Induction: The Great Fall of Angle: How Did He Avoid a Broken Freakin’ Everything?

43 Submitted by on Sun, 19 May 2013, 07:00

WWE, 2004

The story of this week’s induction begins with the 2004 WWE Draft, which somehow saw Smackdown General Manager Paul Heyman drafted to Raw and then promptly quit. Kurt Angle was then selected to fill the always-fresh, never-clichéd role of heel authority figure.

Kurt’s first order of business was nixing Triple H’s move to Smackdown just 24 real-world hours after he was drafted to the taped Thursday night show. I’m sure this had nothing to do with Hunter not wanting to wrestle on what Booker T (who, along with the Dudley Boys, was “traded” to the UPN show in exchange for Hunter) accurately dismissed as the “minor leagues.” GFA-01
GFA-02 In his first weeks, Angle also got chummy with the heel locker room, granting Bradshaw a title match on pay-per-view (Minor leagues? No way!). He even put Big Show into a non-title match against champion Eddie Guerrero to soften him up before Judgment Day.
Big Show took the opportunity, out of the blue, to promise to retire if he didn’t win. Care to guess how that turned out? GFA-03
GFA-04 The Big Show, who had apparently forgotten that the GM was a heel like him, and that he had never signed anything holding him to the retirement stipulation, and that every single retirement stipulation in wrestling history had been negated within months, was devastated.
As Big Show walked backstage, he overheard Torrie Wilson laughing with the makeup lady and naturally assumed that the Diva was finding humor in Show’s misfortune. For those of you who follow Botchamania, you’ll know that this wasn’t the first time that Ms. Wilson had gotten in trouble for laughing at inappropriate times. send for the man torrie corpses
GFA-05 Unfortunately for Torrie, this time her punishment would be no slap on the wrist (or face). Instead, Show would stalk her backstage and demolish her car with his bare hands and feet (which were not bare, but in boots), all the while rambling about being a man of his word and how there was no way he could go back on the off-the-cuff boast he made before the Guerrero match.
Even more unfortunately for Torrie, Big Show didn’t pull a Goldberg and rip his arm open breaking the windows, meaning that his reign of terror was just getting started. Torrie fled on foot, tripping once so the camera could catch an up-skirt shot. You’ve got to love the Attitude Era Leftovers period of WWE; even when they’re trying to be dead serious, they still can’t resist pumping segments full of gratuitous sex. torrie trips
GFA-06 The next we saw of Torrie and Show, they were up on a balcony backstage at the Conseco Fieldhouse, where the giant threatened to throw Torrie twenty feet below to the arena floor. In Big Show’s defense, he probably didn’t realize that such a drop would be deadly, seeing as he once won the WCW title just minutes after falling off the roof of the Cobo Hall.
Kurt Angle came to the rescue, telling the Big Show he didn’t want to get fired for Torrie getting splattered across the floor below. Show did the only sensible thing, which was to let Torrie go, then chokeslam Kurt clear off the balcony without the slightest hint of struggle. angle chokeslammed
GFA-07GFA-08 A few camera cuts later, and we saw Kurt lying on the floor unconscious in comical fashion, with his leg somehow bent back at the knee and a pool of fake blood under his head. I can only guess that WWE Creative was trying to channel the ending of Naked Gun, but couldn’t afford the steamroller or USC marching band to flatten Kurt as the show went off the air.
And thus, WWE featured its first storyline death, and Kurt Angle was never heard from again… for fourteen days, at least, as he made his return just two weeks later with nothing to show for his near-fatal injuries but a giant cast on his leg and a bandage on the back of his head. Michael Cole still tried to put over the seriousness of Kurt’s balcony fall by claiming that he had suffered the dreaded “internal injuries” (which WWE trots out every time a wrestler accidentally splits his lip or cuts his gums) and a “third-degree concussion,” which is a very serious injury… in real life. However, under many definitions, a “third-degree concussion” refers to any head injury that causes a person to lose consciousness for any period of time, which you may have noticed appears to happen on a nightly basis on wrestling television. The way we saw Kurt fall (back-first with nothing to break his fall but the off-screen mats on the arena floor) should have caved his skull in, but instead his injury could be covered up by the same kind of Band-Aid that guys wear after a bad blade-job. GFA-09GFA-00
GFA-10 Kurt, still a heel, of course blamed the fans for his career-ending injury, failing to evoke their sympathy despite a plug for UPN’s “I’m Still Alive” TV show. He also brought out Torrie Wilson, whose protests he would hear none of, telling her, and I quote, “Shave it, Torrie!” I wonder, are Freudian slips a common side effect of concussions? He said that he blamed Torrie most of all, telling her that she was the reason he could no longer have sex with his wife (which is the opposite effect that Torrie had on most male WWE fans). Fortunately, the fans never learned whether Kurt had another oversized cast for that particular ailment.
For the next three months, Kurt ruled Smackdown with an iron fist, a hard nose, and a limp… well, you get the point. During this time, Kurt was never without his red-white-and-blue wheel chair (which accidentally looked exactly like the French flag) and his new assistant, Luther Reigns. GFA-11
GFA-12 In July, however, Kurt was caught red-handed moonlighting as the masked Gran Luchador, proving that even the relatively mild injuries he had been selling since his traumatic fall in April weren’t real.
Teddy Long took over as GM after Kurt, whom he immediately placed in a tag team match (uh, probably). GFA-13

