The immensely negative financial impact that the COVID-19 crisis has had on the pro wrestling landscape has not gone understated, but a massive billion-dollar corporation like WWE shouldn’t have had to release as many talented workers as it did within the same day.
April 15, 2020 is now referred to as “Black Wednesday,” and one of its most shocking releases was that of WWE Hall of Famer, Kurt Angle. One would think that a man of Angle’s status would have job security within the company, as there are a multitude of ways that the legend could’ve still been of value to WWE, both on screen and behind the scenes.
Although he’s been retired from wrestling for a year, Angle still played an important role backstage as a producer. Younger wrestlers will certainly miss out on receiving advice from one of the most talented wrestlers of all time, as his input could’ve been especially vital for new NXT call-ups on the main roster.
Besides working with WWE’s main roster talent, the four-time world champion could’ve also excelled at being a trainer for the Performance Center. Angle would’ve fit in perfectly as a teacher alongside the likes of Shawn Micheals, Steve Corino and an already stacked list of trainers.
The legend is well known for his extensive background in amateur wrestling, so his experience could’ve done wonders for wrestlers looking to improve their in-ring techniques. Angle was no slouch on the microphone either, and his brilliant combination of intensity and comedy would be something young wrestlers could learn from in an era where compelling promos are something of a lost art.
One of WWE’s most glaring issues for a long while has been its stagnant creative team, but adding Kurt Angle into the mix as one of its lead decision makers could’ve helped significantly. Angle was one of the shining stars of the mid-2000s Smackdown era, helping to establish the show as the more wrestling-centric program in comparison to Raw by consistently putting on great matches every week. If WWE put him in a leadership position helping to run Smackdown today, it could return the blue brand to its roots as the primary show for in-ring work.
Although Vince McMahon supposedly loathes the presence of most managers, it’s still an essential role when it comes to getting certain wrestlers over. Bringing in a legend like Kurt Angle to do most of the talking for a talent who’s still developing their mic skills would be a lot more productive than forcing a wrestler without a lot of charisma to cut long-winded promos for no reason.
For example, if Angle turned heel and shockingly aligned himself with the man who ended his career, Baron Corbin’s presence would become immediately more interesting despite (or maybe even because of) not spending as much time on the mic. A character-less monster like Dominik Dijakovic could also benefit from being under the tutelage of a manager like Angle. Then of course, there’s also the obvious option to have Angle begin mentoring Chad Gable due to the fact that he’s a wrestling Olympian…and also the best friend of his own “son,” Jason Jordan.
Kurt Angle’s storied career deserves a better conclusion than being unceremoniously dumped amidst a global pandemic, so it’s probably likely that he’s not done with wrestling altogether. AEW could certainly benefit from having him on their roster in some capacity — having him manage Jake Hager would be a great pairing. WWE has made a big mistake in letting go of Angle, as he — and a lot of the other victims of “Black Wednesday” — are sure to make a big splash in other companies once the apocalypse is over.
Kurt Angle was one of the many workers who were shockingly released by WWE, despite having a lot left to offer the company.