If it was anyone else, this might be a surprise. But it's not, so it's not.
In a recent interview with Busted Open radio, Kurt Angle sounded off on TNA's creative process, calling it flawed and decrying the lack of communication between all parties involved, which is far too many for his liking.
But he did so while complimenting Hulk Hogan, one of two men (the other being Eric Bischoff) who hold the most power within the company. That's simultaneously smart and sad. Here's Angle's beef:
"I think we did a lot of things right and a lot of things wrong. The most important thing I'd say is the lack of communication within the writing and creative team. When you have a written show and you present that to everybody and then they start changing things and it becomes a watered down version of what the writer wanted in the first place, now you don't know which way to go. We do have a lot of chefs in the kitchen. I think that is the hardest part for our company because when Vince Russo is writing the show and you have Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff and a few other people and other TNA writers changing it up the last second, which I don't disagree with what Hogan says, I agree with him 100-percent. But we need to regroup earlier, maybe a week earlier, and get it done, change it up, make sure we have the right changes so that we can keep going with the storyline the right way."
This is Angle's way of playing as nice as possible while attempting to make it seem as though he's got an issue with how TNA is going about booking its shows. And the reality is that he's right when he says there are far too many chefs in the kitchen and there are far too many people with the ability to step in and mold things to how they see fit.
The big issue in TNA is the lack of clean wrestling. I mean that to say, how often does a TNA match end without a smoz finish? Everything is overbooked and no one is going over because of it. After all, how can we take Bobby Roode serious as world heavyweight champion when he was beat clean by Angle and then won the title through nefarious means and has held onto it in the least dominate way imaginable? You just can't.
Heels can win being cowardly but they have to be established first and that never happened for Roode. Angle was supposed to put him over clean at Bound for Glory and that was changed at the last minute by Hogan.
Which leads into the next point Angle made that makes sense but seemingly won't change:
"We're starting to get to the point where these (younger) guys are going to start full-time and Kurt Angle and Sting can dwindle off and retire. That's what we need to happen and that's what's happening right now and I'm glad because I don't want to leave TNA and leave an open spot there. I can't wrestle forever. As a matter of fact, I am already talking about retirement. It's about making guys and putting them in my spot and making sure they are secure there before I leave."
That's all well and good but he's not actually "making" anyone. As stated previously, he was supposed to "make" Roode but that didn't happen and now we have a world champion who still seems like nothing more than a mid-card tag wrestler.
The man who was booked to take his place, James Storm, hasn't been made either, as evidenced by his losing to Angle at Genesis. That's all to set up a match on Impact, of course, that will likely lead to Storm going over on TV where the most viewers can see it happen but ask yourself this -- has Storm come out of this feud with Angle looking any better than he did going in?
The answer, sadly, is no. The cream will usually rise to the top unless there are those in power deliberately holding it down. And as long as Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff are around, we're always going to have situations like the former touting the latter's son as some big deal in pro wrestling when the kid can barely take a bump. Hogan literally buried the entire locker room just to put over Garrett Bischoff on Twitter.
But because he holds so much power, even veteran talent like Angle aren't going to go after him.
TNA does a lot of things wrong. And that's because the wrong people are in power. Until that changes, everything else will remain the same, no matter who the booker is and no matter how smart the creative team can be.