Archive for the 'Wrestling' Category


The Rock: Here’s to Remembering Where You Came From

When you mention ‘professional wrestling’ in most common settings, you’ll undoubtedly generate snickers and nervous laughter.  “You believe that stuff is real??”  And for those superfluous consumers (who probably can’t watch Family Guy or South Park without constantly reminding themselves that “it’s a cartoon!”) they’ll probably never understand this post.  But joke as you may, wrestlers (professional and amateur) are about as well-conditioned as any athletes in the world.  I’d argue that running around a ring and taking body slams for five nights a week with no off-season goes up against any football, basketball or even boxing schedule.  (Even boxers prepare for months before a fight.)  Regardless of whether the outcome is pre-determined, the conditioning is real.  So in that sense, it’s about as real as any other physical sport.

As the film The Wrestler revealed to many, the road to the squared circle isn’t always paved with confetti and gold shiny belts.  For every Hulk Hogan there has to be a Frank Williams and for every Andre the Giant, you’ve got to have a Domenic Denucci.  (And if you can only remember two of the four names I mentioned – exactly.)  As wrestling insiders will tell you, there’s very little difference between the huge babyface (read: Hulk Hogan) and the jobber (read: any guy whose name you can’t remember, but saw him get squashed in 3 minutes).  It’s all based on who the promoter feels is better suited for the role.  It’s all about exciting the fans.  So, if you’re blessed enough to have “the look” and to find the favor of the booker (or writer, for those not familiar with wrestling-speak) you should consider it an honor.

When people think of “The Rock” today, many who don’t follow professional wrestling may assume that this handsome, charismatic movie star would have navigated his way to the top regardless of his wrestling past.  But anyone who follows wrestling knows that this is far from the truth.

Dwayne Johnson grew up as the son of Rocky Johnson – former WWF Tag Team Champion and fan favorite.  He grew up around wrestling all his life.  His mother is daughter to WWF Hall of Fame legend Peter Maivia.  After a failed football career in the CFL, Dwayne Johnson decided to try his hand at wrestling.  I can recall the huge vignette-laiden lead-in to his WWF debut.  I was actually at his WWF debut match at Survivor Series in 1996.  For weeks before his appearance, there were montages and teasers that this 3rd generation WWF athlete was going to debut.  And to be honest, his debut was a bust.

We fans suffered through almost a year of the ‘push’ that Rocky (then called “Rocky Maivia” – to leverage both his father and grandfather’s success) got.  He was stiff.  He was boring.  He was a fake hero being forced down our throats at a time when the concept of the anti-hero was growing in popularity.  And I while I don’t know all of the backstage politics, I’m sure there had to be some thought by the writers at abandoning the journey altogether.  However, it was when the decision was made to “turn” Rocky Maivia into a rulebreaker – a so-called “heel” – that the magic started.  Clearly Rocky’s acting talent began to show it’s first signs of birth.  He was entertaining and he slowly turned from ‘the guy you waited for so you could go make a sandwich’ into the main reason to watch the product.  It was amazing to see this dramatic turnaround in what I considered a failed wrestling career.

Fast forward to the mid 2000’s.  The Rock is now the biggest attraction in all of wrestling.  He’s showing up on Mad TV and on <fill in name of popular sitcom or variety show>. 

And it’s at this point where he made the decision that almost no one who came before him has made.

Continue reading ‘The Rock: Here’s to Remembering Where You Came From’


John Cena: Heel Turn Imminent

cena-with-belt.jpgIt’s been quite a while since I’ve really been interested in a wrestling angle.  Actually it’s been a few years since I’ve taken an interest in wrestling at all.  I had high hopes that Vince McMahon would let the ECW brand develop itself, but somehow he just can’t suppress the urge to mix the talent up in each show, causing neither of the three brands (Raw, Smackdown and ECW) to have any real identity.)  For me, the real turning point was the poor way that the acquiring of WCW was handled.  Of course it’s easy to play ‘Monday Morning Quarterback’ now, but even back then I saw the potential – we could have had two completely independently run organizations – each competing with the other.  And then in March, we’d have the real holy grail – a Wrestlemania where champions from each organization would square off against each other.  It would be some event.

But, of course, this is all just a vision of what could have been.

