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Kurt Angle
Ring name(s) Kurt Angle
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)[1][2]
Billed height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)[3]
Billed weight 240 lb (110 kg)[3]
Born December 9, 1968 (1968-12-09) (age 41)
Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania
Resides Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Billed from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania[3]
Trained by Dave Schultz
Dory Funk, Jr.[4]
Tom Prichard[4]
Debut 1992 (amateur wrestling)
1999[4] (professional wrestling)

Kurt Steven Angle (born December 9, 1968) is an American professional wrestler, actor and 1996 Olympic gold medalist. He is currently under contract with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, where he is a former three-time TNA World Heavyweight Champion, as recognized by the promotion.

Angle was involved in amateur wrestling during both high school and college. In college at Clarion University of Pennsylvania, he won numerous accolades, including being a two-time National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I champion. After graduating, he won the 1995 World Championship tournament. Angle then competed in the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, where he won a gold medal in heavyweight freestyle wrestling.

Initially turning down an offer to join the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), Angle signed a multi-year contract with the company in 1998. His first big push in the company was in February 2000, when he held both the WWF European Championship and the WWF Intercontinental Championship. Not long after, Angle began pursuing the WWF Championship. He continued to be a part of main event matches until August 2006, when Angle was granted a release from his contract. Throughout his tenure in the company, he was a six-time world champion (four-time WWF/E Champion, World Heavyweight Champion and WCW Champion), WCW United States Champion, WWF Intercontinental Champion, WWF European Champion, WWF Hardcore Champion and WWE Tag Team Champion (with Chris Benoit). In addition, he was the winner of the King of the Ring tournament in 2000, the tenth Triple Crown Champion, and the fifth Grand Slam Champion.

After leaving WWE, Angle joined Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA), where he became the second wrestler in TNA to win TNA's Triple Crown and the first man to hold all three TNA championships simultaneously. While in TNA, his real-life wife Karen began accompanying him to the ring and playing a part in his on-screen storylines. Angle has also made appearances for New Japan Pro Wrestling and Inoki Genome Federation, where he was the IWGP Third Belt Champion. In addition, he is a three-time TNA World Heavyweight Champion. He is also the 2007 and 2009 King of the Mountain winner at Slammiversary.

Contents

Amateur wrestling career

Medal record
Men's freestyle wrestling
Competitor for the  United States
Olympic Games
Gold 1996 Atlanta 100 kg
World Championships
Gold 1995 Atlanta, U.S. 100 kg
World Cup
Bronze 1992 Moscow, Russia 100 kg
Silver 1995 Chattanooga, U.S. 100 kg

Angle started amateur wrestling at the age of six.[5] He attended Mt. Lebanon High School,[6] where he won varsity letters in football and wrestling and was an All-State linebacker.[6][7][8] He went undefeated on the freshman wrestling team at Mt. Lebanon High and qualified for the state wrestling tournament his sophomore year.[6] Angle also placed third in the state wrestling tournament as a junior and was the 1987 Pennsylvania State Wrestling Champion as a senior.

Upon graduating from high school, Angle attended the Clarion University of Pennsylvania, where he continued to wrestle at an amateur level.[9] He was a two-time National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I champion,[10] national runner-up in 1991, and a three-time NCAA Division I All-American. In addition, Angle was the 1987 USA Junior Freestyle champion, a two-time USA Senior Freestyle champion, and the 1988 USA International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles Junior World Freestyle champion.[11]

After graduating from college, Angle continued to wrestle. In 1995, he won a gold medal at the World Championships in Atlanta, Georgia.[10] Following this victory, Angle began preparing for the 1996 Summer Olympics under Dave Schultz at the Pennsylvanian Foxcatcher Club,[12] training between eight and ten hours a day.[13] In January 1996, not long after Angle began training at the club, Schultz was murdered by John Eleuthère du Pont, the sponsor of Schultz's team of Olympic prospectives.[14][15][16] As a result, Angle quit Eleuthère du Pont's team, searched for new sponsors, and joined the Dave Schultz Wrestling Club in Schultz's memory.[17]

Angle faced further hardships while taking part in the 1996 Olympic Trials, when he suffered a severe neck injury, fracturing two of his cervical vertebrae,[18] herniating two discs, and pulling four muscles. Nonetheless, Angle won the trials and then spent the subsequent five months resting and rehabilitating. By the Olympics, Angle was able to compete, albeit with several pain-reducing injections in his neck.[10] In the fall of 2006, Angle stated that he temporarily became addicted to the analgesic Vicodin after injuring his neck.[19] He won his gold medal in the heavyweight (90-100 kg; 198-220 lb) weight class,[11] defeating the Iranian Abbas Jadidi by officials' decision after the competitors wrestled to an eight minute, one-one draw. The bout saw Jadidi earn a point after two minutes and 46 seconds by turning Angle, and Angle earning a point of his own with a takedown after three minutes and eleven seconds. The officials' decision was protested by Jadidi.[20]

Shortly after his victory, Angle turned down a contract with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF).[11][21] In the same year, he became a marketing representative for Protos Foods, the manufacturers of OSTRIM, an ostrich meat based foodstuff.[14][21]

