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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Sex, Drugs & Wrestling"
October 5, 2006 by Johnny LaRue


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Okay so I am not writing about sex but I am writing about drugs and wrestling so two out of three ain't bad! I have heard grumblings about TNA hiring Kurt Angle and how the WWE fired Angle in hopes of forcing him to become clean. I have also heard how the new WWE wellness policy is no longer a sham after tweaking it.

First allow me to state that the WWE policy is still a sham and now with the "lets not hurt any storylines we have so allow the drug user to work anyways" policy is a joke. So if a wrestler was on pain killers by still working how does that help" Seems like once again the bottom line ummm make that "story"line is what's good for the company 1st and the wrestlers "wellness" comes in second here.

With the previous suspension at least the wrestler could get help with the time off. The wrestler would lose most of the push they received while they sat out. Thus allowing a wrestler who WAS clean to be rewarded with a push. Instead we still reward the wrestler who chooses to ignore the company policy. I liken it to someone at your job who ignores the rules and still gets the promotion. All the new wellness policy tells me if I am a wrestler is "If I choose to ignore the rules all I lose is some money".

Now let's talk about Angle. If the WWE was concerned about Angles behavior why not intervene earlier" Why was Angle allowed to be on TV" Besides Angle was nowhere near the train wreck Spicoli was. I just doubt the severity of Angles trouble unless the WWE was not all that interested in helping him or ignored the warning signs and instead chose to get rid of him instead of helping him.

I also can not see how the firing of Angle would have forced him to become clean. Let's be honest here, Angle would have gotten work elsewhere whether it's in MMA or in Japan. Let's not wag the finger of shame at TNA here. Besides TNA has a lighter work schedule and I doubt they would allow Angle to go down the same road again seeing how they have a primetime time slot and the last thing they need is Angle ending up dead.

TNA also has a drug policy in place (which could be stricter than the WWE's policy) so I don't see the problem. According to Dixie Carter on the TNA website she says:

"TNA Wrestling has a very strict drug and alcohol policy, and each contracted talent signs an acknowledgement of the policy set forth. Drug use and alcohol abuse are issues we take very seriously. TNA has the right to conduct random drug-tests and other tests in accordance with government requirements. Violations of the policy are spelled out and failure to comply or failure of a test can result in mandatory drug counselling and treatment, suspension from work without pay, up to and including dismissal".

So to think Angle is free to continue the same behavior that took place in the WWE is absurd. If the WWE can rehire Jeff Hardy, take a chance on Eddie Guerrero despite his WCW troubles, resign Jake Roberts, resign the Warrior and then try to defend reasons for doing so on the DVD and give numerous other wrestlers second (and third) chances for any reason under the sun then why can't TNA hire Angle"

In pro sports players get second chances all the time. Maurice Clarett comes to mind. Denver took a chance on him despite having trouble prior to the draft. Ricky Williams is another example. He used drugs and got a hefty suspension from the NFL. He now is playing for Toronto in the CFL this year. Koren Robinson is another recent example. Green Bay signed him despite his legal troubles off the field. Former MLB player Mr. Strawberry is yet another example. What about the Dallas Cowboys of the 90's" Why the double standard for wrestling" I would at least think wrestling fans are a FAR more accepting bunch than the dopey professional sports reporters who are first to condemn wrestling.

Speaking of double standards what about the Hollywood stars that get a free pass despite getting arrested on drug charges. Nick Notle, Robert Downey Jr (7 times in trouble for drugs), Winona Ryder and her drug trouble, Mel Gibson's drunk driving,...etc. Where is the outrage there" What about rock stars" Their labels still keep them and there is no outrage. How many "E! True Hollywood stories" have you seen about rock stars" Yet rock stars who use drugs have no trouble with their labels. Rappers who get into legal trouble have no trouble either and sometimes it actually boosts sales.

My point here is if the WWE felt Angle was too much of a risk and fired him they have that right to do so. TNA also has the right to hire Angle. Let's not condemn Angle or TNA and see how this plays out before passing judgement. Perhaps TNA's lighter work load and drug policy is just what Angle needs. Maybe just maybe Angle needs TNA more than TNA needs him.

By Johnny LaRue..


Jose Aguirre wrote:
You have no right to criticize WWE or TNA(even if you're not doing so). It was a bitch move by Kurt Angle to leave WWE, but the reasons are really unclear. WWE is biased, TNA is biased, Kurt Angle is the most biased of all. You and I have no idea what's going on backstage. We have to get the whole story before making any judgments.
Aaron Stone wrote:
First off...really bad title (especially since it had nothing to do with sex). Come on LaRue. Anyway I did not know that Angel used drugs (I'm assuming you mean steroids, but I have not read anything about this). Plus I thought Angel left on his own terms and not fired. How exactly was Angle a risk though" Honestly, he was probably the best acutal "wrestler" in the WWE. Name one that was better (Beniot...maybe). I think this was more of an issue of Angel accomplishing everything he wanted to.

