Machine shut down

Tuesday night, Paul Heyman took Kurt Angle out of the scheduled Triple Threat No. 1 Contender Ladder Match on ECW on Sci Fi, making it a one-on-one encounter between Rob Van Dam and Sabu. Citing a recent groin injury suffered by Angle, Heyman said that allowing him to compete would be against ECW's best interests.

"This is a business, and ECW has insurance to worry about," said Heyman. "I am not going to risk ECW losing its liability insurance by allowing an already injured man into the ring."

Heyman seems to have a legitimate excuse. On Sunday night, Angle injured his groin during a match with Rob Van Dam at the ECW live event in White Plains, N.Y. Angle has extensive bruising, which extends from his lower groin all the way up to his left hip. But even though he is experiencing severe pain, the Wrestling Machine is understandably furious about losing his opportunity.

"I never asked to be taken out of that match; Paul Heyman took it upon himself to pull me out of the match because he knew damn well that I would win," Angle said. "I was ready to become a 7-time World Champion, and not too many guys have accomplished that. But now, Heyman will have to eat his words because after SummerSlam, he's got the Wrestling Machine coming after him and Big Show."

As a matter of fact, the Wrestling Machine said he was ready to compete on Sci Fi, injured groin or not.

"I know the consequences of this, and that I could probably injure myself more," Angle admitted, "but I won an Olympic Gold Medal with a broken neck. There's no reason that I can't win the ECW World Title with a pulled groin. I know how severe the injury is, and I know that the more I wrestle, the longer it will take to heal…but I had no intention of pulling out of the match. Really, it's just a bunch of bull that Paul Heyman has put together to keep his giant champion protected."

Of course, Heyman sees things just a bit differently.

"Unfortunately, Kurt Angle does not have a medical degree and is unqualified in self-diagnosis as to the severity of his injury," Heyman stated.  "If you cut off both of Angle's legs, he'd crawl on his arms into the ring…and probably be very successful. But that doesn't make it a safe working environment. I'm not going to jeopardize ECW because of Kurt Angle's insatiable desire to become the ECW World Heavyweight Champion."

With it now set to be Sabu vs. Big Show at SummerSlam, Angle hopes he gets his opportunity against the Death-Defying Maniac.

"I pray to God Sabu wins," he said, "that way I get a little redemption to some degree; at least Big Show isn't the champion. Heyman and Big Show will still have to deal with me, but I'll just take the ECW World Title from Sabu. Whoever it is, it doesn't matter. After how I got screwed, I have no feeling for anyone whatsoever; it's all about me."

Angle's focus is obviously still on the gold, but he said that he won't wait for his injury to heal fully before he goes after it.

"Not even 100 percent, I'm coming back right away," he said. "I'll work through this while I heal. I've been injured many times; I've had two neck surgeries and broken my neck twice more since I've been in WWE. Nothing has stopped me from getting what I want. The injury will heal; I'm going to toughen up and suck it up for the next couple months, and I'll get through it. I can win the ECW World Title even with a groin injury, because I'm that much better than everybody. Not to say these guys aren't tough…but I'm Kurt Angle, and I'm a Wrestling Machine."

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