Kurt Steven Angle (born in December 9, 1968 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) is an American 1996 Olympic gold medalist in freestyle wrestling and now a professional wrestler performing for World Wrestling Entertainment on its RAW brand. Among his trademarks is the audience--whether he is face or heel--chanting "you suck!" in time with his entrance music.
- 1 Amateur wrestling
- 2 Extreme Championship Wrestling
- 3 WWF/WWE
- 4 Personal life
- 5 Trivia
- 6 In wrestling
- 7 Championships and accomplishments
- 8 Books
- 9 Videos
- 10 External links
Angle had a distinguished career in amateur wrestling even before winning in the 1996 Olympics. He was a 2-time NCAA Division I champion and a 3-time NCAA Division I All-American while attending Clarion University of Pennsylvania. He was also 1987 USA Junior Freestyle champion, 2-time USA Senior Freestyle champion, and 1988 USA FILA Junior World Freestyle champion. Angle reached the pinnacle of his amateur career at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, winning the 100 kg (220-pound) freestyle wrestling competition, becoming the only American to do this, even while suffering from two fractured cervical vertebrae in his neck.
Not long after his high-profile Olympic success, he decided to enter the world of broadcasting. He was hired to do sports commentary during the 10 PM nightly newscast on Pittsburgh TV WPGH channel 53. Promoted as "The Angle on Sports", Kurt was visibly nervous and had trouble speaking on camera. His news career lasted only a few short months before he turned to professional wrestling. The move brought sharp criticism from his peers in the freestyle wrestling community who regard pro wrestling as a mockery of their sport.
Extreme Championship Wrestling
On October 26, 1996 Angle was convinced to attend the taping of an ECW event named High Incident by Shane Douglas. Angle provided guest commentary during a match between Taz and Little Guido, but walked out of the building after the infamous "crucifixion storyline" (where Raven attached The Sandman to a cross using barbed wire). Angle was shocked by the controversial imagery and feared that his career prospects would be damaged if he was associated with the incident, so threatened to sue ECW owner Paul Heyman if he was shown on TV in the same broadcast as the stunt.
Template:Cleanup-section Less than four years after earning Olympic gold, and after many months spent in developmental territories and competing in untelevised dark matches for the WWF, Angle officially debuted for the WWF on November 14, 1999 at the annual Survivor Series PPV event, held that year at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. He faced and defeated Shawn Stasiak in his debut match. His character, touting morality and the "three I's" -- intensity, integrity, and intelligence -- was a spoof of the all-American babyfaces of the 1980s; this arrogant, egotistic character was meant to be a heel in the anti-hero, Attitude Era 1990s.
Angle initially embarked on an undefeated streak, though he suffered a loss in a tag team match when his partner, Steve Blackman, was pinned. This led to a match between the two at Armageddon 1999, which Angle won with a German Suplex. His streak continued into 2000, when he was scheduled to face an unknown opponent at the Royal Rumble. The opponent was revealed as the debuting Tazz, who rendered Angle unconscious using his Tazzmission hold. However, Angle claimed that the Tazzmission was an illegal choke hold, and his streak was therefore unbroken (he was finally beaten decisively by The Rock).
Angle won the European Championship on February 8, 2000, defeating Val Venis. On February 27 at No Way Out Angle defeated Chris Jericho for the Intercontinental Championship after (illegally) using the title belt to block Jericho's Lionsault. He would then unofficially merge the two titles into the "Eurocontinental" Championship. Angle was the third wrestler to hold both these titles at once, following D'Lo Brown (who, as Angle humorously put it on TV, "doesn't count") and Jeff Jarrett.
Veteran wrestler Bob Backlund became Angle's mentor, but, unfortunately for Angle, Backlund agreed to a match on Angle's behalf that would see him defend both his titles in a triple threat match. As this meant that Angle could lose his titles without being beaten, he was understandably angry, and used Backlund's own Crossface Chickenwing hold on him. This allowed Angle to adopt the Crossface Chickenwing as his new finishing move. On April 2, 2000 at WrestleMania 2000, Angle faced Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho, and lost both belts without being pinned or made to submit.