Professional wrestling career

Extreme Championship Wrestling (1996)

On October 26, 1996, Angle was convinced by Shane Douglas to attend the taping of an Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) event named High Incident.[11] He provided guest commentary during a match between Taz and Little Guido, but left the building after Raven "crucified" The Sandman by attaching him to a cross using barbed wire.[22] Angle, shocked by the controversial imagery and afraid that his career prospects would be damaged if he was associated with the incident, threatened to sue ECW owner Paul Heyman if he was shown on television in the same broadcast as the stunt.[11]

In 1997, following the incident, Angle worked for a year as a sportscaster on Pittsburgh's local Fox affiliate WPGH-TV.[23][24]

World Wrestling Federation / Entertainment (1998–2006)

Debut; WWF Champion (1998–2000)

In October 1998, Angle signed an eight-year contract with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). He was assigned to the Power Pro Wrestling developmental territory in Memphis, Tennessee, where he began training. Angle's first appearance on WWF television was on the March 7, 1999 episode of Sunday Night Heat, where he took part in an angle with Tiger Ali Singh.[25] This angle involved Singh paying him money to blow his nose on the American flag. Angle instead blew his nose on Singh's flag and fought him off. His first official WWF match was a dark match victory over Brian Christopher on April 11, 1999. In the following months, he wrestled in house shows and other dark matches in preparation for his televised debut.[25]

Angle at King of the Ring 2000.

After several weeks of vignettes, Angle made his in-ring debut on November 14, 1999 at the Survivor Series, defeating Shawn Stasiak.[26] In his initial push, he remained undefeated for several weeks, eventually losing to the debuting Tazz at the Royal Rumble.[27] Angle's television character was an "American hero" gimmick based on his gold medal win at the 1996 Summer Olympics. In his promos, Angle presented himself as a role model and stressed the need to work hard to realize one's dreams, stressing the 3 Is, "Intensity, Integrity, and Intelligence". In his promos and ring entrances, Angle would always wear replicas of his gold medals around his neck. Despite standing for many principles that are associated with fan favorites, Angle's character was arrogant, talked down to the audience, and behaved as if he thought he was better than the fans, leading to him quickly becoming a villain. Angle won both the WWF European Championship and the WWF Intercontinental Championship in February 2000,[27] billing himself as the "Eurocontinental Champion". He dropped both of his titles without ever conceding a fall in a two falls Triple Threat match with Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho at WrestleMania 2000; the match had been agreed to on Angle's behalf by his mentor, Bob Backlund.[27]

Throughout mid-2000, Angle and Edge and Christian ("Team ECK") feuded with Too Cool and Rikishi, with Angle defeating Rikishi in the finals of the King of the Ring tournament.[28] He went on to feud with Triple H after a love triangle between Angle, Triple H, and Triple H's wife Stephanie McMahon developed.[29] As a change to the intended storyline of Stephanie turning on her husband and going with Angle, he lost to Triple H at Unforgiven.[28] Following his feud with Triple H, Angle received another push and began pursuing the WWF Championship, defeating The Rock at No Mercy, after interference from Rikishi.[28] Angle retained the WWF Championship for the rest of the year in matches with The Undertaker at Survivor Series and in a six way Hell in a Cell match at Armageddon.[30]

Angle held the WWF Championship for almost four months, losing it to The Rock at No Way Out. He then feuded with Chris Benoit, whom he defeated at WrestleMania X-Seven but lost to at Backlash in an Ultimate Submission match; Benoit defeated Angle four falls to three in sudden-death overtime. Continuing the feud, Angle again defeated Benoit in a two out of three falls match at Judgment Day. Benoit pinned Angle after an Angle Slam in a "Pinfalls Only" fall, and then Angle made Benoit submit with the ankle lock in the "Submissions Only" fall. Angle won the third fall, a Ladder match, with the help of Edge and Christian.

The Invasion; Team Angle (2001-2002)

When World Championship Wrestling and ECW formed The Alliance and invaded the WWF in mid-2001 (dubbed as "The Invasion"), Angle became a fan favorite and began a storyline where he joined forces with WWF Champion Steve Austin to repel them. At Invasion, Angle and Austin captained a team of five WWF superstars against five handpicked members of the Alliance. As part of the angle, Team WWF lost to Team Alliance when Austin turned on his team to join The Alliance. At the close of the match, Austin nailed Angle with a Stone Cold Stunner, causing him to get pinned by the other team.[31] After winning and losing the WCW Championship,[32][33] WCW United States Championship,[34][35] and the WWF Hardcore Championship in matches with Alliance members,[36] Angle was booked to defeat Austin in a SummerSlam rematch for his second WWF Championship at Unforgiven.[37] He dropped the title back to Austin on the October 8, 2001 episode of Raw when WWF Commissioner William Regal joined The Alliance and cost Angle the match.[38] As part of the storyline, Angle subsequently turned into a villain again and joined the Alliance himself; during a WrestleMania X-Seven rematch between Vince McMahon and Shane McMahon, he interfered seemingly to aid Vince but instead struck the members of team WWF with a steel chair.[39] Angle, however, ultimately returned to the WWF side by enabling The Rock to defeat Austin in a "Winner Takes All" match between the WWF and The Alliance at Survivor Series. He remained a villain by claiming sole responsibility for the destruction of The Alliance.[37]

