Points by Ben Simmons during Game 3 victory over Nets

Heel Turns: Angle ‘coming home’

Posted by Achilles Heel On January 22

Achilles HeelWWE hit a home run with its first announced inductee for the 2017 WWE Hall of Fame class. Kurt Angle is one of the best wrestlers of my lifetime.

Few, if any, made the transition from amateur wrestling to professional wrestling any faster, or any better, than Angle. The Olympic gold medalist could have a good match with practically anyone.

Angle has several matches on PhillyPhanatics.com’s list of the greatest matches in WrestleMania history, including a classic with Shawn Michaels that ranks fourth. The Greek God of Wrestling still maintains that the ongoing Smackdown mix-and-match battles earlier this century between the teams of Edge and Christian, Eddie and Chavo Guerrero, and Chris Benoit and Angle featured some of the best televised wrestling in history.

Angle also developed the personality necessary to be at the top of the pro wrestling mountain. His skits with Steve Austin when he was trying to suck up to Mr. McMahon were classics. Anything Angle did with Edge was pure gold.

Angle’s departure from WWE was acrimonious, which is partly why his induction will be such a nice moment. In response being selected for the WWE Hall of Fame, Angle tweeted “I’m coming home.”

After leaving WWE, Angle continued his career with TNA. His presence gave TNA added legitimacy. But it’s fitting that he will return to WWE for his Hall of Fame induction.

Could Angle play a larger role in the next few months? A Royal Rumble guest spot and, possibly, one final WrestleMania match aren’t out of the question.


HISTORY LESSON: If Achilles Heel were promoting the Goldberg-Brock Lesnar feud, I would highlight the confrontation between the two men at the 2004 Royal Rumble in Philadelphia.

Goldberg, whose stated goal was to win the Royal Rumble and then beat Lesnar for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania, entered the Rumble at No. 30. He spears several opponents, including Big Show. Goldberg throws three competitors out of the ring and then tries to suplex Big Show. But Lesnar, who exchanged words with Goldberg earlier in the evening in a locker-room-area interview after he successfully defended the title against Bob Holly, races to the ring and hits Goldberg with an F-5. Kurt Angle then dumps Goldberg over the top rope, eliminating him from the match.

WWE should bring this up with Goldberg this week on Raw. We know Lesnar’s motivation for wanting revenge on Goldberg. The clip from the Philly Rumble would explain Goldberg’s motivation to get Lesnar at this year’s Rumble.


TAG TEAM DREAM: A tag team dream match of sorts will take place on Sat., April 1 in Lakeland, Fla., when The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson) will battle Matt and Jeff Hardy at Ring of Honor’s Supercard of Honor XI. The Young Bucks are the Ring of Honor Tag Team champions. The Hardys are the TNA Tag Team champions.

Another match announced for Supercard of Honor is Adam Cole, or whomever is Ring of Honor World champion at the time, defending the title against Dalton Castle.


WYATT BREAKUP: The Greek God of Wrestling is on record as wishing the Wyatt Family would have held the Smackdown Tag Team Championship for a longer period of time before transitioning to its inevitable breakup with Randy Orton. However, I’m guessing the breakup is necessary to begin a buildup for a potential WrestleMania match between Orton and Bray Wyatt. If that’s the reason, I’m OK with the loss of the tag team titles.

So what should be done with the Orton-Luke Harper match on Smackdown? Achilles Heel would have Orton win, with Wyatt then banishing Harper. After a dejected Harper slinks away, Orton should hit an RKO on Wyatt. Next week he can reveal that his plan all along was to infiltrate the Wyatt Family in order to split it up.


AWESOME PREDICTIONS: It didn’t take long for some of The Greek God of Wrestling’s predictions for 2017 to come true. In addition to Adam Cole regaining the Ring of Honor World Championship, Drew Galloway defeated Moose to win TNA’s Grand Championship. I predicted Galloway would capture gold this year. That’s two corrected predictions – and the year is barely three weeks old.


