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AS I SEE IT Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets


Anyone remember a year ago when TNA signed Kurt Angle shortly he was released by WWE due to personal and drug related issues?

Anyone remember that more than a few people said that with Angle’s behavior issues that he might well be a ticking timebomb without a significant testing and treatment program within TNA?

We were assured that Kurt would be taken care of by TNA, and that they would assure that substance abuse issues would not take place while he was in TNA. A year ago, Angle even admitted to his demons on a SPIKE TV interview where he told those viewing that he “hit rock bottom” after getting addicted to extra-strength Vicodin after undergoing neck surgery.

Then, there came September 28, 2007:

Kurt Angle charged with DUIBy: Cory Nealon, Times Staff


MOON TWP. – Olympic gold medalist and professional wrestling star Kurt Angle was charged Friday with driving under the influence.

Moon Township police said they received a call from a motorist at 1:49 p.m. complaining that someone driving a white Cadillac nearly struck his vehicle in a restaurant parking lot. The motorist, who gave police the vehicle’s license plate number, also said the Cadillac was driving erratically on Beaver Grade Road and almost hit a traffic sign. Police tracked the Cadillac to Angle’s residence, which they did not identify.

Angle, 38, who has admitted an addiction to painkillers, told police he had been at the restaurant and driven home. He failed a sobriety test but refused a blood test. He was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance and careless driving. He was released to appear in court at a later date. Angle, a Mount Lebanon native, is the current Total Nonstop Action Wrestling world champion. He could not be reached for comment.

A standout athlete at Mount Lebanon High School, Angle was a two-time NCAA Division 1 wrestling champion at Clarion University of Pennsylvania. He also won a gold medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.

In 1991 he joined the World Wrestling Federation, where he won numerous accolades. He left the organization, which had morphed into World Wrestling Entertainment, last year. He joined TNA in September 2006 and soon after admitted to a painkiller addiction. He said last November, however, that he had been drug-free for more than a year. In March, Sports Illustrated reported that Angle was one of dozens of prominent athletes to receive steroids from a Florida wellness center. Angle disputed the report on his Web site.

Angle and his wife, Karen, who has appeared with him ringside, have two children.

Now I grant you, any reference to anti-inflammatory drugs probably means Motrin at worst. So “drugs” as such aren’t the issue here…we hope. But alcohol is a drug, a pain-killing drug…killing emotional pain and physical pain. Alcohol paired with many other drugs creates a synergistic effect, which makes the effect of each drug much more pronounced than either substance by itself. A case in point was Vice President Dick Cheney’s shooting of a hunting friend after consuming alcohol and the blood-thinner Cumidin.

Something that should be of even more concern is that this incident occurred at 1:49 pm, or rather the CALL from the motorist at 1:49 p.m. complaining that someone driving a white Cadillac nearly struck his vehicle in a restaurant parking lot cmae at that time, and Angle was apparently going HOME from a local bar. When in the hell did Angle start drinking that day, anyhow? 9:00 am?

That kind of indulgence can’t be the best sign for Dixie Carter, who has Angle as her flagship wrestler for the new two-hour IMPACT on SpikeTV. Meanwhile in TNAland, no one from the promotion has publicly commented on the many mainstream articles about Angle’s arrest. Neither have they commented in substance about Angle obtaining horse steroids from a Florida internet pharmacy. Further, they refuse to provide any detail whatever about their alleged drug testing/treatment policy, claiming that the policy is confidential.

Let Dixie Carter try and get away with that when Congress calls her to testify on steroid use and what promotions are doing about it.


Until next time…

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