After dropping the WWE United States Championship to Edge, the duo were booked into a lengthy feud. During this feud, Edge started the "you suck" chants every time Angle entered a WWE ring, usually in tune with Angle's entrance music. The chants followed Angle throughout the rest of his WWE career. In the course of the feud, Angle lost a "hair versus hair" match to Edge at Judgment Day, and his head was shaved bald.[40] Following the loss of his hair, Angle's storyline called for him to wear a wig and insult bald people,[41] leading to a feud with Hollywood Hogan, who stripped Angle of his wig.[42] Angle later scored a submission victory over Hogan at King of the Ring.[43]

In October 2002, Angle became the fifth WWE Grand Slam Championship winner when he won the WWE Tag Team Championship with Chris Benoit. Their team was successful but problematic, as the two bickered constantly, with Benoit often fed up with Angle's over-the-top antics.[44] After dropping the title to Edge and Rey Mysterio on an edition of SmackDown!,[45] Angle won his third WWE Championship at Armageddon, defeating The Big Show, with the help of Brock Lesnar.[46] While still in his third reign, Angle began a new storyline when he gained the services of manager Paul Heyman and "Team Angle".[47]

Feuding with Lesnar and Guerrero; Angle-Puder Incident (2003–2004)

Angle and Brock Lesnar after their WWE Championship title match at WrestleMania XIX.

He then began feuding with Brock Lesnar, who had won the 2003 Royal Rumble match,[48] after Lesnar claimed to be the new top superstar on SmackDown!. Angle dropped the WWE Championship in the main event of WrestleMania XIX to Lesnar.[49]

On April 11, 2003, Angle underwent neck surgery performed by Dr. Hai-Dong Jho to repair nerve and spinal damage, calcium buildup, bone spurs, and intervertebral disc problems. Rather than have Dr. Jho remove the afflicted discs and fuse his vertebrae together, Angle opted for a less conventional surgery where Jho removed only the spurs and selected portions of the discs. The alternative surgery reduced Angle's rehabilitation time from one year to three months.[50] He returned as a fan favorite in June. Shortly after returning, Angle defeated Lesnar and Big Show in a Triple Threat match at Vengeance to regain the WWE Championship. During this time, Lesnar seemed to become an ally to Angle. Lesnar, however, secretly worked with Vince McMahon on a plot against Angle and stated that he never tolerated losing the belt to him at Vengeance.[51] After retaining the title in a singles bout with Lesnar at SummerSlam, he dropped the title to Lesnar in an Iron Man match on an episode of SmackDown!.[52][53] Angle then formed a five-man team to rival Lesnar's team at the Survivor Series, with Angle's team coming out victorious.[54]

Angle then got involved in a feud with Eddie Guerrero. At No Way Out, Guerrero defeated Lesnar to win the WWE Championship, and Angle won a match to become number one contender. After losing to Guerrero at WrestleMania XX, Angle began to once again suffer from legitimate neck problems.[55] As a response, he was made the on-screen General Manager of SmackDown!,[56] with his absence from the ring attributed to injuries suffered after Big Show chokeslammed him off a ledge.[57] Angle continued his feud with Guerrero throughout 2004. He cost Guerrero the WWE championship against John "Bradshaw" Layfield in a Texas Bull Rope match at The Great American Bash by participating in the worked finish; Angle came down to the ring and showed a replay where JBL's shoulder hit the corner pad before Guerrero's hand.[58] Angle was later fired by Vince McMahon as General Manager in July 2004.[59]

In November 2004, Angle initiated the Kurt Angle Invitational, a worked weekly segment where "hometown heroes" (plants), challenged him to a match, with Angle promising to give his Olympic gold medal to the first person to last more than three minutes in the ring with him.[60] The Invitational was won by Eugene in July 2005 starting a new angle for both men.[61] As a result, Angle faced Eugene at SummerSlam, defeating him by making him tap out to the ankle lock.

On November 4, 2004, episode of SmackDown!, during an unscripted segment of Tough Enough, Angle challenged the finalists through a squat thrust competition. The winner was Chris Nawrocki, and the prize Nawrocki won was a match against Angle. After Angle defeated Nawrocki, Daniel Puder, an American professional mixed martial artist, challenged Angle. During the match, Angle and Puder wrestled for position before Angle took Puder down; in the process, Puder locked Angle in a real submission hold, a kimura lock. With Puder on his back, one of two referees in the ring, Jim Korderas, quickly counted three to end the bout, but some observed that during the pin, Puder's shoulders were not on the mat. Puder later claimed he would have snapped Angle's arm, thus making Angle tap out on national television, if Korderas had not ended the match.[62][63] Following the incident, Dave Meltzer and Dave Scherer gave these comments;

