FanDuel - WFBC

August 20, 2009

Wrestling Champ Free On Bail In Pittsburgh But Can't Go Home: In an exclusive interview Wednesday, Olympic gold medalist and professional wrestling champion Kurt Angle said his live-in girlfriend got him arrested on an alleged violation of a protection-from-abuse order after the two had broken up.

posted by BornIcon to olympics at 07:56 AM - 26 comments

Angle has been going down the wrong path for quite some time now, and he is clearly headed for disaster. It's kinda sad in this case, because everyone seems to be able to see it coming, but nobody will do anything about it...in fact, his employer has been catering to his every demand and whim.

If something bad happens, people will look back and see all of the parallels to Chris Benoit (steroid/HGH use, concussions, neck injuries leading to pain pill abuse) and say, "We should have seen this coming." Odd that no one seems to be doing that right now.

posted by TheQatarian at 10:26 AM on August 20

This reads like one of those corny rasslin' scripts played out before and between matches. Is there anything more pitiful than a pro rassler sniveling and crying about having to spend a few hours in jail? Let 'em settle it on the mat! I'm sure they could turn it into a tag team event or something that would sell lots of pay per view to the legion of fans of the poorly scripted, worsely acted, soap opera that is "Pro Wrestling".

posted by mjkredliner at 10:39 AM on August 20

This reads like one of those corny rasslin' scripts played out before and between matches.

True, except that this is real life drama. I have always been a Kurt Angle fan ever since he won the gold medal back in '96. I assumed that he had his life turned around for the better since going thru rehab but in this case, even though all of the facts aren't out yet, it seems as if he's the victim here.

If something bad happens, people will look back and see all of the parallels to Chris Benoit

The Benoit situation was an isolated, although tragic event. To compare the two isn't fair to Angle considering that he is taking prescribed steriods for his injured neck. Benoit on the other hand was allegedly abusing the prescribed "testosterone and other drugs" given to him by Dr. Phil Astin that is now dealing with a 10 year jail sentence for "illegally distributing prescription drugs to patients".

Steriods aren't always used to enhance ones performance in sports or sports entertainment. In Angle's situation, he's actually using steriods to strengthen his neck due to him suffering a broken neck on five seperate occasions, including when he won the Olympic gold medal back in 1996.

posted by BornIcon at 01:24 PM on August 20

I agree that the Benoit and Angle situations are different with regards to how they got the drugs they are using and the apparent legitimacy of how Angle got them. But it doesn't mean that the drug use combined with the concussions isn't having a similar effect on Angle's mental state. The Benoit deal was isolated, albeit gruesome, and I'm not saying Angle is going to do anything like that. But since he got into pro wrestling, he has beaten his wife (who divorced him), then stalked her, then done the exact same thing to the girlfriend he had afterward. His behavior is irrational and dangerous, and he may be having a simliar mental breakdown to what Benoit had, though it is manifesting itself differently. The warning signs all seem to be there (unlike they were with Benoit), but nobody is doing anything but enabling him.

posted by TheQatarian at 02:06 PM on August 20

The warning signs all seem to be there (unlike they were with Benoit), but nobody is doing anything but enabling him.

I disagree. When Angle was with the WWE before he was released and signed with TNA, WWE Chairman and Owner, Vince McMahon had an in-depth conversation with Kurt Angle about his rampant prescription drug use and made a strong suggestion to him to get his life in order and enter himself into rehabilitation before he hurt himself or others.

Over the years, many individuals that have worked for Mr. McMahon in the past or present have let it be known that Mr. McMahon has always had his employees best interest in mind. What an individual does in his own time behind other people's backs is a whole different situation. To say that "nobody is doing anything but enabling him" is not entirely accurate considering that Mr. McMahon did in fact release Kurt Angle from his contract (as per Angle's request) so that Angle can get some help, which Angle admitted before his signing with TNA.

posted by BornIcon at 02:33 PM on August 20

As a pro-wrestling fan myself (Fuck WWE incidentally) this story is so pathetic. TNA are clearly employing Angle against their own policies.

