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Taking Kurt Angle Seriously, A thought on why it doesn't work
Guest_Brian_*
post May 24 2005, 06:50 PM
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Here me out:

I've been working through a rather large treatise on what makes a wrestling match. And I'm looking at realism right now, and where it fits in, and I think I realize what is a major flaw with Kurt Angle's character. He's a joke in the ring.

Now that's going to be hard to take, and alot of people are not going to understand it. It's not like his work isn't great, it's that Kurt can't be taken seriously. Now part of his job as a wrestler is to reflect the character he is outside of the ring in the ring. And what makes cKurt such a serious threat to everyone on the roster? Well, he's an Olympic Gold Medalist. And yet, this Olympian never reflects that in the ring, as often he's being outwrestled by others.

That's the shorthand version. There's a realistic element that's a part of Kurt's character that he has not appealed to, that he's constantly been beat down, and it's affected his standing. How can you take an Olympic Gold Medalist, which is an integral part of what Kurt is, seriously if he can't out-wrestle people on the mat. IN theory, what Kurt does shouldn't hurt him once in a great while, but the overuse has killed him.
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Hunter's Tor...
post May 24 2005, 07:13 PM
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The main thing that stopped Kurt Angle being able to be taken as a serious threat to anyone was that the goofy Kurt persona he had in 2000 was kept on him long after it served its purpose. He was portrayed as a goof for so long that it became impossible to take him that seriously, because Kurt being a dork was so ingrained in people’s heads.

It also didn’t help that certain parties wanted to keep it that way so as to ensure that Kurt wouldn’t be taken seriously as a threat to the top spot. On one Raw around the time the love triangle storyline was about to reach it’s disastrous peak, Triple H opened with a 15 minute speech/angle that pretty well stripped Kurt Angle of his testicles. He buried Kurt as a total pussy, and they aired the video of Kurt crying at the 1996 Olympics, and it was portrayed as Kurt being a total wimp for doing so. Kurt comes out to interrupt, and all the crowd can do is laugh at the guy, but that isn’t the worst part. Fast forward to the main event where Kurt is involved, and he comes out to total silence. Not one person made a noise when he came out. Kurt had been getting great reactions week after week, but in one fell swoop they not only managed to make an entire arena not give one rat’s ass about Kurt, but they successfully buried him as a total wimp, and nobody that should be taken seriously. They tried to salvage things, but the damage was done.

Then the next year, they almost had it, with Kurt shown going nuts on people, including an angle where he ‘broke’ Scotty 2 Hotty’s ankle. Instead, he wound up playing a fucking cowboy in those inane skits with Steve Austin and Vince McMahon. Some might have found them funny, but they once again made it totally and utterly impossible to take Kurt seriously, and reduced him to a midcard joke. So when they turned Kurt face to go against Steve Austin during the Invasion angle, people actually wondered why Kurt wasn’t caching on, especially after 9/11, when they did the whole hometown hero angle with him winning the WWF Title. It didn’t work because he’d been portrayed as a dork and joke for so long that this sudden change into a badass tough guy who kicked ass was totally unbelievable, even though Kurt had a long list of amateur credentials and was one of the best wrestlers on the roster. Nobody could get behind a guy who went from being a cowboy hat wearing dork one week to a tough guy badass the next.

JBL didn’t get over for months because of the same thing; he did the clean job to Rikishi in the second match on Smackdown one week, and the very next week was put in the top program on Smackdown. Nobody bought him in the main event scene because he didn’t have his credibility built up after being a perpetual lower card fixture. The only difference between Kurt and JBL is that Vince stuck with JBL as a top guy for so long that he wound up gaining some measure of credibility as a top guy.
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Guest_Fook_Theta_*
post May 24 2005, 07:44 PM
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What you provided as proof isn't that he is a joke in the ring, is that he's in joke feuds. I admittedly missed most of his last couple of big matches, but he's had really good ones lately with Rey, Michaels, uh, and whom else? He just needs to stick to people that can work a good match instead of shooting the Big Show with darts, shitty brawling with JBL as two heels vs one another, and a pointless feud with Booker.


