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WRESTLING COLUMNS

A Smart Move By Kurt Angle"
June 7, 2006 by Chris Earl


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Hey all, this is my first column for OWW, and I wanted to talk about a recent event that has been going around in my head as of late.

Ever since coming into the WWF in 1999, and beating Sean Stasiak at Survivor Series, Kurt Angle has displayed great levels passion and dedication. From becoming the third Euro-Continental Champion, to the King Of the Ring and finally to winning the WWF Championship at No Mercy, few wrestlers have came close to this iconic rookie year. However, again it is only a few wrestlers who can say that they can wrestle amazingly, and still become Champion. In years where we have seen wrestlers with low levels of wrestling ability hold titles for months, in particular Hollywood Hulk Hogan and Diesel, it was a nice change to see a wrestler who could hold a candle to superstars such as Bret Hart, in some ways surpassing the Hitman's legendary skills. However, we must not forget that Kurt was not the only champion to have brilliant wrestling skills, naming Chris Benoit and The Late Great Eddie Guerrero as good examples. But I do not believe that they competed at the level that Angle did, as he came through injuries, career threatening neck surgery and other obstacles. For a man who believed that his last match would be at WrestleMania 20, against Brock Lesnar, he has certainly come a long way.

Indeed, one must never forget his classic 5 star match with Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 21, which pushed both men to limits that they never thought they had. It is a great tribute to the wrestling machine to see him still going strong now, and proving his skills even more by carrying talent-less wrestlers such as Mark Henry through decent matches.

However, in the past few weeks, we have learnt that The Wrestling Machine is to be part of the new ECW revival brand, a draft pick that nobody could have seen coming. This shocked me in many ways, the first being that Kurt is one of the bright lights that SmackDown has left. In recent months we have seen the loss of superstars such as John Cena, JBL, the split up of MNM, injuries of Batista and Chris Benoit, and I believe that Angle was what was keeping SmackDown going. Not any more though. Angle is now heading to a place where they recognize hardcore spots over wrestling, and although I'm sure Angle can handle his new style, I'm worried that the fans might lose sight of what he's truly talented at. Sure his new placement will let him wrestle better hours, allowing his body to recover after matches, but will it allow him to shine" Kurt angle is as tough as they come, mentally and physically, and he can back up whatever he says in the ring, although in ECW, a place that has churned out some great technical wrestlers in the past, but does not have them in droves, I believe that he will be carrying a lot more opponents in matches. One just has to look at the ages of the ECW superstars of the past, with Terry Funk being in his sixties, and the Sandman in his late forties, I think that he will be carrying them through some matches, although to give credit to Jim Fullington, from watching classic TNA I can see that he's still got his hardcore style going strong.

However, to give some credit to ECW I can see the idea of flushing it out with new talent, whether it is from the present WWE roster, or recently signed talent, including Sylvester Terkay, who Angle has praised for having good wrestling ability, and is of a large build, something which should please Vince, given his love of big men.

This is the end of my rant, and let me stress that these are my opinions, and as such, are open to discussion or criticism.

Thanks for listening, and stay Online World of Wrestling!!

by Chris Earl ..


John Sword wrote:
So was this article being written in the form of a WWE magazine article or back during the kayfabe era. I mean honestly, this is wrestling. Has the author forgotten this" Swerves and changed opinions have always come at the drop of a hat. This is professional wrestling and Kurt Angle will be a great fit in this "new breed" of ECW, where wrestling is valued over rediculous gimmicks involving male cheerleaders and Irish wrestlers with leprecauns as henchmen. Angle will be the no non-sense wrestler that ECW needs to start it's new beginning. He is the answer to what the WWE need. Someone that is a big name in the sport but is not too gimmicky. "Heyman shouldn't have picked Angle""!"! Are you serious! Angle is a great pick and I could not have been happier. Again this is wrestling and not real life. Angle didn't cost Heyman his job because he was working for Vince while The Invasion was going on. It's called a storyline. I truly hope that this article was written in a kayfabe sense and the author does not truly believe all of this. Thanks for your time and I'm sorry if I came down too hard on the author, I just couldn't believe this was a legitimate article when I finished reading it.
Michael Minchington wrote:
Hi there, good column. Obviously Kurt going over to ECW was a bit of a shock to many people (including myself) but I think you may have kind of answered your own point there.Yes many of ECW's roster are seasoned hardcore veterans, and some are more senior than others (i.e. Terry Funk-man, that guy just keeps on going don't he") - therefore it makes sense for the ECW brand to be supplied with a more technical, polished wrestler, and who fits the bill better than Kurt Angle, arguably the best technical wrestler in the WWE.Also Angle's natural ability as a heel will serve him pretty well, I think.I am more excited that the Big Show has apparently jumped to ECW, I have been dying to see him in some REAL hardcore matches, the thought of seeing some Big Show Vs. Sandman or B.S. Vs. Sabu clashes I think could potentially be classic matches.Also do I sense another potential recruit for ECW in one...JBL" Given his attitude to ECW at the previous One Night Stand, I would love to see him get in the faces of the ECW wrestlers on their home turf.He is a brawler at heart, so he would probably fit in pretty well there and will make a decent heel.
Marc Mattaliano wrote:
I've been asking myself this question for quite a while now. Kurt Angle won two gold medals for wrestling, and he did it with a broken neck, this is true. A great accomplishment for anyone to achieve. However, ultimately, the point is...he did break his neck. And what about a year or two, I forget how long ago it was exactly, that he was out of action for at least a good couple months with angina" Simply put, he had a heart attack. I mean, not to diminish Kurt's wrestling abilities at all because he's an incredible athlete, and combining his new vicious edge with his genuine wrestling talent would make him a key player in an arena like ECW. But let me get this straight....a guy who's broken his neck and been out of action due to heart problems is going to regularly get into matches involving baseball bats, plummets into tables and beatings with chairs, kendo sticks and countless other blunt objects" I don't think the operative question is whether Kurt's style will fit with ECW, because I understand Heyman's motive for bringing Kurt in. He wants to show that ECW is more than just barbed wire bats, flaming tables and dives off catwalks. I think the more important question is whether or not Kurt will physically be up to the task. Unfortunately, I missed most of ECW in its prime, but I've seen enough highlights to know what happened there. Of course, who knows....ECW is now controlled by Vince McMahon....and not to bad mouth the boss, 'cause I love Vinny Mac and I love to hate Vinny Mac....but I wouldn't be surprised if the new ECW is considerably less violent and decadent and raunchy than the ECW of old, and as a result, Kurt's probably going to end up in lots of easy matches....he's going to totally outwrestle the biggest stars the new ECW has to offer, even the normally violent types, whether as part of a script or not, and he's going to end up TOO talented for the new ECW's roster. Because let's be perfectly honest...should ECW return to the pure violence and hardcore mayhem it truly personified in its hayday, at some point or another, Kurt Angle would get knocked out from behind, beaten down with clubs and chains, dumped off a balconey, and he would break his neck again, this time for good. And I'm not saying all that as a negative judgment on ECW...I'm just asking what the title of the original article is asking....was it a smart move for him" Sure, Kurt's healthy now, but for his sake, let's hope he doesn't overexert himself and get in too deep.
Richard wrote:
Chris, Michael, and John, Nothing could be more destructive to the great Kurt Angle's career than being crap-canned to ECW. (trust me I wanted to use another word here) This move by Vinnie Mac is simply outrageous...........
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