From the Eye of the Dragon – The Ballad of Kurt Angle

Tim Wronka

***Note: If question marks randomly appear, it’s not my fault. This problem is being dealt with, thanks.***

I typically donâ<80><99>t like to write about specific happenings within wrestling, but there is one issue out there right now that really needs to be addressed.

So I give you the Ballad of Kurt Angle.

From his WWE debut in 1999 to his recent and shocking departure nearly seven years later, Kurt Angle went by three words he liked to call his â<80><9c>Three Iâ<80><99>s.â<80> They were integrity, intelligence, and intensity.

Now no one can doubt that Angle is one of the most intense stars to ever grace the squared circle. How many times did he work through a broken neck? How about torn muscles? Countless times. And when he was feeling healthy, there was no stopping him. His intensity was outmatched against anyone.

But at the same time, Angle rarely showed any intelligence or integrity. Yes, his intensity was amazing, but he lacked the characteristics of his other two â<80><9c>Iâ<80><99>s.â<80> His character on TV would stoop to cheating to win, and under handed tactics. He tried an affair with Stephanie McMahon, which threw out his integrity. He bent the rules to prove he didnâ<80><99>t tap out to Chris Benoit. He foolishly accepted a hair versus hair match against Edge and lost, and that showed his unintelligence.

Now of course, those were all storyline occurrences. But apparently, backstage didnâ<80><99>t go too much better for him either. He violated his integrity by becoming a politician, and being incredibly outspoken about his storylines and matches. He didnâ<80><99>t use much intelligence either. He was so driven to become the best, that he became stupid when it was time to take care of himself. When his wife left him, he continued to wrestle. When he was told to get serious neck surgery, he took a simpler route that cost him more in the long run. When he was told to take it easy, he kept coming back for more. And what has all of this gotten him?

A release. He has been fired. Heâ<80><99>s been told to stop doing what he does best because heâ<80><99>s just too damn stubborn. Idiocy, impairment, and illness are his â<80><9c>Three Iâ<80><99>sâ<80> now.

Now Iâ<80><99>m not here to bash Angle. In fact, I admire and respect everything he has done. But like every hero, he has a flaw. A flaw that has consumed him, and made him suffer. And thatâ<80><99>s his stubbornness.

Yet in the past, his stubbornness worked for him. It drove him to national fame and made him win an Olympic Gold Medal in 1996. He did this even though his doctors told him to hang up his boots and heal his broken neck. But this is Kurt â<80>~freakinâ<80><99> Angle! He wonâ<80><99>t do that!

So being stubborn worked for him. So why not keep being stubborn? It seemed to work, since if anyone ever doubted him, he could give into his flaw and milk it for all its worth. This also got him a job with WWE. Again, his doctors told him that professional wresting was the last thing he needed for his neck. He didnâ<80><99>t care, and he went right ahead and competed. Once wrestling for WWE, he was told numerous times to sit out and heal, or take it easy. Nope! He was going to win those damn belts!

And he did. So why would he stop being stubborn? It gave him the everything! Unfortunately in time, he would lose it all as well.

Angle can be compared to Darth Vader from Star Wars. As Anakin Skywalker, Vader realized that his fear of loss gave him tremendous power. However, the more he gave in, the more he fell to evil. This in turn caused him great suffering. His power became his undoing, and he found himself with a lifetime of essentially being a cripple and alone. Now Iâ<80><99>m not calling Angle evil, per say. But he has been evil to his body. He has tapped into his stubbornness for far too long. Now he is suffering the consequences.

Kurt Angle has to sit home and repair himself. For the first time in his life, he isnâ<80><99>t in control of his destiny anymore. While this may seem good that Angle has been commanded to take it easy, it isnâ<80><99>t in his nature to listen. Heâ<80><99>ll be wrestling again in no time.

Now we have all read the interviews and the reports. Angle himself has apparently said this break is good for him in order to get his head, body, and personal life together. He said that he will use this time to better himself and come back brand new.

However, Angleâ<80><99>s history says otherwise.

How long will he be able to endure sitting at home? For someone as intense and stubborn as Angle, there is no reason for him live in that mundane existence.

For the past week since the announcement of Kurtâ<80><99>s release, fans have been making wagers on whether or not Kurt Angle will show up in TNA, Japan, or somewhere else. When his no-compete clause comes to an end, heâ<80><99>ll be able to make that decision.

Now, if you read his interviews and thoughts, it seems that on the surface Angle will do none of this. Heâ<80><99>ll stay at home and do whatâ<80><99>s best until he sorts everything out. But as said earlier, history has proven this wrong before. Kurt Angle can not stand to have someone dictate his life to him. Even when itâ<80><99>s for the best he wonâ<80><99>t listen and keep going. He certainly never listened to his doctors. What makes this situation any different? His impending divorce? That didnâ<80><99>t stop him before. His neck? That didnâ<80><99>t stop him before. He wonâ<80><99>t stop. Nothing will stop him.

Now at first, I was dismissing these claims that Kurt Angle would wrestle elsewhere. But when I sat down and actually thought about the situation, it seems that these people have a point. Judging by Kurtâ<80><99>s stubborn history, he will do everything it takes to make an impact. While it is logistically out of the question at this point that Kurt will wrestle elsewhere, we canâ<80><99>t say he wonâ<80><99>t at least try to eventually make it.

He has to prove to the world that he still has it. That heâ<80><99>s the best. In many circles, he already has that reputation. But thatâ<80><99>s not good enough for him. Itâ<80><99>s not in his nature to accept being told he canâ<80><99>t do something. In all honesty, if Kurt shows up in TNA or elsewhere, I wonâ<80><99>t be incredibly surprised.

Of course, making a move is not in his best interests, both on a personal and professional level. He will hurt himself more, and he will tarnish his connections with WWE. However, we all know Kurtâ<80><99>s been stubborn before, and nothing is stopping him now. Am I saying for sure that Kurt will make a move like this? No, Iâ<80><99>m not. But none of us should be surprised if he does. In fact, we should almost expect him to do this.

In any event, good luck Kurt Angle. We will see you back someday; itâ<80><99>s just a matter of when and whereâ<80>¦


If you just read this, thanks for your time! I tried a different style with this column, and Iâ<80><99>m anxious for your thoughts and feedback! So please donâ<80><99>t hesitate to give me those! Iâ<80><99>m open to any conversation, criticism, or thoughts and I love talking to readers, so by all means, send me your feedback!


AIM: Last Ride 417

Until next time, this has been From the Eye of the Dragonâ<80>¦

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