Angle began showing feelings to Triple H's wife Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley. Stephanie sought a guy she can express her feelings to, and she chose Angle after she caught Triple H with Trish Stratus. This resulted in a feud with Triple H. During the storyline, both Angle and Triple H along with Stephanie were still known as heels. However, Angle's loss in popularity would make Triple H a new fan favourite. This feud also involved The Rock. Around this time, Angle adopted a new finishing move, an elevated spinning back suplex variation he called "The Olympic Slam". The feud ended after Stephanie dumped Angle by kicking him in the groin, followed by a Pedigree from Triple H.
In addition, Angle won the King of the Ring tournament in June 2000, defeating Rikishi in the finals, and wrestled in the main event of SummerSlam in August. With his on-screen nerves totally gone, Angle's light-hearted holier-than-thou routines provided the perfect complement to his intense and tough wrestling style and helped to get him 'over' to fans massively.
The perfect proof of this fast progress came with his crowning achievement: defeating The Rock at No Mercy in October 2000 to win the WWF Championship. His title reign was impressive, defeating The Undertaker at Survivor Series (with some help from older brother Eric Angle) and eventually winning the 6-Man Hell in a Cell at Armageddon. His victory at Armaggedon was regardly known as the greatest title defense ever, defeating the greatest of the World Wrestling Federation, The Rock, Triple H, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Undertaker, and Rikishi. Entering 2001, Angle adopted the lethal ankle lock submission hold, made famous by Ken Shamrock. He would acquire the managerial services of Trish Stratus and renewed his feud with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley. Thanks to Stone Cold Steve Austin, Angle defeated Triple H at Royal Rumble. He held the WWF Title for four months before losing it to the man he defeated for the title, The Rock.
He teamed up with Chris Benoit to take on The Rock. However, Angle turned on Benoit, and as a result Benoit was face. At WrestleMania X-Seven, Angle hooked Benoit's tights to get the pinfall victory. The feud was far from over. At Backlash, Benoit and Angle went at it in an Ultimate Submissions Match (an Iron Man Match in which only submissions count as victories). Benoit and Angle used a variety of submission maneuvers. Benoit won. At Judgment Day, the two went at in a 2 out of 3 Falls match, and Angle's gold medal was placed on the line. Benoit won the first fall. Angle went for Benoit's own Flying Headbutt but Benoit moved out of the way and gave Angle the Olympic Slam. Angle would win the second fall. Angle no-sold Benoit's DDT and gave Benoit the Olympic Slam followed by the ankle lock for a submission. Angle won the third fall and retained the gold medal after his goons Edge and Christian interfered.
Later he would also win the Hardcore Championship defeating Rob Van Dam, WCW World Heavyweight Championship defeating Booker T, and the WCW US Championship defeating Rhyno. Angle has been in WWE for less than three years, and yet he has captured the attention of the fans worlwide and became a huge superstar.
He is also noted for his comedic storylines, such as his 2000/2001 stint with Team ECK, featuring Edge and Christian, and his goofy, stooge-like role during The Invasion storyline of 2001 alongside Stone Cold Steve Austin and Vince McMahon. During that time he turned face by having Austin turn on him: Angle toppled Austin for his second WWF title in an emotional bout in September 2001 in his home town by making Austin tap out to the Ankle Lock. He lost it back to Austin just a few weeks later when WWF Commissioner William Regal turned heel and joined the WCW/ECW Alliance. Angle then turned heel again by turning his back on the WWF and joining the WCW/ECW Alliance he'd spent months fighting against. At Survivor Series 2001 there was a winner takes all match. WWF vs. The Alliance. After being eliminated in the match Angle later returned to the ring to pick up the title belt as the ref was down. It looked as though Angle was about to strike the Rock however turned on the Alliance and struck Stone Cold which led to the Rock getting the victory. Angle 'returned' to the WWF fold and remained a sneering, patronizing, yet humorous heel.
At Vengeance 2001, Angle was one of four men to take part in the tournament to crown the first ever Undisputed Champion. After a strong battle with Stone Cold, Kurt became victim of the Stunner and was eliminated from the mix.
