WWE is Wasting Kurt Angle's Return & Finn Balor vs AJ Styles

By now, I'm sure you heard about the changes to WWE TLC. Kurt Angle will be replacing Roman Reigns in the five-on-three match and Finn Balor will now be facing AJ Styles. My first thought when I heard this new was "yeah right, this is a joke." My second thought was "HOLY SHIT THIS IS AMAZING" and my current thought is "This is amazing, but WWE is wasting some huge opportunities here."

First of all, let me say that I'm looking forward to these matches and that the changes will likely improve the buyrate and quality of the show. Second of all, it's obvious that WWE was in a bind thanks to the illnesses (apparently the mumps) that Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt have come down with. WWE didn't make these changes willingly and it was probably a tough choice for them. Third, the show just got a lot better. I don't want to be one of those wrestling fans that shit all over everything just for the sake of shitting all over everything, so let me say that these new matches have the potential to be great.

And that's the problem. These potentially great matches - and incredible moments - are being thrown away with no build on a Raw brand pay-per-view in October. Why couldn't Finn Balor just have taken Reigns' spot in the main event and we'd call it a day? If WWE wanted to generate some hype out of the situation, just make it a "mystery partner" situation and reveal Balor the day of the show. Or just turn the three-on-five into a two-on-five or something. Or have Angle take Miz or Kane out of the match due to the attack on Roman Reigns on Raw.

Instead, Kurt Angle's first WWE match in eleven years will be in a five-on-three match. Yes, it will mean he won't have to carry a whole match on his own (which is likely why WWE is okay with putting him in this match as opposed to a one-on-one match) but it also means we'll miss out on the hype for his in-ring return. Kurt Angle's return to a WWE ring should have been at WrestleMania or, if they don't want him to work a whole match, he could have returned as a part of a Survivor Series team. Hell, he even could have entered the Royal Rumble and that would have been better for business and a better moment. Imagine the build to his return and how great it would be to see him in wrestling gear in a WWE ring. Of course, it will still be great to see him, but it feels odd.

But Angle's return isn't the main thing wasted here. It's Balor versus Styles. Not only is this a great inter-brand match that would be a big deal even just based on their WWE careers but, considering their history in Japan, it's a crime to have it happen as a throwaway match at TLC. It could have been built up and been a marquee match at Royal Rumble or even WrestleMania. Then it would have got the build it deserved and it wouldn't have made a mockery of the brand split.

What's WWE going to do next, give us Sting versus The Undertaker as a surprise match on Main Event?

So, yes, I'll be watching the show and, yes, I'll probably like what I see. But WWE matches are best when they're hyped. WWE matches are best when there is a big story that plays out on TV for months. WWE matches are best when they're not thrown together at the last minute. I know the company was in a bind, and this may have been a way to turn a negative into a huge positive, but it's giving away potential money and moments for essentially nothing.

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