Kurt Angle to the WWE Hall of Fame 2017

Kurt AngleIt’s True. It’s True.

Kurt Angle is heading to the WWE Hall of Fame in 2017. After nearly a decade performing for the competition, Angle will finally be able to put a bow on his career with a WWE return. Angle has been publicly petitioning for a WWE return in recent years to no success. It may be no coincidence that he is going into the Hall of Fame in Orlando, where he spent the second half of his career while in TNA.

Kurt Angle will be the second man to be inducted into both the WWE’s and TNA’s Hall of Fame (behind last year’s WWE HOF inductee Sting), but it’s an accomplishment a long time coming.

Angle won an Olympic gold medal in wrestling, but he was born to be a pro wrestling. Jim Ross, who signed Angle in 1998 said, “[Angle] made the smoothest transition from amateur wrestler to pro wrestler as anyone that I ever saw in my 40-year career.”

The former gold medalist would have a meteoric rise in the WWE, as he won the European Championship and the Intercontinental Championship within four months of debuting with the company. Angle would go on to hold WWE heavyweight gold 6 times, and the TNA World Heavyweight Title another 6 times, to make him one of the most prolific champions in the history of the business.

An Interview with Kurt Angle

I remember once getting a chance to interview Angle two years after he made his jump to TNA. It was a house show in TNA and the guys were tired and beat up from the road. TNA’s PR team had granted us backstage access, and they asked us who did we want to interview. I was thinking we’d Lance Hoyt or maybe Shark Boy. Up to that point I had never interviewed anyone in person. Hit The Ropes hadn’t even gone live at this point. My brother, who was there as my “camera man” yelled, “How about Christian?” I wanted to slap him for such a bold request.

To my surprise, the road agent said he’d see if he’s around. As soon as he turned his back, I high fived my brother in surprise. We were sure he’d turn us down. We were already told by the road agent not to even bother to ask for Somoa Joe, but it was worth a shot.

While we waited we got the side eye from wrestlers walking around in the back. I wasn’t much of a fan boy at this point, I did my best to act like I belonged, but I’m sure I stood out. While we waited, we saw Bobby Roode guzzling a beer. I thought foolishly, that was supposed to be James Storm. How was I to know the roles were more so reversed in real life? Backstage we also saw Abyss, only he had no mask. I had no idea at the time that is who I was standing next to. (To my credit, or lack there of, this was years before he appeared on TNA without the mask. And I’m pretty sure that’s how the whole Superman/Clark Kent thing works.)

After what seemed like forever, the road agent came back. I was already preparing to give a list of alternatives when he told us to follow him. Kurt had agreed to do the interview!

Angle greeted us as if he expected to see us the entire time. As we walked through the locker room, Christian popped up from a bench and grunted angrily in Angle’s direction. He was trying to catch a few ZZZs before the show. Angle laughed and mumbled something about him always being a grouch. I was just trying to keep my composure. I didn’t want to screw anything up.

We found an empty spot in the locker room and prepared to shoot. Just as we were about to begin, Samoa Joe wandered in, gave Angle the finger and a few choice words. It was nothing malice, just boy being boys. He was trying to distract Angle as my brother was trying to set up the camera. Angle laughed and yelled back at him. It was setting up to be a fun mood for the interview.

The road agent said Angle would give us about five mins, which about five more than I expected. I had no clue what I wanted to ask, but was confident I could go on the fly. No idea why, I had never done this before, but okay. Luckily for me, Angle was a complete pro. He could carry me through the interview much like he had been carrying the TNA roster for the past two years. Despite horrible lighting, a camera man who shook like he was in the middle of an earthquake, an interviewer with no set questions … we managed to have a good time.

After we stopped filming, which went way over the designated time, Angle stuck around and chatted for a bit longer. He let me know about his desires to get back into amateur wrestling, how he lost out host a game show and other really cool moments he had going on. We talked for a good 45 minutes after the tape stopped rolling, well Angle talked. I mostly nodded and chuckled occasionally.

Eventually the fun had to end. He said he had to get up front so he can watch all the matches from the curtain. Despite being the franchise player, it was clear he never stopped learning. That’s probably why he’s being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this year.

Kurt Angle went through his ups and downs, but more importantly he’s been able to turn it around. We are still awaiting whether or not he will get one last match at WrestleMania, but even if he doesn’t his career was certainly amazing. It was a pleasure watching him from becoming a milk loving Olympic champion to one of the most prolific men to ever step into the ring. I thank him for being so gracious with his time. And I look forward to celebrating his entry into the WWE Hall of Fame in Orlando.

Kurt Angle’s Championship Accomplishments:

World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment

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

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling

  • TNA World Heavyweight Championship (6 times)
  • TNA X Division Championship (1 time)
  • TNA World Tag Team Championship (2 times) – with Sting (1)1 and A.J. Styles (1)[
  • King of the Mountain (2007, 2009)
  • TNA Hall of Fame (Class of 2013)
  • Second TNA Triple Crown Champion
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  • Shane Howard

    The HTR rub

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