BornIcon: As far as I'm aware Angle did NOT request his release from WWE. What actually happened was Vince ordered him to go to the rehab program WWE has setup for current and former employees, and Angle refused, they fired him, but agreed to not bury him. Then Angle started spouting all these stories, one of which had Vince begging him to stay.

Bear in mind this was all in the wake of Eddie Guerrero's death and Vince and others were genuinely concerned Angle was going to die, quite possibly in the ring, very very soon, and they wanted him as far away from their company as possible.

Never believe a word Angle has said in about the last 3-4 years about anything as the man is clearly fucking insane from all the chemicals he's pumped himself with.

Let's not forget that his wife that he just split with has moved in with Jeff Jarrett, with Angle's kids, and Angle has seemingly got Jeff ousted from the company his Dad and him started! There is a ton more going on with Angle than most people know.

And Benoit was an isolated incident. Pretty much every wrestler death is down to the same problems. Just with Benoit he had suffered so much brain damage from the chemicals and multiple concussions that the Benoit that committed those horrific acts is a vastly different Benoit from the one my wife knew in his Stampede days.

One thing Angle has going for him is the MUCH lighter schedule in TNA. He's not worked into the ground in the same fashion McMahon pushes his workers to an early grave.

mjkredliner: Nice attitude. For the record I don't watch TNA or WWE for the exact reasons you state at the end of your missive. Too fucking stupid with the soap opera nonsense. TNA has 90 minutes of TV, and the average wrestling takes up less than 30 of those. Like tuning into a baseball game and having Days of Our Lives start playing.

Gimme puro, lucha, and some of the US indies like PWG, Chikara, ROH etc... Though to be honest I can count the number of wrestling shows I've watched this year on one hand. MMA on the other hand, I've watched tons. Hell, in the past week I've watched UFC 101, Strikeforce, and about half of the Dream 9 show from earlier in the year.

I've watched no wrestling. And in the wake of the Benoit thing, a lot of fans are the same.

posted by Drood at 03:35 PM on August 20

I will agree with what you said about Vince McMahon, but McMahon isn't really part of Angle's current environment. McMahon did give Angle his release, but instead of getting his life in order, he instead bolted for TNA almost immediately. McMahon may have tried to help Angle, but Angle didn't do anything to help himself; he simply found a new enabler.

Angle's current employer (TNA Wrestling) is just giving him everything he wants, including forcing one of his backstage political enemies -- Jeff Jarrett, who had 30% ownership stake in the company (and might still technically at the moment) -- into giving up his stake in the company and getting his friends removed from the company, primarily because Jarrett (who lost his wife to cancer a year or two ago) is now dating Angle's ex-wife. Why TNA management thinks Angle has the moral high ground here, I have no idea, except that Angle's contract is almost up, and they fear losing their top draw back to WWE. Though why WWE would take him back given what a trainwreck he has become (and not needing any further bad publicity after the Benoit incident), I also cannot guess.

posted by TheQatarian at 03:48 PM on August 20

BornIcon: As far as I'm aware Angle did NOT request his release from WWE

From Angle's Wikipedia page:

On August 25, 2006, he was granted an early release from his WWE contract due to "personal issues." On November 3, 2008, Angle appeared on Howard Stern's Sirius XM Radio program and stated that the reason for his departure from the WWE was that he became addicted to painkillers and the WWE denied him time off to go to rehab.

In early May 2009, the WWE stated that they had actually offered for him to go to rehab before, but he refused, stating he could rehab on the road.

I love my wrestling but you're right Drood, after the Benoit incident, I haven't been much of a fan like I used to be and have watched more MMA matches over pro wrestling. Although I do try to watch Raw or Smackdown when I can or have the time. TNA just doesn't float my boat even with Angle on their roster.

posted by BornIcon at 04:06 PM on August 20

Nice attitude

Thank you. Very hard for me to conjure up sympathy for Mr. Angle at this point, due to all the reasons you all were kind enough to point out.

For the record I don't watch TNA or WWE for the exact reasons you state at the end of your missive.

You mean you actually watch for the stuff that they call 'wrestling" where the outcome is predetermined?

Too fucking stupid with the soap opera nonsense.

You have a better comparism? Comedy, perhaps?

posted by mjkredliner at 04:42 PM on August 20

TNA just doesn't float my boat even with Angle on their roster.