At most I could see an argument made that his match direction hasn't been as solid as it was back when he was up against Benoit and the likes week in and week out. Since the neck injury has been gotten a lot of publicity on WWE tv that is one copout he can use. He's obviously older which is another thing he can use, as well as his anklelock has so many counters.
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Guest_Andrew J._*
post May 24 2005, 07:47 PM
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"Kurt can't be taken seriously." What a joke! He's as over as a heel as he's ever been, the only people that can't take him seriously are showoff smarks that want to prove how much better they are than the the vast majority of fans that actually like Angle. Not to mention outright lying, either. Angle's been dominant in mat wrestling for a dman long time now; he's been overpowered, but I can't think of single time where an opponent really outwrestled him in the past four years.

And all the goofy stuff was over with eons ago; time passes quickly in the wrestling world, and and his goofy phase really has no relevance to a discussion of how he's currently perceived.
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Hunter's Tor...
post May 24 2005, 07:52 PM
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You can like Kurt and still not be able to take him seriously.

QUOTE
and and his goofy phase really has no relevance to a discussion of how he's currently perceived.


Everything about him absolutely has relevance to how he is seen now, because it all builds up over time, and paints a complete picture. Looking out of a narrow window might get you a nice view, but it doesn't show you the whole picture.
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Guest_Rrrsh_*
post May 24 2005, 08:02 PM
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Angle has had too many charicter changes for people to "relate to him". Its HHH problem as well, altho HHH is just a moron who decides to change his charicter on a weekly basis.

Its a midcard gimmick, and midcard gimmick are never taken seriously. There r indy guys here in the PNW who have the same problem. Their gimmick relys on silly chants (like You Suck) or cheap physical humor (his head shaving wig thing). So unless he completly gets new gear, new everything, he will always have that stigma.
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Angle-plex
post May 24 2005, 08:08 PM
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Kurt can't be taken seriously because he hasn't been booked properly since 2000. He can still have a "goofy" personality; that doesn't matter. If he was booked to be somewhat dangerous in the ring while still having his innocent, goofy persona*, he'd be OK.

* "innocent, goofy persona" does not include wearing cowboy hats, milk trucks, getting your pants pulled down, getting your ass slapped after said pants are pulled down, kissing Brock, cheating to get wins over Val Venis and Bob Holly, getting thrown off a balcony and almost being killed, damaging Eddie Guerrero's car, or anything related to rape.
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UseTheSledgehamm...
post May 24 2005, 08:30 PM
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To me, Kurt Angle's real career ended at WM 19, as it should have.

- I didn't find his next WWE Title run as a face good at all.
- I thought the SummerSlam 2003 match Vs. Brock was good, but I already seen it on a bigger scale.
- Iron Man was a commercial-plagued let-down.
- Kurt Vs. Eddie at WM 20 was a big let-down to me.
- The Smackdown! brand was extremely second-rate after WM 20, with guys like Benoit gone, Bradshaw as champion, and new, worthless "big stars" like Mordecai, Dupree, Suzuki, Billy Gunn, and Holly pushed. Since Angle was on the show, I saw him as weak.
- Kurt Angle: General Manager? Lame.
- Big Show "kills" Kurt: Lame.
- Eddie/Angle feud resumes, didn't like it.
- Angle associating with caveman-esque Luther Reigns, and later, unover, super generic Jindrak was awful, a fourth-rate heel stable to "counter" Evoltion.

Angle doing the "Sexy Kurt" song has been the one thing I've enjoyed out of him since WM 19.

Angle/HBK was a big let-down to me, as well.

Basically, Angle rules, his legacy will always be remembered by me as one of the greatest workers ever, but I don't watch him anymore and anyone that does is tarnishing his accomplishments from 2000-2003.
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Lord of The Curr...
post May 24 2005, 08:41 PM
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If you think Angle is one of the greatest workers ever you need to watch more wrestling. Sorry to sound like an asshole but there's really no other way to put it then to be upfront about it.
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Kahran Ramsus
post May 24 2005, 08:42 PM
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The problem with Kurt Angle is that whenever he is gaining momentum, they stick him a Gooker-Award Candidate angle and it kills all his heat. Prior to this latest storyline he was becoming a real threat again, fresh off of making HBK tap at Mania, and it should have been a no-brainer to go with the easy match at Great American Bash with the rebel Cena against the traditional American Hero.

