Kurt Angle



Kurt Steven Angle (born December 9, 1968) is an American professional wrestler and former amateur wrestler, who is currently working for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA). Angle began wrestling on an amateur basis in the late 1980s, earning numerous accolades before winning an Olympic gold medal in heavyweight freestyle wrestling at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. In the late 1990s, Angle turned to professional wrestling and joined the World Wrestling Federation (now World Wrestling Entertainment), where he won six world championships before leaving the promotion in August 2006.

Angle attended Mount Lebanon High School, where he won varsity letters in football and wrestling, and was an All-State linebacker. Angle placed third in the state wrestling finals 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. He was a National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I champion in 1990 and 1992 and a 3-time NCAA Division I All-American. In addition, Angle was the 1987 USA Junior Freestyle champion, a 2-time USA Senior Freestyle champion and the 1988 USA International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles Junior World Freestyle champion. In the course of his amateur career, Angle faced several future mixed martial artists, defeating Sylvester Terkay and losing to Mark Coleman and Mark Kerr.

Upon graduating from university, Angle continued to wrestle. In 1995, he won a gold medal at the World Championships in Atlanta, Georgia. Following this victory, Angle began training for the 1996 Olympics under Dave Schultz at the Pennsylvanian Foxcatcher Club. During Angle's training, Schultz was murdered in January 1996. While taking part in the 1996 Olympic Trials, Angle suffered a severe neck injury, fracturing two of his cervical vertebrae, herniating two discs and pulling four muscles. Angle won the trials nonetheless, then spent the subsequent five months resting and rehabilitating. By the time of the Olympics, Angle was able to compete, albeit with several pain reducing injections in his neck. The injury led to Angle's future claim of having won his Olympic gold medal "with a broken frickin' neck!"

Angle won his gold medal in the heavyweight (90-100 kg; 198-220 lb) weight class by defeating the Iranian Abbas Jadidi by officials' decision after the competitors wrestling to an eight minute, one-one draw. The bout saw Jadidi earn a point after two minutes and 46 seconds by turning Angle, with Angle earning a point of his own with a takedown after three minutes and 11 seconds. The officials' decision was protested by Jadidi.

Shortly after his victory, Angle turned down a contract with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), a prominent professional wrestling promotion. He began working as a marketing representative for Protos Foods, advertising OSTRIM, an ostrich based foodstuff.

On October 26, 1996, Angle was convinced to attend the taping of an Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) event named High Incident by Shane Douglas. 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. Angle, shocked by the controversial imagery and feared 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.

Following the incident, Angle began working as a sportscaster on Pittsburgh television.

In October 1998, Angle signed a five-year contract with the World Wrestling Federation. He was assigned to the Power Pro Wrestling developmental territory in Memphis, Tennessee, where he began training.

After several weeks of vignettes, Angle made his in-ring debut on November 14, 1999 at the 1999 Survivor Series, defeating Shawn Stasiak. He remained undefeated for several weeks, eventually losing to Tazz at the 2000 Royal Rumble. Angle went on to win both the WWF European Championship and WWF Intercontinental Championship in February 2000, billing himself as the "Eurocontinental Champion". He lost both of his titles without 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.

Throughout mid-2000, Angle, Edge and Christian ("Team ECK") feuded with Too Cool and Rikishi, with Angle defeating Rikishi in the finals of the King of the Ring 2000 tournament. He went to feud with Triple H after a love triangle between Angle, Triple H and Triple H's wife Stephanie developed, losing to Triple H at Unforgiven 2000. Following his feud with Triple H, Angle began pursuing the WWF Championship, defeating The Rock at No Mercy 2000. Angle retained the WWF Championship in a match with Triple H at the 2001 Royal Rumble, but lost to The Rock at No Way Out 2001. He went on to feud with Chris Benoit, who he defeated at WrestleMania X-Seven.

When The Alliance invaded the WWF in mid-2001, Angle joined forces with WWF Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin to repel the invasion. At WWF Invasion, Angle, Austin and three other WWF wrestlers lost to five Alliance wrestlers when Austin joined the Alliance by costing Angle the match. After winning and losing the WCW World Heavyweight Championship, WCW United States Heavyweight Championship and WWF Hardcore Championship in matches with Alliance members, Angle defeated Austin for his second WWF Championship at Unforgiven 2001. He lost the title to Austin on the October 8, 2001 episode of RAW when WWF Commissioner William Regal joined the Alliance by costing him the match. Angle subsequently joined the Alliance himself, but ultimately returned to the WWF by enabling The Rock to defeat Austin in a "winner takes all" bout between the WWF and The Alliance at the 2001 Survivor Series. He went on to take part in a four man tournament for the WWF Undisputed Championship at Vengeance 2001, but was eliminated by Austin.

