Kurt Angle Champion is the latest release from TNA Home Video. The two-disc set will be released in the US and Canada on Tuesday, November 25, and will be on sale at ShopTNA.com and major DVD retailers. Run time is over 7 hours.
Comments by Angle and other members of TNA are included before each match.
They start off with footage from the No Surrender PPV in November, 2006, when they made the huge announcement that Kurt Angle was coming to TNA, possibly the biggest surprise announcement in the history of pro wrestling, as it was a true surprise. Fans, thinking that it would actually be Bill Goldberg coming to TNA, were chanting Goldberg’s name during the buildup to the announcement. That clip is followed with Kurt’s actual debut in TNA, and the amazing fan reaction to “The head butt heard ‘round the world.”
Kurt Angle talks about his childhood growing up in Pittsburgh. His mother, brothers, and family friends all share memories of Kurt as well — this is rare and revealing personal commentary that Kurt’s fans will want to see. Kurt’s comments about his late father are especially worthy of note.
This was the much-anticipated first ever match between Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe. About one minute into the match, the anticipation already had the fans chanting, “This is awesome!” That was followed by “Angle’s gonna break you!” This was a very intense, brutal match, with ample use of ring rails, steps, and any other weapons they could find. Angle did a terrific job of making Joe look credible.
A Champion Emerges
These are more interviews with Kurt and his family and friends, including a former coach, now talking about his teen years and his development as an amateur wrestling champion. They also discuss his playing football, baseball, and basketball in high school, and Kurt talks more about the loss of his father, as well as the death of his amateur wrestling coach Dave Schultz.
Turning Point 2006
This was the big rematch between Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe. Kurt once again proved his skill and talent by carrying Samoa Joe to another truly great match. This was mainly a scientific, mat and submission based bout, as one would expect.
Road to the Gold
Kurt plus his family and friends discuss how Kurt was struggling with wrestling, and what he did to improve his skills. They also talk in detail about his broken neck, his win in the World Games, and his Olympic Gold Medal win, including how it helped him repair a broken relationship with one of his brothers. Angle talks further about the late wrestling great David Schultz, and his murder by John DuPont. Bruno Sammartino talks about Kurt’s great heart, and his Olympic win.
Final Resolution 2007
30 Minute Ironman Match
This was a slow paced match to accommodate Joe’s lack of stamina, but Angle still managed to build suspense and make it a contest that held the attention of the fans throughout. They concentrated on mat wrestling and submissions for the most part.
Beyond the Gold
Kurt talks about life after the Olympics, and the need to go back to work after the limelight fades, and the various jobs he tried, including a hilarious time when the teleprompter broke when he was working as a tv sports anchor. He also talks about meeting his ex-wife Karen when he was doing personal appearances for Iron CIty beer. Dave Hawk, Kurt’s agent and manager, recalls this time in Kurt’s life, as do Kurt’s family and friends. Bruno Sammartino reminisces about a promotion he did with Kurt during this time.
King of the Mountain Match for the TNA World Heavyweight Title
“Instant Classic” Christian Cage
“Phenomenal” AJ Styles
“Wildcat” Chris Harris
This was a wild, hard fought match with lots of thrills and crazy bumps. Chris Harris especially went all out in this match as a last minute replacement for Jeff Jarrett, who was unable to compete. As the first time Kurt Angle became the TNA World Heavyweight Champion, it definitely has a place in this collection.
A Legend Is Made
Kurt talks about making the decision to try professional wrestling, and reveals that WWE offered him only their lowest training contract to begin with. Dave Hawk advised him against taking it, but Angle said that he’d be making a million within a year. His family and friends also reveal their feelings from the time he made his momentous decision. Christian Cage recalls meeting Angle at Dory Funk Jr.’s dojo, when Kurt was there training, and that he was a natural. Jeff Jarrett also recalls meeting Kurt for the first time in Orlando, FL, as Jeff was still working for the WWF at that time.
Kurt also talks candidly about his injuries, and the additional problems caused by his addiction to pain killers, and gives all credit to Karen Angle for helping him through his problems. Family and friends discuss Kurt’s problems as well. Kurt goes on to talk about the grueling WWE schedule, and deciding that his health would not allow him to work like that any longer. He goes into detail about his final meeting with WWE, when he broke down crying, and asked for and got his release. Kurt reveals the parting words of Vince McMahon, and how those words contributed to his decision to sign with TNA.
