Angel's decision to accompany Beast and Iceman in Defenders #125 turned the non-team into a partial revival of the original X-Men. And that's exactly what Angel wanted.
Before joining the New Defenders, Angel tried renewing his involvement with the mutant team. Yet beginning with X-Men #137, the high-flying Angel was uncharacteristically careless and klutzy when working alongside the "new" X-Men who largely replaced the original team in #94.
Though initially depicted as out of practice, that wasn't the full story. Rather, any beginner's mistakes on Angel's part resulted from him feeling ill-at-ease among the reconfigured team. A disapproving attitude toward Wolverine, and shock that the X-Men would tolerate anyone with such homicidal tendencies within their ranks, led Angel to again fly the coup in #148. Professor Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters no longer felt like home.