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WWE announced on Saturday that WWE Hall of Fame, Kurt Angle, will serve as special guest referee for a cage fight between Matt Riddle and Timothy Thatcher in Wednesday’s episode of NXT.
Angle retired from ring competition after losing to Baron Corbin at WrestleMania 35 last year, and then went behind the scenes as a producer. WWE released Angle from his post in April amid budget cuts related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Despite his departure as a producer, it’s clear that Angle is still on good terms with WWE, and there is no doubt that he can add to the overall presentation of Riddle vs. Thatcher.
Thatcher made his NXT debut in April as Riddle’s surprise partner in defending the NXT team championships against the undisputed era. Thatcher intervened for Pete Dunne, who is stranded in England due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Riddle and Thatcher seemed to be the perfect team, but things went south last week when Thatcher left Riddle high and dry in the middle of a title defense against Imperium. As a result, Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel beat Riddle for the titles.
Later that same night, Riddle and Thatcher clashed in a singles match. Riddle won by catching Thatcher in a pinned suit, but Thatcher had the last word in viciously attacking the King of Bros afterwards.
In the most recent episode of NXT, Thatcher challenged Riddle to a match in which the only way to win is to submit or be eliminated. Riddle accepts on condition that it takes place inside a cage.
It’s the ideal environment for the two Superstars given their background. Riddle was in the UFC before joining WWE, while Thatcher’s style is deeply rooted in amateur wrestling and mixed martial arts.
In addition to being one of the most popular and successful superstars in WWE history, Angle won a gold medal in freestyle wrestling at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics, which makes it the ideal choice to officiate the match.
Riddle and Thatcher are both tall, strong and tough, but even at 51 years old, Angle should theoretically be able to manage himself and keep things in order from a historical point of view.
As NXT tries to follow the Dynamite program of All Elite Wrestling in terms of audience on Wednesday evening, bringing in a figure known and respected as Angle is a logical decision.
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