There was some breaking news in the wrestling world on Friday afternoon and sadly the headline was a familiar one for wrestling fans as TNA wrestler Kurt Angle was arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI). Here's the story from TMZ.com.
TNA superstar Kurt Angle has been arrested for DWI again, TMZ has learned -- his 4th alcohol-related arrest in 6 years and the pro wrestler now plans to enter rehab.
A rep for the Texas highway patrol tells TMZ, Angle was busted Thursday night in Wise County, Texas following a live taping of "Impact" for Spike TV. We're told police received a call about a reckless driver, and caught up to Angle on the road.
We're told they pulled him over on suspicion of reckless driving, and detected an odor of alcohol emanating from Angle's vehicle. It's unclear if a field sobriety test was administered, but Angle was placed under arrest and taken to a nearby police station.
Angle has a long history with alcohol-related arrests. In 2007, he was arrested for DUI in Pennsylvania. He was then arrested twice in 2011 -- once for being drunk behind the wheel of his parked car, and once for DWI. Angle pled guilty to being drunk while parked, but he got off on the other charges.
Over on F4WOnline.com, Dave Meltzer reports that Angle was released on a $2,000 bond Friday. Angle was driving from Wichita Falls, Texas (where TNA Impact took place on Thursday) to Tyler, Texas where TNA had a live event on Friday.
On Friday night, Angle took his Twitter account @RealKurtAngle to let the world know that he plans to enter a rehab facility immediately.
"I am blessed to have the support of my family, my friends and my company. In light of recent events, I will be immediately entering a rehabilitation center. I realize that this is a pivotal time in my life and I ask for your understanding as well as your prayers and continued support. I am confident that in taking these steps I can begin to address necessary changes in my life."
TNA President Dixie Carter went on Twitter to say that TNA is supportive of Angle in his recovery.
The TNA Family is very supportive of the steps @RealKurtAngle is taking in his recovery. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.— Dixie Carter (@TNADixie) August 3, 2013
As mentioned above, this is Angle's 4th alcohol related arrest in the last seven years. Clearly there's something wrong here. He's a 44 year old man who should know better by now. The problem is he may not know how to stop. That's why we have to hope that the rehab center will be a good thing that prevents something like this from ever happening again.
There are two positives to take from this: 1) nobody was hurt and 2) he's getting help. I don't know if Kurt took it upon himself to get help. Perhaps his wife or another family member pushed him to do it. I guess it doesn't matter. The point is he's going to get help. That's a good first step - admitting there's a problem.
What's so weird about this to me is that on Wednesday I was on my Facebook account starting up a discussion about how awesome it would be to see Kurt Angle in a match in WWE again against Daniel Bryan or CM Punk. There aren't that many dream matches left in wrestling, but those are for me. Now I can't think about Angle wrestling matches. All I really want to think about is that Angle gets his life on the right path so he can be there for his four kids (two girls with his current wife Giovanna; a girl & boy with ex-wife Karen) to watch them grow up.
The other thing that I know people are talking about on Facebook, Twitter and wrestling message boards everywhere is if WWE would be the ones paying for Angle's rehab? The reason that's a valid question is because a few years ago WWE made it known that they will pay for the rehab of any current or former employee. They have paid for rehab stints of Scott Hall, Sean Waltman, Tammy Sytch and others. Whether that covers a current TNA wrestler that started in WWE like Angle, I don't know. My assumption is that a guy like Angle, who has been a main event level guy for 14 years, likely can afford rehab on his own. If WWE pays or they don't, the onus is on Angle. He needs to get the best treatment possible.
Drinking alcohol and driving is bad. We all know that. People shouldn't do it. There are plenty of horror stories out there. Some of them have affected us personally. The sad thing is it will never go away because there will always be people that think they're okay to drive a car when they're not. I wish one of his friends in TNA drove him where he needed to be last night. I hope that in the future that is the case. Just don't let him drive anywhere while he's on the road going to wrestling shows. If that's when he might be tempted to drink then take away the keys. If he says no, too bad. History shows he doesn't always make the right decisions.
I don't blame anybody for saying "forget him, he's a loser" because frankly I can see that point of view. However, I'd rather hope for the best and that he can find some way to overcome this problem (four arrests IS a problem) because his family needs him. I also hope that he lightens his schedule. Does he really need to work so many TNA house shows? They have a deep roster. Others can fill his spot.
The wrestling fan in me hopes that Angle can get past this. I want to see him wrestle in WWE again on a limited schedule. I want to see him give a WWE Hall of Fame speech (his TNA induction is in October) with his family sitting in the front row. I want that for him because he's one of my favorite wrestlers ever. I can rattle off Angle moments and matches in my head better than I can remember anything from high school Algebra. That's for damn sure. Maybe some people think he doesn't deserve to be honored, but I do only if he can get past this problem of his.
Kurt Angle will be 45 years old later this year. He owes it to himself and the people that love him to get past this. This is bigger than an Olympic Gold Medal, a WWE Title, a TNA Title - this is a man's life. I truly and sincerely hope that he does overcome this alcohol problem.
Get yourself the help you need, Kurt. Your family, friends and fans will be there when you get better. It's up to you to win this battle. You've been winning all your life. Time to get one more victory. To borrow a phrase: it's real. It's damn real.