The year kicked off as Angle competed in his first Royal Rumble match. He was the last man eliminated by Triple H. By No Way Out Angle had got himself into a no 1 contender's match with Triple H where Stephanie McMahon was the referee. After a chair shot and an Angle Slam, Angle pinned Triple H to become the no 1 contender for WrestleMania X8. However in the weeks to follow, WWE co-owner at the time, Ric Flair gave Triple H another match with Angle which he won and stripped Kurt of his Wrestlemania title shot. He did however go on to WrestleMania X8 to defeat Kane. Kane went for a chokeslam but Angle was able to reverse with a vertical suplex and pin Kane, using the ropes for extra leverage.
At WWE Backlash 2002, Angle defeated former friend Edge when Edge went for a spear but Angle got a boot up. Angle then finished the match with the Angle Slam for the 1-2-3.
At Judgment Day 2002, Angle was in a "Hair vs. Hair" match with Edge. With a surprise inside cradle, Edge beat Angle; however, Angle ran to the back while Edge chased him around the building. Eventually Edge caught Angle and applied a sleeper hold which knocked him out long enough for Edge to shave his head bald. For the purposes of comic relief, Angle wore a wig for the next month. He has maintained his bald head since.
At King of the Ring 2002 Angle was billed as being the first person to defeat Hulk Hogan via submission when in fact Lex Luger had done it on WCW Monday Nitro to win the WCW Championship in 1997 and Sting did the same later in the same year as Luger. Angle's win, however, was Hogan's first defeat via sumbission on WWF or WWE programming.
After Angle won his third WWE Championship against The Big Show in December 2002, thanks to the help of Brock Lesnar and an F-5, he turned heel by hiring one of the most hated and concurrently revered managers of all time, former ECW owner, and ex-WCW talent, Paul Heyman.
On the December 26, 2002 edition of SmackDown!, as a Christmas 'gift' to his top client, Paul Heyman gave Kurt Angle his own back-up team, Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin, who debuted that night under the name Team Angle, and later dubbed themselves "The World's Greatest Tag Team."
Angle later lost his title to Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania XIX in March 2003, after Lesnar botching a Shooting Star Press and resorting to the F-5. Angle subtly turned face by congratulating and befriending Lesnar immediately afterward. (Note: Kurt Angle became the first person to kick out of the 'F5' during his match with Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania XIX)
Angle seriously considered trying to make a comeback to freestyle wrestling for the 2004 Summer Olympics, but he abandoned that plan late in 2002, when neck problems that dated back to his past amateur wrestling career recurred.
In 2003, after the aforementioned neck problems led to an almost career-ending injury, he opted for a new type of surgery that allowed him to return in two months rather than a year. Angle would gain respect from the audience, and told them that he was proud of the "You Suck!" and "What?" chants. With that the fans continued to chant those catchphrases, though not as often as when he was heel and this time, it means respect. During his brief face turn, he even told an up-and-coming heel that he "earned" those chants.
Angle would soon regain the WWE Championship in a triple threat match at Vengeance after hitting the Angle Slam on Brock Lesnar. This was his fourth title reign. Due to jealousy Lesnar turned on Angle. One month later at SummerSlam, Angle became the first of only two men to ever make Lesnar tap out, getting the submission victory with the ankle lock. Lesnar eventually regained the title in September 2003 in a 60 minute Iron Man Match on Smackdown (aired September 18.) With Lesnar leading 5 falls to 4, Angle put Lesnar in the Ankle Lock with seconds remaining. Lesnar never tapped out and as a result he became WWE Champion for the third time.
In mid-February 2004, Angle turned heel once more by turning his back on WWE Champion Eddie Guerrero. In the storyline, the reason for this was because he thought that Eddie was nothing but an embarrassment to the championship due to Eddie's real-life past problems with drugs and alcohol. He then fought, and lost to, Eddie at WrestleMania XX for the championship in March 2004, but Eddie retained the title by employing one of his infamous cheating techniques in a creative finish involving a loose boot. Eddie untied the boot and then clutched his ankle to make it look like he had a hurt ankle, so Angle went for the ankle lock but pulled the boot off Guerrero's foot, and he was then rolled up in a modified small package.
However, in March 2004 his neck problems recurred yet again, and it was feared that he would have to undergo possibly career-ending surgery. For a time, he considered having an operation similar to the one he had in 2003, but has decided against it for the time being. He also injured his knee in late 2003.
