the rest of the inductees, wave to the audience, and let him just walk away and not hear from him the rest of the night.
I’ve been trying to figure out who Samoa Joe will face at WrestleMania, considering Seth Rollins (if he’s able) will likely face Triple H. And I doubt they’ll match him up with Sami Zayn at Mania, since that seems like a waste of Joe’s current character trajectory. What I would love to see is for Joe to attack Kurt Angle during said Hall of Fame segment at WrestleMania, which has never been done. This could line up some great potential matches going forward and into Summerslam, between Samoa Joe and Kurt Angle.
But why would Joe attack Angle? Well, aside from the history the two have together and years of five-star performances in TNA, we have to remember why Joe’s character is there. He’s doing Triple H’s bidding. And what better feud to take us into this New Era of showcasing young superstars than the rekindling of Triple H vs. Kurt Angle!
Yes...that might not be what’s best for the circulation of new talent, but it is what’s best for business; and what’s best for the New Era as a whole. Because for years, the dirt sheet rumor has been that Triple H has a vendetta against Kurt Angle. Aside from Angle being a liability (and he legitimately was), there was a sort of unspoken hostility between the two. In an age of wrestling where there doesn’t seem to be as much hostility between wrestlers, there leaves a gap of real life feuds to capitalize on. Not since CM Punk made his grievances known, have they really taken advantage of some real life drama. And before that it was probably the Edge/Lita/Matt Hardy love triangle.
The only other major behind-the-scenes conflict in wrestling right now would be the Hogan debacle. But Hulk Hogan won’t be coming back anytime soon, and surely (and hopefully) not to wrestle. It will take a little while longer for the great Hogan racist rant to blow over, but as long as you don’t murder your whole family, odds are you’ll be welcomed back into the good graces of WWE eventually. Time heals all bigotry, it would seem. Hell, even Ultimate Warrior made it back under the ropes just before the 10 count.
But let’s just say that Samoa Joe, acting as Triple H’s hitman, attacks a newly Hall of Fame’d Kurt Angle. Angle, of course, has to get his revenge on Triple H, but just as Rollins before him, can’t get to Hunter unless he goes through Joe; and whoever else Triple H put in his path. This would give Angle time to get back in the swing of a WWE storyline and back into the hearts and minds of the WWE universe.
Angle would finally battle Triple H at SummerSlam in one last throwback match. And there will be the naysayers and smarks who say that they’re sick of all of these Attitude Era relics continuously stealing the spotlight from younger talent; or that the focus should be on the superstars in their prime. Well, so many former fans of wrestling I talk to about wrestling bring up the Attitude Era, and guys like Triple H and Kurt Angle. It’s a selling point. How are they supposed to showcase young talent to a new audience if there’s no audience?
Let them put butts in the seats with iconic figures like Triple H and Kurt Angle, and those old fans might just come back to see the new product. These were household names at one time, and the new men and women of WWE need an opportunity to achieve the same status.
Nathan Burke is a standup comedian based in Boston. He hosts the comedy podcast, "So Now I'm the Asshole" on Fans.FM and can be found on Twitter @IamNathanBurke