WWE legend Kurt Angle, the current general manager of the pro-wrestling promotion’s flagship television series “Monday Night Raw,” is set to return to in-ring competition this weekend after an 11-year hiatus.
Angle, who was made a playable character in the Tuesday-released “WWE 2K18” video game, will replace Roman Reigns in Sunday’s “TLC” main event, joining Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose in a 3-on-5 handicapped match against Braun Strowman, Intercontinental Champion The Miz, Cesaro, Sheamus and Kane.
Additionally, A.J. Styles will replace Bray Wyatt in a match against “The Demon” Finn Balor. Both Reigns and Wyatt are dealing with medical issues — they’re sick.
Wyatt’s been fighting an illness for a few weeks now, and has not been on TV. The same can be said for his real-life brother, Bo Dallas.
According to multiple media reports, a bad strain of viral meningitis — possibly the mumps — has been ravaging the “Raw” locker room this month. WWE has acknowledged there have been medical issues with its wrestlers this fall, though the organization has not gone into detail.
Reigns fell under-the-weather more recently than Wyatt and Dallas. The loss of “The Big Dog” on Sunday is a big one, as the evening’s final match was set to be the official reunion of wrestling stable “The Shield.” That power-bomb party will have to wait now.
Finally, unrelated to Sunday’s pay-per-view, WWE Superstar Kevin Owens will no longer be appearing as scheduled at some international events this weekend, with a company rep citing “personal reasons” when reached by TheWrap.
“Kevin Owens left Buenos Aires today and will not appear at the remaining Live Events in Argentina and Chile this weekend,” WWE.com wrote on his absence. “Though Owens did perform at Luna Park for Thursday night’s Live Event in Buenos Aires, he has left before the remaining Live Event dates scheduled in Argentina for tonight, and at the Movistar Arena in Santiago, Chile, this Friday and Saturday, due to personal reasons.”
“WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs” will stream live on WWE Network this Sunday at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.