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411’s WWE 24: Kurt Angle: Homecoming Report – Angle Discusses His Career and Addiction Plus Dixie Carter on WWE TV

July 11, 2017 | Posted by Robert Leighty Jr.
Kurt Angle Hall of Fame 2017

411’s WWE 24: Kurt Angle: Homecoming Report

-There is some hype surrounding this one because it will mark the WWE Television debut of Dixie Carter. These shows are generally fun and this should be no exception.

-We start on the day of the Hall of Fame (03/31/17) and we see Kurt backstage getting ready and deciding what cowboy hat he wants to use in his speech. He tells us he wants to do something different as he has always done something different. They show the comic moments of Angle’s WWE run and he says that the Kurt Angle character always took chances. He felt that he was at his best in the WWE, but thought he would never be back. He thought he burned the bridge beyond repair.

-Show opening

-We are off to Bristol, CT as Kurt is on set with the ESPN SportsCenter AM Crew (Jamie Sire…WOOOO) and he puts one of the co-hosts in the ankle lock.

-After finishing at ESPN he is in a limo on his way to WWE HQ. He says he always wanted to make amends with Vince, and it is eerie for him to be doing this again. He remembers the first time he came to the building and met Vince. That was in 1996 and he says he was nervous. He says Steph was the person that broke the ice as he ran into her first. We see a few minutes of their encounter (and I am hoping based on the RAW that just ended we are finally getting a payoff to their summer romance back in 2000.)

-Next he meets up with Triple H and then takes him to see Vince McMahon. Vince immediately sends the cameras out and tells Kurt to take off his mic as they need to talk privately. That seems to happen a lot when Vince meets guys for the first time or for the first time in years when he welcomes them back. Angle breaks down talking about the reunion and he is just glad to be back home.

-Pittsburgh, PA (Home of your Back to Back Stanley Cup Champions) next as we see Kurt (old footage as he has hair) talking about the buildings his father helped build and how he was killed falling off one of them. They show the newspaper clipping and his father was 55 at the time of his tragic passing.

-Kurt talks about growing up in Pittsburgh and how he came from a long line of wrestlers. All his brothers wrestled and he wanted to be like them. He wasn’t as good as them originally as his first year he went 2-14. By the time he got to High School he got better and started winning State Titles for Mt Lebanon. As a life long Western PA kid who has grown up following all sports in the WPIAL and PIAA this is so much fun to watch. Next Kurt went to Clarion University which is a state school much like the one I attended in California, PA. There he won 2 NCAA Titles and was a runner-up in his junior year.

-At the US Open in 1996 (with footage being shown)Kurt gets thrown and doesn’t want to land on his back to give up points so he goes head first and that is when the neck issues started. He won that match and then the finals to be the US Champion, but x-rays showed that he broke his neck. They actually get his doctor from the University of Pittsburgh as one of the talking heads, and he talks about how much agony Kurt was wrestling in. They basically numbed his neck with crazy amounts of Novocaine and it was enough to get Kurt to Olympic Gold.

-After winning the Gold Medal he had the meeting with Vince and he was offered a 10 year contract worth a piss load of money. He told Vince that as an Olympic Gold Medalist he could never lose and he didn’t hear back from Vince after that. He says that all his brothers and coaches made it a point to tell him not to watch Pro-Wrestling as it was fake and he was real.

-In 1998 he started watching RAW is WAR and he became a big fan of Steve Austin. He realized these guys were world class athletes. He called JR and asked if the contract offer was still good and he was told no, but he could tryout like everyone else. He talks about how hard it was and that after 3 bumps he told his manager he wanted to quit. He was told to just stay the day and he started to pick things up quickly.

-Jim Cornette as a talking head which is awesome and he talks about how Angle was blitzing through training and surpassing guys who were years into the business. After 3 days the WWE offered him a contract and he told JR he would become champion.

