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Thoughts on Kurt Angle & TNA

By Sheldon Goldberg | September 25, 2006

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By Sheldon Goldberg

Sheldon Goldberg is the President and co-owner of both New England Championship Wrestling and World Women’s Wrestling. He is based out of the Boston, Massachusetts area.

The sad part about following pro wrestling these days is that nothing seems shocking anymore. The many deaths and tragedies that professional wrestling has endured over the past 20 years makes almost any story of any magnitude a numbed sting rather than a jarring jolt.

So it is with TNA’s signing of Kurt Angle. Why am I not shocked?

Because desperate people do desperate things, and from all accounts Kurt Angle is desparate. Desparate to control the pain that ravages his body. Desparate to be the absolute best at this form of wrestling, no matter what the consequences.

I’ve read numerous columns and opinions from a variety of sources. The sujects range from “shame on TNA” and “they should be cursed and go out of business”, to “poor Vince McMahon got scammed by Kurt Angle and his manager.”

Everyone I talk to refers to professional wrestling as “the business.” So let’s look at this strictly from a business perspective.

TNA needs to do things that will grab the public’s attention. So, they sign Vince Russo. No comment there. And they sign Kurt Angle, who is arguably one of the most marketable athletic performers alive. No question TNA needs a Kurt Angle even for a short term boost. People will watch TNA who don’t normally watch purely out of curiousity. But what is that curiosity really going to mean in ratings? And can they sustain whatever bump they get? Whatever the answers turn out to be, signing Kurt Angle is a major plus for TNA.

As for Vince McMahon, trust me on this, Mr. McMahon is not dumb. Nobody scams Vince McMahon. Vince allows a blue chip talent like Kurt Angle to walk out the door, because that is what is best for business. A strung out, drugged up, and injured Olympic Gold Medalist is not good for business. A man who will not follow a company’s desire to help him by taking him out of the mix until he heals is not good for business.

Professional wrestling is a work. And pro-wrestling is about the wrestlers. You get no bonus for continuing to batter yourself until you are useless. You cannot promote the incapacitated. My belief is that Vince McMahon tried to get to Angle and when he saw that he wasn’t getting through, he had no choice but to cut his losses. I am also willing to bet that it was a difficult thing for Mr. McMahon to handle.

Will I watch Kurt Angle on TNA? Probably. That is what this is really about. In spite of whatever moral or humane outrage we may have, if Kurt is there we will most likely watch.

Topics: All Topics, Pro-Wrestling, Sheldon Goldberg, TNA, WWE | 3 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

3 Responses to “Thoughts on Kurt Angle & TNA”

  1. Mr.Roadblock says:

    Vince knew he couldn’t let Kurt Angle die on his watch. A guy like Eddie Guerrero is a shame, but it’s really only big news to wrestling fans. If Kurt Angle dies in a motel on the road it is a national story. That’s the kind of headline that eventually gets a 60 Minutes piece done on the horrors of pro wrestling. If Kurt dies on TNA’s watch, Vince can play hero.

  2. rabies says:

    When the WWE guys say that Angle was worse than Pillman and Michaels at their lowest, that’s pretty bad.

  3. Like I said in the column, Vince McMahon is not dumb. While I cannot speak with certainty on the subject, from what I glean from Jim Ross’ recent blogs – which are great, by the way – WWE just cut their losses on Kurt. I’m sure they did their best to help him and the release was the last resort.


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