Hard Justice 2007
Four titles are on the line in this match: The TNA World Heavyweight Championship, the IWGP Third Belt Championship, the TNA X Division Championship, The TNA World Tag Team Championship. My one complaint about this collections is that there are too many matches featuring Samoa Joe — if one looked at the match list alone, one might get the mistaken impression that this is a Samoa Joe tribute collection instead of a Kurt Angle tribute collection. I suppose they felt this one had to be included, since Angle ended up holding all four titles at the end, but Kurt has had many memorable (and better) matches in TNA, and I would have preferred to see more variety in the opponents. As in all his other matches with Joe, Kurt carried him to a good match, although this one is, in my opinion, the least notable of all of their encounters.
Kurt Comes to TNA
Dixie Carter, Jeff Jarrett, and others within TNA talk about what it meant to TNA to sign Kurt Angle. Kurt, Dave Hawk, and other friends and family also discuss the surprising decision. Mick Foley and others talk about this being the best thing Kurt could have done for his health, and for his personal life. Mick agrees that Kurt had been too giving in doing promotional work for WWE. Jeff and Dixie also talk about all they had to do to keep this announcement a secret.
No Surrender 2007
TNA X Division Championship Match
Kurt Angle (C)
“Black Machismo” Jay Lethal
Kurt showed his professionalism in this match, putting over a young, rising star with great enthusiasm in a match that kept fans excited throughout. Their differing styles meshed well, and I am very pleased that this excellent match was included, even though it was a regular tv match instead of a PPV match.
Kurt’s Impact on TNA
Dixie Carter, Jeremy Borash, Christian Cage, Mick Foley, Samoa Joe, Mike Tenay, Don West, Bruno Sammartino, and others discuss Kurt’s talents and his contributions to TNA’s growth. Christian mentions that Kurt’s first pro wrestling match was against him.
Kurt’s first ever match against Sting was an excellent match that successfully combined mat wrestling with old school power wrestling and brawling. Sting rose to the challenge here and put on as good a match as Angle. They spent a good part of the match on quick exchanges and reversals, but then they went toe to toe slugging it out. The schmozzed finish of this match left a lot to be desired, but there is still a lot to like about this contest.
TNA iMPACT! October 23, 2007
Kurt Angle (C)
They follow with the exciting rematch between Angle and Sting. This was also a very good match, though not quite as good as the first one.
Angle’s Time in TNA
Dave Hawk, Kurt and other family and friends talk about TNA allowing Kurt to work and still spend time with his family. TNA personalities talk about wrestling with Kurt and his contributions to TNA, especially at the end of the NWA era in TNA. Kurt puts over AJ Styles and says, “This kid could go wherever he wants!”
Global Impact 2008
IWGP Third Championship Match
Kurt Angle (C)
The match started off quickly, with a great deal of intensity. Their styles are similar in many ways, as both have amateur wrestling backgrounds, according to Mike Tenay. There was a strong MMA flavor to this excellent match as well, with both men trying for submissions throughout the match. Angle worked Nagata’s legs, preparing for his ankle lock. Nagata worked Angle’s shoulders and neck. Nagata’s facial expressions, especially when he was battling to get out of the figure four leglock Angle had him in, were so good I could almost feel his pain.
Kurt Angle in MMA
Kurt discusses his past negotiations with Dana White of UFC, and that the deal breaker came when White demanded that he quit wrestling. His family, friends, and TNA members talk about Kurt’s decisions and his injuries, and give their opinions of his chances in MMA.
TNA World Heavyweight Championship Match
Kurt Angle (C)
Yet another match featuring Samoa Joe would definitely not have been my choice; I would much rather have seen a match with AJ Styles or Christian Cage, as Angle has had some amazing matches with both men. Even one of his hardcore matches with Abyss would have been preferable. I can’t help but feel that TNA’s desire to push Joe at the expense of the X Division and the rest of their roster has hurt them far more than they realize. Joe’s lack of selling and the slow pace needed to accommodate Joe’s lack of conditioning hurt the quality of this match, but I don’t think Kurt Angle is capable of wrestling a bad match, and he carried this one as well.
Angle says he will at least wrestle for the next three years that are left on his TNA contract. He adds that he wants to go out in a big way, and the right way, but that he doesn’t think he’ll be able to wrestle for the 20 or more years that would be required to be the “best ever.” Friends, family, and TNA members also comment. Mick Foley mentions that he’d like to see Kurt teach wrestlers, and others agree.
I enjoyed this dvd very much, in spite of the huge overdose of Samoa Joe. For me, the real selling point of the dvd’s about individual wrestlers is always the interviews and behind the scenes personal information they provide. Of course the matches are important, but you can buy a number of dvds with great matches on them; interviews like the ones on this dvd are few and far between. I recommend this dvd to all fans of Kurt Angle, for the interviews alone; the matches are just a bonus.