T & A has always floated my boat. I get quite an acute angle to my rooster from it as a matter of fact.

(Thanks BI. I was wondering how I could contribute to this conversation meaningfully. Or maybe I should keep wondering.)

posted by THX-1138 at 04:47 PM on August 20

Kurt Angle said his live-in girlfriend got him arrested on an alleged violation of a protection-from-abuse

Uh, no, you got yourself arrested by breaching a court order. This is like arguing that if you rob a bank it's the bank's fault if you get arrested for the robbery.

posted by rodgerd at 06:09 PM on August 20

I am sure rampant drug abuse in pro wrestling leads to some of the violent behavior perpetrated by these athletes but I also wonder how much of is them buying their own press. Beniot was billed as the Crippler and the Rabid Wolverine and an all around bad mother fucker, fans tended to treat him with awe and spoke his name in hushed tones. His co-workers talked about his Houdini act where he would just shut down and go into that stone faced killer mode when ever anything stressful happened. Its got to be kind of hard to turn that off and go home to dinner with the wife and then have to take out the trash. Benoit choked his own kid to death using his finishing move, I find that pretty fucked up.

I have watched Angel since he has come in the WWF (thats how long ago it was) when he was just a comedy act. Kurt had great comedic timing and probably could have transitioned the same way Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson did. Instead he stayed in this fucked up business that has such a high body count. Angel looks he could be another name on the "list" but isn't so far gone that he can't get out and pull his shit together. I feel like he is at a crossroads and could go either way. If I were him I would get out because he obviously can't handle working in this industry.

I don't think pro-wrestling or WWE kills these people. I do think that life on the road and the traveling gypsy lifestyle could lead to drug abuse, similar to rock stars touring on the road and the perils they face. No one wants to talk about the Chris Jerichos and the Ric Flairs and Lance Storms and the Terry Funks and Tommy Dreamers and Bret Harts who have been very successful in the business and haven't died of overdoses or murdered family members. They made choices while on the road and some may have lost families (Hart and Flair where notorious "ladies men") to divorce but they all got out alive while working for the same guy Angel and Benoit and Andrew "Test" Martin were. These men should be held responsible for their own actions.

If it isn't obvious I am a HUGE pro-wrestling fan who is reluctant to post on this site because of comments like this: You mean you actually watch for the stuff that they call 'wrestling" where the outcome is predetermined? How can you watch movies, you know the ending already written. Yeah I like the wrestling. Some of the backstage stuff is funny or helps build a rivalry but sometimes it also sucks. I like the athleticism and drama in a predetermined match unlike a boxing match that ends in 2 rounds or a 9 second MMA fight. That's what pro wrestling provides that MMA and boxing don't, a guaranteed competitive match. I like MMA and boxing I also like WWE and ROH is that so hard to believe? Pro wrestling is also way more interactive. Bret Hart and Rob Van Dam and the Dudley Boys and Mick Foley have taken more time out of their day to bullshit with me and sign autographs than any member of the Yankees, Knicks or Jets.

Sorry this post is all over the place I just feel pretty passionately about this topic and I really don't think Sportsfilter is the place to discuss it but I just can't help myself.

posted by HATER 187 at 12:29 AM on August 21

Thanks BI. I was wondering how I could contribute to this conversation meaningfully...

Anytime THX, whatever I can contribute to help keep you at the top of your game, is my pleasure.

Uh, no, you got yourself arrested by breaching a court order..

That's what the alleged victim is claiming. Angle's side of the story is backed up by security footage from his gated community video cameras that shows something entirely different. It shows Angle leaving the residence first and Trenesha Biggers following Angle's car in her car, shortly there after.

Benoit choked his own kid to death using his finishing move, I find that pretty fucked up.

That was never found to be true. No evidence was ever found that Benoit used the Crippler Crossface to murder his child. Yes, his son Daniel was choked to death but people assume because Benoit was the murderer, then he must have used the manuever to kill his child. That's just speculation that we'll truly never know the answer to.

I like MMA and boxing I also like WWE and ROH is that so hard to believe?

