Olympic wrestling gold medalist at the 1996 Atlanta Games, Kurt Angle not only made the transition to pro wrestling , he became one of the greatest performers of all time. After an appearance on ECW, the Olympic champion signed with the then-called WWF in August 1998, making his television debut on November 14 of the following year at Survivor Series.
Over the next seven years, Angle was a four-time WWE Champion and a one-time WCW Champion, World Champion, WCW United States Champion, WWE Tag Team Champion, European Champion, Hardcore Champion, and Intercontinental Champion. He also won King of the Ring in 2000 and had memorable matches and rivalries until 2006, when he moved to TNA. So it’s worth checking out our list of the ten best Kurt Angle matches in WWE, in chronological order.
No Way Out 2001
WWF Championship :
Kurt Angle (c) vs. The Rock
At the No Mercy 2000 pay-per-view , Angle won his first WWF Championship by beating The Rock , despite Rikishi attempting to interfere in favor of The Great One .
However, Angle defended the title against The Undertaker at Survivor Series , Rikishi, The Rock and Steve Austin at Rebellion, The Rock , Steve Austin, Triple H , Undertaker and Rikishi in a six-man Hell in a Cell match at Armageddon and of Triple H at the Royal Rumble .
Despite the many opponents, the champion and The Rock never lost sight of each other. On an episode of SmackDown! in early January 2001, Angle won a match between the two by disqualification after The Rock attacked him with a chair. Already on the February 8 edition of SmackDown! , The Rock beat Big Show to become the main contender for the WWF Championship at the No Way Out pay-per-view.
WWF Championship :
Steve Austin (c) vs. Kurt Angle
WWF Champion Steve Austin turned his back on the company in July 2001 at the PPV Invasion , costing Team WWF (Steve Austin, Kurt Angle, Chris Jericho , The Undertaker and Kane) a loss to Team WCW/ECW (Booker T , Diamond Dallas Page, Rhyno, Bubba Ray Dudley and D-Von Dudley) when applying a Stunner to Kurt Angle.
The following night on Raw is War , Austin justified it by admitting that he felt WWF President Vince McMahon wanted to replace him at the top of the company with Angle. And that same night, Austin attacked Angle during a table match, creating even more friction between the two. Days later, on the July 26 edition of SmackDown! , Angle challenged Steve Austin to a WWF title match, but Austin preferred to put Booker T to defend the WCW title against Angle, with Angle winning the belt that night despite Austin’s interference. However, on the following Raw Is War , Angle lost the WWF title to Booker T due to interference from Austin and Shane McMahon, but returned to challenge Stone Cold for the WWF Championship . at stake at SummerSlam , something that was accepted, making official the first PPV duel between the two for the promoter’s top belt.
Judgment Day 2002
Hair vs. Hair match: Edge vs. Kurt Angle
On the March 18 Monday Night Raw , the first after WrestleMania X8, Edge and Kane’s team beat Angle and Booker T’s after a Canadian settlement on the Olympic champion.
Frustrated at having suffered the settlement, Angle commented on a match between Booker T and Edge on SmackDown! three days later and ended up interfering in the duel, costing Edge the defeat , in what was just the first of several attacks between the two.
On the following Raw , Edge cost Kurt Angle the loss in an intercontinental title match against Rob Van Dam, on a night when both learned that they would be on the SmackDown roster ! .
On the April 4th episode of Smackdown! , Edge and Angle finally faced each other, but the match ended in Angle’s disqualification, who attacked Edge with a chair. The following week, Edge challenged Kurt Angle to a match at Backlash , but was defeated after suffering an Angle Slam . However, the teasing between the two continued, which on the May 2 edition of SmackDown! led Angle to challenge Edge to a Hair vs. Hair match on Judgment Day.
WWE Undisputed Championship :
The Undertaker (c) vs. The Rock vs. Kurt Angle
At the previous King Of The Ring pay-per-view , Undertaker retained the title by defeating Triple H. However, the match was marked by interference from The Rock , who at one point planted Deadman on the mat with a Rock Bottom . Furious at this interference, Undertaker asked Vince McMahon to match The Rock with the title at stake, and the WWE owner complied, scheduling a duel between the two for Vengeance.
However, on the July 4th episode of Smackdown! , Undertaker and Kurt Angle tied in a match over the WWE Undisputed Championship , as the Deadman completed a settlement on Angle at the same time as he folded.
Four days later, in Monday Night Raw , Vince McMahon announced that Kurt Angle would be added to the match on Vengeance, making it a triple threat match . And in the shows that followed up to the PPV , both Undertaker and Angle and The Rock took every opportunity to attack each other.
Chris Benoit vs. Kurt Angle
At a time when the brand split had just taken place, Stephanie McMahon announced for SmackDown! A series of elimination matches to determine the top contender for the WWE Undisputed Championship , held by Brock Lesnar on August 29 .
Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit were supposed to face each other in the decisive match, but before that Stephanie added the new signing of SmackDown! , The Undertaker , who even came out on top after settling in Benoit. The following week, Angle mocked Benoit for being pinfalled , but was confronted by the Canadian. That same night, they teamed up, along with Eddie Guerrero, to face Edge , Rikishi, and Undertaker , but midway through the match, Angle and Benoit began to fight each other.