 

Of course, we knew all along that Kurt’s “career-ending” injuries were just for show. No wrestling company with a conscience would let Angle continue to wrestle against doctor’s orders with a body so ravaged by injuries.

GFA-14

Written by

A wrestling fan ever since the days of Wrestlemania IX, Art graduated from college in the same building where Art Donovan called King of the Ring 1994. He currently runs the "How Much Does This Guy Weigh?" blog, where he reviews New Generation-Era Monday Night Raws and Hasbro WWF figures. Email at: art@wrestlecrap.com
43 Responses to "Induction: The Great Fall of Angle: How Did He Avoid a Broken Freakin’ Everything?"
  1. "The Big Cheese" Paul Kraft says:

    Guys, tonight I want all of you to go to your girlfriends or wives and tell them to “Shave it!” and tell me how that works out for you.

  2. hobu0 says:

    Luther Reigns….no relation to Roman.

  3. Jerichoholic Ninja says:

    This is new to me. This was during a period between WrestleMania XX and September when I barely followed the company at all. I remember watching Smackdown in August and seeing JBL as champion for the first time and saying out loud “Who the hell is that?”

    Ah memories.

    Anyway, a good induction as always. I loved the Naked Gun and “Send for the Man” reference.

  4. TMS says:

    Amazingly this was right around the time I stopped watching WWE for good. It was in fact, this very story line that made me turn off my TV and ask myself “Why the hell am I still watching this?” Since then, I’ve only kept up with what’s going on in the E through various websites, and a couple of friends who still watched hoping against hope to find something to justify their continued support, eventually finding nothing and tuning out a few months after I did.

  5. Down With OPC says:

    Karen must have started making phone calls to Jeff around this time.

  6. Jay "The Brain" Mann says:

    I was expecting to see the GIF of Kurt in his wheelchair going down the stage like a Bond villain, but I was disappointed. Actually, this induction kinda glosses over some stuff from that time period. It jumps from “for three months, he acted injured” to “in July, he was found to not be injured”. Kinda missing a big part there. Regardless, good induction.

    • Autrach Sejanoz says:

      Yeah, Angle went on a real power trip after he was revealed to be faking his injury, firing Funaki & four Divas during one epsiode; only for Vince to arrive, fire Angle & attempt to violently beat the hell out of Angle with a steel crutch.

  7. E-Squared says:

    I love the TNA reference at the end, because Kurt Angle still wrestles despite his body not being able to take such punishment anymore.

    • The MaDaBa says:

      http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DontExplainTheJoke

    • John Darc says:

      The way Angle explains it, he feels better than he ever has because he had that special neck surgery that no one else thought to get.

      • Tommy B Rude says:

        I’m sure the truly staggering amount of pain medication he’s addicted to has nothing to do with it.

  8. "The Big Cheese" Paul Kraft says:

    Kurt Angle is insane and hard to watch. And not in a fun, Cactus Jack kind of way.

    • Adam Cota says:

      Now that you mention Cactus Jack, I’m kind of amazed the head trauma Kurt suffered didn’t cause him to get amnesia and see him roaming the streets of Cleveland or elsewhere…

      • John Darc says:

        Angle’s doing as many Germans as Benoit did, right? What’s to stop him from pulling a Misawa or a Benoit some day?

  9. theOneManChainGang says:

    After looking at that picture again of Kurt Angle splattered across the floor, I’m thinking the WWE “Creative” was channeling the scene from Dumb and Dumber when Jim Carrey falls of the jetway. It looks exactly the same.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y51IFVB-7Oc

  10. Thomas Moffatt says:

    The stupidity of the angle is unfathomable – first he would have been dead or at least cabbaged and secondly when Show chokeslams him you can see him land on something – is it me or is there an air of Nipple H about this?