-We jump to current day as Angle shows up to SmackDown and catches up with the guys he knows. He reflects on his getting called out 18 years ago by Tiger Ali Singh while he was sitting in the front row of a show in Pittsburgh(with Karen sitting next to him). Kurt watches the moment and he laughs at how much he has changed. The crowd was electric for him, but Vince had other plans for his character. He told Kurt he was going to be a heel because he is too good for everyone and is a “real” athlete. They show one of the original vignettes and they are still fantastic. Vince tells Kurt that he will be booed and Kurt laughed at him. He didn’t think there was anyway the fans would boo him as he was an Olympic Hero.

-Kurt was booed at his debut in Detroit at Survivor Series and the next day they were in Pittsburgh. Kurt didn’t think he would get booed in his hometown, and Shane told him it was going to happen. Kurt says he was happy to get the negative response as that was the goal. As an amateur he was taught to show no emotion and he had to do the opposite in the WWE. He credits Vince for taking him under his wing and they show some backstage footage of Vince coaching Kurt.

-With each week Kurt was gaining more confidence and he was getting much better on the mic. He looked forward to every week as he was learning more and more about himself. In less than a year he defeated The Rock to win the WWE Title. His over the top celebration is still fantastic. HHH and Show put over how amazing Kurt was and how he was born to do this. They show him tapping out Austin to win the WWE Title in Pittsburgh at Unforgiven (I was there for that show).

-Kurt talks about the relationship he has with Vince. They had a father/son relationship and Kurt says he learned from the best and became the top heel in the business. That leads to the “You Suck” chants during his entrance, and they talk about how Kurt has no problem laughing at himself. Shawn says that is what made Kurt elite as he never took himself too seriously. He says Kurt could be a complete idiot because no matter what he was the real deal as an Olympic Gold Medalist.

-We jump to No Way Out in 2003 in a tag match with Brock where Kurt broke his neck for the second time. He knew he needed surgery and was going to opt out of the WrestleMania Main Event. That sure was the rumor and they even hyped Angle/Lesnar for SmackDown in Pittsburgh where we all thought Angle was dropping the strap and I assumed Benoit would get plugged in the Mania match. He found a doctor to do some voodoo on his neck to keep him good for Mania against Vince’s wishes, but he let Angle do it. As we know Brock defeated Angle after nearly killing himself and a week later Kurt had the surgery. We get some gnarly footage of the surgery and Dr. Jho talks about his prognosis. It is recycled footage as Kurt wakes up saying he feels instant relief and hopes this will led to his neck being better than it has the last 8 years.

-After the surgery Kurt was hounding Vince and the doctors to get his back as soon as possible. He was back in 2 months because of course he would be. He had the idea that once he got back he was just going to ride the wave as long as he could. That is when he started with pain killers and he never let anyone know he was using them. He broke his neck a 3rd time and needed surgery once again.

-Show talks about egos in the business and how everyone is driven and wants to get back as soon as possible. He says that Kurt won a gold medal with a broken freakin neck, so who is he to tell him to pump the breaks. Kurt breaks down talking about his Mania XX match with Eddie and how he broke his neck a 4th time. He thought his career was over so he took 25 pain killers and hoped he wouldn’t wake up. The doctor refused to do surgery again and that leads to Angle being SmackDown GM for 5-6 months. His neck healed and he was cleared to wrestle again.

-That gets Kurt back for his Mania 21 Match with Shawn and it is still one of my favorite matches ever. Kurt talks about how he was having great match after great match because he thought each match could be his last. He just wanted to keep going until it was his last match or until he died. Damn!

-He opens up about pain killer abuse and how he was hiding it from everyone. He became very angry and bitter. He started to last out at Vince and he could see John Cena coming to take his place. They show Angle watching Cena during his rapper phase and he says John is going to be a big star. He had n resentment towards John as just the nature of the beast. Vince wanted Angle to go to rehab, and he didn’t want to and it lead to the end of their relationship. They parted ways, and Kurt says he did what he sought to do and that was ride the wave as long as possible.

-They show footage from Byte This in Oct 2006 as Vince talks about why Kurt left. He says some of it is confidential and it revolves around Kurt’s health more than anything else. Kurt says he started mixing alcohol and xanax and all he cared about was his wrestling.