On the September 12 episode of SmackDown! , Angle interfered and cost Chris Benoit the loss in a match against Rikishi. After this incident, Benoit went to Stephanie McMahon and asked to face Angle at Unforgiven.
SmackDown! (December 5, 2002)
Four-Way Elimination match
Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit vs. Edge vs. Eddie Guerrero
At Survivor Series 2002, Big Show won the WWE Championship from Brock Lesnar after benefiting from Paul Heyman’s betrayal of the then champion. Four days later, on SmackDown! , Big Show defended the title against Edge , but the match ended in a no-contest after Heyman interfered. After the match, Lesnar attacked Big Show and Heyman, actions that led to his being suspended by General Manager Stephanie McMahon, who had already threatened to punish him if he attacked anyone.
With Lesnar out of the WWE Championship match , a Four-Way Elimination match was scheduled to determine the new main contender.
Royal Rumble 2003
WWE Championship :
Kurt Angle (c) vs. Chris Benoit
At Armageddon 2002, Kurt Angle enlisted the help of Brock Lesnar to defeat Big Show and win the WWE Championship for the third time.
Before the PPV , Angle had promised to lift Lesnar ‘s suspension and give him his first title shot, which turned out not to be, after it all turned out to be a ploy by Angle and Paul Heyman to frame Lesnar . On the December 19 edition of SmackDown , Benoit came close to making Angle give up in a match for title match , but Big Show interfered to attack Benoit, with Lesnar appearing on the scene to make the save, only to be attacked by Angle and Big. Show.
A title match between Angle and Big Show was scheduled for the following week, but SmackDown General Manager Stephanie McMahon declared that the champion was unable to compete after being attacked by Lesnar after the show went off the air on last week. Then, the GM scheduled a duel between Big Show and Chris Benoit to determine the main contender for the Royal Rumble title match , with Benoit winning but later being decimated by Big Show, Angle, and Team Angle (Charlie Haas and Shelton). Benjamin).
SmackDown! (September 18, 2003)
60 minute Ironman match for the WWE Championship :
Kurt Angle (c) vs.Brock Lesnar
A rivalry that lasted for many months during the year 2003.
At the Royal Rumble , Angle was successful in defending the WWE Championship against Benoit, while Brock Lesnar won the Royal Rumble match.
At the next pay-per-view , No Way Out, Lesnar and Benoit defeated Team Angle (Kurt Angle, Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas) in a handicap match that was supposed to be a six-man tag team match until Edge was attacked backstage.
On the March 6 episode of SmackDown! , Lesnar beat Paul Heyman in a Steel Cage match to earn a title shot . The following week, Angle defeated Lesnar after interference from his brother Eric, as well as Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas, thus retaining the belt.
At WrestleMania XIX, Lesnar and Angle faced each other again, in a match in which Angle would lose the title if he was disqualified or someone interfered in his favor. However, Lesnar won the WWE Championship through a settlement, after applying a third F-5 .
After the biggest event of the year, Kurt Angle underwent neck surgery and didn’t return to the ring until June, but he soon entered the title race , eventually winning it at Vengeance, when he pinned Lesnar after an Angle Slam . on one triple threat match that also involved Big Show.
Four days later, on SmackDown! , Lesnar challenged Angle to a rematch. However, Vince McMahon said that Lesnar would first have to beat him in a Steel Cage match where Angle would referee. However, that cage match ended in a no contest after McMahon and Lesnar attacked Angle.
However, Angle and Lesnar met again at SummerSlam , with Angle winning via submission via an Ankle Lock . After another victory over his rival, Kurt Angle turned his attention to The Undertaker , whom he wrestled in a WWE Championship match on the September 4 episode of SmackDown! . However, Lesnar interfered in this match by attacking both wrestlers with a chair, which led to an Ironman match between Angle and Lesnar being scheduled with the title on the line for two weeks later
Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle
In the 2005 Royal Rumble match , Kurt Angle ( SmackDown ) attacked and eliminated Shawn Michaels ( Raw ) after the Heartbreak Kid had eliminated him.
However, Angle lost a match to John Cena to determine the main contender for the WWE Championship at No Way Out, and the following night Michaels told SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long to inform Angle that he had been challenged to a match at WrestleMania . .
On the February 28 edition of Monday Night Raw , Kurt Angle attacked Shawn Michaels after he beat Edge in a Street Fight , announcing that he had accepted the challenge. In the weeks that followed, the two continued to attack and tease each other. Angle even challenged Michaels ‘ former tag team partner Marty Jannetty to a match, winning him by submission. He also convinced former HBK manager Sensational Sherri to parody Michaels ‘ theme song ” Sexy Boy “, calling it ” Sexy Kurt “. Michaels interrupted the joke and played a video with highlights of his career, leaving Sherri emotional. Who was not thrilled at all was Angle, who applied an Ankle Lock on Sherri.
Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle
At WrestleMania 21, Kurt Angle defeated Shawn Michaels by submission, forcing him to fold through an Ankle Lock in what was considered one of the best ever match in WWE’s biggest event . The two were out of contact for more than two months, not least because HBK belonged to Raw and Angle to SmackDown , however, the draft placed the Olympic champion on Raw during the June 13 episode. That same night, Michaels challenged Angle to a rematch at Vengeance and Angle accepted.