Medical issues have forced last minute changes to the WWE TLC 2017 card, with Kurt Angle and AJ Styles now set to replace major superstars. Angle will be replacing Roman Reigns in the main event TLC match that was originally set to pit the newly reunited Shield against the team of The Miz, Sheamus, Cesaro, Braun Strowman, and the recently returned Kane. This will be Angle's first match inside a WWE ring since an August 8, 2006 TV taping for WWE's revival of ECW.
Meanwhile, Styles - normally a member of the SmackDown Live roster - is being brought in to replace Bray Wyatt in his scheduled match against nemesis Finn Balor. This represents a rare inter-brand match to take place on a pay-per-view that isn't one of WWE's "big four" events. It will also be the first ever singles match between Styles and Balor, with the two huge stars having never competed against each other in either WWE or Japan.
WWE revealed the above changes with a surprise post on its official website earlier today, shocking fans who thought they knew what to expect when tuning into the WWE Network this Sunday to watch TLC. For now, it appears that the rest of the TLC card remains intact. WWE has yet to elaborate on what exactly the medical issues are that are keeping Reigns and Wyatt off the show.
As undoubtedly cool as it will be for fans to see a legend like Kurt Angle wrestle inside a WWE ring once again at TLC, the circumstances make the Hall of Famer's return a bit bittersweet. After all, WWE has spent the last several weeks of Raw building up to The Shield's first match back together as a unit since 2014, and now that reunion will have to be postponed to a future event. Still, the show must go on, and if Reigns is ill, there's not much else to be done but replace him in the main event and move on.
Styles swapping in for Wyatt is an altogether different situation though, as many fans have found themselves underwhelmed by the entire Wyatt/Balor feud, including their in-ring battles. While it's obviously regrettable that Wyatt is ill, his removal from TLC has opened the door to a certified dream match, and it's unlikely that many will lament the lack of another Wyatt/Balor match being part of the card. Styles/Balor has a real chance to steal the show out from under everyone else, in truly "phenomenal" fashion.
WWE TLC 2017 streams live this Sunday on the WWE Network.