**4/30 Breaking News Edition**
WWE.com has announced that Kurt Angle suffered a cracked rib on the European tour last week and will be out of action indefinitely while he heals. There was an injury angle during Friday's Smackdown match between Mark Henry and Angle to explain Angle's absence although WWE.com is saying that Angle has been valiantly working with the cracked rib since the tour.
As confusing as that sounds, sources say that Angle is taking time off not for a cracked rib but to heal several injuries accumulated over the months of constant wear and tear on his body. His neck, in particular, has taken a pounding and he needs some time away from the ring. WWE.com is reporting that Angle will be out of action indefinitely but other sources are saying he will only be gone a matter of a few weeks to a month. There is no time frame for Angle to return and Smackdown is losing another very valuable player along with Orton and Batista.
Angle's match against Booker T. for a King of the Ring slot has been canceled and Booker will receive a bye - or an automatic win - and will move up to the next round.
As far as the Smackdown World Title picture, Rey Mysterio will defend the belt against JBL at the Judgment Day pay per view next month. Expect a shake up because one of these men also needs time to heal some injuries and is planning time off after the pay per view. I will tell you more in my next news update but will white out which man is slated to take time off for those who don't want to know.
You can read WWE.com's story about Angle, which is really just that and not reality, at this link: Wrestling Machine dismantled.
Batista is expected back sometime in May. The sooner, the better for Smackdown. Ratings are slipping and, with the loss of Angle for a while, Orton for another six weeks, and yet another top guy soon, Smackdown is desperate for star power.
I will be back with the ECW news I promised in just a little bit.
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