-Here we go as we get a press release that reads “Kurt Angle has signed with TNA Wrestling.” Now we get DIXIE CARTER and it says former TNA Wrestling President. Holy Hell! She says that she had some concerns about Kurt but trusted him. Joe says that if Kurt’s leg fell off he would keep pushing and that is what makes him both insane and beyond great. No matter what was happening in his personal life he was having kick ass matches and he hoped Vince was watching.

-They show Kurt visiting his dad’s grave and he says he comes about 8-10 times a year. He says his dad was an alcoholic and next to him is his sister who died of a heroin overdose when she was 41. His mother had to watch her die and that led to Kurt taking more and more to hide the pain. He was the kid everyone wanted their daughters to date and it all went to hell. He used to be a role model 20 years ago and now he is a recovering addict. He had to break the cycle and he chooses to stay clean for his family.

-His wife talks about meeting on a movie set and their first date was at a Applebee’s. Funny, where me and my wife went for out first date. They were married within 2 months and have had 3 children together.

-His schedule was travel, take pills, wrestle, drink, and then pass out. Dixie tried to get him help and slow down. Kurt had 4 DUIs in 5 years and his wife sat him down and said he needed to get help or she was taking the kids and leaving. She breaks down talking about how he would black out on the couch and she didn’t want the kids to see that. He finally went to rehab, and the withdraw was the worst thing ever. He felt like he was no longer a prisoner and he learned to appreciate the finer things in life. His wife cries tears of joy over how much he has changed his life for the better.

-Kurt shows his daughters video of him driving the Milk Truck and that is such a sweet moment. Kurt says he finally became the father he should have been and he has surprised himself. Man, that was so much heaviness there and just soul bearing.

-Dixie says that Kurt doesn’t like things unfinished and he needed to back to the WWE. Shawn was just happy to have him back home. They show Kurt meeting some of the younger guys during WrestleMania week.

-We come back to Hall of Fame Day, and Kurt says he never expected a Hall of Fame call as he only wrestled 7 years in the WWE and he was injured for two of them. They show him catching up with a lot of the guys he has history with including Cena who inducted him. Cena calls it a tremendous honor as he had his first match against Kurt. He credits Kurt for the matches and toughening him up. Cena says this is where Kurt belongs and the fans will be happy to see him back.

-Walk through for the Ceremony and Vince hugs Kurt and tells him to have fun tonight. Some fun moments with Vince and Kurt as they joke around on the stage.

-Now it is Hall of Fame Night and Kurt catches up with AJ Styles. AJ talks about how Kurt always said Vince treated him like a son. Vince says they picked up where they left off and he is the same guy he was 10-15 years ago.

-John Cena inducts Angle into the Hall of Fame and it was amazing to watch. The fans were jacked to have Kurt back and you could tell it meant a great deal to him to hear the “You Suck” chants again. He tells the current starts to take chances with their personality and characters. AJ calls his speech perfect and Shane says he was both humble and entertaining. “Sexy Kurt” is still so awesome that it cracks me up every time I hear it. Kurt appreciates that he was able to talk to every fan in the WWE Universe to thank them and let them know he was back home.

-Closing video package highlights Kurt’s career at WrestleMania and he mentions that Vince told him years ago that if he did right by him he would have job for life in the WWE. He thought Vince was just being nice, but he has been a man of his word. That leads to Kurt being named the GM of RAW. He always thought he would be back and says that the WWE is his first love and it kept him going.

-Kurt says it is nice to know that Vince can forgive and they can move on. He knows that WWE Universe hasn’t seen the last of Kurt Angle and to that he says “It’s True, It’s Damn True.”

-Just fantastic! One of the best pieces they have done with WWE 24. Things got dark as expected due to Kurt’s issues and he didn’t shy away from his mistakes. WWE openly mentioning TNA kind of crazy as part of me thought they would just say Dixie was a former boss, but credit to them for taking the extra step. Again, just a tremendous piece of business and required viewing.

article topics :

Kurt Angle, WWE, WWE 24, Robert Leighty Jr.