If anyone was going to leave a blemish on Kurt Angle’s farewell tour, the odds-on favorite had to be Samoa Joe. True, The Olympic Hero’s first two bouts on his road to his final WrestleMania ended in victories, but his opponents thus far have been relatively newer faces and ardent admirers of Angle who were happy to share the ring with him. Joe, on the other hand, is a molten ball of aggression and disdain on his most pleasant day, not to mention he’s a world-traveled competitor who’s feeling himself mightily as the newly-crowned United States Champion on SmackDown LIVE. This one had the look of a match that was over before it began.
To the surprise of all assembled, it wasn’t, though the margin for victory was even slimmer than his last-gasp win over Chad Gable last week. The Samoan Submission Machine had kicked out of an Angle Slam, and even though the Olympian evaded a Uranage, he soon found himself trapped in the Coquina Clutch. And yet, Angle prevailed, rolling Joe over with the Clutch still locked in to achieve a pinfall that left the titleholder in a state of shock.
So, the farewell tour continues apace. Tomorrow, Angle will mosey on to SmackDown LIVE for a scrap in The House That AJ Styles Built. That will be as tall a test as Joe, but Angle has already survived two upstarts and a bona-fide monster. Clearly, anyone counting him out is getting ahead of themselves.