    • John Darc says:

      I remember watching this as it aired and even though the show was taped, they still took a really long time to cut to Angle on the floor.

  11. Nick Nutter says:

    This was actually the only angle (Kurt or otherwise) I remember from Smackdown ’04. I didn’t think it was so bad at the time, but yeah, upon further review…(And this was before Kurt legit broke his neck in Korea for the sixth time.)

  12. Alan says:

    Dug the reference to the flattening of Ricardo(Not Rodriguez)Montalban in “The Naked Gun: From The Files of Police Squad!”. I avoided Smackdown like the plague around this time, but I still enjoyed Raw. JBL’s reign as WWE Champion is one of the worst reigns in the 50 year history of the title. I agree, Kurt Angle is crazy for continuing to wrestle.

  13. Bill "Wild Legend" Davis says:

    This angle was the final straw for me in regards to Smackdown. The seed had already been planted though, and it was brought up, when Trips refused to go to SD because it was “minor league.” You know, if you want people to watch your product, you probably shouldn’t endorse it as inferior.

    • John Darc says:

      Makes me wonder why the hell he allowed himself to be drafted if he wasn’t going to go.

      Me and my friends STILL to this day refer to Smackdown as “The minor leagues, man” in the same intonation Booker T said it.

    • Guest says:

      To be fair it was on a network which very few people watched you don’t honestly think UPN was a major network on par with NBC or ABC did you?

  14. CarlMarksGuy says:

    Another great induction, and one that I remember watching.

    In fact, I watched this whole storyline with a BROKEN FREAKIN’ SUSPENSION OF DISBELIEF!

  15. The Scanian Maniac says:

    During this storyline, I could never understand why they would have Kurt Angle play the role of a stiff, uptight and humorless GM, with the comedic talent he has.
    What a misuse.

  16. Matt Soileau says:

    Your best one yet, sir. I love the Flair/Foley picture in relation to the duration of “retirement” stipulations…

  17. Thun says:

    Wait, that’s supposed to be a pool of blood? Looking at the image, I thought it was something that they left under his head for whatever reason and didn’t bother to clean up.

  18. Will says:

    No mention of how the storyline concluded? A few months later, Show returned and feuded with Angle… and Show was the face. Despite the storyline starting with Show throwing Angle off a balcony while he was trying to stop Show from hurting a woman, Big Show was the good guy. And then beat Angle in their every encounter.

  19. Cameron A. says:

    A year later, Kurt Angle would sexually harass Sharmell, and threaten that “gutter slut” with “bestiality sex.” I doubt “shave it, Torrie!” was a Freudian slip.

  20. dennett316 says:

    If people can survive half of their brain being missing, then Kurt could survive a 20 foot fall….even onto his back. There are people who have survived worse….true, they end up with brain damage and the like, but still.
    The more ridiculous thing in it all is the lack of attempted murder charge on Show…not the fall.

    • The Scanian Maniac says:

      Reminds me of a classic exchange of words between the two Swedish commentators during Undertaker vs. Yokozuna at Royal Rumble 1994, when a number of wrestlers interfered:

      “There are no rules.”
      “But then he can fuckin come in with a bazooka and shoot off his head.”
      “Yes, but then he gets caught for murder.”
      “Yes, but as the world champion.”

      I wish WWE’s very amateurish foreign commentators got an induction. There are some really hilarious qoutes out there on the internet.

  21. John Darc says:

    You know, for an angle (heh) that went much longer than I remembered it going, and being far more stupid than I recall it being, this entry is kinda short. It ends with Angle being found out and Teddy being put into power….was the angle after this awesome or something, and thus did not deserve a mention right here in Wrestlecrap?

    • Tempest_Fennac says:

      As Will said, Big Show returned as a face to feud with Angle. Mark Jindrak also started working with Angle and Reigns, leading to one episode of Smackdown! where Angle shot Big Show with a tranquilizer dart before giving him a bad haircut. I remember Long claiming next week that BS and Angle were even due to the dart stunt, despite BS not appearing to have any real injuries due to what happened. That’s all I can honestly remember about it.

  22. DynamicDave says:

    This was the first WWE show I ever watched. I was still quite young at the time and it was all “still real to me, dammit!” This means that I was utterly floored by the revelation that Kurt Angle wasn’t actually injured.

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