Not at all. That actually sounds like me since I also enjoy all of those sporting events as well. I'm just a sports fan in general and will give just about any sport the time of day. As long as it keeps me entertained, I'm in.

posted by BornIcon at 07:41 AM on August 21

No evidence was ever found that Benoit used the Crippler Crossface to murder his child.

From what I understand the ME report showed bruising on Daniel's wrist and throat that would be consistent with the Crippler Crossface. I got this information from 2 books, one is by Matthew Randazzo V called Ring of Hell and the other was Benoit by Eric Cohen. Both books were crap but I assume the hard facts must at least be true.

posted by HATER 187 at 11:11 AM on August 21

I did read both those books as well. Cohen's book, Benoit was actually alot better than Ring of Hell but the ME reports doesn't say that it was the Crossface that did in fact suffocate Daniel Benoit, it just states that it's consistent. Who knows? Maybe Benoit did murder his child using his finisher (sorry, no pun intended) but before all of this happened, I was such a huge Benoit mark so I kind of find it hard to believe that Benoit would do such a thing but since he did do what was reported, maybe you're right and he choked his son with the move.

Just thinking about this situation still makes my skin crawl.

posted by BornIcon at 12:02 PM on August 21

Bornicon: PLEASE don't cite Angle's Wikipedia page as proof of anything. I'll take my my proof for Dave Meltzer over that. At least I know Meltz sources his info on Angle from someone OTHER than Kurt Angle:) Angle has spouted utter bollocks ever since his release.

The real bad guy in all this is TNA. They knew the situation with Angle's drug use etc... And yet dived on the chance to pop a rating the instant he was available. And yet here is Angle, clearly on stuff. (The fact he has an RX is irrelevant.) In short, this Angle story completely cuts Dixie's legs off.

mjk: WHAT?!?! Wrestling is pre-determined and pre-arranged? Fuck me! Well I guess I won't watch anymore then. Thanks for opening my eyes. Wait, what? You're telling me that Jason Statham movie I saw was PRE-DETERMINED TOO? WELL FUCK HOLLYWOOD! Guess I'll stop watching movies too.

Seriously dude, wrestling is theatre and anyone who belittles either me or the business is clearly an idiot. I see watching a match as the same as watching Jason Statham punch people in the face. Yes it's staged. No it isn't real. It's a performance. It's fun. So fucking what? It's no different than anything Bruce Lee did in his movies. But you don't hear people going "Oh that's so stupid" do you? I'd like to see you talk to a hardcore Bruce Lee fan that same way about "Enter the Dragon". I'd bring along a matchbox to put your teeth in.

This whole attitude is so ridiculous. Have you ever watched an action movie? Well that's pre-determined, choreographed etc... Except one short fight will often take days to film. Wrestlers do the same thing, except they don't get retakes, they don't get the edit room to make it look good (looking at you, Jason Bourne). They go out there and do it live.

So if you've ever watched and enjoyed one of those "predetermined" action movies, or scripted entertainment of any kind then I suggest you shut the fuck up about something you clearly have no clue about.

As for soap opera... Well Vince claims it's that. A "male soap opera" and all that nonsense, but comedy is more accurate given how BAD it is. It's like a soap opera made by Ed Wood.

Now go throw away everything in your house that is scripted and "pre-determined" since you are so vehemently against entertainment that's like that. You can't have it both ways.

HATER: Given that until recently 'roiding was tacitly encouraged to get "the look" and Vince has a major hardon for big men, yes, you can blame WWE for killing people. Yes, personal responsibility and all that, but if you were at a certain level and were told "If you were bigger..." If you're an impressionable young wrestler, you'd give it a try.

Though I do admit the lifestyle contributes. In most cases painkiller abuse is linked to the death, and that's from the road. So not saying WWE is ENTIRELY responsible, the lifestyle is, but Vince's obsessions with big muscled men is definitely part of it, though thankfully it looks like that might be changing.

posted by Drood at 03:39 PM on August 21

If people enjoy wrestling more power to them, but I think it inspires some ridicule by maintaining the pretense that it isn't staged. It's reality TV in tights.

