I sat down last night after putting a certain Norwegian angel to bed and wrote my latest article for Camel Clutch Blog (cheap plug, Mick Foley would be proud!) and I realized I'd lost my touch with the business over the last week. So in that vain, I went onto a trusty wrestling website and began to rummage through the headlines. The one that caught my eye immediately and nearly became my blog topic was the news of Kurt Angle being arrested on DUI charges.
Here we go again, it wasn't but three years ago or so that Kurt was being put into custody on ANOTHER suspicious alcohol related instance while driving and now it appears nothing's changed. The worst part of this whole thing is the fact that he's TNA's World Champion as of now, meaning that in all intents and purposes he's the face of the company. Then again this is TNA we're talking about, the same company that thought having Adam "Pacman" Jones win a title was a smart business move. Nonetheless, this puts TNA in yet another unfortunate bind. With the OTHER alcohol related auto incident with Matt Hardy still fresh, this makes TNA look like a Betty Ford clinic. Just look at the last six months and you'll see a plethora of TNA's top guys succumbing to substance issues.
This is a huge reason TNA's days in my eyes are numbered. If you can't even find a top guy that isn't a complete and utter fuck up then what do you have as a company? Furthermore, when you take said substance issues and you add on god awful booking you have the remnants of WCW in 2001. That being a shell of a wrestling company. Honestly the more I see of it, the more I'm convinced Dixie Carter and friends are writing a shitty Spinal Tap in wrestling form. I hate to see Kurt Angle's personal life on blast so loudly but honestly, he needed to think about this. With a supposed desire to train for next year's Olympic games, you wonder what Kurt's mental state really is. He's a phenom of an athlete but I worry that Kurt has horrible mental prowess. I in no way am stating this in a hateful manner, I myself have utmost respect for Kurt's accomplishments in life and in the pro wrestling realm and that more than anything is why I've written this diatribe. More than anything it's an anonymous fan's account of how Kurt Angle's fell into obscurity since leaving WWE and joining the madhouse of Total Nonstop Action. I sincerely hope this doesn't ruin Kurt but by his track record I can see his appeal waning quite severely.
The biggest gripe here to me is the management of TNA. To me if you have three of your most notable stars involved in substance related legal and social issues, it's time for a wellness policy to be in effect. That doesn't mean necessarily drug tests but at the very least cerebral monitoring regularly. In a sport with rich history in premature death and psychosis this is a problem. I am too sick and tired of seeing superstars I grew up with dying far too young because of a lack of help given to them for their vices. In my eyes, TNA and Dixie Carter have perpetuated these issues with a containment policy of just "letting it be." WWE did the same thing in the 80's and many of the notable figures of that time are dead or severely injured. I see the trend continuing decade by decade and I believe that TNA, most of all the whole sport, needs to take a stand and be conscious of the issues at hand.