After more than a decade, Kurt Angle is making his return to a WWE ring … in video game form, at least for now.
The former multi-time world champion and Olympic gold medalist will appear in WWE 2K18 through two playable characters representing key milestones in his career. This includes his WWE “American Hero” persona, as well as his ECW “Wrestling Machine” persona. The playable characters will be available as bonus content for those who pre-order the game at participating retailers.
“I was thrilled to return to WWE earlier this year, be honored as a WWE Hall of Fame inductee and find a new home with the best in the business every Monday night as the Raw general manager,” he told media during a videoconference. “And now, I get to follow in the footsteps of many incredible names, like Bill Goldberg, Sting, Ultimate Warrior and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and be featured as the WWE 2K18 pre-order character.”
The news comes after the initial announcement that Seth Rollins would grace the cover. The official trailer debuted on a recent edition of Raw which gives fans a little taste of the story 2K is telling with the latest installment of the popular series.
“Seth is an incredible young talent who is making his mark on WWE as only he know show. He embodies everything it needs to ‘Be Like No One,” which is the theme of this year’s marketing campaign,” Angle said.
“I get the pleasure of watching him every Monday night in my current role as general manager of Raw. Let’s be clear though. I have a small bone to pick with Seth Rollins. You obviously saw the announcement trailer. Seth broke into the WWE archives and disrespected history. Up in flames went the memories of many incredible WWE legends and hall of famers who have come before him. Guys like Andre the Giant, the ‘Million Dollar Man’ Ted DiBiase, Ric Flair, ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin, Undertaker and many more. … Revenge may be on my mind.”
Angle is one of the greatest in-ring performers in WWE history and returning to action in video game is exciting news for fans. There are sure to be some dream matches coming to fruition at least on the virtual end. When asked about art imitating life, Angle says he hasn’t begun any medical evaluations to lace up the boots at the moment. However, he doesn’t rule it out.
“If that occurs, there is a lot of talent,” he said. “There is talent I would like to revisit again like Brock Lesnar, John Cena, Randy Orton, Triple H, definitely. When I wrestled Triple H last time I had just started. I didn’t consider myself very good back then. So I think we would have a much, much better match right now.
“I’d love to get Samoa Joe or AJ Styles in a WWE ring,” Angle continues. “Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Cesaro, Sheamus. Even some of the 205 guys like Austin Aries and Neville. There is a lot of great talent right now. I would love to be able to mix it up with them. Hopefully, eventually it will happen down the line.”
The celebrated veteran is happy to be back where it all began for him in 1999. He sees a lot of positive change within the company since he last worked for WWE in 2006.
“I would say the guys are healthier. They are more vibrant. It seems the WWE has catered to the talent a lot better. I think it is pretty incredible,” Angle said.
“There are so many things they do now,” he continues. “They have a masseuse there all day. Catering goes all day and night; not just one meal a day. It’s a better atmosphere for the talent, and I think that is a great thing. The atmosphere is great. The talent there is no negativity. Everyone wants to work together. It’s a good crew. I also have to say it’s one of the most talented crews I’ve ever seen. When I was in the ‘Attitude Era’ and other eras, there was great and incredible talent. However, personas and characters seemed to be the more popular thing back then. Now the wrestling is definitely the most popular thing. It’s about what the talent can bring to the table. Not that they don’t have great characters now — it’s just the wrestling in the ring is incredible. I’m very proud of the talent.
“And there is a wealth of talent sure to be tested against the new video game addition to WWE 2K18,” Angle concludes. “Oh, it’s true. It’s damn true.”
For more information on all WWE 2K18 pre-order options, please visit wwe.2k.com.
Watch WWE Monday Night Raw at 8/7c on USA Network. The new pre-order trailer will premiere on July 10 episode.