"It was real. If you don't follow fighting, Puder had Angle locked in the Kimura, or keylock as Tazz called it, although Tazz didn't let on the move was fully executed. Not only was Angle not getting out of the move, but most MMA fighters would have tapped already. Angle couldn't tap for obvious reasons. The ref counted a three even though Puder's shoulders weren't fully down, trying to end the thing, because the reality was Angle would have been in surgery had it gone a few seconds longer or had Puder not given up the hold." ― Dave Meltzer[64][65]
"As you would expect, Kurt Angle was less than happy backstage at Smackdown after almost being forced to tap out to Tough Enough contestant Daniel Puder. Downright ticked off would probably be the best way to describe his mood. The unscripted nature of the contest was the main reason that Angle was made to look so bad since Puder just reacted to the situation and could have forced Angle to submit had the referees not thought quickly and counted a pin that wasn’t there on Puder." ― Dave Scherer[66]

Raw, SmackDown and ECW (2005–2006)

Kurt Angle in the ring with his Olympic Gold Medal.

In January 2005, Angle took part in the Royal Rumble, but was eliminated by Shawn Michaels, who he returned to the ring to eliminate in retaliation.[67] After mocking Michaels by defeating his former tag team partner, Marty Jannetty,[68] and attacking former manager, Sherri Martel,[69] Angle defeated Michaels in an interpromotional match at WrestleMania 21, which won Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) Match of the Year Award.[67] He continued to feud with Michaels upon being drafted from SmackDown! to Raw in the 2005 WWE Draft Lottery,[70] losing to Michaels at Vengeance.[71] Angle later challenged John Cena for the WWE Championship at Unforgiven, where Angle won the match by disqualification, thus not winning the title. Angle also challenged Cena again in a Triple Threat match along with Michaels at Taboo Tuesday, in a losing effort.

Angle returned to the SmackDown! brand in January 2006, where he was pushed to gain the vacant World Heavyweight Championship in a twenty man battle royal, turning face in the process.[72][73] He retained the title against Mark Henry at the Royal Rumble. Shortly after the match, The Undertaker made his return and challenged Angle for the title. Angle retained the title in a match with Undertaker at No Way Out[74] before dropping it to Rey Mysterio in a Triple Threat match, which also included Randy Orton, at WrestleMania 22.[75]

On May 29, 2006, Angle was drafted to the newly created ECW brand.[76] Upon coming to ECW, he issued an open challenge for One Night Stand, which was accepted by Orton.[77] Angle defeated Orton at One Night Stand,[78] later losing to him in a rematch at Vengeance. Angle appeared sporadically on WWE television throughout mid-2006. On August 25, 2006, he was granted an early release from his WWE contract due to "personal issues."[79][80] On November 3, 2008, Angle appeared on Howard Stern's Sirius XM Radio program and stated that the reason for his departure from WWE was that he became addicted to painkillers and WWE denied him time off to go to rehab.[81] In early May 2009, WWE stated that they had actually offered for him to go to rehab before, but he refused, stating he could rehab on the road.[82]

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2006–present)

Debut; World Championships (2006–2007)

Kurt and Karen Angle watching at ringside during Impact!.

A few weeks after his WWE contract expired, Angle signed a contract with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA). The new signing was viewed by some as a promotion not having concern for the health of a wrestler.[83] On September 24, 2006, during the closing segment of No Surrender, TNA President Dixie Carter announced that TNA Wrestling had signed Angle to a contract, with Jim Cornette introducing video footage of Angle training in a six-sided TNA ring.[84] On the December 28, 2006 episode of TNA Impact!, this was announced as the "Moment of the Year" for TNA.[85]

Angle made his TNA debut on October 19 as a face, confronting Samoa Joe after Joe refused to relinquish the NWA World Heavyweight Championship belt that, according to the storyline, he had stolen from Jeff Jarrett.[86] The two men ended up fighting while Jarrett took the title back.[86] Angle was then the special enforcer for the Title vs. Career match between Jarrett and Sting at Bound for Glory, but, as part of the worked finish, he took out referee Rudy Charles and assumed the referee's role for the rest of the match-up.[87] Angle's first match in TNA took place on the November 16 airing of Impact!, where he was booked to defeat Abyss with the ankle lock and be attacked after the match by Samoa Joe.[88] At Genesis, Angle defeated Samoa Joe, ending Joe's undefeated push.[87]

