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Kurt Angle

Kurt Angle

Kurt Steven Angle is an American retired professional wrestler, former amateur wrestler and current podcast host. He became a gold medalist in freestyle wrestling at the 1996 Olympic Games. He is currently signed to WWE under a Legends contract. He is also known for his tenure in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA). While at Clarion University of Pennsylvania, Angle won numerous accolades, including being a two-time NCAA Division I wrestling champion in the heavyweight division. After graduating from college, Angle won a gold medal in freestyle wrestling at the 1995 World Wrestling Championships. He then won a freestyle wrestling gold medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics, despite competing with a broken neck. He is one of four people to win the Junior Nationals, NCAA, World Championships, and the Olympics (known as the amateur grand slam). In 2006, he was named by USA Wrestling as the greatest shoot wrestler of all time and as one of USA Wrestling's top 15 college wrestlers of all time. In 2016, he was inducted into the International Sports Hall of Fame. Angle made his first appearance at a professional wrestling event in 1996, and signed with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, later renamed WWE) in 1998. Noted for his rapid comprehension of the business, he had his debut match that August within the company's developmental system after just days of training, and participated in his first WWF match in March 1999. After months of dark matches, Angle made his televised in-ring debut in November 1999 and received his first major push in February 2000, when he held the European and Intercontinental Championships simultaneously. Four months later, he won the 2000 King of the Ring tournament and soon thereafter began pursuing the WWF Championship, which he won in October. Among other accomplishments, Angle has held the WWE Championship four times, the WCW Championship, and the World Heavyweight Championship. He is the tenth Triple Crown champion and the fifth winner of the Grand Slam. In 2017, Angle was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. After leaving the WWE in 2006, Angle joined TNA where he became a record six-time TNA World Heavyweight champion, and the second TNA Triple Crown winner, holding all three TNA championships simultaneously. Angle is also a two-time King of the Mountain. During his tenure with TNA, Angle competed for New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) and the Inoki Genome Federation (IGF), winning the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. In 2013, Angle was inducted into the TNA Hall of Fame. He is the second wrestler, after Sting, to be inducted into both the WWE and TNA halls of fame. Angle has won over 21 professional wrestling championships and is an overall 13-time world champion. He is the only wrestler to have won the WWE Championship, WWE's World Heavyweight Championship, the WCW Championship, the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, and an NCAA wrestling championship. Angle is also the first person to hold both the WWE and TNA Triple Crowns. He has headlined numerous pay-per-view events, including WrestleMania XIX and Bound for Glory on three occasions, the flagship events of their respective companies. In 2004, the Wrestling Observer Newsletter inducted Angle into its Hall of Fame and later named him "Wrestler of the Decade" for the 2000s. He is considered one of the biggest stars of the Attitude Era and one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time. Former opponent and industry veteran John Cena said of Angle's legacy within WWE: "He is, without question, the most gifted all-around performer we have ever had step into a ring. There will never be another like him."
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