But you don't hear people going "Oh that's so stupid" do you? I'd like to see you talk to a hardcore Bruce Lee fan that same way about "Enter the Dragon". I'd bring along a matchbox to put your teeth in.

How many hard-core Bruce Lee fans could kick someone's teeth in? Your scenario is as likely as Napolean Dynamite kicking ass with the bo staff.

posted by rcade at 05:33 PM on August 21

yes, you can blame WWE for killing people.

Working for the WWE is a privilege not a right. Anybody can walk at anytime. What about the early 90's when Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels were at the top of the wrestling? WWE focused on smaller talent and wrestlers still used steroids. This is a complex issue and making VKM the bad guy is just a way to simplify the problem. but I think it inspires some ridicule by maintaining the pretense that it isn't staged. It's reality TV in tights.

All you need is some willing suspension of disbelieve, its more like going to the movies then it is like going to a boxing match.

posted by HATER 187 at 11:02 AM on August 22

You're telling me that Jason Statham movie I saw was PRE-DETERMINED TOO?

I see watching a match as the same as watching Jason Statham punch people in the face.

(looking at you, Jason Bourne).

Are these guys related to that Jason fella who wears the hockey mask?

Have you ever watched an action movie?

I make it a point not to, for the most part. Too phony and predictable.

WELL FUCK HOLLYWOOD!

I agree completely, sir.

I'd like to see you talk to a hardcore Bruce Lee fan that same way about "Enter the Dragon". I'd bring along a matchbox to put your teeth in.

Being a fan of Bruce Lee makes you a badass? I wish I'da known that long ago. Does being a wrestling fan do that too? (The highlight of that movie was the appearance of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the rest was pretty laughable. Come to think of it, Kareem wasn't real convincing, either.)

Vince has a major hardon for big men

Well, how 'bout that, wrestling fans.

Seriously dude, wrestling is theatre

And that is the bottom line, I suppose. It may be athletic, but it sure ain't a sport.

posted by mjkredliner at 12:19 PM on August 24

If people enjoy wrestling more power to them, but I think it inspires some ridicule by maintaining the pretense that it isn't staged. It's reality TV in tights

rcade, isn't this something you said when someone clearly had no interest in one of your posts?

"So what is the point of commenting on a link about a sport you have no interest in -- other than to piss people off who do care?"

It may be athletic, but it sure ain't a sport

It's sports-entertainment. It's funny how people that have no interest in wrestling are quick to dismiss it as nothing more than a show. Well, it's a show that people have been interested in since the late 1800's and is still growing strong. People call golf a sport but there's way more physicality in pro wrestling even if it's scripted. Ballet is scripted but people still flock to see a show and ballet is also more physically demanding then golf.

I'm not knocking golf because I watch it every so often (normally more so when Tiger is playing) but don't dismiss wrestling or wrestling fans because we enjoy watching our share of it even though we know that the ending is predetermined, we the fans just don't know the ending which is why we watch, for the entertainment value of it.

posted by BornIcon at 02:28 PM on August 24

rcade, isn't this something you said when someone clearly had no interest in one of your posts?

True, but as an admin I have to read everything.

posted by rcade at 03:24 PM on August 24

Absolutely, but reading every post is different than making a negative comment about a topic that you have no interest in. This topic wasn't necessarily about "reality TV in tights", it's about an individual that's a former olympic gold medalist and current pro wrestler that allegedly violated a protection-from-abuse order.

I'm just saying, no disrespect but am I right or wrong? Isn't that what you said in the Hope Solo post? I'm trying to understand the difference.

posted by BornIcon at 03:41 PM on August 24

Stop derailing this discussion, BornIcon. If you want to talk about the editorial policies of this site, use the Locker Room.

posted by rcade at 06:25 PM on August 24

True, but as an admin I have to read everything.

You must have the patience of a saint

posted by HATER 187 at 10:30 PM on August 24

rcade, it was an honest question. If you feel as if I'm questioning your motives, then I apologize because that was not my intention. No need for this to continue any further.

You must have the patience of a saint

Ditto.

posted by BornIcon at 08:49 AM on August 25

Thanks. I don't mind the questions. We've often had discussions of that kind in the Locker Room.

posted by rcade at 09:23 AM on August 25

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