I was dissapointed that he wasn't talking a lot. He had Bischoff do a lot of his talking during the fued with Cena...and then when he had Davari...what was that about""" That "angle" (pun intended) did not make any sense. The reason that Angle was so great was that he refreshed the business. He was such a great talker!!! And when they took that away from him...he just became a regular joe.

Do I think he should have gone to TNA...no. But was WWE really offering him anything" I mean come on, ECW who cares. I'd rather watch Smackdown. Those are my two cents. Email me at astone08@wooster.edu if you want to talk more.
Will Knight wrote:
Funny isn't it" People praise RVD and Kurt despite their drug issues...but boo Randy Orton and Chris Masters for their supposed drug use...hmmm.... I am one of the people who are angry at Kurt not just for the drug use, or for the fact he went to TNA, but I am angry for how he urinated on the WWE for all that they have given him...a nice salary, and huge and quick push to the top, not being used as a stepping stone for bad gimmicks such as Umaga...read Angle's book "It's It's True" he does nothing but thank the WWE for the opportunity to be wrestling there...now that they get on him for pill popping, he spits on their face...even the late Eddie Gurrero showed his loyalty and came back after being fired, and was even called a disgrace by J.R. on the phone when he received the news of his termination...the guy is a traitor, enough said. I only hope he doesn't regret his decision when he only wrestles two times a month and becomes just another TNA heavyweight...or worse he never recovers from the pain pill use.
Jonathan Preston wrote:
Well from what I understand, Kurt Angle being released was mutual. But to be honest, I think it was more on Kurt Angle's side than anything. Kurt Angle was going to be the face of the "So called new breed of ECW". So the WWE losing Kurt Angle hurt more than anything. ECW lacks superstars right now and they just lost their best one in Kurt Angle. I think that Kurt Angle used his medical condition as an excuse to get out of his contract and sign with TNA. I mean think about it. If his body has taken that much of a pounding, then why is he already wrestling later on this month in TNA" I'm sure TNA is paying Kurt Angle a butt load of money to be on their promotion and believe or not more people are gonna tune into TNA because he's on there. I don't think Angle left the WWE because he accomplished everything. I think he left because TNA paid him enough, it's a lighter schedule for his so called "health problems", and he has the opportunity to be the headliner of TNA. I can guarantee that ol Vinnie Mac was livid that Kurt Angle put one over him by signing with TNA. Oh its real, its D**n real!!!
James Halliwell wrote:
First of all guys Kurt Angle didnt leave because he was "held back" he broke through the glass ceiling in WWE and was recognised by WWE as a bonafide star. As good a wrestler as he is with a tremendous work ethic and a desire to be known as the greatest of all time came at a price to his health, he became a liability to himself and WWE. The reality is he should retire NOW!, he should have a long time ago spring 2003 with his major neck problems but decided to continue to i guess define a legacy because his reasons were not financial. Angle actually begged to be reinstated to the roster after learning of WWE's decision to release him but was refused. In my opinion as a fan i knew Kurt Angle would find work elsewhere WWE would know this too but i liketo think WWE want to see Kurt Angle walk to the stage to recieve his rightfull place in the WWE hall of fame one day and not come out on a wheelchair. Kurt Angle is a multi talented man with many options in wrestling still. I mean just the knowledge the man has would make him invaluable as a road agent.
John Gunner wrote:
You know, I have noticed that many people are criticizing the WWE, TNA, and Kurt Angle on this issue. Look...The TNA should be COMMENDED for signing Angle because it is the BIGGEST signing since Sting. Kurt Angle has proven time and time again his dedication and ability is far worth all of the baggage. Is he addicted to pain pills" So what if he is. That's his life to risk in my opinion. Personally, I think that TNA should punish him if he turns in a positive drug test, but until he does, they cant be considered foolish for signing the best pure wrestler in the game. WWE on the other hand did what they had to do. I also commend the WWE for taking that stance despite the fact that they were losing a HUGE talent. However, lets look at reality. WWE is very hypocritical on the entire "drug" situation and has proven that for over 20 years. If you dont think people like John Cena, Triple H, and Bobby Lashley are steroided up, than you are crazy. WWE will do whatever it takes to get ratings. Im actually surprised that they didn't attempt to keep Angle despite the drug problem. Hell, this is the same company that allowed the airing of Mae Young giving birth to a hand. Kurt Angle...I definatly have nothing bad to say in regards to him. If he is in pain, and decides to take medication, that is his business unless it causes him to hurt other people. Not all people that take pain meds abuse them. Is there any proof that Kurt did" Kurt has wrestled with a broken neck time and time again and has proven his excellence. Ultimately, the only people to lose here are the people that DONT watch TNA.
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