It’s true, it’s true! Kurt Angle will be taking his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017 just two days before WrestleMania 34, as first reported by ESPN.com.
“Kurt Angle’s accomplishments both in the Olympics and WWE were extraordinary,” said WWE’s Executive Vice President of Talent, Live Events and Creative Paul Levesque. “He was one of the most gifted athletes to ever enter the ring, and we are honored to welcome him into the WWE Hall of Fame.”
Before becoming a legend of the squared circle, the proud Pittsburgh native was a world-class amateur competitor, becoming a two-time All-American and a two-time NCAA Champion while wrestling for Clarion University in his home state of Pennsylvania. His incredible amateur career culminated at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, where he fought off the incredible pain of a “broken freakin’ neck” to win the gold medal for the United States of America.
In 1998, Angle made the jump from amateur to professional wrestling by signing with WWE. One year later, the gold medal grappler made his debut at Survivor Series 1999, picking up the first win of an undefeated streak that saw Angle capture the European and Intercontinental Championships. His unbelievable rookie campaign culminated at WWE No Mercy in October 2000, where he defeated The Rock to capture his first WWE Championship.
Though his wrestling ability was unparalleled, Angle adapted to the entertainment side of sports-entertainment better than anyone could have expected. Whether it was preaching his “three Is” – intensity, integrity and intelligence – taking part in a five-second pose with Edge & Christian or joining “Stone Cold” Steve Austin for a backstage sing-along, The Olympic Hero was able to make the WWE Universe laugh when he wasn’t wowing them with his athleticism.
By the time he left WWE in 2006, Angle had become one of the company’s most decorated stars in a short period of time. His resume includes four reigns as WWE Champion, a World Heavyweight Championship, the WCW, United States, Hardcore, Intercontinental and World Tag Team Championships. In addition, Angle was the 2000 King of the Ring and even served as General Manager of SmackDown.
In honor of these accomplishments, along with his incredible contributions to the WWE Universe during his storied career, Angle will be enshrined in the WWE Hall of Fame.