As bad as the product is now (and I can only speak for WWE – I don’t watch TNA), there is one angle that still interests me.  John Cena has always been an enigma to me.  He’s a good looking guy who still looks a bit stiff and strange when I watch him.  I respect his ability, but his style just doesn’t do it for me.  And I’m speaking specifically of his ring style, but that’s not what has me interested.  When Cena moved up from the WWE’s training leagues to wrestle on Smackdown, he quickly became popular.  But the time he got to Raw, he was a big time favorite.  He always got a pop from the crowd when he showed up.  However, fans aren’t quite the same as they once were.  They’re fickle.  An image that is too squeaky clean will draw heat.  For a champion, Cena has, over time, acquired the most heel heat of any top tier champion that I’ve ever seen.  And that’s not surprising considering the fact that WWE hasn’t really pushed a champion who hasn’t had some sort of in-between-a-face-and-a-heel status like John Cena.  Think about it: HHH – once a heel, The Rock – Once a heel, Austin – big time heel at one time, Randy Orton, Bradshaw, Edge….the list goes on.  Not since Bret Hart has a guy come on the scene and and tried to be such a straight edge.  And as for his marketability, it’s working.  But is this being done at the risk of damaging his character’s long-term viability as a draw with older fans?  I’ve never heard a champion who was in an angle as the face get as much heat as Cena.  Never. It has to be embarrassing at this point.

It’s been a long time coming, but I have a sneaky suspicion that this may be the time that the WWE finally bites the bullet.  While they are in need of more babyfaces, Cena’s injury and subsequent absence could provide the perfect opportunity to make his return memorable.  He’s been hyped up during every Raw for the past 4 weeks or so.  They’re showing his baby pictures and having vignettes with his family – it’s just getting sickening.  But it smells like a swerve.  I’d love to see how a heel Cena would try to get true heat with the fans – when he’s actually trying to get heat.  I don’t know that he can be that obnoxious.  He has to do something drastic.  Like take a dump on the marine hat he wears.  Or change his entrance from including a Marine salute to the one fingered salute.  It would be interesting to see.  This would tell us whether this guy really has any character.  This is something I’m really looking forward to seeing.

Looking ahead to this weekend, I certainly won’t be watching the Pay Per View.  I haven’t ordered a WWE event since Wrestlemania about 4 years ago.  But I will anxiously be refreshing the results pages on wrestling sites to see how they handle this situation.  The business is already on the rocks financially with the rest of the market.  And it doesn’t appear to be getting any better – why would you spend $30-50 on a ticket or $30 on a Pay per view when your finances are bad?  The WWE always plays it safe.  They have to.  They owe it to their stockholders.  However, if they really want to draw the interest of fans and cause people like me who have turned away to suddenly get interested again, then there’s only one thing left to do.

Turn…John…Cena…Heel.  Now.


Only One Thing Left To Do: Turn John Cena Heel

About a year ago, I wrote a post entitled, “Keep Your Head Up, Cena”.  I’m not the biggest John Cena fan in the world.  Not by a long shot.  But as cliche’ as it sounds, I have a tremendous amount of respect for him.  He respects the sport.  He has explosive energy.  I was truly amazed and inspired when he came back after major shoulder surgery in considerably less time than was predicted and seemed to be in the best shape that I’d ever seen him in.  He’s young, good-looking, smart — he would seem to be the champion that wrestling fans could really mark out for big time.

So why then are we booing him out of the building?  (I say “we”, because I’m just as guilty as everyone else.)  I don’t like Cena.

Since I wrote the post, I’ve been trying to make sense of the “Cena hate” that seems to have followed him throughout every arena in every live WWE taping.  It’s funny — I watched Raw a few weeks back and it opened with an interesting experiment.  The show opened with three simple head-shots of the three main title contenders at Wrestlemania: Randy Orton, HHH and Cena.  With nothing but a camera pointed and closed in on their faces, the show began with the first shot — HHH.  Total face pop.  The fans went crazy.  Then the camera pans to Randy Orton — as you would expect, classic heel heat.  But then the camera pans to John Cena…  I’d like to say the reaction was “mixed”.  Maybe it’s that the males are drowning out the females.  But whatever the reason, they just kicked in a boo about as loud and as passionate as I heard for Orton.

