A New Sponsor, Beyond Embarrassing, Letters Update

Mark Madden


In “Casino,” one of my all-time favorite films, there’s a climactic scene where Joe Pesci and Sharon Stone embrace, their faces dangerously close, and Stone says, “I need a new sponsor.” Next thing you know, Stone is applying lip-locks above and below decks.

I can’t say for sure that the scene mirrors the first rendezvous of Jeff Jarrett and Karen Angle. But it seems a pretty safe bet.

I choose my words very carefully here, because I like and respect Kurt Angle a great deal, and Karen is the mother of his children.

But, like Kurt, Karen Angle (nee Smedley) is from Pittsburgh, my hometown. She’s a former stripper. Is Karen the real-life incarnation of Ginger Rothstein? Is Jeff Jarrett her new sponsor? Karen sure bounced from Kurt to Jeff pretty quick, didn’t she? Some women just require a man to pay the freight. To be a sponsor.

I knew about Karen and Jarrett weeks ago. Their liaison became an issue – with Jarrett being kept away from TNA’s most recent TV tapings – because Jarrett reportedly lied to TNA President Dixie Carter about the affair when questioned, then happened to show up at the same party as Carter…with Karen in tow.

Is Carter ticked off because the coupling is immoral? Because Jarrett lied? Because her company has hemorrhaged money under Jarrett? Because she has a crush on Jeff? A crush on Karen?

God, who cares? The only thing that seems certain is that this drama has no sympathetic figures. TNA is like “The Sopranos” in that regard, the major difference being that no one watches.

Kurt has made it known he will not remain with TNA when his contract expires if Jarrett is still with the promotion. Does this reflect genuine outrage over Jarrett being with his ex? Is Kurt reacting to the embarrassment caused by the hanky-panky going public? Or is he just using the situation to stage an opportunistic power play?

The man with the most to lose is Jarrett. Karen Angle is amazingly hot, but I bet she doesn’t look so good to Jarrett right now.

If Jarrett gets axed from TNA, he’s done with wrestling above the independent circuit. He might yet be the new King of Memphis. Oh, he could get a short, humiliating, low-paying run with WWE that would see him put firmly in his place by Vince McMahon. But beyond that, there’s no place for Jarrett to go. His future would be bleak.

As for Dixie Carter, she’s a money mark. Period.

As for Kurt Angle, he’s perhaps the best all-around performer in wrestling today. If he can stay healthy and keep his personal demons under control (big if) a talent like him always finds work. I feel bad for Kurt. He’s got a good heart. He doesn’t deserve this.

As for Karen Angle, she’ll be OK as long as she maintains her looks. A girl like her can always find a new sponsor.


On my VOW debut, Disco Inferno defended TNA booking and Vince Russo. I forget what Disco said, but it doesn’t matter. Our argument got settled conclusively when the amount of buys for TNA’s Slammiversary PPV was disclosed: 7,000.

Case closed. TNA stinks. Russo and the TNA “creative” staff are incompetent. The sole purpose of wrestling is drawing money. Art doesn’t matter. Agendas shouldn’t matter. Airing compelling, episodic TV that convinces fans to purchase PPVs is all that matters.

Russo can’t do it. Seven thousand buys is beyond embarrassing. Michael Vick drew bigger crowds for dogfights.

Everyone involved with TNA “creative” should be fired. If there isn’t, at the very least, a major realignment of TNA “creative,” it just confirms that Dixie Carter is a stupid bimbo who will spend big dough to hang around athletic, half-naked men. Not to be critical.


…they suck again. Get it together, marks.

You can email Mark Madden questions at wzmarkmadden@hotmail.com

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