This is the biggest question to me in all the "will he, won't he" speculation (he won't) on Angle making a trip into the world of MMA. He has a long history of serious neck injuries and drug addiction.
At the 1996 Olympic Trials Kurt fractured two cervical vertebrae and herniated 2 discs. He won the trails, rehabed and won the Olympic gold medal...albeit with the help of pain-reducing injections. This injury also resulted in a vicodin addiction.
In April 2003 Angle underwent neck surgery to repair nerve and spinal damage, calcium buildup, bone spurs, and other problems with his discs. He chose to not have damaged discs fused together as would be the common practice in such a surgery. Possibly as a result of this Angle underwent neck surgery again in November of that same year.
In 2006 Angle was released from his contract with the WWE and claims that he was addicted to painkillers again at this time.
Angle also was a part of the widespread wrestling steroid "bust" in 2007. From Angle's Wikipedia Entry:
On March 6, 2007, Sports Illustrated reported that Angle's name was found in the client database of a Florida wellness center suspected of being a front for distributing performance-enhancing drugs. The magazine alleged Angle had received prescriptions for trenbolone (which is not approved for human use by the FDA) and nandrolone, both anabolic steroids. Angle responded on his official website: "I did not improperly receive prescriptions. It is well documented that in my career I have broken vertebrae in my neck on five occasions and each time the course of treatment was under the care and supervision of my doctors. Any attempt to link me to the athletes in the current news accounts who may have improperly sought performance-enhancing drugs is without foundation."
Approximately two weeks later on March 19, 2007, Sports Illustrated posted on its website another article in its continuing series investigating a steroid and HGH ring used by a number of professional athletes in several sports. That article mentioned that 10 other professional wrestlers were implicated to have received performance-enhancing drugs from the same drug ring including four current WWE wrestlers and Eddie Guerrero. Kurt never failed a drug test for pain pills. He did, however, fail a steroid test under WWE's Wellness Policy because his prescription for Deca-Durabolin had expired.
So basically in Angle we have a guy who has broken vertebrae in his neck on five occasions, had multiple neck surgeries, and as a result of these problems has been addicted to painkillers. And we're talking about the possibility of this guy fighting for a major MMA promotion?
Would any athletic commission actually approve Angle to fight? One takedown gone wrong and his neck is toast...again. Can he function through a full training camp without steroids, HGH or pain killers?
This isn't even a "Kurt Angle is full of crap" issue...this is a Kurt Angle has dangerous health concerns issue. I personally don't want to see Angle make his way into our sport for many reasons...but seeing his neck give out on PPV is pretty high on the list.