It’s amazing to think back to all of the guys that we cheer and all of the reasons that they’ve given us NOT to do so.  We love HHH — yet he’s probably the guy who has railroaded more guys from getting the top spot as a McMahon-by-marriage than anyone else.  We love Ric Flair — but this is the same guy who was part of the crew that held down Steve Austin and so many others in Georgia.  We cheer for Shawn Michaels — despite his involvement in the biggest shoot ever captured on live TV – the Montreal Screw Job.  (“Shawn were you in on this?” “No Bret, my hands are clean of this one, I swear!”)  And hey, I love the guy too.  He might be the only reason why I’m thinking of watching Wrestlemania.  And the list goes on… so many guys who get the glory despite a record less deserving of applause.

So what is it about John Cena that’s so bad? Continue reading ‘Only One Thing Left To Do: Turn John Cena Heel’


No Apologies

My spirit went through a range of emotions (as I’m sure they did most wrestling fans today), as far as my thoughts about the events surrounding the death of Chris Benoit, his wife and his poor son. My job is pretty demanding, so it doesn’t really afford me the opportunity to peek my head up and take a look at what’s going on in the world until about mid day. My boss is a wrestling fan (or at least he was part of the period of time between the mid 80s – late 90s when everybody was a wrestling fan.) In making conversation with him, I asked, “Hey, I know you don’t really watch anymore, but do you know who Benoit is?” His response kinda threw me a bit. “Man, I don’t really believe he did what they said he did.” What they said he did?? (At this point I was still living under the assumption that the family died of carbon monoxide ingestion or something else — no less tragic, but certainly more digestable.) At his response to my question, I was immediately prompted to check out the wrestling sheets — but clearly I didn’t even need to go that far. When my homepage went to, there it was: “Wrestler Chris Benoit kills wife, son and then, self.” I just sat and stared for a few minutes. But one thing I certainly didn’t do was let my emotions turn to hate.

I’ve always been a proponent of keeping a respectable distance between those who we call our “heroes” and subsequently have never even met, least of all had the opportunity to share a relationship with. If God taught me anything by allowing me to meet Bob Backlund after a childhood of idolizing him (no disrespect, Mr. Backlund) it’s that you can rely on someone for inspiration, but don’t cross the line of believing that you actually know the person. I would have never thought that someone who I cheered as much as the Ultimate Warrior could have been such a judgmental spirit in the form of his real self, Jim Helwig. It all basically goes back to the thing that I said about Michael Richards — you can be dissapointed by what he said and how he reacted, but certainly that doesn’t change the fact that what he did entertained you. Same wth Elvis. Same with Isaiah Washington. Who knows how anybody truly carries themselves when nobody’s looking? The answer is simple — we don’t. Continue reading ‘No Apologies’


Chris Benoit

Life is such a precious gift.  Sometimes we don’t even realize it.  Today I come home, all pumped up about the fact that there are only a few days left until the launch of the iPhone.  I also gave some thought to the Vince McMahon piece that I finished last night.  As hard as I was on Vince, I think given the situation it was an appropriate commentary.  One of the things that I talked about what what we do in the event of a real untimely death.

Tragically tonight as I came home to just turn on Raw to see how horribly they would continue this whole “McMahon death” angle, I had the TV on mute.  As I turned it on, I was kinda sickened to see John Cena crying.  “How far are you going to carry this stupid angle?” I thought.  “Now you’ve got Cena crying….and you must have really pushed him hard, because the guy is really balling.”  As I watched the rest of the promo with my arms folded, I heard Cena say, “We love you Chris.”  Chris?  Chris??  As I rewound the Tivo recording, I saw the footage of knife-edge chops — in reverse — and my heart sank.

For one, I have to commend Vince.  For all the dirt I kicked on him just one post away, he did the right thing.  He came out from under this stupid angle and was the first face that we saw.  Total kayfabe.  Totally appropriate.  Classy.  In some ways it’s what he had to do, but he could have very well had someone else speak on behalf of the WWE.  Jim Ross could have kicked off the show.  But Vince, you did what was right and let’s hope this represents a change.  He didn’t even have a show.  The arena is empty and they are doing the right thing in paying tribute.

As for Chris, I still don’t understand what happened.  The news report on says that investigators are looking into the cause of death.  Carbon monoxide?  Who knows.  Who cares at this point.  Tragically, one of the most enthusiastic and energy packed wrestlers is no longer among the living here on Earth.

