Angle Turns Down Managing Riddle; WWE Rumors on Styles-Bryan and Jason Jordan

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJune 2, 2020

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 04: Kurt Angle attends WWE 20th Anniversary Celebration Marking Premiere of WWE Friday Night SmackDown on FOX at Staples Center on October 04, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images)
Jerod Harris/Getty Images

Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe.

Angle Turned Down Managing Riddle

WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle was heavily involved with Matt Riddle last week, but he said he turned down the opportunity to work with Riddle on a more regular basis.

In an interview with CBR.com's Tim Adams, Angle said he passed on the chance to become Riddle's manager: "WWE has offered me a job to manage him. 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."

On last week's episode of NXT, Angle served as the special guest referee for a pit fight between Riddle and Timothy Thatcher. Thatcher won the match by making Riddle pass out, and it was announced two days later that Riddle had been called up to SmackDown.

It was Angle who introduced Riddle to the SmackDown audience by talking him up and showing a video package of Riddle's highlights from NXT.

Angle expressed his belief that The Original Bro is destined for big things in WWE:

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"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. 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."

Angle may have made some sense as Riddle's manager since they have somewhat similar backgrounds. Angle was an amateur wrestling star who won a gold medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics before signing with WWE, while Riddle was an MMA fighter who enjoyed success in UFC.

By putting Angle with Riddle, WWE would have shown its fans who are unfamiliar with Riddle that he is a legitimate threat.

With that said, Riddle doesn't necessarily need a manager since he has a big personality in his own right, and he may ultimately be better off on his own as a member of the blue brand.

Backstage News on Bryan vs. Styles

The finals of the Intercontinental Championship tournament between Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles are officially set, and fans should reportedly have massive expectations for their match.

According to Fightful (h/t Randall Ortman of Cageside Seats), sources said the match, which has already been taped, was "incredible." Sources also told Fightful that the match "legitimately pumped up a very tired NXT PC crowd that was there to cheer."

WWE began using Performance Center trainees as fans last week in order to provide some noise and atmosphere. The taping scheduled was likely taxing for them in terms of keeping up the energy, but Bryan and Styles reportedly put on such a good show that they couldn't help but get excited.

It comes as little surprise that Bryan and Styles tore the house down since they are two of the best in-ring workers in the world currently and perhaps of all time. They also plenty of experience working together, including a WWE Championship feud last year.

The IC title tournament final between Bryan and Styles is scheduled to air on the June 12 episode of SmackDown, which is just two days before the Backlash pay-per-view.

It is fair to question why WWE decided to do the match on SmackDown rather than pay-per-view, but based on the hype surrounding the match already, it could prove to be a smart move in terms of drawing a big viewership number next week.

Jordan's In-Ring Future in Doubt

It has been nearly two-and-a-half years since Jason Jordan last wrestled a match, and it remains unclear if he will ever be able to return to action.

According to Fightful's Sean Ross Sapp (h/t Lennard Surrao of SportsKeeda), there is "no timetable on his return or if he could ever return."

Jordan has been out of action due to a neck injury, and during that time, he has transitioned into a backstage role as a producer. Sapp added that the last update he received on Jordan's health came last summer when it was reported that he was still having problems with his grip, which can be a side effect of neck ailments.

The former NXT, SmackDown and Raw tag team champion was in the news last week since he was one of the producers who appeared on screen during the Jeff Hardy hit-and-run angle that opened SmackDown.

Jordan first rose to prominence as one half of American Alpha with Chad Gable before moving to Raw and becoming Angle's storyline son. While Angle was a babyface, Jordan was essentially a heel due to the entitled attitude his character had.

He won the Raw Tag Team Championships with Seth Rollins before dropping them to The Bar, and it seemed likely that Jordan was going to eventually feud with Rollins and then perhaps have a match against Angle as well.

While it is unfortunate that Jordan never got to see that storyline through and may not have the chance to wrestle again, the fact that he is growing into a different role in WWE is one positive that has come out of the situation.

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