Kurt Angle's return to WWE has been rumored for years, and on Monday it was revealed that Angle will be making a comeback for at least one night prior to WrestleMania 33 in Orlando.
Angle, an Olympic gold medal winner, will enter the WWE Hall of Fame as a part of the Class of 2017. Angle will be inducted on March 31st, two days before WrestleMania. The news was first reported by ESPN.
Angle, now 48 years old, told ESPN that he was shocked by the news.
"I figured they either decided they didn't want to do anything with me or they forgot," Angle said. "[Triple H] said they never forgot and he called and told me this is the first thing they want to do. And whether I wrestle or not after this, which is irrelevant right now, I'm just really proud to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame."
Angle signed for WWE in 1998 and made his television debut the next year, and Stone Cold Steve Austin has said that no one learned the business of professional wrestling as quickly as Angle did. After less than a year as a full-timer on the main roster, he defeated The Rock to become the WWE Champion, and during his time in WWE he won virtually every title in the company along with the 2000 King of The Ring.
(The Royal Rumble, which many fans were hoping Angle could return in as a surprise entrant later this month, is the only thing Angle never won in WWE.)
Angle was breathtakingly athletic and gifted on the microphone, but he came into WWE with a damaged body and struggled with injuries throughout his career, which led to a dependence on drugs and alcohol. Angle left WWE in 2006 and started wrestling for rival TNA, but revealed that his life began to spiral out of control in the new environment, and that at his lowest point he was taking 65 Vicodin a day. Angle has since regained control of his life and is launching an addiction recovery app to help people facing the same challenges he did.
Angle is one of 26 Triple Crown champions in the history of WWE, having won the WWE title, tag team title and Intercontinental title, and is currently the only man to also be a triple crown champion in TNA (though AJ Styles and Samoa Joe have the chance to accomplish the same feat).