According to a recent report on, Kurt Angle says that he would go back to WWE right now if he could. His TNA contract expires next fall, and the Olympic gold medalist is said to be “unhappy with the creative direction of the company” and “does not have much faith in Jeff Jarrett’s lead.” The quote that provoked the strongest reaction, for me, at least, was that “He’s been vocal regarding his frustrations with creative both publicly and during conversations with Dixie Carter, and feelings of observers is that this is all leading toward a power struggle between Angle and Jarrett.”

What in the blue hell kind of garbage is this?

Kurt Angle is and has been a great wrestler in every sense of the word. He completely deserves his status as one of the greatest ever. A great many wrestling fans will undoubtedly cheer his possible return to the WWE as the greatest of all things, and commend him on bailing from the sinking ship that is TNA, completely ignoring the fact that Kurt Angle has been one of the biggest rats chewing holes in the ship’s hull.

Yes, TNA as a company has a number of significant problems. Yes, there is plenty of blame to go around, whether your personal favorite scapegoat is Vince Russo, Dixie Carter, Jeff Jarrett, Dutch Mantel, Kevin Nash, or someone else entirely. No, Kurt Angle cannot be blamed for everything that is wrong with TNA. What he can be blamed for is coming in to a company that wasn’t all that horrible at the time, bleeding it dry, and abandoning the dry corpse to be buried by someone else.

Overreaction and melodramatic? Possibly. Consider, though, that ever since his debut (which truly was one of the best-kept secrets in wrestling), Kurt Angle has BEEN the show. He has completely dominated everything during his TNA tenure. The sarcastic comments about “Total Nonstop Angle” didn’t appear out of nowhere. He gets more television time, both promo-wise and wrestling-wise, than any two other people on the roster. He isn’t the World Heavyweight Champion, yet he created and runs the Main Event Mafia. The actual champion is a complete afterthought. His now-ex-wife was hired and given more tv time than the entire Knockouts division. Until the divorce was final, she even had a completely pointless talk show, just because she was married to Kurt. She was even featured on the cover of the Knockouts dvd, and she wasn’t even a trained wrestler with her own matches. His daughter Kyra, a little child, has her own trading card in the new TNA set. Read that again. Kurt Angle’s daughter has her own TNA trading card. The Angle family was the royalty of TNA. Samoa Joe was doing ok until Angle showed up.

No, Kurt Angle can’t be blamed for rushing his matches against Samoa Joe and the complete bitchification of the latter. Can he? Perhaps not one hundred percent, but Kurt Angle seems to have great backstage power, comparatively speaking. Angle has enjoyed personal social relations, not just professional relations, with Dixie Carter and Jeff Jarrett, which certainly don’t seem to apply to most of the other talent. If anyone had the power to dictate his own storylines and matches without being married to the boss’s daughter, it would have appeared to be Angle. Therefore, the idea that Angle is unhappy and frustrated with the direction of TNA creative smacks of hypocrisy.

The guy has gotten everything that a professional wrestler could possibly dream of. He enters a company as the biggest and greatest acquisition of all time. He jumps straight into main-event level matches with respected guys who can go. He wins the World Heavyweight title multiple times. He wins every title in the entire company simultaneously. He is featured more prominently, both in and out of the ring, than anyone else. His every move is trumpeted with enthusiasm. He hangs out socially with the bosses. His entire family gets involved in the company. In some form or other, he is at the heart of every major storyline the company does. He has basically done everything that there is to do in a company, and it sounds like he’s bored at accomplishing too much too fast, so he blames creative. Talk to Petey Williams. Talk to the Motor City Machine Guns. Talk to the entirety of the X-Division. Talk to everyone who did not make their names and win major titles in other companies. Let them tell you about frustration with creative.

Angle’s interviews have almost become a drinking game. People shake their heads and snicker every time a new Angle interview comes out because they can’t wait to see how the Olympic lunatic contradicts himself this time. He criticizes the company publicly and doesn’t get punished at all. He’s going to do MMA, now he isn’t. TNA is going to pass WWE in ratings, now TNA needs less gimmick matches and stipulations. WWE is evil and bad while TNA is the future, now TNA is crap and the WWE is the only place to go. One almost suspects multiple personalities. Sure, sometimes he says things that are true, but remember that if you lock a monkey in a room with a typewriter, statistics show that he will eventually produce Shakespeare.

So a power struggle between Jarrett and Angle is looming? Angle knows he could never get away with that in the WWE. He may be crazy, but he isn’t stupid. He’s doing it in TNA because he can. Suppose for a moment that Angle wins whatever type of power struggle was described in the article. How would Kurt Angle running a wrestling company, even from the creative standpoint, be anything other than a complete disaster? For one thing, as an active wrestler who claims that he’ll work until the day he dies in the ring, Angle has no business being in charge. Directors can’t effectively direct themselves. It’s either backstage or out in front, not both. More importantly, if his interviews are at all true, he really doesn’t come off as stable enough to handle the job.

I don’t hate Kurt Angle. I’m happy to give him credit where credit is due. If he truly wants to end his career with the WWE, more power to him. The timing just seems a bit suspicious when he has gotten everything that he could possibly get out of TNA, after some people’s careers may never recover, and he announces that he would leave for creative reasons if he could. Considering that the entire Main Event Mafia versus the Front Line storyline has a basis in reality, Angle’s leaving might actually help the company as a whole. Many sites have posted articles detailing how none of the big stars from WWE and WCW, including Angle, did much in terms of ratings or pay-per-view buyrates for TNA. Ironically, if Angle and Christian Cage do leave TNA for WWE, perhaps the focus of TNA will return to where it should have been all along.

Yeah, you’re right.

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