Despite being released back in April, Kurt Angle appeared on Friday Night SmackDown last week to announce that Matt Riddle would be making the jump from NXT to the Blue Brand starting this week. It turns out WWE had more plans for a Riddle/Angle partnership, but the Olympic Gold Medalist revealed in an interview with CBR this week that he turned down that idea for "a few different reasons." Angle also served as the special guest referee for the Fight Pit match between Riddle and Timothy Thatcher on last week's NXT.
"I think that Matt Riddle is going to be one of the faces of the [WWE], he has all the ability. His personality is great. At first, it's a little odd. But once you get to know him, he's very likable," Angle said. "And that's what he's going to get from the fans. They're going to love this kid. And he proves it in the ring. He's phenomenal in the ring. There's no doubt about that. But his whole bro gimmick thing works really well. And he's going to do extremely well.
"WWE has offered me a job to manage him," he added. "Unfortunately, I turned it down due to a few different reasons, but I would have loved to manage him. It just wasn't the right time."
The WWE Hall of Famer last wrestled at WrestleMania 35 against Baron Corbin and had since transitioned into a backstage producer role. However once the cost-cutting measures were announced back on April 15, Angle was released alongside 30+ active wrestlers including Rusev, Zack Ryder, EC3, Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson and Sarah Logan. Other wrestlers like Cain Velasquez and Curtis Axel have been released in the weeks since then.
Reports popped up last week indicating Angle will be back under contract with WWE sooner rather than later, and he'll likely be placed back in his producer role.
During a recent interview with Sportskeeda, Angle listed off which current rising stars he believes will be future WrestleMania main eventers.
"I think Andrade might main event WrestleMania, he's ready," Angle said. "The following year, I'd say Aleister Black. Those two guys are [readdy], and Buddy Murphy, don't count this guy out. He's going to come on strong this next year. Those three guys are changing the game. There's a new style and if you watch them, you'll see what I'm talking about."