But this whole thing with Booker's wife completely killed off his heat. Kane is in the same situation on RAW. Whenever he starts catching fire, they stick him in some lame 'comedy' angle.
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Lord of The Curr...
post May 24 2005, 08:44 PM
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Catching fire.

Oh Kahran, you card.
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Kahran Ramsus
post May 24 2005, 08:52 PM
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QUOTE(Lord of The Curry @ May 24 2005, 11:44 PM)
Catching fire.

Oh Kahran, you card.

WWE seems to take that literally at times.
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SuperJerk
post May 24 2005, 09:20 PM
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QUOTE(Kahran Ramsus @ May 24 2005, 10:42 PM)
The problem with Kurt Angle is that whenever he is gaining momentum, they stick him a Gooker-Award Candidate angle and it kills all his heat.  Prior to this latest storyline he was becoming a real threat again, fresh off of making HBK tap at Mania, and it should have been a no-brainer to go with the easy match at Great American Bash with the rebel Cena against the traditional American Hero. 

But this whole thing with Booker's wife completely killed off his heat.  Kane is in the same situation on RAW.  Whenever he starts catching fire, they stick him in some lame 'comedy' angle.

I completely agree.

Angle was totally seen as a legit threat leading into Wrestlemania 20.

What'd they then do the next month? Take him off the road and give him a shitty GM character.
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Guest_Fook_Theta_*
post May 24 2005, 09:51 PM
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My horrible idea for Angle to become a better heel would have been to turn him into the "Dark" Angle. Main inspiration would have been what several comic book characters have went through, and even wrestling's very own Dark Patriot gimmick. Turn his red, white, and blue ring gear into a black and white motif. He drops all the goofy shit and gets back to being a serious no-bullshit contender. It could work and would be a visible change along with his personality change.

Ofcourse then you run into everyone calling him NWO 2005, or worse. It's also very simplistic in psychology which while better than most of the shit out there, still isn't where WWE should be moving towards.
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RavishingRickRud...
post May 25 2005, 01:42 AM
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Angles money promos suck.
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Guest_Ransome_*
post May 25 2005, 04:55 AM
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QUOTE(Brian @ May 25 2005, 01:50 AM)
Now that's going to be hard to take, and alot of people are not going to understand it. It's not like his work isn't great, it's that Kurt can't be taken seriously. Now part of his job as a wrestler is to reflect the character he is outside of the ring in the ring. And what makes cKurt such a serious threat to everyone on the roster? Well, he's an Olympic Gold Medalist. And yet, this Olympian never reflects that in the ring, as often he's being outwrestled by others.

That's the shorthand version. There's a realistic element that's a part of Kurt's character that he has not appealed to, that he's constantly been beat down, and it's affected his standing. How can you take an Olympic Gold Medalist, which is an integral part of what Kurt is, seriously if he can't out-wrestle people on the mat. IN theory, what Kurt does shouldn't hurt him once in a great while, but the overuse has killed him.

I think Angle's badass reputation can be salvaged. It's all about removing the elements of his character that have been associated with the dorky character he's played over the years; change his music, eliminate his catchphrases and his tongue-in-cheek humour, don't let him smile, change his ring attire. Thats all they did with Eddie Guerrero, and that's worked fine.

