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Kurt Angle: A Shakespearean Tragedy

Rating: 3 votes, 1.00 average.
Once upon a time, Kurt Angle was the crown jewel of sports entertainment. He was the total package; an ultra-talented in-ring performer, a bedazzler on the microphone and a dependable company man. His ties to the attitude-era drove up his stock within pro wrestling, and his reputation as an Olympic athlete lent credibility to the entire WWE. During his tenure in WWE Angle put on some of the greatest matches of recent history while working with the likes of Eddie Guerrero, Shawn Michaels and Brock Lesnar.

Today, the Kurt Angle of TNA is a shadow of his former self. The quality of his matches has dropped considerably and he resides on a roster that is bloated with egomaniacs and WWE outcasts. Outside of the ring, his personal life has fallen into a Lohan-esque downward spiral. His use of both performance enhancing drugs and narcotics has been well documented. Angle's wife and the mother of his two children left him for his boss and former friend Jeff Jarrett. Additionally, Angle has recently been involved in several run-ins with the law including a somewhat disturbing stalking allegation.

How did Angle fall this far? TNA enabled him to.

TNA lacks the willingness to take a hard stance against its performers who conduct themselves unprofessionally. This is especially true when it involves a top draw such as Angle. TNA's decision to turn a blind eye to Angle's bad behavior outside the ring and allow him to continue to collect paychecks has allowed them to retain their top star at the expense of his wellbeing. Essentially, TNA has taken the easy way out. Rather than taking a proactive approach and having a tough conversation with their star, TNA chose to pretend that the problem didn't exist. With no incentive not to engage in these self-destructive behaviors, Angle began falling apart at the seams.

TNA's most glaring and inexcusable action here is their failure to institute an effective wellness policy. It's no secret that over the last few years Kurt Angle hasn't quite been sober as a bird. In fact, in a recent interview Angle mentioned that his drug use was a large factor in the collapse of his marriage. It is reasonable to think that if TNA had a system of drug testing in place, Angle's problem with substance abuse could have been nipped in the bud and many of the issues in his personal life could have been averted. Beyond that, it should be mentioned how grossly irresponsible it is that TNA puts such little effort into protecting the health of its performers in an industry that has been plagued by premature deaths over recent years.

Where does Kurt Angle go from here? With his recent contract extension it's safe to say that Angle will remain at TNA for the near future. Kurt has stated that he wants to retire from professional wrestling in the near future to pursue an acting career. Unfortunately for Angle this is a rather far fetched plan. Angle isn't the household name that The Rock and Steve Austin were which opened the doors for them into acting, and he will never achieve that sort of stature working in TNA. Given the recent push by the WWE into the film industry it's a bit surprising Kurt hasn't shown any interesting in returning to the company that launched his career. Kurt and Vince might not have parted ways on the best of terms, but Vince is known for letting bygones be bygones in the name of good business, and Angle returning to the WWE would be great business for both parties. I would speculate that Angle's lack of desire to return to the WWE is him not wanting to swallow his pride.

Every tragic hero has a tragic flaw. In the case of Kurt Angle that tragic flaw is certainly his decision to sign with TNA. However, every tragic figure also has the opportunity to redeem itself and make things right. As Kurt approaches the twilight of his career, here's to hoping he hasn't missed that opportunity.

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  1. BigWillie54's Avatar
    ^^^^ smh at people using words incorectly. I hope you dont speak to ppl like that
  2. mrqib's Avatar
    Great read, people might not agree with it, but the man does make a point, TNA is not what it used to be 4 years back.
    Hogan and his friends need to pack their bag and leave. Kurt angel was really good when he started out in TNA. but it takes more then one wrestler to make the product work.
    Angel might be a great wrestler but if not put in good story lines, its just a waste
  3. rayrocket915's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Hotrod Coolbeans
    Well, where do i begin here................................

    There are so many things that you have said which make no sense to me, I will list them;

    Once upon a time, Kurt Angle was the crown jewel of sports entertainment. He was the total package; an ultra-talented in-ring performer, a bedazzler on the microphone and a dependable company man

    Once upon a time?? Do you actually watch TNA? Kurt Angle is still all of the above, great in-ring performer, great mic skills and one of the biggest "company men" in the biz. How many times has Angle been injured and/or had personal problems, and still gone to work and done what he does best? He has had chances to go back to WWE but has shown incredible loyalty and stayed with TNA. If thats not a "company man" then i dont know what is.

    Today, the Kurt Angle of TNA is a shadow of his former self. The quality of his matches has dropped considerably

    Did you not see Angle vs Wolfe?? Angle vs Joe?? Angle vs Styles?? Angle vs Anderson??
    I loved his matches with Benoit, Eddie and Lesnar, but the ones I mentioned were just as good, if not better.

    TNA lacks the willingness to take a hard stance against its performers who conduct themselves unprofessionally. This is especially true when it involves a top draw such as Angle

    What about when Samoa Joe barged into the production truck, he got suspended on the spot, and he is one of TNA's biggest attractions.
    Jarrett sleeps with Angles wife/ex-wife and he gets sent home for months, and he founded the company!!
    Sandman no-shows iMPACT! and he gets released
    Hall and Waltman screw up (again) and they're gone
    TNA is not a walk in the park where anybody gets away with everything

    it should be mentioned how grossly irresponsible it is that TNA puts such little effort into protecting the health of its performers in an industry that has been plagued by premature deaths over recent years.

    In the 7 plus years that TNA has been operating, guess how many wrestlers from the TNA roster have passed away? NONE, ZERO, ZILCH
    How about the safe, caring, supportive WWE? Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit, Crash Holly, and im sure theres more, i just dont have time to look it up.

    Im hoping you didnt mean to, but you kinda came across as a WWE sheep, someone just looking to put TNA down at every chance, even if most of what you say has no bearing to the truth.

    Sorry but its real.....................its damn real lol
    no deaths in TNA? im sorry but theres a wrestler by the name of CHRIS CANDIDO that died after his last matches with TNA... TNA refuses to give Candido's last paycheck to his girlfriend Sunny so she can pay for his medical and funeral bills that she is kinda strugglin to pay...
    not to say TNA is the devil but im just sayin
  4. Hotrod Coolbeans's Avatar
    no deaths in TNA? im sorry but theres a wrestler by the name of CHRIS CANDIDO that died after his last matches with TNA
    I covered this in an earlier post
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