Kurt Angle was born on December 9th, 1968 in beautiful Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania. He began wrestling as a school child, earned his degree from Clarion University of Pennsylvania, and ultimately won an Olympic gold medal – with a broken neck, no less – before taking his talents to WWE in the pursuit of making a living as a professional grappler. Though Angle’s run in WWE was surprisingly short, lasting just from 1998 through 2006, the Hall of Famer made quite the impression before jumping ship to TNA, NJPW, Lucha Libre AAA, and eventually the indies, and that legacy has lived on since, including a spot in the WWE Hall of Fame, a job as the RAW GM, and, eventually, the occasional appearance whenever the promotion came to the greater Pittsburgh area.
Fortunately for fans in Allegheny County, when WWE booked a Smackdown taping on December 9th, they could safely assume that Angle was going to be featured prominently on the show, as nothing’s easier than booking a television show around a hometown hero, especially when the promotion is also trying to put over another young, ascending athlete with experience in Greco-Roman wrestling and a shiny Olympic gold medal in his trophy case.
That’s right, not only was Angle celebrating his birthday, but he gave WWE fans their first look at Gable Steveson in months, as the former NIL athlete turned full-time WWE Performance Center trainee was the personal guest for a special backstage birthday party that expanded to the ring for the main event of the show. For the most part, things went about as fans would have expected, with Braun Strowman challenging Steveson to a match when he’s ready to come up to WWE full-time, The Street Profits, Shinsuke Nakamura, and even Jason Jordan, his kayfabe son-turned-backstage promoter, celebrating in the back, and Chad Gable, WWE’s other Olympic wrestler, serving as Angle’s in-ring foil once more.
After being rejected from Angle’s party, Gable and his number one dude, Otis, made their way down to the ring in order to ruin the celebration for “Mr. You Suck” once and for all, going so far as to kick him out of the ring so that the breakout star of Heavy Machinery could eat his Birthday cake. Fortunately, Angle was fine to head back up the ramp, as he and Steveson hired an old-fashioned milk truck to solve their Alpha Academy problem once and for all – as Otis and Gable watched in horror, the Olympians threw jugs of milk at their foes before Angle pulled out his signature firetruck hose and sprayed the duo down as they sold the milking hard in the middle of the ring.
Was this a star-making performance for Steveson? No, probably not, but it’s true, it’s d*mn true the audience left home happy, which, in the end, is all that really matters.
WHAT AN INCREDIBLE BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION!@RealKurtAngle @GableSteveson #SmackDown pic.twitter.com/NiT8R3ycvP
— WWE (@WWE) December 10, 2022
Angle comments on if he would wrestle another match in WWE or otherwise.
After having so much fun in WWE on his birthday, would Angle ever consider returning to the ring for a match? Fortunately, the fine folks over at Sportskeeda asked Angle that very question in an interview, and he gave a very interesting answer.
“I don’t think so. I had knee replacements five months ago,” Angle said. “I’m good. I think I had a good enough career that I’m very proud of. If it does come to be, it’ll probably be a tag match like Ric Flair did so that I don’t get exposed. I hate to say it, but I’m not exactly the same wrestler I used to be. If I did decide to have a wrestling match, it would be against younger guys that could carry me, and I would make sure it’d be a tag match so I wasn’t exposed.”
“It’s hard to say this right now because I’m basically telling the fans, ‘Hey, I can’t really wrestle anymore, but watch me in my next match.’ But I’m just telling the truth. I’m an honest person. I’m just saying, I’m not like I used to be and never will be, but you know what, maybe down the road, I might do a tag match.”
Considering the success some older performers have had in the ring over the past few years, from Ric Flair to Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat and The Rock ‘N’ Roll Express, seeing a now-54-year-old Angle back in the ring wouldn’t be that strange, especially when Sting is still going strong, and he’s almost a decade older than the pride of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Considering Angle was reportedly offered a 10-match deal with AEW back in 2019, the interest to see the Olympic Champion in the ring once more is very much still there.