At Final Resolution, Angle was booked to defeat Samoa Joe in a thirty minute Iron Man match 3-2 to earn a shot at the NWA World Heavyweight Championship at Against All Odds,[89] which he lost to Christian Cage after interference from Tomko and Scott Steiner.[90] This led to a feud between Angle and Steiner, with Angle pinning Steiner at Destination X.[91] After Angle defeated Steiner, he was picked to lead a team of four other wrestlers against a team of Christian Cage's choice in a Lethal Lockdown match at April's Lockdown. Angle chose Samoa Joe, Rhino, Sting, and Jeff Jarrett for Team Angle, while Cage chose A.J. Styles, Scott Steiner, Tomko, and Abyss. The man who gained the winning pinfall would become the number one contender to Christian Cage's NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Team Angle was victorious after Jeff Jarrett hit Abyss with a gimmicked guitar full of thumbtacks and allowed Sting to score the pin.[92] Cage was set to defend the NWA World Heavyweight Championship against Sting and Angle in a triple threat match at Sacrifice.[93] The day of the PPV, the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), the owners of the NWA World Heavyweight and the NWA World Tag Team Championships, stripped Cage of the title and Team 3D of the tag team title.[94] NWA Executive Director Robert K. Trobich stated the reason was that Cage refused to defend the NWA Title at NWA live events.[94] At the PPV event, Cage, still holding the physical NWA Championship belt, defended what was billed as the "World Heavyweight Championship" against Angle and Sting. Angle was the victor of said contest by making Sting submit, who had technically just pinned Cage, and was announced as the new "World Heavyweight Champion".[95] The Impact! following the event, Angle came to the ring with a new championship belt in-toe, and announced he was the new "TNA World Heavyweight Champion".[96] Afterward, Cage and Sting came to the ring and the three began to argue over who was the new TNA World Heavyweight Champion. Due to the controversial finish to their match at Sacrifice, the title was declared vacant by Cornette. A tournament was held for the title which culminated in a King of the Mountain match at Slammiversary on June 17, 2007.[96] At the event, Angle became the TNA World Heavyweight Champion by defeating Cage, Samoa Joe, A.J. Styles, and Chris Harris.[97] He then attacked Joe after denying a request for a handshake, reigniting their feud.

At Victory Road, newly-crowned X Division Champion Samoa Joe teamed with Kurt Angle to face TNA Tag Team Champions Team 3D, with the stipulation that if a wrestler pinned the other opponent, he won his championship.[98] As part of the planned outcome of the match, Joe pinned Brother Ray of Team 3D to win both tag team belts, which he held by himself.[98] On the following episode of Impact!, Joe (now holding the X Division and Tag Team Championships, with Angle holding the TNA and IWGP championships) challenged Angle to a match at Hard Justice for all the championships.[99] While illustrating how he would take away everything important in Angle's life, Joe brought Angle's wife Karen into the fray, as she demanded a divorce.[100] During the match, however, Karen turned on Joe and aided her husband.[101] As part of his next push, Angle won, gaining all the championships and becoming the second Triple Crown champion in TNA and the first to hold all three titles at the same time.[101] Angle, however, dropped both the X Division Title and the TNA World Tag Team Title to Jay Lethal and Team Pacman, respectively, at No Surrender. At Bound for Glory, Angle lost the World Title to Sting, but won it back on the October 25 edition of Impact!.

The Angle Alliance (2007–2008)

Angle then joined forces with A.J. Styles and Tomko as The Angle Alliance at Turning Point against Samoa Joe, Kevin Nash, and Scott Hall. Styles had planned for Christian's Coalition and The Angle Alliance to team up together, but Christian Cage demanded to be the leader of The Angle Alliance after Cage denied Angle's request of being his "lackey". At Final Resolution, Angle successfully defended the TNA World Heavyweight Championship against Cage due to interference from Styles and again at Against All Odds with help from Tomko. At Lockdown, Angle lost the TNA World Heavyweight Championship to Samoa Joe after being pinned. After suffering a neck injury, Angle was out of action. In the storyline, he returned to Impact! to ask his estranged wife Karen to reunite with him, but she declined his offer. Later that night, after Styles suffered a beating at the hands of Team 3D, Booker T, and Tomko, Angle added to the mugging by hitting Styles with a steel chair. At Slammiversery, Angle lost to Styles, being pinned after interference from Karen. At Victory Road, Angle and Team 3D won a six-man tag team Full Metal Mayhem match defeating the team of Christian Cage, Rhino, and Styles. At Hard Justice, Angle once again lost to Styles - this time in a Last Man Standing match. The feud continued on the next edition of Impact!, with Styles winning Angle's gold medal in a mock amateur wrestling match. The next week Angle challenged Styles to a ladder match for the Olympic Gold Medal. As they both stood on the top of the ladder, the arena went dark and Jeff Jarrett's music played. When the lights turned on, Styles had a guitar and performed an Acoustic Equalizer on Angle to win the match. Angle began a feud with Jarrett after No Surrender when Jarrett hit Angle with his guitar. On the October 2 edition of Impact, Mick Foley announced that he would be the special enforcer for Angle's match with Jarrett at Bound for Glory IV. Angle lost to Jarrett in this match, being pinned after taking the mandible claw from Foley and a guitar shot and Stroke from Jarrett. He started attacking other superstars backstage in order to get a rematch against Jarrett.

The Main Event Mafia (2008–2009)

Kurt Angle in TNA.

On the first HD Impact!, Angle, Booker T, Kevin Nash, and Sting started a new stable of legends called The Main Event Mafia. Scott Steiner joined the group the following week. Angle then defeated Abyss at Turning Point in a Falls Count Anywhere match. After weeks of torturing Jeff Jarrett to give him a rematch, Jarrett said that if Angle could defeat Rhino at the second Final Resolution of 2008, with Mick Foley as the Special Enforcer, he would grant it. Angle defeated Rhino to earn a rematch with Jarrett at Genesis after Al Snow made a surprise appearance and distracted Foley for Angle to cheat.