Angle took part in the 2002 Royal Rumble, but was eliminated by Triple H. After defeating Kane at WrestleMania X8, Angle began a lengthy feud with Edge. In the course of the feud, Angle lost a "hair versus hair" match to Edge at Judgment Day 2002 and was subsequently shaved bald. Following the loss of his hair, Angle began wearing a wig and insulted bald people, leading to a feud with Hulk Hogan, who stripped Angle of his wig. Angle went on to score a submission victory over Hogan at King of the Ring 2002; Hogan's first submission loss in the WWF (which was renamed "World Wrestling Entertainment" in May 2002).

In October 2002, Angle became the fourth WWE Grand Slam Champion by winning the WWE Tag Team Championship with Chris Benoit. After losing the titles to Edge and Rey Mysterio, Angle won his third WWE Championship at Armageddon 2002, defeating Big Show. He defeated Benoit to retain the WWE Championship at the 2003 Royal Rumble before losing the title to Lesnar at WrestleMania XIX.

On April 11, 2003, Angle underwent neck surgery under Dr. Hai-Dong Jho to repair nerve and spinal damage, calcium buildup, bone spurs and intervertebral disc problems. Rather than have Jho remove the afflicted discs and fuse his vertebrae together, Angle opted for a less conventional surgery that saw Jho remove only the spurs and selected portions of the discs. The alternative surgery reduced Angle's rehabilitation time from one year to three months.

Shortly after returning, Angle defeated Lesnar and Big Show in a triple threat match at Vengeance 2003 to regain the WWE Championship. He retained the title in a singles bout with Lesnar at SummerSlam 2003 before losing it to Lesnar in an Iron Man match on an episode of SmackDown!. Angle took part in the 2004 Royal Rumble, but was eliminated by Big Show. After defeating Big Show and John Cena in a number one contendership match at No Way Out 2004, Angle unsuccessfully challenged WWE Champion Eddie Guerrero at WrestleMania XX.

Following WrestleMania XX, Angle began once again suffering from neck problems. As a response, he was made the General Manager of SmackDown!, with his absence from the ring attributed to injuries suffered after Big Show chokeslammed him off a ledge. Angle continued to feud with Guerrero throughout 2004, costing him a title match with John "Bradshaw" Layfield at The 2004 Great American Bash. Angle returned to the ring in July 2004 and ended his feud with Guerrero by defeating him at SummerSlam 2004.

In November 2004, Angle initiated the Kurt Angle Invitational, a weekly segment that saw "hometown heroes" challenge Angle him to a match, with Angle promising to give his Olympic gold medal to the first person to defeat him. The Invitational was won by Eugene in July 2005.

Angle took part in the 2005 Royal Rumble, but was eliminated by Shawn Michaels, who he returned to the ring to eliminate in retaliation. After mocking Michaels by attacking both his former tag team partner, Marty Jannetty, and former manager, Sherri Martel, Angle defeated Michaels in an interpromotional match at WrestleMania 21. He continued to feud with Michaels upon being drafted from SmackDown! to RAW in June 2005, losing to Michaels at Vengeance 2005.

In August 2005, Angle began feuding with WWE Champion John Cena. He defeated Cena by disqualification at Unforgiven 2005, then lost to Cena in a rematch at the 2005 Survivor Series.

Angle returned to the SmackDown! brand of WWE in January 2006, winning the vacant World Heavyweight Championship in a twenty man battle royal. Angle retained the title in bouts with Mark Henry at the 2006 Royal Rumble and The Undertaker at No Way Out 2006 before losing to Rey Mysterio in a triple threat match that also included Randy Orton at WrestleMania 22.

On May 29, 2006, Angle was drafted to the newly created Extreme Championship Wrestling brand. He issued an open challenge for One Night Stand 2006 which was accepted by Orton. Angle defeated Orton at One Night Stand, later losing to him in a rematch at Vengeance 2006. After losing to Rob Van Dam on the June 27, 2006 episode of ECW on Sci Fi, Angle appeared sporadically on WWE television throughout mid-2006.

