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Angle makes big splash moving to TNA
By TJ MADIGAN - Calgary Sun
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The wrestling biz is all about exaggeration.

An 8-ft drop is often referred to as a 20-ft plunge. A pair of wrestlers laying in the ring somehow gets categorised as complete and utter carnage. And a visit by Vince McMahon to his own TV show is treated like the arrival of God Himself ... every single week.

So when TNA promised an earth shattering announcement at last weekend's pay-per-view, nobody batted an eyelid.

Even when the plugging reached fever pitch -- 'No, really, this is big, we swear. Please buy the pay-per-view' -- insiders were sceptical that the 'huge surprise' could be worthy of the hype.

But TNA was right on the money with their promise the news would re-shape the future of the industry.

In what can only be described as the biggest acquisition in the company's history, Kurt Angle is coming to TNA.

From the outside looking in, it appears to be a coup d'etat of the highest level -- a WWE main event star jumping ship to the rival organization, right as it moves to a prime time TV slot.

But in reality, the situation is a little bit more messy.

Late last month, WWE bosses fired Angle. According to the official story, it was a mutual decision designed to give the former Olympic gold medallist a chance to heal his broken down body.

But behind the nicely worded press releases, Angle was reportedly battling a painkiller addiction, was watching his marriage fall apart before his eyes and needed a not-so-voluntary vacation to get himself (and his life) together.

WHAT YOU THINK
With TNA signing Kurt Angle, you'll watch their shows ...
More - 56% About the same -33%
Less - 11%
Within weeks of Angle leaving WWE, his camp began leaking out stories suggesting he would jump to UFC to try his hand at mixed martial arts. But the MMA teases were a smoke screen to hide the shocking play he was preparing to make -- signing a deal with Vince McMahon's direct competition.

In an effort to keep the secret on the down low, only a handful of TNA executives even knew that talks with Angle had taken place.

Everyone, including top-level wrestlers and high-ranking officials, found out the news when the video announcement (recorded in a Nashville warehouse earlier that week, filmed by a skeleton filming crew who all signed non-disclosure agreements) aired on the pay-per-view.

Angle didn't appear on the show in person. He will officially debut for the group on a two-hour TV special Nov. 16, kick starting TNA's move to prime time Thursday nights on Spike TV.

"Being with TNA feels like I found my home," Angle said in a TNA press release issued Sunday night.

"TNA will be the most watched show on cable TV -- it's just a matter of time. Thank you TNA for saving my career, my life and my desire to do what I love."

Angle will likely benefit from TNA's limited schedule.

Compared with WWE's hectic touring cycle -- which generally keeps wrestlers on the road at least four days a week and much more for overseas jaunts -- Angle will only need to make three or four appearances each month with TNA.

RELATED LINKS

  • PPV review: Ultimate X steals No Surrender
  • More on Kurt Angle
  • Kurt Angle's official website


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