At Sacrifice, Angle lost his leadership of the Mafia to Sting because of their match's stipulation. On June 21 at Slammiversary, Angle recaptured the TNA World Heavyweight Championship for the third time in a King of the Mountain match with help from Samoa Joe. On the following edition of Impact!, Angle regained leadership of the Main Event Mafia after he and the rest of the Mafia, attacked Sting while introducing Joe as their newest member. At No Surrender Angle lost his championship to A.J. Styles in a four-way match which also included Matt Morgan, Sting and A.J. Styles|.[102]

Face turn (2009-present)

After defeating Morgan at Bound for Glory,[103] Angle came out on the following edition of Impact! and put over the younger talent of the company, turning face in the process. Afterward, he was assaulted by the debuting Desmond Wolfe,[104] who defeated him via knockout in a street fight the following week.[105] At Turning Point Angle defeated Wolfe in a rematch.[106] The following month at Final Resolution Angle faced Wolfe in a "Three Degrees of Pain" two out of three falls match. Wolfe managed to gain the first fall by pinning Angle following the Tower of London, but Angle forced him to tap out with the ankle lock to win the second fall. In the final fall, which could only be won by escaping the Six Sides of Steel, Angle managed to escape first and won the match.[107] On the January 4, 2010, live, three hour, Monday night edition of Impact! Angle received a shot at A.J. Styles' World Heavyweight Championship, but was defeated in the main event of the show.[108] Two weeks later at Genesis Angle received one last shot at the World Heavyweight Title, but was once again defeated by Styles, who turned heel with the help of Ric Flair and nailed him with the title belt. As a result, Angle was barred from challenging for the belt as long as Styles is the title holder.[109] Due to the circumstances surrounding the loss, Hulk Hogan gave Angle another shot at Styles and the TNA World Heavyweight Championship on the January 21 edition of Impact!, but this time he lost the match after referee Earl Hebner, who was later revealed to have been paid off by Flair, called for the bell in an incident similar to the Montreal Screwjob. Angle responded to the incident by spitting in Hogan's face, threatening to quit the company.[110] Angle apologized to Hogan, after being saved by him from Scott Hall and Syxx-Pac.[111] At Against All Odds Angle took part in the 8 Card Stud Tournament to crown a new number one contender, but was defeated in the first round by Mr. Anderson, after Anderson used Angle's dog tags to bust him open.[111] On the following edition of Impact! Angle promised to make Anderson suffer for disrespecting the U.S. soldiers, but was in the end once again laid out by him.[112]The following week Anderson impersonated Angle and made fun of him being injury prone which resulted in Angle attacking him which started a brawl that ultimately ended with Anderson gaining the upper hand and taking Angle 's medal. On the March 8th Edition of Impact! Angle came to the ring surrounded by US army members he would then attack Anderson with the help of the troops and he would take back his medal , spit on him and finally place his leg on his chest while raising the american flag until the army members came into the ring and lifted him on their shoulders.

Japan (2007–2009)

On February 18, 2007, Angle made his debut in New Japan Pro Wrestling, teaming with former IWGP Heavyweight Champion Yuji Nagata to defeat fellow TNA wrestler Travis Tomko and fellow WWE alumnus Giant Bernard.[4]

Angle was booked to face Brock Lesnar in a champion versus champion match for the Inoki Genome Federation on June 29, 2007, and defeated him by submission for the IWGP Third Belt Championship,[113] and he challenged him to an MMA fight.[114] On December 19, 2007, Angle defended the IWGP World Title successfully against Kendo Kashin.[115]

On January 4, 2008, Angle made his third successful IWGP Third Belt Championship defense when he defeated Yuji Nagata at the New Japan Pro Wrestling supershow Wrestle Kingdom II in Tokyo Dome by forcing Nagata to tap out to the ankle lock.[116] On February 17, 2008, Angle lost the IWGP title to Shinsuke Nakamura in a unification match, thus ending the IWGP championship controversy. Kurt Angle is not recognized as an IWGP Heavyweight Champion by New Japan. He returned in August during the G1 Climax in two special tag matches A.J. Styles as his opponent with Shinsuke Nakamura and Masahiro Chono as Angle's partners and Hiroshi Tanahashi and Shinjiro Otani as Styles's partners. Angle's team won both matches.

He returned at the January 4 Dome Show in a special 8 Man Tag match with Kevin Nash, Chono, and Riki Chōshū against G.B.H. Angle would get the win for his team. Angle faced Bernard at New Japan's ISM tour on February 15 and defeat Bernard. After Hiroshi Tanahashi retained the IWGP Heavyweight Championship against Nakamura in the main event, Angle challenged Tanahashi for his IWGP Heavyweight Championship which Tanahashi accepted. Tanahashi defeated Angle on April 5 at New Japan's Resolution 09 to retain the title.

Personal life

Angle attended Clarion University of Pennsylvania, graduating with a degree in education in 1993.[1] In his later life, Angle got a Clarion University Golden Eagle, wearing a singlet, tattooed on his upper back.

