Views From The Turnbuckle: Kurt Angle, His Career And What He Should Do Next
When Angle jumped ship to TNA, it was probably the greatest coup in wrestling since WCW landed Hulk Hogan. TNA finally signed someone that many felt was the top performer in the WWE, and he was still in his prime. The stars were certainly aligned for Angle in TNA, as TNA conveniently had a red hot Samoa Joe to match Angle's intensity, in what was in my opinion the greatest feud in TNA history. After Angle got past Joe, he jumped into the hugely successful "Main Event Mafia" storyline. Angle's first two and a half years in TNA were as successful as they possibly could have been.
Sometime in 2009, most likely when Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff and the rest of the crew, arrived in TNA, something happened to Kurt Angle. He stopped becoming the wrestling machine, the godfather and master strategist; he was beginning to become like everyone else in TNA, routinely beatable and therefore disposed of. He became locked in a bizarre feud with Jeff Jarrett which included his real-life ex-wife Karen Jarrett and even his kids. After that nightmarish feud, Angle then began to take out younger talent to upset Dixie Carter, who apparently knew about Karen and Jeff, but failed to tell Kurt about it. That storyline went nowhere, and was dropped without any form of explanation or conclusion.
Now in the present day, Angle's career really looks like it is on its last legs. He is 44 years old with an incredible amount of wear and tear on his body. Angle always seems to be consistently re-aggravating injuries and wrestling hurt. Over the past two years his in-ring performances have fallen sharply, and although only two years ago he could be considered the best wrestler in the world, I would hesitate to put him in the top twenty today.
Recently, Angle has been doing a lot of radio and podcast interviews citing his interest to return to the WWE before he hangs them up for good. After seeing guys like Chris Jericho and Brock Lesnar work with very successful part-time contracts, the heavy workload which forced his departure from the company in 2006 would be a non-factor. TNA is certainly feeling the heat of an Angle departure, and as they often do with talent considering leaving the company, they have made moves to appease Angle so hopefully he will remain in TNA. The Hall-of-Fame, the promising of a feud with Rampage Jackson, all that is nice, but it really cannot compare to wrestling at the biggest event of the year in front of 75,000 fans.
Although I'm not going to say no to seeing Angle return to the WWE and feud with guys like CM Punk and Daniel Bryan, I hesitate to think that the WWE could add ANOTHER part-time wrestler to their roster. With Lesnar, Jericho, Triple H, The Undertaker and The Rock already participating part-time, another one would almost be overkill. Talent would probably appreciate the chance to work with Angle, but there would also most likely be some pretty heavy resentment for the WWE to hire another guy that makes more and works less. I think ideally, Angle could work a full calendar year, and maybe retire after Wrestlemania and go into the WWE Hall of Fame. A full year of Angle could do the WWE a whole lot of good, and Angle will get the send-off that he desires.
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