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Author: Subject: Secret to Kurt Angle's success?
gusmahler
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posted on 2-27-2002 at 08:41 PM Edit Post
Secret to Kurt Angle's success?

What is the secret behind Angle's success? Within a year, he became champion. That is easy to explain: he was pushed that way. But why push him so hard? What makes him different from people like Edge or Benoit that he deserves such a push so early in his career?

Also, many (including Meltzer?) believe that Angle is probably the best in-ring performer today, short of Benoit. How could he get so good so fast? I realize he is a great athelete (Olympian), but so are most WWF performers (e.g., many collegiate atheletes).

My own theories:
* Olympic gold medalist: this gimmick is priceless, as no other gold medalist has ever been a professional wrestler (according to Angle's book, pro wrestling is looked down upon by amateur wrestlers, leading to very few successful amateurs turning pro). A once in a lifetime opportunity that the WWF was smart to capitilize on.

* innate charisma: you can't teach charisma (ask Steve Blackman). However, others, like Edge, haven't even got a real chance to show their charisma and mic skills, but Angle did, seemingly from the very start.

* company player: does what the WWF wants to do. Never heard of any backstage problems with him.

* age: since he started at the age of 30, the WWF had to realize that his push had to come sooner rather than later. Coupled with the 3 years since his medal victory, the WWF had to push him early to have an effect.

Whatever the reason for the initial push, it seems like Angle has taken the ball and driven down the field with it, with nary a hitch (except breaking Holly's arm).

I guess the natural follow-up question is: who's next. Are any of the developmental stars ready for this kind of push? Or is Angle a once-in-a-generation find?

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OORick
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posted on 2-27-2002 at 11:11 PM Edit Post

I guess the natural follow-up question is: who's next. Are any of the developmental stars ready for this kind of push? Or is Angle a once-in-a-generation find?


Special as Angle is, "once-a-generation" might be a bit strong. For instance: I realize nobody talks about the Rock as the best in-ring performer in the US, but his rise to prominence should easily be mentioned in the same breath as Angle's.

Rock was an IC Champ inside of four months in the WWF, and was only stopped from achieving more by the way the WWF promoted him (which, as gusmahler notes, is big). Once the Fed realized vanilla babyfaces didn't work anymore, they turned him heel and INSTANTLY, the "new" Rock was IC Champ. About a year later, he was WWF Champ. That quick.

In the ring, the Rock may not be a technical marvel, but he's very solid. His matches are very effective at weaving a story, and almost always build to a dramatic climax. Yeah, I think Rock makes this a "twice-a-generation" argument.

And once you add in that second example, it becomes easy to envision that this is NOT necessarily purely a function of the talents themselves, but also partly a function of how both were trained by the WWF developmental crew.

Something like 30 or so guys are undergoing that WWF Training Method right now, and if past results are any indication of future returns, I think we'll see another convergence of raw talent, effective training/polishing, and the right timing/gimmick at some point every few years.

I think that either Brock Lesnar and/or Shelton Benjamin are the likeliest candiates. And not just cuz Angle makes it fashionable to pick other amateur wrestlers; they're also the two most promising guys who are neither cruisers, nor guys who were signed just because they are "giants" (like the disappointing Russ McCullough).

But we'll have to just wait and see....


Rick
rick@onlineonslaught.com

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gusmahler
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posted on 2-27-2002 at 11:48 PM Edit Post
Forgot about Rock

I guess I forgot about Rock. It's easy to forget because they forced Rocky Maivia down our throats at first and that didn't work. It was only the Rock that caught the People's eye.

He is unique in that he has an incredible amount of charisma and has the crowd eating out of hand. Sure, he is not a great technician, but he is no Hogan or Nash either, in that he is a good, young athelete who is not a total joke in the ring. But even Rock took longer than a year to become champ.

The funny thing about the Rock is that it shows that the WWF is not always the best judge of charisma. If you ever listen to Rock's "vanilla babyface" promos, you wonder what the WWF was thinking when they gave him those promos.

Coupled with the fact that they thought that Steve Austin and Mick Foley needed managers when they first joined the WWF(!), and you gotta wonder what is going to happen when you unleash some of the midcarders on the mic, because the WWF doesn't know either.

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gusmahler
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posted on 2-27-2002 at 11:56 PM Edit Post
Didn't forget Goldberg

Also, before someone says What about Goldberg? (What about me? What about Raven? )

I purposely ignored him. He has terrible mic skills and was never that good in the ring. In contrast, Rock is probably best in WWF on the Mic and above average in the ring, while Angle is among the top 2 workers and among the top 5 on the mic. (IMO).

(as an aside, I would rate Angle as #2 and maybe even #1 in WWF. Rock is getting repetitive these days, though his Hogan promo probably shot him back to #1. Austin is just shilling "What?" t-shirts these days, Flair is a shell of his former self on the mic (but he was so good, that even a 50% Flair is better than most). Don't know about Jericho though. He is a little spotty as has stepped up of late, but is getting a little repetitive as well with his "living legend, larger than life" schtick.

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BigBlue86
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posted on 2-28-2002 at 03:52 AM Edit Post
I think the reason is kinda vanilla. Kurt has a tremendous work ethic. He has a strong desire to excel. There are others on the WWF who share these traits as well, but they are established stars.

Other than that...maybe just being in the right place at the right time.






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Kneecaps
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posted on 2-28-2002 at 06:22 AM Edit Post
The Angle push happened simply because the fans responded to him. I highly doubt they thoght he would get such a response right off the bat. All they did was ride the wave.

You gotta attribute it to Angle, though. A guy that wins a gold medal is gonna be someone who's dedicated to succeeding at all costs. I wouldn't doubt that he constantly critiqued himself and threw out the stuff that failed and kept the stuff that worked.

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