GENESIS: Next Thursday’s Impact Wrestling is being billed as Genesis. Eddie Edwards defends the TNA World Championship against former champion Bobby Lashley in the main event.


RUMBLE RUNDOWN: The list of Royal Rumble participants has grown to 18. Added during the past week were Cesaro, Sheamus, Randy Orton, Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper. Previously announced participants were Undertaker, Brock Lesnar, Goldberg, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, The Miz, Big E, Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods, Braun Strowman, Baron Corbin, and Chris Jericho.

In addition to the Royal Rumble match, the Royal Rumble includes Kevin Owens defending the WWE Universal Championship against Roman Reigns (with Chris Jericho suspended above the ring in a shark cage), A.J. Styles defending the WWE World Championship against John Cena, Charlotte Flair defending the Raw Women’s Championship against Bayley, and Rich Swann defending the WWE Cruiserweight Championship against Neville.


RAW IN PHILLY: The last Raw before WrestleMania will take place on Mon., March 27 at Wells Fargo Center. As “Mean” Gene Okerlund used to say, “Get your tickets now!”


TAKING OVER SAN ANTONIO: NXT Takeover: San Antonio, which takes place on Saturday on WWE Network, features Shinsuke Nakamura defending the NXT Championship against Bobby Roode. At the very least, it’s a battle between two of the greatest entrance songs in wrestling today.

Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa will defned the NXT Tag Team Championship against the Authors of Pain (Akam and Rezar), and Asuka will defend the NXT Women’s Championship in a fatal four-way with Nikki Cross, Billy Kay and Peyton Royce. In non-title matches, Tye Dillinger battles Eric Young and Roderick Strong squares off with Andrade Almas.


POPULAR WAR: Some of the premium tickets for Ring of Honor’s War of the Worlds Tour, which comes to Philadelphia’s 2300 Arena on Sun., May 14, are already sold out. The tour features wrestlers from Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling. The 2300 event will be a television taping.


TAG TEAM TURMOIL: Last week Achilles Heel mentioned that 19-year-old Tyler Bate, who defeated Pete Dunne in the tournament final, will likely have to vacate CHIKARA’s Campeonatos de Parejas, which means tag team champions. But I also should have mentioned that Trent Seven, his partner in Moustache Mountain, also took part in WWE’s UK Tournament and is expected to take part in WWE’s show focusing on British wrestling.

You can almost always see the stars of tomorrow at the local independent wrestling events. That’s not the only reason to support CHIKARA, Combat Zone Wrestling and similar organizations, but it’s an added bonus.


JAMES RETURNS: Mickie James made her return to WWE on Smackdown, interfering in the steel cage match between Becky Lynch and Smackdown Women’s champion Alexa Bliss as La Luchadora.  James, who challenge Asuka for the NXT Women’s Championship, is a welcome addition to the Smackdown women’s division, which could use n additional veteran presence.

Having said that, Achilles Heel loves the intensity of the Natalya-Nikki Bella feud. Their brawl at the merchandise stand on last week’s Smackdown was tremendous.


WOMEN’S TOURNAMENT: After successful cruiserweight and British tournaments, Triple H says WWE will put together a women’s tournament. It will be interesting to see if the tournament features women from around the world or involves WWE talent.


YOUNG LIONS IN PHILLY: The Young Lions Cup Tournament will highlight CHIKARA’s first event of 2016, which will take place at CHIKARA’s Wrestle Factory as part of National Pro Wrestling Day.


BIG MAN ON THE STREET: While flipping channels this weekend, The Greek God of Wrestling stumbled upon TNA’s Tyrus, the former Brodus Clay, doing man (and woman)-on-the-street interviews at the inauguration for The Greg Gutfeld Show on FOX News. Tyrus was funny, engaging, and quick with responses while doing his interviews. He’s obviously a fairly intelligent guy.

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