After WrestleMania XX, Angle played the role of a disabled General Manager on SmackDown!, after he was thrown off a 25-foot high ledge by The Big Show with a chokeslam and claimed he could no longer wrestle again (this was a storyline to allow Angle to recover from his recurring neck injury yet still participate in WWE shows). During his tenure he regularly favored heels over faces, and attempted to force Guerrero into being "fired" for misconduct. Angle was "fired" from that position when his career-ending injury was proved to be fake, but returned to the active roster during a SmackDown! taping on July 20 (aired on July 22).
Angle returned to the ring in July 2004 at a WWE house show in Japan. He has publicly stated that he will work a reduced in-ring schedule in the future, and is reportedly planning to change his wrestling style to reduce the risk of further damage to his neck.
On August 15, 2004, at Summerslam, Angle had his first big match since Wrestlemania XX; it was against the man who beat him in that match- Eddie Guerrero. This time, Angle removed Guererro's boot and applied the ankle lock multiple times before Guerrero eventually tapped out to an ankle lock/ legbar combination.
He then formed a stable with Luther Reigns and Mark Jindrak, dubbed Kurt Angle and his Protégés, by SmackDown! commentators. They concentrated their power on taking down The Big Show, successfully tranquilizing him, and shaving his head in the middle of the ring. This formed a feud which continued throughout 2004 and early 2005. At No Mercy 2004, Show would defeat Angle by catching Angle on the top rope and giving him a hellacious chokeslam from the top.
On November 16, 2004 in Dayton, Ohio, Kurt Angle kicked off the "Kurt Angle Invitational." This meant that, at every location where SmackDown! took place, he would allow a "hometown hero", all of whom have been local professional wrestlers, to challenge him to a match. If that person defeated Angle, he would award them with his authentic 1996 Olympic gold medal.
At the Royal Rumble 2005 on (January 30, 2005 in Fresno), Kurt Angle lost in a triple threat match against The Big Show and JBL when JBL pinned Angle after the Clothesline From Hell. However, later in the event, Kurt Angle bullied Nunzio and took his Royal Rumble spot, only to be eliminated by Shawn Michaels with a superkick, knocking Kurt over the top rope, whom he later attacked after Michaels was eliminated, dumping Michaels over the top rope to eliminate Michaels, then hitting him in the face with steel ring steps and locking in an ankle lock, kicking a feud into high gear that started when Angle insulted Michaels during 2004's Survivor Series. Meanwhile, other attempts to capture the WWE Championship came when Kurt Angle and WWE US Champion John Cena were the finalists of a #1 contenders' match. Ultimately, Cena defeated Kurt Angle after Cena repeatedly battled out of the ankle lock and finished Angle with the F-U.
As a result of what happened at the Royal Rumble, Shawn Michaels issued a challenge to Kurt Angle for a match at Wrestlemania 21, which Kurt Angle accepted when he appeared on RAW to attack Michaels. The two would continue to taunt and ambush each other until Wrestlemania in a RAW vs. SmackDown! Match.
This feud later saw Angle say he would accomplish everything Michaels has done in his 16 year career in 4 weeks. This saw Angle compete in his first ladder match during one of his "Hometown Hero" sections (for his Olympic Gold), which of course he won with ease. After the match, Angle announced that he will face Marty Jannetty, Michael's former tag team partner from the 1980s and early 1990s. Angle claimed that since Jannetty had taught Michaels "everything he knows" while part of the Rockers, he could teach Michaels "how to tap out" by forcing Jannetty to submit on SmackDown!
The next week, on SmackDown!, Angle made good on his promise and forced Jannetty to submit to his ankle lock submission, but only after a nearly 20-minute match and a strong showing for Jannetty which saw him nearly pin the Olympic champion. Next, Angle would bring in another "blast from Shawn Michaels' past" in "Sensational" Sherri. Angle came to the ring with Michaels' former manager, copying Michaels' entrance almost exactly. The pair performed their own version of Michaels' theme music, before Angle turned on Sherri and made her tap out to the Ankle Lock.
Finally, Angle beat Michaels by submission with the ankle lock/legbar combo in the highly anticipated "interpromotional" match at WrestleMania 21 on April 3, 2005. Many fans considered the match the best of the four-hour show.
