The WWE Hall of Fame will finally get its own Olympic gold medalist as WWE announced yesterday night that Kurt Angle will be the headliner for the class of 2017.
“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.”
Triple H also added on Twitter later that he’s never seen an individual adapt and succeed in the wrestling business so naturally. Kurt Angle, tweeting right after the announcement, simply said, “I’m coming home!”
The 48-year-old made his pro wrestling debut in 1998, signing an 8-year deal with the WWE. Initially, Angle was sent to a developmental territory before making his full in-ring debut on WWE television at the 1999 Survivor Series.
Angle’s rise in the WWE ranks was quick and he won the WWE title in his first year, defeating The Rock. He continued to be one of the main eventers in the company, having epic feuds with the likes of Triple H, Steve Austin, Brock Lesnar, Eddie Guerrero, Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker, and many others.
Things turned for the worst in 2006 and after he was drafted to the ECW brand, Angle was fired from the company due to health issues, mainly addiction.
After leaving WWE, Angle quickly signed on with TNA where he had some of his best matches in his career. He was inducted in the TNA Hall of Fame in 2013 and had his farewell tour with the company in January 2016.
Throughout his WWE career, he won the WWE title 4 times, the World Heavyweight title, the WCW title once, and the WCW United States title once, the WWE European, Hardcore and Intercontinental title once, and the WWE Tag Team title once with Chris Benoit.
In TNA, he won the TNA World title six times, the X Division title once, and the TNA World Tag Team title twice with Sting and AJ Styles.
Kurt Angle becomes the second person to be inducted in both the WWE and TNA Hall of Fames. The first one was Sting.