As for being outwrestled, it's only a matter of changing his moveset or actually letting him convincingly win some matches. Theres no reason wrestling fans can't take Angle seriously as a threat, particularly given that the amateur background they always bring up gives him an instant air of legitimacy. Even though he's played a dorky character in the past, wrestling is all about short memory spans and only remembering what we're supposed to remember.
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Angle-plex
post May 25 2005, 08:58 AM
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...but Kurt can't cut a serious promo to save his life. He's better off reverting back to his dorky personality but still being able to get it done in the ring without cheating like crazy.
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cabbageboy
post May 25 2005, 11:24 AM
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Anyone ever think that Angle is more entertaining as a goof? I personally loved his out there stuff with Austin, it was hilarious. That is what causes Angle problems with being taken seriously: He's too good at being a dumbass. The problem with a dorky heel is that no one really pays to see a dork get beat down. Thus, he turns face. However as a face I've always found Angle's promos to have a smarmy, insincere quality to them. Angle being a legit face hero goes against the very point of his character anyway, since he's supposed to be a cocky Olympian who constantly rubs his medals in everyone's face.
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Lord of The Curr...
post May 25 2005, 11:27 AM
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There have been only one of two times during Angle's career that I've taken him seriously. One was right after Royal Rumble 2003. And they fucked that right up by having Brock run through him and Team Angle like shit through a goose.
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what
post May 25 2005, 01:50 PM
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QUOTE(Angle-plex @ May 25 2005, 10:58 AM)
...but Kurt can't cut a serious promo to save his life.

He's better than almost all at cutting serious promos. I don't know what the fuck you're talking about.
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Fro
post May 25 2005, 02:14 PM
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He can be dorky sometimes and be a badass in the ring... that's the balance they need to hit more often. Angle's great at everything he does as a heel.

As long as they book him as a tough guy who's a machine in the ring, he'll be over. If he didn't have his injury problems, he would have had a good heel run with the belt by now.

I do agree this stuff with Sharmell is pure Wrestlecrap.
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CheesalaIsGood
post May 25 2005, 02:20 PM
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I think Kurt does just fine as a serious heel. His work during his first title reign was great. Him yelling at the Rock about how "I'm gonna FUCKING BREAK YOUR ANKLE" was gold IMO.

In the past his feuds with Benoit, Eddy, and HBK were all gold. Tell me you couldn't take him seriously, C'mon! These are his trademarks. Angle was as goofy as he has ever been in the Mania commercial with Christy, but doing that didn't hurt his match with HBK or make it any more difficult to get "into it". What it did do was add to the opportunities for Angle to do different things while he remains active as a wrestler. So kudos.
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Guest_Tjhe CyNick_*
post May 25 2005, 02:34 PM
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I think int he ring he's taken pretty seriously. To me, as an observer, he looks intense, and it looks like he could legitimately kick someone's ass. Whereas, just as an exmaple, a guy like HBK, who is also very gifted in the credible doesn't look credible at all to me.

If it was me, I wouldn't have had Angle sell much less lose for about 18 months in the WWE. He's a Gold Medalist in WRESTLING, that means he should be easily better than EVERYONE.

They never really went that route with him, because for the most part, they dont worry about how realistic their angles are. You cant argue much with that, because Hulk Hogan and Rock dont really work realistic looking styles, and they made tons of money for Vince, so.

But I'm a fan of wrestling, so I would have loved to see Angle protected, make all his submissions be deadly. Obviously he would have been champ, and he likely would have got over as a face (people will jump on board if a guy wins enough), and it would have been a really special thing for someone to finally beat him.

At the same time, I can see where that line of booking would drive away more fans than it would bring in.

Shamrock should have been booked similar to that as well.
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Sass
post May 25 2005, 02:54 PM
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QUOTE(UseTheSledgehammerUh @ May 24 2005, 07:30 PM)
- Kurt Vs. Eddie at WM 20 was a big let-down to me.

Okay, why?

QUOTE
Angle/HBK was a big let-down to me, as well.


Que?

I'm just morbidly curious.
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RavishingRickRud...
post May 25 2005, 03:59 PM
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Kurt's serious promos are awful. First, his voice doesn't lend itself well to them. Second, his head movement is very distracting, where he can't go a word without moving it from side-to-side. Third, he repeats words like crazy, Brock, I mean seriously Brock, do you really think you can beat me, Brock? Fourth, his pacing is really bad. He talks like this, and then, hetalkslikethisohitstrue!

