For some reason, Kurt Angle just seems to attract controversy. The latest example of this occurred over the weekend with a bizarre series of events at the 2012 George Tragos / Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall Of Fame ceremony.
For those unaware of this annual event since 1999, it's a pro wrestling HOF located within the Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum in Waterloo, Iowa, run by wrestling historian Mike Chapman. It was initially designed to recognise pro wrestlers with an amateur wrestling background, but over the years that latter criteria has been loosened to also include wrestlers that were legitimately tough and could shoot even though they never wrestled as an amateur.
This year's star inductee was Kurt Angle, who with his Olympic gold medal in heavyweight freestyle wrestling was a perfect fit for the HOF, and had been advertised to appear at the ceremony. However, Angle pulled out of the event at the last minute, which at the time was reportedly due to a TNA scheduling conflict.
That would have been understandable, but Angle wasn't even booked on TNA's house shows this weekend. Perhaps unsurprisingly then, the promoters of the event were very upset at Angle's behaviour, likely feeling lied to and that Angle had decided to blow off the appearance for no good reason. Even taking this into account, no-one could have expected what would happen on the day when Gerald Brisco accepted the award on Angle's behalf.
In a wrestling first, Brisco buried the HOF inductee then auctioned off his plaque to the fans in attendance:
It ended up being Jerry burying Kurt and his manager for him not showing up since they only induct people who agree to attend as a big selling point for the fans is getting to meet the wrestlers. Each person inducted receives a plaque with their face on it with career accomplishments. Jerry auctioned off the plaque that Kurt was supposed to get with all the proceeds going to the museum. The room was waiting for an "I'm kidding" but he legitimately auctioned off the plaque for $250. I assume it would have went higher if everyone had thought Brisco was serious to start with.
In the old days, missing a scheduled date was the ultimate no no, so it's unsurprising that a veteran like Brisco would take such umbrage with Angle's no show.
Upon hearing the news, Angle unsurprisingly spouted off on Brisco via Twitter before characteristically backtracking:
Jerry Brisco Made a Mockery Out Of Me and the Dan Gable Museum HOF By Auctioning Off My Award. This Award Is a Huge Honor. U Spit on Me ... Due to Obligations I Had With My Wedding, I Could Not Attend HOF. I Even Made a 10 Min Video Proudly Accepting this Great Honor. I'm Disappointed I Couldn't Go, But Devastated Jerry Gave Away My Award. Very Classy Jerry.
Thank You All for Your Support. I Should Have Contacted Jerry personally. He Is My friend. We Will Resolve this. No Harm Done. Thk U!
Angle wasn't the only one to backtrack, as the Dan Gable museum announced via Facebook that he was going to get his plaque after all:
It's true! Kurt Angle's plaque is at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum with Lou Thesz's widow, Charlie Thesz. Gerry Brisco had the plaque back within an hour and it will be sent to Kurt Angle.
Angle didn't react to this news with satisfaction, but was more confused about the whole farce which he set in motion:
I Don't Know What to Believe of HOF. Was it a Rib or a Message. I'm proud to Be In Tna. This Is My Home. I can Go Anywhere. But I Love Tna.
I'm not sure what TNA had to do with all this, but maybe Angle can't keep track of his stories. It wouldn't be the first time.