The Angle Alliance
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|The Angle Alliance|
|Members||Kurt Angle (leader)
Christian Cage (one-night leader)
|Name(s)||The Angle Alliance
|Debut||November 11, 2007|
The Angle Alliance was a heel wrestling stable headed by Kurt Angle (and briefly Christian Cage on a self-proclaimed basis) in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. For Lockdown 2008, in the absence of Kurt from the stable's activities, Tomko captained a subdivision under the name "Team Tomko".
The formation took place at Genesis when A.J. Styles and Tomko assisted Angle in helping him keep the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Styles wanted to have the Angle Alliance and Christian's Coalition join forces; however, Cage denied Angle's request of being his "lackey", thus Styles and Tomko were dropped from the Coalition. After Angle offered membership to both Robert Roode and Christian, Roode quickly accepted while Cage stalled with insults towards all the members. He eventually followed suit under the condition that he became the leader, which the group apparently agreed to before Angle and Roode turned on and attacked him the same night, with Styles trying to hold them back and Tomko walking out on the scene. The next week Angle and Roode attacked Cage after the match again with Styles this time not helping his former captain. Roode was then simply phased out of the Alliance and concentrated on his own separate feud with Booker T. In the weeks following, Styles had to decide to be in either the Angle Alliance or Christian's Coalition. Two weeks before Final Resolution on an episode of TNA impact!, Tomko left both groups stating that he wants to be his own man.
Turning on Christian
At Final Resolution, A.J. Styles finally decided to join the Angle Alliance, when he helped Angle retain his TNA World Heavyweight Championship against Christian, turning on his former captain for good after being seduced by Karen's charms and Kurt's power. On the following Impact!, A.J. was rechristened as "(the) Prince (of Phenomenal)" A.J. Styles, with fellow Alliance members Kurt, Karen, and Jeremy Borash. After Christian came out running down A.J. and Karen, both he and Samoa Joe, who came out next, claimed to deserve title shots. Before Joe and Christian could go down to the ring, Jim Cornette interrupted and announced a 3-way #1 contender's match between Christian, Joe, and A.J. (where if A.J. won, he could have an option to have a match with Kurt Angle and get Angle two months off from defending the world title until the April Lockdown PPV). Christian, however, won and earned the title match at February's Against All Odds. Angle then went on to attempt to get Tomko back in the Alliance. In the process, however, he insulted his wife. Tomko went on to brutally beat up Angle throughout the Impact Zone, then to defeat him in a one-on-one match with Styles as the referee and with assistance from Cage - at which point the Alliance now had drawn the simultaneous ire of both Christian Cage and Tomko. At the pay per view, Tomko made his decision: he interfered on Angle's behalf, cementing his place in the Alliance and costing Christian his last title opportunity. On the following edition of Impact!, Tomko confirmed his membership in the stable, although he made it clear that he would do what he wanted and he was looking out for his own best interest not Angle's.
After losing to Christian, Joe, and Kevin Nash at Destination X, Tomko was told to captain a four-man team against a team headed by Christian Cage for the Lethal Lockdown match at the upcoming Lockdown pay-per-view event. Tomko's team was quickly established as A.J. and Team 3D. In the middle of this, Angle appeared to show support to Team Tomko, making 3D members-by-proxy of the Angle Alliance. Eventually James Storm was added to Team Tomko by Team Cage's secret fifth member, Matt Morgan, who revealed his true stripes at the end of the same night.
Setup for the breakdown
Since the night Tomko officially rejoined the Angle Alliance after Against All Odds, tensions already started developing involving Karen Angle. As Samoa Joe and Kevin Nash interrupted Kurt and Karen's renewal of the vows, chasing Kurt off and stripping him nearly naked in the Impact Zone, Styles, whose school boy crush on Karen due to her seductions was the basis for him even being a member of the Angle Alliance, was literally thrown into wedlock with her, effectively making him her (kayfabe) second husband. Since then, Kurt has been at odds with Karen, Kurt feeling that Karen was becoming an embarrassment and a distraction, and showed little to no respect for Styles' crush on her whenever he tried to mend the fences. This also put a strain on Styles and Tomko as a tag team, as Tomko often wanted to keep focused while Styles was distracted with Karen.
This (and any camaraderie or storyline between the Alliance members other than Styles and Tomko's tag team) was only briefly referenced coming into Lockdown, as Karen wasn't making any appearances, Kurt was focused on his title match with Samoa Joe, and A.J. and Tomko focused on captaining Team Tomko against the new Team Cage.
The Alliance's breakdown
At Lockdown, Kurt Angle was met by his wife Karen, who he promptly proceeded to throw out of the building so as to avoid any distractions. In the double main events, Angle lost his TNA World Heavyweight Championship to Samoa Joe, and Team Tomko was defeated by Team Cage with neither A.J. or Tomko involved in the decision.
After Lockdown, Styles and Tomko lost the TNA World Tag Team Championship to Eric Young and Kaz in a controversy involving Young and his "Super Eric" alter-ego, under which he pinned Styles, not recognizing each other as one and the same. This resulted in the championships being vacated. Tomko was not seen having any communication with Kurt Angle, and as he was away in Japan (figurative kayfabe; he was actually suspended for going there earlier in the midst of the Lockdown storyline and no-showing TNA's pre-Lockdown Fanfest), Styles tried to bring Karen to the Impact Zone, but Kurt had them thrown out as soon as he caught wind of it.
Meanwhile, the associates from the instantly dissolved Team Tomko would actually expand, as Storm would align himself with former Alliance member Robert Roode, forming what eventually became Beer Money, Inc., though when Styles needed a partner after Tomko was injured in a shoot fight in Japan (extended kayfabe for the suspension), both Storm and Roode refused. Styles would align with the fan favorite Super Eric instead. After Tomko returned from Japan and questioned Styles once again, A.J. had enough of the constant grilling and quit the Angle Alliance.
Accusing Styles of stealing Karen away whilst having no proof, Kurt Angle and Tomko then aligned with Team 3D as part of a loose collective of "bad guys" which at times had also included mostly every single important heel on the TNA roster at the time, most frequently Booker T, Johnny Devine, The Beautiful People (Angelina Love and Velvet Sky) and Kurt's mixed martial artist friend Frank Trigg. Tomko later left TNA and came back for one last appearance, while Kurt eventually moved on to form a pact with several wrestling legends within TNA, creating the stable known as the Main Event Mafia.
The Angle Alliance had a one night reunion on the December 17th edition of Impact! in what was supposed to be a 10 man tag team match with Bobby Lashley and Abyss but ended up turning into essentially a 3-on-2 handicap match against the British Invasion after Lashley and Abyss took off with their then-rivals Scott Steiner, Dr. Stevie and Raven. Tomko, Angle, and Styles ended up winning the match after Styles pinned Brutus Magnus with a small package, only for Styles and Angle to be attacked afterward by Christopher Daniels and Desmond Wolfe respectively.
Championships and accomplishments
- Chris Sokol (March 14, 2008). "Impact: Lethal Lockdown begins to take shape". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-03-15.
- Kurt Angle Profile at Online World Of Wrestling