Hi everyone! A tribute to the Hall of Famer today, as I bring you five recent Kurt Angle matches before his much welcomed return to WWE. Commentators will say he “hasn’t been in a WWE ring for 11 years”, but that doesn’t mean he’s been sat on his arse since 2006. Since he left WWE, the Olympic Gold Medallist has won several championships and set records:
- IWGP (IGF) Heavyweight Championship – Beat Brock Lesnar in 2007. This was not the IWGP title held by Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Shinsuke Nakamura & AJ Styles.
- TNA X-Division Championship – Like the tag titles in 2007, Angle held all the TNA titles after defeating Samoa Joe.
- TNA World Tag Team Championship (2 times) – . The first time he defeated Samoa Joe to claim the tag team and X-Division titles by himself in 2007. He was eventually forced to choose a partner; which was Sting. Angle held all the TNA titles at this time. He won the tag belts again in 2012 with AJ Styles.
- TNA World Heavyweight Championship (6 times) – Angle remains the longest reigning TNA World Champion (known as the Impact Global Championship). Not only does he hold the record for the most reigns, he was also the first champion (in 2007 after TNA parted ways with the NWA) and still holds the record of 608 combined days. He defeated the likes of Christian Cage, Jeff Jarrett, Sting, Samoa Joe, Mick Foley, AJ Styles and Bobby Lashley to claim the title, and defended against so many I’ll spare you the long list.
- TNA Hall Of Fame – Despite it not being held in as high regard as the WWE HOF (depends who you ask I guess?), Kurt Angle joined Sting in TNA’s HOF before returning to WWE and getting inducted in to their HOF. Sting and Kurt Angle are the only wrestlers to be inducted in both.
It’s true (it’s damn true!) that Angle has taken time off lately, but it was mostly to heal up nagging injuries, and more importantly .. spend quality time with his family. Angle has been through some rough times, and he feels it’s important he doesn’t over exert himself as he looks to wind down his wrestling schedule.
It doesn’t mean he lost it, he still trains and keeps in good shape. This year he’s had a long break, so he’s healthy enough to put on a few quality matches in WWE. He still has a few in the tank, he’s an Olympic athlete and some wrestlers (like Lou Thesz) can work in to their 70’s and 80’s. Angle is likely capable of wrestling til his mid-to-late fifties (if he stays healthy), so he’s got time left. He’s easily got the ability to step in like he did at TLC.
Speaking of which, they protected Angle a lot and made him look he was an old-timer with zero stamina; this is exaggerated as he’s proven he’s not that far gone. I feel like WWE didn’t want to give too much away, they kept his move set simple and brought him to the back early so he didn’t have to work the full match. This will be a perfect setup for a one vs. one encounter at a bigger PPV when we’ll get to see what Angle can really do in a wrestling match. Hopefully it’s against someone technically sound, and is able to get the best out of Kurt without risking serious injury.
Anyways! That’s enough blah blah blah. I don’t want to comment on these matches really, I’d prefer to let the matches speak for themselves. Whether he wins or loses, he’s always the utmost professional in the ring. And don’t be scared if one of them was on (TNA) Impact Wrestling; I’m sure you can tolerate Josh Matthews long enough to watch the newest member of The Shield in action. If you can’t, it’s your loss. Thanks everyone! You will see me again soon, as I have a lengthy article about NXT in the works.
- As part of Kurt Angle’s farewell tour, he faced Drew Galloway in Manchester and they tore the house down. This was part of the Maximum Impact tour in late January 2016.
- On March 20th 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona, Angle faced off against his old rival Rey Mysterio on UR Fight iPPV. Shows highlights.
- On June 12th, Angle was in the main event of a Revolution Pro card against Zack Sabre Jr. The show also included rising UK talent such as Marty Scurll, Pete Dunne, Noam Dar, Will Ospreay & Killian Dain. Shows highlights.
- On October 8th, Angle was in the main event of WCPW True Legacy against former WWE talent Cody Rhodes.
- On February 12th 2017, Angle was in the main event of WCPW True Destiny against Alberto El Patron (Del Rio). This is his last known singles match to date. Commentary by Jim Ross & Matt Striker.