Read my lips

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but from now on, a shot of Kurt Angle's face may be worth 1001. Recently, Angle had several custom mouthpieces made, all bearing a word or phrase that will describe what he is thinking heading into a match. And when the "Wrestling Machine" returns to the ring at Judgment Day, his dental guard will serve as not only protection, but also as an extra source of motivation.

While it may make him look like more of a badass in the ring, the mouthpiece originally came into Angle's wardrobe as the result of an injury. "I got some teeth knocked out in a Steel Cage Match against John Cena during an international tour last fall," Angle told me. "Instead of going to the dentist, I went and bought a mouthpiece, and for the rest of the tour I would put my broken teeth inside the mouthpiece and shove it into my mouth." While it began as protection, the look it gave Angle made the mouthpiece a permanent fixture. "I wore that thing in and out of the ring, and when Mr. McMahon saw me with it, he loved it. It makes me look like even more of a badass."

So how did he come to add the phrases? "I went to my dentist with the idea to put letters on the mouthpiece. He originally thought it was impossible, but we found a company in California that could do it," Angle recalled. "They took my impression, and put the letters inside a lamination to put on the mouthpiece."

As of now, Angle has had eight mouthpieces made, but foresees more in the near future. "The first one I had made says Machine, because I'm the Wrestling Machine. But, there are more for whatever mood I'm in at the time, such as revenge." The Olympic Gold Medalist thinks the new addition will help him gain a psychological advantage. "I can be a man of few words, because I can let my opponent know what's coming simply by opening my mouth."

Angle is proud of his new gear, but the six-time World Champion thinks that the fans will get a kick out of them as well. "I plan on getting as many made as I can, because I think the fans will get into it. The more creative I get, the more they'll want to see what I'm wearing. It'll be unpredictable, though, because you never know just what I'm thinking."

So what will we see at Judgment Day? "You'll have to wait and see; maybe it'll be machine, maybe revenge, or maybe a totally new one," Angle said coyly. "Whatever it is, it's for me to know, you to wonder, and Mark Henry to worry about."

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