Angle has four older brothers (one of whom, Eric, is also a wrestler) and a sister, Le'Anne, who died of a drug overdose.[117] His father was killed in a construction accident when Angle was sixteen, and Angle dedicated both his career and his autobiography It's True, It's True to him as a result. Angle claimed in an interview that, following the death of his father, he regarded his wrestling coach, David Schultz, as a paternal figure. While training Angle, Schultz was murdered in January 1996 by John Eleuthère du Pont, the sponsor of Schultz's team of Olympic prospectives.[14][15][16]

Kurt and Karen Angle with Kyra Angle watching at ringside.

He married Karen Smedley,[118] on December 19, 1998,[119] and the couple have a daughter, Kyra, who was born on December 2, 2002. They also have a son, Kody, who was born on October 26, 2006. In August 2007, Karen debuted in TNA as Angle's regular valet. In September 2008, it was reported that Karen had filed for divorce from Kurt.[120]

In 2009, It was reported that TNA Co-founder Jeff Jarrett was romantically linked to Karen Angle, beginning while Karen and Angle were separated.[121] This resulted in TNA president Dixie Carter, placing Jeff Jarret on leave of absence.[122][123][124][125] The situation was revealed in July of 2009 when an caller claiming to be a former TNA employee called in on The Bubba the Love Sponge Show.[126][127] Dixie Carter commented on the situation on Impact, stating "a personal situation that affected the company and it put all of us in a very difficult position." She said Jeff was placed "on leave as both a talent and in his capacity with the company and I'd like to leave it at that." In December of 2009, Jeff returned to TNA, using the real life situation as a storyline. Angle is also featured on the cover artwork and TV ad footage of Emmure's The Respect Issue, a Deathcore album released May 13, 2008 by Victory Records.

Substance abuse allegations

Wellness Policy violation

On March 6, 2007, Sports Illustrated reported that Angle's name was found in the client database of a Florida wellness center suspected of being a front for distributing performance-enhancing drugs.[128] The magazine alleged Angle had received prescriptions for trenbolone (which is not approved for human use by the FDA) and nandrolone, both anabolic steroids. Angle responded on his official website: "I did not improperly receive prescriptions. It is well documented that in my career I have broken vertebrae in my neck on five occasions and each time the course of treatment was under the care and supervision of my doctors. Any attempt to link me to the athletes in the current news accounts who may have improperly sought performance-enhancing drugs is without foundation."[129]

Approximately two weeks later on March 19, 2007, Sports Illustrated posted on its website another article in its continuing series investigating a steroid and HGH ring used by a number of professional athletes in several sports. That article mentioned that 10 other professional wrestlers were implicated to have received performance-enhancing drugs from the same drug ring including four WWE wrestlers and Eddie Guerrero.[130] Kurt never failed a drug test for pain pills. He did, however, fail a steroid test under WWE's Wellness Policy because his prescription for Deca-Durabolin had expired.[131]

Driving under the influence charges

Angle was arrested at his home by Moon Township, Pennsylvania police on September 28, 2007 on a charge of driving under the influence after being reported by a woman who claimed that he almost hit her while leaving a local restaurant. Officials said Angle failed a field sobriety test but refused a blood test. Angle was charged with driving under the influence and careless driving,[132] but he denies the charges.[133] On September 9, 2008, Angle was cleared of all charges pertaining to his DUI arrest.[134]

2009 arrest

On August 15, 2009, Pittsburgh-based NBC affiliate WPXI reported that Angle had been arrested. His girlfriend stated that she had filed a protection from abuse (PFA) order and that he was stalking her in the Robinson Township area. Angle was charged with "driving while operating privilege is suspended, prohibited acts-possession, harassment and prohibited acts". Hygetropin, a human growth hormone, was found in his car; Angle maintained that he had a prescription for the drug.[135] On September 15 a District Court Judge dropped the harassment, suspended license, and drug charges against Angle. A separate trial will be held for the assault and PFA charges.[136] On November 9, 2009 the PFA charges were dropped after he and former girlfriend Trenesha Biggers reached an agreement to avoid contact with each other.[137]

Acting career

In regards to his future, Angle has expressed interest on several occasions in pursuing an acting career after retirement from professional wrestling.[20] In the spring of 2008, Angle made his film debut in the short film Chains. He played a racist prison deputy, credited as The Deputy.[138]

In the fall of 2008, Angle played the role of maniacal serial killer Brad Mayfield in the movie End Game. In addition, on an episode of Pros vs. Joes season three, he was teamed up with Jimmy Smith and Kendall Gill against the Joes.