I feel bad talking about the wrestler Chris Benoit because there’s a bigger problem here.  Chris didn’t die alone.  His wife — someone who fans well knew as “Woman” died as well.  Nancy was known to wrestling fans since the 80s and I’m sure Kevin Sullivan is somewhere crying as well (despite what folks may think of his management skills).

And worst of all is the loss of his son Daniel.  I just don’t know what to say.

I remember before I had even seen Chris Benoit, I heard all of this hoopla and wondered who the hell he was.  When this guy came from behind the curtain not even my height, I had to wonder if I was looking at the right guy.  It wasn’t long until I saw him kick with such intensity that I was definitely looking at the right guy.  The biggest thing about him that impressed me is that as much as he was fun to watch in the U.S., watching his tapes from his New Japan Pro Wrestling career as Wild Pegasus was such a drastic change.  To watch him adapt like a chameleon — equally as entertaining and equally as intense but just completely different in terms of the style — was so impressive.

I realize that this isn’t anyone’s fault and that if the Lord calls you home, then it was definitely your time (and I honestly believe that), but I just don’t know if I can write another one of these posts.  I can’t bear to turn on Raw and see a still shot with someone’s birth and death year separated by a hyphen.  Guerrero was enough.  Owen was shocking.  Curt Hennig was devastating.  Sherri the other day was depressing.  It’s just getting old.  You pray that for these folks to spend their lives entertaining us and falling on their back and bruising their bodies every week that hopefully they would get the chance to spend quality retirement time with their families someday.  I pray that God would receive Chris and his family and comfort all of those who actually knew him — especially those outside of wrestling —


McMahon: Now You’ve Gone Too Far

Vincent Kennedy McMahon — the man who’s most responsible for the shape that professional wrestling has taken over the past twenty-five years. He’s done it with hard work and sweat. It wasn’t easy going to his dad and offering to take over the company in his thirtysomething years — an incredibly ballsy move that would prove to be the single biggest event that changed the industry. Gone was the gentleman’s agreement between territories that talent be shared between them and that clear and respected boundary lines be drawn. (“This is the ‘New York’ territory — that over there’s the Georgia territory”) Vince had visions of turning this whole thing from an industry of separated territories into one large media enterprise.

Getting to that place where the WWE has become one of the most recognized forms of entertainment in the world hasn’t been easy. And with all of the criticism that Vince has received over the years, most of the time I’ve been behind him. I’ve told folks to just “look the other way”. ‘Hey, it’s just wrestling. It’s entertainment. See? It’s right there in the name….World Wrestling Entertainment‘. So when he made the decision to trick Bret Hart and insult the audience by having Bret falsely lose hit title onscreen, I was behind him. (“Vince is right — Bret should have done the ‘time-honored tradition’). And when Vince teased a Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Mike Tyson fight for Wrestlemania, again, I looked away. Not to mention the decision to continue the pay per view despite Owen Hart losing his life needlessly doing a stupid entrance as a gimmick character. Then there was the Steve Austin vs. Brian Pillman ‘gun incident’. More recently we had the Vince McMahon starting his own religion “McMahonism”. Putting Eddie Guerrero’s wife in an angle only months after her husband’s death. Grandstanding Melanie Pillman in front of a national television audience only hours after learning that her husband and father of her children had suddenly died. And then there was the Billy and Chuck ‘gay marriage’ thing. The fake suicide scenes of WWE referee Tim White only a few weeks after Eddie Guerrero’s death. Destroying the legacy of ECW. Letting Shane McMahon wrestle. I can go on….

…and most of this was done for the sake of keeping our attention and keeping the spotlight on the WWE. In a word, ratings. And lately for me, wrestling isn’t quite what it once was. There was a time when I wouldn’t miss Raw. Now I just fast-forward through the matches to see the finishes and get to a sense of the angles and the storylines to see what’s going on. It’s just not interesting anymore. No big powerhouse names — no Austin, no Rock, no HHH….no damn reason to watch the show. Well, there are a few bright spots. But by and large things have been pretty stale. I had absolutely no urge to watch Wrestlemania this year. I’m sure I’m not alone. Their receipts and revenue has to be suffering a bit….maybe. And so it’s at times like these when we get to see some of our most outlandish and ridiculous ‘must see T.V.’ events that have contributed to people likening Vince to a modern day P.T. Barnum….drawing us into the tent to see the bearded lady for our own eyes.