Not good at all.
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The C Man
post May 25 2005, 05:05 PM
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What's wrong with the dork who's a killer in the ring? I've seen dorks kick some major ass in the 'real world'.
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The Dames
post May 25 2005, 05:36 PM
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QUOTE(Sass @ May 25 2005, 04:54 PM)
QUOTE(UseTheSledgehammerUh @ May 24 2005, 07:30 PM)
- Kurt Vs. Eddie at WM 20 was a big let-down to me.

Okay, why?

QUOTE
Angle/HBK was a big let-down to me, as well.


Que?

I'm just morbidly curious.

I second that..."Que"?

Dames
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UseTheSledgehamm...
post May 25 2005, 06:22 PM
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I will explain.

First off, Eddie and Kurt. You have the "big title match" for Smackdown!, with Eddie, the rapdibly popular WWE Champ against Angle, the always-dangerous ex-champ.

That should've been good enough.

However, you have the ultra-hot Benoit chase, plus the (at the time) very very awaited return of the Undertaker overshadowing it. Goldberg/Brock was also more hyped than Eddie/Angle.

So immediately, Eddie/Angle was perceived as the #4 main event. And it's for the WWE Title. At WrestleMania.

So anyway, I did not dislike the match. However, during many parts of the bout, the heat was just not there. Also, had this been, say "Angle Vs. Eddie" in 2001, in the mid-card, we'd be doing backflips for the bout. However, it's 2004, and this is for the WWE Title. Eddie Guerrero, although an amazing worker, did not have the championship aura for such a big main event. Angle, I had already labeled a joke. I found the mat-work to be good, and the high-impact bumps to be the "same old" that Angle had been hitting since his post-neck injury return. The finish was nice and a good tribute to Eddie's character at the biggest show of the year.

*** for the match.
- ** for the buildup ("Boo-hoo Eddie, you cheat! Thus, I must turn heel!"
**** for seeing Eddie in the WWE Title match.
- ** for it being Eddie in the title match. I know I'll get negative comments for this. But just because you're a great technical wrestler doesn't mean you're automatically seen as "the man" once you get the big title. Just didn't like it. To the same degree, the same could be said about Benoit, but Benoit could carry just about anyone to a passable bout, unlike Eddie, who has difficulty with certain types of opponents.
__________________________

Angle Vs. Shawn

Thought the build-up to this would be AWFUL.

It was actually quite decent for 2005 WWE, which itself sucks.

We got the ridiculous returns of Marty Jannetty and Sherri Martel, a lot of spilled blood, show crossovers, and a genuine feeling that "Hey, Angle and HBK are the "best" of two generations. Let's hook 'em up!"

The match:

I personally rate the bout at *** 1/2.

A lot of laying around. The table bump, while nice, killed the momentum of the bout as it took an ungodly amount of time to get things back going. Michaels took a wee bit of time to submit at the end, but liked the finish.

Also a plus, the "out of nowhere" superkick, which I liked as desperation, tho can see why some people didn't. I found Michaels' selling a bit off at times, and the match seemed to just be at 3/4 the speed of what Angle and Michaels are capable of.

Michaels is 7-8 years past his prime, IMO. Angle is 3 years past his. I'm NOT measuring prime by "age", so don't fucking argue that with me. I'm taking it as when their most productive and exciting bouts and/or carry-jobs occured.

Michaels: 96
Angle: 2001-03

With that said, the bout was only dissapointing to me due to the fact that if both guys at their bests, before retirement, before neck problems, before knees, before Michaels late 2004 injury, etc. had hooked up, we're talking ****1/2-***** easily.

But it isn't then, and the magic wasn't there for me. Too slow at times and boring. Otherwise very good.

My opinion.
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UseTheSledgehamm...
post May 25 2005, 06:25 PM
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"If you think Angle is one of the greatest workers ever you need to watch more wrestling."

He's easily one of the top 15 workers of all time, IMO.

I'm talking charisma (1999-2001), ring-work (2000-2003), psychology (2000-2003, maybe present, don't watch him often), look, and big-match performance.
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Lord of The Curr...
post May 25 2005, 09:11 PM
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6 years of WWE Style doesn't qualify one as a Top 15 of All Time.
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