On August 25, 2006, Angle was granted an early release from his WWE contract due to "personal issues". In September 2006, Angle's business manager, Dave Hawk, stated "Kurt Angle...has retired from professional wrestling and now plans to fight in the MMA in 2007!"

On September 24, 2006 during the pay-per-view TNA No Surrender 2006, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) announced that they had signed Angle to a contract, with Jim Cornette introducing video footage of Angle training in a six-sided TNA ring. On the following day, Angle released a statement in which he criticized WWE, claiming he had been "held back" by the promotion.

Finishing and signature moves:

* Ankle lock
* Angle Slam / Olympic Slam (Spinning release belly-to-back suplex)
* Super Angle Slam / Super Olympic Slam (Top rope release belly-to-back suplex)
* Bridging belly to back suplex (1999)
* Crossface chickenwing (2000)
* Body scissors
* European uppercut
* German suplex
* High angle belly to back suplex
* Moonsault
* Overhead belly to belly suplex
* Rear naked choke

Managers:

* Bob Backlund
* Daivari
* Paul Heyman
* Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley
* Trish Stratus

Nicknames:

* The Big Red, White and Blue Machine
* The Extreme Machine
* The Olympic Hero
* The Wrestling Machine

Amateur wrestling:

* 1987 Pennsylvania State Wrestling Champion
* 1988 Clarion University Freshman of the Year
* 1989 Espoir World Cup (second place)
* 1989 Yasar Dogu Tournament (second place)
* 1990 Canadian Cup Championship (winner)
* 1990 NCAA Champion
* 1992 NCAA Champion
* 1995 World Championships (winner)
* 1996 Summer Olympics heavyweight freestyle wrestling (gold medal)
* Member of the National Amateur Wrestling Hall of Fame (class of 2001) and the USA Wrestling Hall of Fame

Professional wrestling:

* PNW

* 1-time PNW Tennessee Heavyweight Champion

* Power Pro Wrestling

* 1-time PPW Heavyweight Champion
* 1-time PPW Young Guns Champion

* World Wrestling Federation / Entertainment

* 1-time WCW United States Champion
* 1-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion
* 1-time World Heavyweight Champion
* 1-time WWE Tag Team Champion (with Chris Benoit)
* 4-time WWF/E Champion
* 1-time WWF European Champion
* 1-time WWF Hardcore Champion
* 1-time WWF Intercontinental Champion
* 2000 King of the Ring
* Tenth Triple Crown Champion
* Fourth Grand Slam Champion

* Pro Wrestling Illustrated

* PWI 500 - ranked #1 in 2001 and #2 in 2006
* PWI Comeback of the Year (2003)
* PWI Feud of the Year (2000, versus Triple H; 2003, versus Brock Lesnar)
* PWI Match of the Year (2003, versus Brock Lesnar; 2005, versus Shawn Michaels)
* PWI Most Hated Wrestler of the Year (2000)
* PWI Most Inspirational Wrestler of the Year (2001)
* PWI Most Popular Wrestler of the Year (2003)
* PWI Rookie of the Year (2000)
* PWI Wrestler of the Year (2003)

* Wrestling Observer Newsletter

* Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Famer (inducted in 2004)
* 2000 Most Improved Wrestler
* 2001 Most Outstanding Wrestler
* 2002 Wrestler of the Year
* 2002 Most Outstanding Wrestler
* 2002 Best Interviews
* 2002 Best Technical Wrestler
* 2002 Match of the Year (with Chris Benoit, versus Edge and Rey Mysterio)
* 2003 Most Outstanding Wrestler
* 2003 Feud of the Year (versus Brock Lesnar)

Angle attended Clarion University of Pennsylvania, graduating with a degree in Geography. He has a Clarion University Golden Eagle tattooed on his upper back.

Angle has four older brothers (one of whom, Eric, is also a wrestler) and a sister who died due to congenital heart complications. His father was killed in a construction accident when Angle was seven, 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.

Angle has announced on several occasions that he intends to pursue an acting career after retirement from professional wrestling.

Angle married Karen on December 19, 1998, and the couple have a daughter, Kyra, who was born on December 2, 2002. They are expecting their first son, Kody, in 2006.

Books:

* Angle, Kurt and Harper, John (2001) It's True! It's True!, ISBN 0060393270

Media

* Kurt Angle: It's True! It's True! (VHS)Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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