But there are times when the boundaries of taste are completely disregarded. And this is certainly one of those times. Continue reading ‘McMahon: Now You’ve Gone Too Far’


Hold Your Head Up, Cena

cena-with-belt.jpg John Cena will probably be one of those WWE Champions whose legacy will be tarnished a bit. He’s champion at a time when the entire climate of our country tends toward the cynic. And while he’s not the greatest talent that I’ve ever seen, the belt has been put on wrestlers that are far worse than Cena. But more than his talent and the cynicism that has made it’s way into wrestling fan’s minds, I think it’s the lack of a great rival that will either make or break Cena’s legacy. Ali had his Frazier. Hogan had his Andre the Giant. Shawn Michaels had Bret Hart. HHH, Rock, Austin and Foley all had each other to feud against. But it seems like right now the best feud that we’re seeing out of Cena is Edge. The book isn’t closed on Cena, but his legacy is certainly in question.

I’ve never been a ‘John Cena’ fan. He started on Smackdown when I had stopped watching. I had heard about his “white rapper” gimmick and I thought it was all kinda silly. When he made his debut on Raw, I was kinda excited to see what he was made of. And he was o.k. A solid talent. Good mic skills. But to me he lacked that extra something special. I didn’t hate him — but I wasn’t about to run out and buy a ‘Thuganomics’ t-shirt either.

I guess I wasn’t alone. At some point early this year, fans started to punk Cena out. Much like the Rock years before, Cena became the target of merciless boos. It wasn’t quite as bad as what the Rock got, but it’s getting there. I’ve never been in the squared circle, but I’d have to say that one of the most difficult things for a wrestler is to be labeled a babyface or fan favorite when the fans are adamantly opposed to you. The entire flow of the match becomes weird. And clearly you can see that it affects the way that guys are able to concentrate. But amidst “Cena Sucks” chants, I’ve been impressed with the way that Cena has handled this difficult situation. Continue reading ‘Hold Your Head Up, Cena’


A Plea to The Rock (and All Other Wrestlers): Please Stop Making Token Movies


I have a tremendous amount of respect for the former wrestler known to the world as “The Rock”. People know about Dwayne Johnson’s success as a wrestler, but many don’t realize some of the tall challenges he had to face. His plans of being a football player out of college didn’t quite pan out. He played in the Canadian Football League for awhile. And upon making the decision to start wrestling, he trained for a few years and then after spending time in one of the WWE’s minor league equivalents under the name Flex Kavana, he made his debut in the WWE in 1996.

Entering the WWE would have seemed to be an easy road. After all, Dwayne’s father was WWF favorite Rocky Johnson, his grandfather was WWF hero High Chief Peter Maivia. And more importantly, Dwayne grew up around wrestlers — it was common for him to spend time in the locker room of Madison Square Garden or The Philadelphia Spectrum watching Andre the Giant, Hulk Hogan and Pat Patterson suit up next to his dad. But unfortunately the road wasn’t quite so easy. When he was presented to WWF fans in 1996 as a babyface (or a “fan favorite”), his skills were still a bit raw and unfinished. And at that time, fans’ definition of what a “hero” was had been changing. People found more favor in rooting for the dark and mysterious Darth Vader than they did the once popular Luke Skywalker. And similarly, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Diesel and other WWE bad guys turned good were getting a lot of “shine”.

I was present for Survivor Series 1996 in Madison Square Garden when “Rocky Maivia” made his debut. Rocky’s first match had been hyped for a few weeks. He came out to a rousing reception and actually helped his team win the Survivor Series that year. But as time went on, people started growing tired of the “good guy” image. After a few weeks of tolerance, you could start to hear the boos intensify with each match. At one point it began to get really embarrassing — “Rocky Sucks” and “Die Rocky, Die” chants could be heard from the front row to the rafters. People just didn’t like the character.

Rocky’s saving grace came when the WWE wrote him out of the babyface role and had him become a heel (bad guy) and join the Black militant group, “The Nation of Domination”. It was at that time that his creativity was allowed to flow. Slowly fans began to find humor in Rocky’s interviews and charisma in his actions. Within a few years Rocky went to the top of the card and won the WWE Championship seven times. He became one of the biggest starts that the WWE ever saw. Quite a change from “Die Rocky, Die” and “Rocky Sucks” chants. Continue reading ‘A Plea to The Rock (and All Other Wrestlers): Please Stop Making Token Movies’


In Wrestling, Sometimes "Silence is Golden" up in the 70’s as a wrestling fan, the sport was very different from what we see today. Some of the changes were for the good, but many detracted from my enjoyment. One of the biggest changes I’ve seen over the years has been with regard to wrestlers doing interviews.

