Kurt Angle: Injury In Waiting?
September 12, 2007 by Pete Cruise
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Kurt Angle had his first televised match at the 1999 Survivor Series. He wrestled Shawn Stasiak. The crowd chanted "boring", but little did they know what type of an athlete the WWE had given us. He went on to win every major singles title that WWE had to offer, including the WWE Heavyweight title 4 times. Since Jumping to TNA he has been only the second, Triple Crown Winner in that company and currently holds all the titles in that company.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, let's rewind to the 1996 Olympics. During the Olympic trials, Angle suffered a severe neck injury, fracturing two of his cervical vertebrae, herniating 2 discs, and pulling 4 muscles. Fast forward to 2003. In 2002 Kurt had start to feel numbness and the onset of what everyone believed to be nerve or spinal damage. When the tests came back positive, they pulled him from all wrestling shows, and only had him do limited things in the ring. After dropping the WWE Title to Brock Lesnar, Angle underwent neck surgery. He took the very controversial alternative surgery. The surgery would reduce Angle's shelf time from over a year, to a little over 3 months. Angle went close to a year with no problems. However once Wrestlemania XX came around, so did the neck problems. Kurt went back on the shelf and did very limited things in the ring. That was the last time Kurt Angle would limit his body.
Since then we have seen a decaying Kurt Angle. Once a fresh Olympic amateur wrestler turned pro-wrestler, Kurt Angle is now a shell of his former self. It may not be evident to some, but If you watch Kurt Angle he has signs of serious problems. Some have said that he slurs his words backstage and even mumbles. If you see Kurt in the ring, you will notice that his left arm is slightly smaller that the other. A sign of atrophy. Atrophy is defined as the partial or complete wasting away of a part of the body. Causes of atrophy include poor nourishment, poor circulation, or loss of nerve supply. If Kurt Angle still has unresolved neck problems, then atrophy is a bad sign that Kurt may still have serious neck and spine problems.
I guess the big question is; who should do something about it? Kurt Angle or TNA? Or more specifically, those with power in TNA? When Kurt Angle showed health issues in WWE he was taken off the road and was given time to heal. When Kurt showed abuse of prescription drugs he was warned, and then fired for consistent abuse. TNA, to the best of our knowledge, has not done anything to Kurt Angle. If they had, we wouldn't be hearing about the Kurt Angle that mumbles and the Kurt Angle that "could possibly die, and then this company will really feel bad that they didn't do anything" - Anonymous TNA Wrestler.
All businesses judge themselves by profit. By the amount of money they generate. Pro-wrestling is exactly the same. Except, they use one more judgement. Buy-rates and ratings. Let's be honest though. Is one man's livelihood worth a + 0.3 higher rating? Is Kurt Angle wrestling three matches on one pay-per-view really worth another 1500 buys? When did morality and ethics take a backseat in business? When will someone step up and say, "This man isn't doing something to ensure his health, and as a business we should care about our staff? I think it's our job to make sure that he is healthy and cared for? I think as a responsible business, we need to step up and make sure that he doesn't leave behind a widow and two children. Let's fix this!"
Within the last 5 years, many of my favorite wrestlers that I have grown up watching have died. Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit, Owen Hart, Curt Henning. Kurt Angle is one wrestler out there that still makes me enjoy wrestling. If Angle was to suddenly pass away, I don't know of anyone that would be able to take his place. With all of the travesty that has taken wrestling by storm, I don't know If wrestling could survive another big loss.
by Pete Cruise (Submit your feedback here)..
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