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COMMENT





Six sides, but just one Angle
By "Hotshot" JOHNNY DEVINE - SLAM! Wrestling


TNA made its biggest talent acquisition to date with the addition of Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle. But controversy and speculation run rampant as to the physical status and health of Kurt.

Angle was reportedly let go from the WWE for various reasons that many have reported on. Far be it for me to report on such things without first-hand knowledge as I will not get into speculation wars and hearsay battles. What I will report on is what I saw the last time I saw Kurt and my recent time spent at TNA with him.

The last time I saw Kurt was at some WWE shows last year and even then you could tell he was not at his physical best. Looking noticeably smaller at the time, he was not the Olympic hero I had known and loved in the past. I believe Kurt to be one of the best on-air talents of the last decade. Transitioning from the Olympic stage to the WWE stage with the seeming effortlessness in which Kurt did it is a testament to the workhorse and dedicated athlete he is.

This week at TNA I saw that same workhorse.

The internet has been rife with articles and message board postings of "How long will Kurt last?" or "Kurt Angle death watch." And to the posters of these articles and board tripe I say, give your heads a shake, preferably till they fall off. You people are what's wrong with wrestling now. How dare you question a man's right to earn a living! As it stands now, Kurt will be working a lightened schedule with TNA, giving his body ample rest and healing time. Multiple broken necks can take their toll. But all you internet dweebs who've never done an athletic thing in your lives know better, don't you? How dare Kurt support his family and improve his health.

At the last TNA tapings, I can tell you it looked as though Kurt had put on at least 10-15 pounds since the last time I'd seen him. He was in great spirits and truly looked at home in the TNA atmosphere. And I can tell you this -- his entrance into the Impact Zone and the following segments were a goosebump-inducing moment, the kind you don't really see in wrestling too much these days, what with backstage reports, and "insiders" ensuring no surprises anymore.

Yes it's true, it's damn true, that Kurt needs some rest and recovery. When you wrestle at only one speed -- 1000 mph -- it catches up with you. This isn't ballet. People get hurt. But unlike other sports where you sprain your knee or dislocate your shoulder, instead of going to the injured reserve list or taking time off, you are expected to suck it up and carry on. This is a pay for play sport. And Kurt Angle is too tough to sit out when a little thing like a broken neck tries to slow him down. And with TNA's lighter schedule, he will get the time he needs to come back at 100%. And then in TNA's less restrictive wrestling environment you could see a side of Kurt you haven't seen for years.

I look forward to the coming weeks of TNA and the direction Angle takes. His presence alone is a huge boost in legitimizing TNA as a contender to the WWE. With the addition of Vince Russo to the booking committee and primetime on Spike TV in November, things are really going to be interesting at TNA.

* * *

For those of you in the Detroit area, I strongly suggest you make sure you have tickets to next week's Bound for Glory pay-per-view, TNA's Super Bowl, as it will be a once in a lifetime experience. Check www.tnawrestling.com for the card and ticket info. There is nothing like a live wrestling event to get the blood pumping and give you an excuse to drink lots and scream at burly goons and pretty boys. And Bound For Glory promises to be a defining moment for TNA and should not be missed for the avid wrestling fan.

As always questions and comments, booking inquiries or what ever else can be sent to johnnydevine@shaw.ca or to myspace at www.myspace.com/canadiandevine.

In the mean time and in between time, that's it. Another edition of Devine Intervention. Bye now.
Devine

RELATED LINKS

  • More on Kurt Angle


    Visit the SLAM! Wrestling store!


  • WWE PPV Series 12 Figure: Kurt Angle
  • WWE Ruthless Aggression Series 22 Figure: Kurt Angle
  • WWE Deluxe Series 3 Figure: Kurt Angle


    EDITOR'S NOTE: "Hotshot" Johnny Devine's column will run on Saturdays (or whenever he delivers) on SLAM! Wrestling. Be sure to visit each week!

    For more on Devine's career, see his biography in our Canadian Hall of Fame
    .