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Kurt Angle’s future

By Zach Arnold | September 1, 2006

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By Zach Arnold

Update: Dave Meltzer notes that Kurt Angle is now being buried by the WWE. Either this is a strange angle or else they are really concerned that he is going to work in fact for TNA.

In response to a Dave Ditch article about the former Olympian’s future in the fight game, I wanted to touch upon one specific quote that Ditch wrote.

What will keep Angle out of Japan isn’t a Japanese fear of his health, or a fear of a Lesnar repeat; it will be cold hard cash. Angle has achieved the kind of ‘legend’ status that would allow him to wrestle a light schedule in WWE while still making full-time money. Since full-time WWE money is still the best deal any wrestler can get, you’d better nix any visions of Angle vs Kobashi.

I completely disagree with this sentiment. As I’ve predicted before to other Fight Opinion writers, I fully expect HERO’s to offer Angle a big money deal (perhaps to even face Brock Lesnar, which would immediately become a big match for K-1 to market themselves to the American audience on PPV). And if K-1 doesn’t come through, it will be NOAH (who has wanted to book Kurt Angle for a big show for a couple of years now). I fully expect NOAH to make a play, even if it means 6-figures USD, to book Angle vs. Kobashi (Saitama Super Arena or Tokyo Dome level) or Angle vs. Sugiura (Nippon Budokan level). NOAH would need to convince Nippon TV to finance Angle’s entrance into the company, and I would assume a network producer would strongly consider it. Angle was by far the top drawing card for the WWE Japan tour shows in the past.

Despite our wishes for Angle to take time off and probably not return to pro-wrestling, the fact is that he’s reportedly going through a divorce and it means he needs money shortly. Angle has always loved wrestling in WWE, so the chances of him burning a bridge by going to TNA seem to be minimal. However, as writer Dave Meltzer has pointed out, we could very well see TNA make a substantial offer to Angle — only for Angle to turn around and give McMahon one last chance to bring him back to WWE “on a lighter schedule.” In the mean time, Angle could get the blessing of McMahon & Johnny Ace by working in Japan and not working directly for the competition in TNA.

The irony of Angle vs. Kobashi is that it would be an epic encounter for many reasons. Besides these two mega-stars in the same ring, both wrestlers are also extremely famous for being broken down and crippled — and yet continuing at a pace that is not even human. The parallels between both men is very, very scary.

Topics: All Topics, HERO's, Japan, Pro-Wrestling, TNA, WWE, Zach Arnold | 11 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

11 Responses to “Kurt Angle’s future”

  1. ditch says:

    I think a big part of it will be whether WWE would be willing to give Angle a deal like Hogan or Foley, ie 6-figures US per match. If that happens Angle would take it in a heartbeat, being able to make a million a year for ten or so matches instead of a couple million for hundreds. Only K-1 could really approach that kind of offer. I really think that it would take $200,000 or more per match before Angle would train for a wrestling comeback in Japan. Is NOAH really going to put up that kind of cash?

  2. Rohan says:

    I presume with his nerve damage he couldn’t fight in the US? Although there are some pretty harsh examples of people going in with injuries to fights and hiding them I don’t think having hardly any strength in one arm would be missed? Has Don Fyre fought in Nevada since his neck got wrecked?

    It would be a seriously bad thing if Angle died pumped up on steroids and painkillers whilst on MMAs watch. I’ve been going on for years about how Angle (and potentially Benoit) are the next Dynamite Kid – any organisation that employed him would risk even worse than.

  3. Bigg Dubb says:

    Angle to MMA won’t happen. The dude has not been competing at an olympic level for some time and he is almost 40 years old. I think that with the injuries that this dude has and the stress his body has been through there is no way that he can compete on a high level.

    Another thing is that this guy is seriously HURT. Let’s let the signature on the retirement papers dry before we start putting him against MMA’ers.

  4. Zach Arnold says:

    How many years have been people declaring Don Frye finished, and yet there he is still fighting in Japan? We have Akebono still fighting. As long as there is no commission in Japan, you will see many fighters who may not be allowed to fight in Japan who can fight there. Do not dismiss it, especially if the money is huge in Japan and Angle has mounting bills to pay.

  5. ditch says:

    On injury in relation to MMA: I’m with Zach. The fight doesn’t need to be in the US *at all*, and there’s no way he would be blocked from competing. Even if he somehow didn’t pass muster, enough palms would be greased, twisted or lopped off to make it happen.

    Dubb: Angle isn’t retired. Maybe he’s had his last match but at this point everyone assumes it’s when and where he returns. Shawn Michaels, Mick Foley and Terry Funk all had matches this year; five years ago saying that would have earned guffaws. Angle is burned out but he isn’t into Bret Hart or Dynamite Kid territory.

  6. Chuck says:

    I don’t know about any of you (except for Zach) but I would LOVE to see Angle vs. Kobashi. At this point, Kobashi is the healthier wrestler it seems (scary, huh?) but I think it would still be a killer match. Not as good as Joe vs. Kobashi, but very good and epic. Maybe like Kensuke Sasaki vs. Kobashi from July Dome Show of last year.

    Angle in MMA? He will get killed. I bet even Josh Haynes would be able to beat Angle at this point. But I would so want to see Kazushi Sakuraba impersonating Angle, and then beating him in the process. Yes, Sakuraba is my all time favorite MMA fighter. Current favorite is probably Gomi.

  7. Zach Arnold says:

    Chuck – Angle vs. Kobashi couldn’t be a bad match unless one of them suffered a serious injury in the ring. Those guys probably wouldn’t be better off for having such a slugfest, but you know it would draw big heat and big money.

  8. Rich says:

    The scariest thing about Angle in MMA is he’d probably actually be decent. Just cuase Kurt has the psychotic mentality where he’d rather die then lose a point, so I could see him actually going in and winning fights. He would never be Fedor or anything like that because he’d probably die before he could get to that level of training. Is it a good idea, no it’s a terrible idea. I’d be stunned if he actually agreed to anything like that but then again all Kurt knows is competition.

  9. Chuck says:

    Okay, new dream match. Kurt Angle vs. Enson Inoue. Both guys are psychotic maniacs who would NEVER submit. I saw Rites Of Passage on DVD (I have the dvd, it’s excellent) and Enson honestly said that he would rather die in the ring than tap out. He has never lost by tap out yet. Just decisions, knockouts, and I think just one DQ.

  10. Ditch says:

    Based on what Meltzer is saying (via Botter on Insidepulse) I’m doing a 180. Angle is LEAST likely to return to WWE, he isn’t taking time off, and he can do whatever he wants in just two months. That means bidding war.

  11. […] Today, Jim Ross has essentially brought up a new version of The Ross Report online. Here’s today’s column. One item that I immediately noticed was his paragraph about Kurt Angle. For those who are ardent readers of Fight Opinion, you know my feelings about where Kurt Angle’s career direction is heading (and all roads point to Japan). As I wrote last week, I fully expected K-1 to make Angle an offer to face Brock Lesnar (perhaps on New Year’s Eve). […]

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