On the May 12, 2005 edition of WWE SmackDown!, Angle cut a promo about Booker T's wife Sharmell, saying he wanted to have "bestiality sex" with her and then "that kind of perverted sex." At Judgment Day on May 22, he lost the resulting match with Booker T. Angle then gave Booker T an Angle Slam, and went after Sharmell with handcuffs. Unfortunately for Angle, Booker T stopped him and handcuffed him to the ropes, and let Sharmell slap Angle in the face and kick Angle between the legs.
On June 13, Angle became the second person to be drafted from SmackDown! to RAW in the 2005 WWE Draft Lottery. He continued his feud with Shawn Michaels who he faced at Vengeance 2005, but Michaels pinned him, ending the feud. Angle went on to face Ric Flair on June 27, 2005 episode of RAW, which Angle won.
Angle continued on with his "Kurt Angle Invitational" in which Angle had previously challenged "hometown heroes" while on SmackDown! to last three minutes in the ring with him; if anyone succeeded, Angle would give the successful challenger his authentic gold medal from the 1996 Summer Olympics. Two weeks in a row, Angle defeated Matt Striker to retain his gold medal.
The July 25, 2005 RAW from saw the end of the "Kurt Angle Invitational" when the returning Eugene survived three minutes against Angle to win Angle's gold medal and the first successful challenger in the event. Eugene then started "The Eugene Invitational" to begin on the August 1, 2005 RAW episode, the first edition of which Angle interfered in.
On the August 8, 2005 RAW episode Angle lost by disqualification in his hometown against Eugene for the gold medal in "The Eugene Invitational." Angle and Eugene met at SummerSlam, where Angle regained his Olympic gold medal.
On August 22, 2005 Angle was revealed as the number one contender for John Cena's WWE Title.Angle defeated John Cena by disqualification in the main event of WWE Unforgiven, as Cena struck Angle with his WWE Title belt. Angle attacked Cena after the match, only to be given an F-U through the Spanish announce table. Angle was almost awarded the title the next night on RAW by Eric Bischoff, but Vince McMahon intervened.
At the WWE Homecoming, Kurt Angle and Shawn Michaels met in a 30 minate Ironman Match, which resulted in a two falls to two tie. Angle then declined Michaels's offer to extend the match under sudden death rules.
In a live interview on the November 7 edition of RAW, Angle vented his frustrations about the crowd costantly chanting, "You suck!" whenever he is introduced, eventually threatening to walk out of his upcoming tag team match with Chris Masters vs. Shawn Michaels and John Cena. Eventually, Eric Bischoff convinced him to stay and gave in to Angle's two pre-demands: that the crowd be "censored" every time it chanted "You suck!" (TV viewers heard the chant bleeped, although it was apparent that Angle was simply ignoring the crowd); and that a special "hand-picked" referee officiate the match. The man Angle introduced was Daivari (making his return in his Arab American heel gimmick), who sided with Angle and Masters throughout the match. Eventually, Daivari disqualified Michaels and Cena after Michaels attempted a chair shot. Afterwards, Daivari gave a chair shot to Cena in the back and raised Angle's arm in victory. Color commentator Jerry Lawler, who had often rooted for Angle, was disgusted by Angle's referee choice (since he despises Daivari).
Angle separated from his wife Karen in August 2005, claiming that the strain of being on the road took its toll on their marriage. The separation was incorporated into a worked shoot on the November 7, 2005 episode of RAW. He and Karen have a daughter, Kyra. Angle has four older brothers, including Eric, also a wrestler, and one late sister, the latter of whom died due to heart complications, a problem for several Angle family members. His father was killed in a construction accident, and Angle dedicated his autobiography, "It's True, It's True" to him as a result.
- While Kurt Angle won an Olympic gold medal with a badly injured neck, his neck was not broken. In WWE, Angle exaggerates the severity of his injury, claiming that he won his medal with "a broken freakin' neck!" However, according to the official rule book of the Olympic Games committee, no competitor will be authorized to participate in an event if seriously injured, indicating that Angle was not seriously enough injured to warrant exclusion from the event.
