WWE | Pro Wrestling

TNA Soft Justice For Kurt Angle

Kurt AngleTNA Wrestling champion and Olympic gold medalist, Kurt Angle was arrested on Saturday. Angle was arrested for a plethora of things including stalking his girlfriend. Angle was also caught with needles and HGH. Some fans were surprised when he wrestled 24 hours later. Almost everyone was surprised when he walked out of TNA Hard Justice as TNA world champion.

Kurt Angle was arrested in his hometown on Saturday. Angle’s girlfriend, former TNA Knockout Rhaka Khan had filed a protection of abuse order against him. Angle was arrested after allegedly stalking her. Angle was also charged with driving while operating privilege is suspended, prohibited acts-possession, harassment and prohibited acts. Additionally, HGH and needles were found in his car.

This is just another page in the troubled story of one of the greatest wrestlers of this era. Kurt Angle has been haunted by these sorts of demons since reaching the pinnacle of success in the WWE. Angle’s problems got so bad that the WWE let one of their biggest money makers walk away. Angle himself admitted recently that the reason he left the WWE was that they ordered him to go to rehab or he’d be fired.

Angle found refuge with TNA Wrestling. I for one was outraged when TNA signed him. I found it irresponsible for a company to give him a home knowing about his drug and physical conditions. We were all assured he was better and that Dixie Carter would not tolerate any indiscretions. Apparently stalking your girlfriend, beating your girlfriend, and driving around with needles and HGH are okay.

Unfortunately for TNA Wrestling, this all happened the day before their pay-per-view. Angle was in the main-event and is the world champion. There was an initial question as to whether Angle would be allowed to wrestle on the show. Once it was confirmed he would be appearing, everyone assumed he would be dropping the world title. Well I guess any publicity is good publicity for TNA.

I almost don’t have a problem with him appearing on the show. Everyone should be innocent until proven guilty in this country. Angle hasn’t been convicted of anything yet. In 2007 Angle was charged with a DUI. I wrote a scathing blog at the time chastising TNA for continuing to book him as champion with the charge. I received an email from a TNA office employee giving it right back to me, claiming that Angle hasn’t been convicted and should be given the opportunity to clear himself before being punished.

One year later Angle was cleared of all charges in a court of law. I was wrong and the TNA employee was correct. It wouldn’t have been fair for Kurt Angle to face disciplinary actions if he truly felt he was innocent. In a roundabout way I have to applaud TNA for standing by their employee. Too many innocent individuals are convicted in the public these days before they even face a judge.

Once again Angle and his attorney are screaming he is innocent. Angle’s attorney claims it was just coincidence that Angle was in the area of his girlfriend. The attorney says the suspended license is just a result of slow paperwork. He also says that Angle has a perscription for his HGH. Hey, Chris Benoit also had a perscription for his steroids but he was still abusing them.

Looking back on this, I have no problem with him wrestling. Ideally, I think he should be off television for awhile. There is something much different about this case. Right or wrong, Angle is now a public face of domestic abuse. Regardless of what we know or don’t know, the fact is that a judge believed there was enough evidence to grant a protection of abuse order against Angle. Even if he isn’t guilty of the other offenses, an order was issued and this could be an extremely uncomfortable situation for a lot of the women working in the company.

At the same time, keeping the title on him is just ridiculous. Innocent or guilty, TNA is playing with fire here. It sends a terrible message to your locker room, your employees, and your fans. TNA tapes Impact the day after Hard Justice. They could have easily done a 24-hour title change with Matt Morgan or even Sting. Being the champion is a reward and a business decision for all involved. How can anyone be expected to follow any kind of rules when the world champion is in the news for an arrest of this magnitude?

I think Kurt Angle just cost himself millions dollars on top of everything else. There has been a buzz for months about Angle returning to the WWE. Angle’s contract is set to expire in a few months. It was expected that WWE would be a big player in negotiations. I don’t think there is any way that Vince McMahon will invest that kind of money in someone as unstable as Angle. An incident like this over the weekend could have gotten him more than suspended in the WWE. Angle probably would have been fired.

For TNA, I just find it a little ironic when you compare this to the Jeff Jarrett situation. 48-hours before TNA’s last big show, TNA wrestler and executive Jeff Jarrett’s relationship with Angle’s ex-wife Karen became public. Jarrett was immediately suspended, written out of the show, and is allegedly being pushed out of the company for this. In other words, it is okay to beat women, drive without a license, stalk women, and drive around with needles and HGH but don’t you dare date someone’s ex-wife.

I have accused TNA Wrestling in the past of giving pro wrestling drug addicts a safe haven. Several wrestlers with documented cases of WWE Wellness Policy violations went from the WWE to TNA. Shockingly either everyone kicked their habits or there is no strict testing because I have never heard of anyone being disciplined for drug violations. TNA continues to portray this image when the face of the company is also the face of the nightly news.

I do think Angle deserves the benefit of the doubt until he is proven guilty in a court of law. I also hope that TNA Wrestling and Dixie Carter can sleep well at night knowing that they keep lighting the fuse of a ticking time bomb.

Kurt Angle either has the worst luck in the world or a lot of issues deeper that go deeper than a pro wrestling belt.

Kurt Angle crying after being cleared of DUI charges

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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