Back in the 70’s, very few wrestlers had great “mike skills”. I recall Jesse Ventura providing some entertaining interviews with Vince McMahon holding the microphone. However, the majority of the interviews were unscripted and poorly executed (as compared to the TV-time conscious efforts of today). Guys would repeat themselves and blank out in the middle of sentences. It was pretty bad. But the great thing about wrestling in those days is that you didn’t need to have great mike skills. There was a tool created to do all the talking for you. It was called your manager. Some of the greatest wrestlers said very few words while guys like Bobby Heenan, The Grand Wizard of Wrestling, Fred Blassie, Jimmy Hart and Lou Albano stood next to them and shouted for 3 minutes about how their guy was going to tear the challenger apart.

But thinking back to some of the most menacing wrestlers at that time…. guys who seemed ten times as scary as Kane or the Undertaker…. guys who you didn’t want to ever meet in a dark alley….. legitimate nut-jobs…. were the guys who didn’t say a word.

I remember a guy who was billed as “The Mongolian Giant”, Killer Khan. Killer Khan was about 6’8″, of Asian descent and bald. During interviews, Khan would look into the screen while his manager (I think it might have been Fred Blassie) would talk. The kicker was that during the interviews and the matches, Khan would scream occasionally and slap himself in the face. Hard. To this day, I would freak out if I saw Killer Khan. And to have him speak in fluent English would completely ruin the effect.

Lots of folks remember Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka as the man who jumped off the top of a steel cage and pounced on top of Don Muraco. However, I recall the guy who made a splash on the scenes in the WWF in 1980 under the tutelage of Lou Albano. Back then, Snuka would contort his face and twitch his body every so often. He never spoke. Only looked strangely into the camera… as if he wasn’t quite sure whether his reflection was another guy on the inside of the lens. Of course we now know that Jimmy Snuka probably could talk, but he was so much more horrifying when he didn’t talk. Continue reading ‘In Wrestling, Sometimes "Silence is Golden"’


In Salute of Kurt Angle

I was rather shocked this week while perusing the Internet to find out that Kurt Angle had asked for his release from World Wrestling Entertainment (and equally as shocked to find out that it had been granted to him.) I had heard the rumors of Kurt making a few rumblings behind the scenes about wrestling for the ECW brand or that his body might have been under an unusual amount of stress. There were also a few rumors that he might have been having some marital trouble or other related trouble within his family. Whatever the reason, I was taken aback to hear the news and it made me reflect on what might be the close of a short but incredible career.

Unlike many other wrestlers, Kurt made the rather unusual decision early in his career to wrestle under his given name — Kurt Angle. I remember first hearing the name, “Kurt Angle” — I kinda thought it was a joke. An “angle” is wrestling insider talk for “a made up storyline”. (For instance, currently the WWE is playing up the angle that Vince McMahon’s spirit has been broken as a result of the actions of the faction, Degeneration X.) But Kurt was certainly no “angle” in that sense of the word. He was actually more “real”, if you will, than most of the other wrestlers on the roster. While “The Rock” was playing the superstar and “The Undertaker” was playing, well, an undertaker from the “dark side”, Kurt Angle was pretty much himself. Winner of a Gold Medal for Wrestling at the 1996 Olympic Games, Kurt wore the medals to the ring. (Initially he wore the actual medals from Atlanta, but after realizing the risk, duplicates were created.)

Kurt could have probably had a successful career on the strength of his Gold Medals alone. However, the “angle” that the WWE created for him was one of slight arrogance. Kurt was to play up the fact that he was so great that he’d become a hero to people all around the world. He would come out and shoot promos and give interviews to highlight his program for success: “the three ‘i’s” as he called them — “Intensity, Intelligence and Integrity”. Kurt would do interviews as if he were the guy on the Wheaties box speaking to kids who wanted to grow up to be like him. And while the promos were a bit obnoxious, you certainly couldn’t argue with success. Kurt had won the WWE Intercontinental Championship, the now-retired European Championship and finally the WWE Championship — all within the first year of joining the WWE. Continue reading ‘In Salute of Kurt Angle’