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Kurt Angle: from Olympic Gold to Mugshots

TNA Wrestling has had their fair share of problems recently and after Impact went off the air last Thursday there was one more thing to add to their list. A TNA wrestler was pulled over and arrested on DWI (driving while intoxicated) charges. The TNA wrestler who faced those charges was Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle. This is his fourth arrest. For those of the readers that don’t know the difference between DUI and DWI, I’ll try to explain it. DUI and DWI is essentially the same thing but in some states they use the two to distinguish drivers intoxicated of alcohol (DWI) and under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI).

Kurt Angle was released on bail and shortly after took to his official Twitter account and here was his statement. TNA President Dixie Carter followed up Kurt Angle’s statement and claim that he was checking himself into a rehabilitation center. She posted a new tweet Monday claiming that Angle has in fact entered the rehab center.

The first thing I have to wonder is, what is the main motivation for his rehab? If you remember when Kurt Angle left the WWE in 2006 it was reportedly because Angle refused to go to rehab due to an addiction to painkillers. I know that he’s had three DUI’s recently and maybe it’s because I’m a huge fan of his, but my hope is that he truly sees this as a problem and he’s not doing this as a sign of “good faith”. I seriously hope that Angle is doing this on his own accord and isn’t being forced by TNA or Dixie. If he is choosing to do this by himself then I wish him all the luck in the world. If he is being forced, then he is not sincere and he won’t kick this habit. He’s only entering the rehabilitation center to show good faith and hopefully get his charges dismissed. Wrestlers and other friends in TNA are claiming that Angle belongs in rehab right now, and are hopeful that it will work out for Angle and finally clean up his lifestyle.

Wishful thinking is telling me that he’s sincere here and he’s not just doing it as a sign of “good faith” in order to get the charges kicked. He’s been caught four times, but he’s probably driven under the influence way more than just those four times. My realistic side tells me that he is doing this to hopefully in his mind skip charges. Kurt is probably ashamed of his behavior, but I don’t think that’s reason enough for him to enter rehab and quit drinking. If it was, he wouldn’t have been drinking on Thursday night at all. I feel bad for Kurt, but he shouldn’t have been behind the wheel while intoxicated again. With that being said, the past is the past, and regardless of how he’s gotten to the point of making the decision, it’s one I’m glad he’s made. He has four children, including two very young less than two years of age and they all need their father.

My next question would be how this rehab stint affects the storylines going further in TNA. Impact was taped for next Thursday so he’ll be on that show but following next week, it will be interesting to say the least to see how they are going to go on without Angle. He’s a vital member of the Main Event Mafia – Ace’s and Eight’s storyline. They have their Hardcore Justice free PPV on Spike in two weeks so will we see a replacement in that match or will it be a handicap match. But all of that is secondary to him getting help. As for Kurt Angle the wrestler, I don’t care about current storylines being changed or ruined. I just care about the health of this man. In the three times I’ve met him he genuinely seems like a nice human being. We all have our demons and my hopes are Angle is able to beat his.

I’ve lost a lot of respect for him regardless. I’d rate Kurt Angle as one of the top wrestlers ever but there are zero excuses for DUI/DWI. I understand he clearly has a problem but that is not a excuse for drunk driving. Let’s face facts, Angle may be in his mid-40’s but he can still put on a five star match every night and make whomever he is wrestling look good. He is the best wrestler in that company and maybe in the world. He’s a sure fire first ballet WWE Hall of Famer and the man could still carry a major championship in any company and bring prestige back to whatever title it is.

I hope he clears his act up before he turns into the next Jeff Hardy. TNA doesn’t care about their performers unless they are Sting or Hogan. See all they’ve done for Jesse and all they let Hardy do. This company is going downhill and I hope that Kurt can clean up and rid himself of these demons before he goes down with it. God Bless Kurt and be safe on your road to recovery. Any true wrestling fan is pulling for you so you can get well and entertain the people who are still watching TNA.

Of course I want to hear your thoughts. Do you think this is a forced rehab sentence from Dixie and TNA? Does Kurt Angle realize he has a problem and chose rehab on his own? Does this affect his legacy or name in your mind? How does this rehab stint affect storylines going further? How would you have handled this information if you were Dixie? What changes to TNA storylines would you make if Angle isn’t available for a lengthy amount of time? Any other thoughts here are welcome.

Brandon Sampson currently blogs for CamelClutchBlog.com about Wrestling and does the weekly Monday Night Raw recap and reaction. Brandon can be found on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/CamelClutchBlogBrandon and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/CCB_Brandon

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