He made an appearance on Criss Angel Mindfreak, during the segment "Car Wreck Vanish". He will also make an appearance in the upcoming 2010 film Warrior as the Russian champion mixed-martial artist Koba. He stars alongside with Kevin Nash, Sam Nicotero, Bill Laing, Mary Rutledge and Bill Hinzman in the movie River of Darkness who is directed from Bruce Koehler,[139] he portrayed in the movie Will Logan the town Sheriff.[140]

Filmography

  • 2010:Devil Dogs - as Steve Stagger (pre-Production)
  • 2010:Dead of Night - as Wolfgang (post-Production)
  • 2010:River of Darkness - as Sheriff Will Logan (post-Production)
  • 2010:Warrior - as Koba (post-Production)
  • 2009:End Game - as Brad Mayfield
  • 2009:Chain's - as The Deputy (Short Film)

Television

  • 2010:Living TV's Most Haunted - Himself (3 episodes)
  • 2009:Howard Stern On Demand - Himself (2 episodes, Eric the Midget Visits the Studio, Kurt Angle Wants Robin)
  • 2009:Chris Angel Mindfreak - Himself (1 Episode, Car Wreck Vanish)
  • 2007:Inside MMA - Himself (2 episodes)
  • 2006:Scream Awards 2006 - Himself
  • 2002:Late Night With Conan O'Brian - Himself (1 episode)
  • 2001:Weakest Link - Himself (1 episode)
  • 2001:The Tonight Show With Jay Leno - Himself (1 episode)
  • 2000:The Big Breakfast - Himself (1 episode)

In wrestling

Kurt Angle - Anklelock.jpg
Angle applies an ankle lock to Shawn Michaels.

Kurt Angle.png
Angle appearing at a house show with Daivari (right).
Angle performing a moonsault on Jeff Jarrett at Bound for Glory IV.
  • Nicknames
    • "The American Hero" (WWF / NJPW)
    • "The Olympic Gold Medalist" (WWF/E / TNA)
    • "The Olympic Hero" (WWF)
    • "The Only Olympic Gold Medalist in Professional Wrestling History" (WWF/E / TNA)
    • "The Wrestling Machine" (WWE)
    • "The Godfather of The Main Event Mafia" (TNA)

Championships and accomplishments

Amateur wrestling

  • Canadian Cup Championship
    • Winner (1990)
  • Collegiate / High School
    • Pennsylvania State Wrestling Champion (1987)
    • Clarion University Freshman of the Year (1988)
  • Espoir World Cup
    • Runner-up (1989)
  • International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles
    • FILA Junior World Freestyle Champion (1988)
    • FILA World Freestyle Champion (1995)
  • National Amateur Wrestling
    • National Amateur Wrestling Hall of Fame (Class of 2001)
  • National Collegiate Athletic Association
    • NCAA Division I All-American (1990–1992)
    • NCAA Division I Champion (1990, 1992)
    • NCAA Division I runner-up (1991)
  • Olympic Games
  • USA Wrestling
    • USA Junior Freestyle Champion (1987)
    • USA Senior Freestyle Champion (1995, 1996)
    • USA Wrestling Hall of Fame (Class of 2001)
  • World Championships
    • Gold medal in freestyle wrestling (heavyweight) (1995)
  • Yasar Dogu Tournament
    • Runner-up (1989)

Professional wrestling

Lucha de Apuesta record

Wager Winner Loser Location Date Notes
Hair Edge Kurt Angle Nashville, Tennessee 02002-05-19 May 19, 2002 Hair vs. hair match at Judgment Day[40]

Notes

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  6. ^ a b c Angle, Kurt. It’s true, it’s true (Hardcover ed.). HarperEntertainment. pp. 53. ISBN 0060393270. 
  7. ^ Angle, Kurt. It’s true, it’s true (Hardcover ed.). HarperEntertainment. pp. 27. ISBN 0060393270. 
  8. ^ Angle, Kurt. It’s true, it’s true (Hardcover ed.). HarperEntertainment. pp. 62. ISBN 0060393270. 
  9. ^ Angle, Kurt. It’s true, it’s true (Hardcover ed.). HarperEntertainment. pp. 48. ISBN 0060393270. 
  10. ^ a b c Angle, Kurt. It’s true, it’s true (Hardcover ed.). HarperEntertainment. pp. 4. ISBN 0060393270. 
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References

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  • Loverro, Thom (2006). The Rise & Fall of ECW: Extreme Championship Wrestling. WWE Books. ISBN 1416510583. 

External links


Simple English

Kurt Angle
Statistics
Ring name(s) Kurt Angle
Billed height6 ft 0 in (1.78 m)[1]
Billed weight240 lb (110 kg)[1]
BornDecember 9, 1968 (1968-12-09) (age 42)
Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania[2]
Billed fromPittsburgh, Pennsylvania[1]
Trained byDave Schultz
Dory Funk, Jr.
Tom Prichard[2][3]
Debut1999[3]

Kurt Steven Angle (born December 9, 1968), is an American professional wrestler currently under contract in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling where he is a former TNA World Champion. He won a gold medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics winning with a broken neck and is the only Olympic gold medalist in professional wrestling history. He used to work for World Wrestling Entertainment.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Kurt Angle official TNA profile". Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. http://www.tnawrestling.com/content/view/249/37/. Retrieved 2009-10-28. 
  2. Cite error: Invalid tag; no text was provided for refs named SLAM
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Kurt Angle profile". Online World of Wrestling. http://www.onlineworldofwrestling.com/profiles/k/kurt-angle.html. Retrieved 2009-10-28. 








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