The Kurt Angle Storyline Embraces Wrestling-As-Soap-Opera

For the past month, one of the only storylines in WWE with a compelling level of mystery and suspense has been Kurt Angle’s secret, kept only by an enigmatic Corey Graves. Given how repetitive and simplistic wrestling storylines can tend to be, this was a breath of fresh air. Even if the general consensus was “this reveal is going to be stupid,” it was refreshing to see, if nothing else, a commentator be a part of a storyline (Cole vs. Lawler notwithstanding.) For a while, the what ifs weren’t fantasy booking – they were speculation.

You know, like you would about a story with twists.

A prevailing theory was that WWE had secretly bought TNA and were going to run a Dixie Carter affair angle. (Which would, incidentally, also certainly lead to Broken Matt Hardy.) The one I saw the second most frequently was that Chad Gable was Kurt’s illegitimate son.

Which was, of course, ridiculous, because it turns out Jason Jordan is Kurt Angle’s illegitimate son, and you can’t have both.

The fact that this story is happening at all is bananas. The fact that it’s happening in 2017, when familial relationships are probably the last type of kayfabe people are naturally willing to buy into, is biting directly into the banana, peel and all. Kane and The Undertaker get away with it because they were from a different time.

Oh, but don’t get me wrong. I mean all of this in the most positive way possible. As Netflix’s GLOW recently reminded us, wrestling is a soap opera with fewer evil twins and more body slams. It’s hokey by default. And taking that hokiness all the way – with comas and reconstructive surgeries and “I’m in love with your brother” – would be kind of a disaster, or maybe awesome, but the risk/reward is a little too high for my liking. But going too far in the other direction is excitement poison. If WWE won’t indulge its sports side or its soap side, you end up with a product that’s not terrible, but certainly not above “fine.”

We all know Jason Jordan isn’t Kurt Angle’s son. We all know this storyline is going to be really silly and over-the-top. But I know that there’s a place for this, and that wrestling is supposed to be fun.

And if it does crash and burn… well, hey, we all forgot that Big Show is Andre the Giant’s son eventually, didn’t we?

Written by Bobby Murphy (@RobertJMurph)

Image courtesy of WWE.com

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