Kurt Angle Describes Lack Of Sense In Modern Wrestling

Kurt Angle

Former World Champion Kurt Angle has commented on the lack of psychology in modern wrestling, leading to many matches being more of a spotfest where the moves don’t make sense.

After winning Olympic gold (with a broken neck, in case you didn’t know), Kurt Angle’s professional wrestling career spanned plenty of top promotions and led to him working with many of the main stars throughout the era before hanging up his boots.

During the time and since his retirement, the style of wrestling which is popular with fans has evolved greatly, and it’s something Angle is acutely aware of.

During an interview with SHAK Wrestling, Kurt Angle described how the art of psychology in matches has decreased over the years.

It’s receded because a lot of these athletes now just do a bunch of spots. Nothing really makes sense. It’s more of a spot fest. They go out there and do these impressive things, a couple flips over the top rope onto the floor, you know? Things that don’t tell a story, you know? Psychology is the most important thing in wrestling and you want to have great psychology and a good storyline. A good story is babyface versus heel.

The babyface shines on the heel, the heel sells, the heel cheats, gets the babyface face down, gets heat on the heel, or the heel gets heat on the babyface. The babyface makes a big comeback, you have the false finishes, and then the finish. So if you have that certain psychology in wrestling, you’re going to get it right every time as long as you do that. But a lot of these matches now, there’s no baby and no heel. It’s just two athletes going at it and I think that’s where we lost a little bit of our psychology.

Angle continued by noting that it isn’t just a modern problem, as many moves used in professional wrestling would be no use in a real fight.

There are a lot of moves that don’t really hurt. I mean the most popular finish of all time, the Stone Cold Stunner, it doesn’t knock you out. Honestly, there are a lot of moves that if you’re a real fighter, a real MMA fighter and you’ve never watched pro wrestling and you start watching it, you’re going to go ‘what the hell is this?’

I’ll give you an example. When the heel gets the babyface down, the heels get heat on the face, makes a comeback, starts fighting, making a comeback, and then he stops, runs the other way, hits the ropes, and comes back to the heel. Why would you run away from the heel when you’re beating him up already? So there are a lot of things in pro wrestling that if you’re a real MMA fighter and you never saw pro wrestling, you’re not going to understand. You’re going to think it’s stupid.

As a further thought, Kurt Angle isolated one spot which particularly draws his ire.

A spot where somebody is running ropes and someone leapfrogs. Why would you, if you leapfrog somebody, somebody steps over, you’re going to stop and catch them and slam them. But there are things in pro wrestling when I first started, I didn’t understand. I was like ‘that makes no sense. I don’t understand why they would do a leapfrog or, if you tackled somebody and you got him down and then the guy hits the ropes and it allows you to get back up again.’ I didn’t understand that. It just didn’t make any sense to me.

Kurt Angle’s last match took place at WrestleMania 35 in New Jersey, where he lost to Baron Corbin. He has, however, revealed that he wouldn’t completely rule out a return to the ring.

With thanks to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.