- Angle claimed in an interview that, following the death of his father, he regarded his wrestling coach as a paternal figure.
- Angle's older brother Eric has appeared with WWE on occasion, normally in order to impersonate Angle. Eric posed as Kurt during his WWF World Heavyweight Championship title defense against The Undertaker at the 2000 Survivor Series, enabling Angle to roll-up his confused opponent, and switched places with Kurt during a title defense against Brock Lesnar on SmackDown! in 2003.
- Angle suffered a serious concussion at the outset of the triple threat WWF World Heavyweight Championship title match at SummerSlam 2000 when Triple H attempted to Pedigree through a table which broke before he could execute the move. Angle was assisted backstage, but returned later in the match following a vignette in which Stephanie McMahon exhorted him to "help Hunter". Angle returned to the ring, but, rather than helping HHH, attempted to win the title for himself. Thanks to Angle's return, HHH's momentum was broken, and defending champion The Rock was able to pin HHH and retain his title.
- "I have the three I's ... Intensity, Integrity and Intelligence!"
- "Oh it's true, it's true, it's damn true!"
- "Well, yeah!"
- "I'll make you tap out!"
- "I won a gold medal with a broken freakin' neck!"
- "I'll break your freakin' ankle!"
- "Do you want to see real?"
- "I am the only Olympic gold medalist in the history of WWE!"
- "I don't suck!"
Finishing and signature moves
- Ankle Lock (usually with grapevine)
- Angle Slam / Olympic Slam
- Back suplex pin (1999)
- Crossface Chickenwing(2000)
- Rolling German suplexes
- Belly-to-belly overhead suplex
- Top-rope Angle Slam / Olympic Slam
- Top-rope belly-to-belly overhead suplex
- European uppercut
Championships and accomplishments
- 4-time WWE Champion
- 1-time WWF Intercontinental Champion
- 1-time WWF European Champion
- 1-time WWF Hardcore Champion
- 1-time WWE Tag Team Champion (with Chris Benoit) (first-ever)
- King of the Ring (2000)
- Fourth Grand Slam Champion
Power Pro Wrestling
- 1-time PPW Heavyweight Champion
- 1-time PPW Young Guns Champion
- 1-time PNW Tennessee Heavyweight Champion
- Pennsylvania State Wrestling Champion (1987)
- Clarion University Freshman of the Year (1988)
- 2-time NCAA Champion
- Espoir World Cup second Place (1989)
- Yasar Dogu Tournament second Place (1989)
- Canadian Cup Championship Winner (1990)
- Olympic Games - Freestyle Wrestling Gold Medal (1996)
- National Amateur Wrestling Hall of Fame (2001)
- PWI Feud of the Year, 2000 (vs. Triple H)
- PWI Most Hated Wrestler of the Year, 2000
- PWI Rookie of the Year, 2000
- PWI Inspirational Wrestler of the Year, 2001
- PWI Comeback of the Year, 2003
- PWI Feud of the Year, 2003 (vs. Brock Lesnar)
- PWI Match of the Year, 2003 (vs. Brock Lesnar)
- PWI Most Popular Wrestler, 2003
- PWI Wrestler of the Year, 2003
- PWI Top 500 wrestlers ranked at number 6 (2005)
|First reign||Followed by:|
Stone Cold Steve Austin
|Second reign||Followed by:|
Stone Cold Steve Austin
The Big Show
|Third reign||Followed by:|
|Fourth reign||Followed by:|
|WWE Tag Team Championship|
|First reign||Followed by:|
Edge and Rey Mysterio
|WWE European Championship|
|First reign||Followed by:|
|WWE Intercontinental Championship|
|First reign||Followed by:|
|WWE Hardcore Championship|
Rob Van Dam
|First reign||Followed by:|
Rob Van Dam
| colspan = 3 align = center | King of the Ring winners
| width = 30% align = center | Preceded by:
Billy Gunn | width = 40% align = center | First Time | width = 30% align = center | Followed by:
Edge |- Template:End box
|First reign||Followed by:|
|WCW United States Championship|
|First reign||Followed by:|
- Angle, Kurt and John Harper (2001) It's True! It's True!, ISBN: 0060393270
- Kurt Angle: It's True! It's True! (VHS)