It’s true, it’s true! WWE announced that Olympic gold medal winner and former multiple-time world champion Kurt Angle will be the big name to “main event” this year’s WWE Hall of Fame class of 2017 just two days before WrestleMania 33, initially announced by ESPN.com.
“Kurt Angle’s achievements both in the Olympics and WWE were phenomenal,” said WWE’s Executive Vice President of Talent, Live Events and Creative Paul Levesque. “He was one of the most talented athletes to ever enter the ring, and we are honored to welcome him into the WWE Hall of Fame.”
Before becoming a legend of the squared circle, the pleased Pittsburgh native was a world-class amateur contender, becoming a two-time All-American and a two-time NCAA Champion while wrestling for Clarion University in his home state of Pennsylvania. His incredible amateur career culminated at the Olympic Games 1996 in Atlanta, where he fought off the incredible pain of a “broken freakin’ neck” to win the gold medal for the United States of America.
In 1998, Angle made the jump from beginner to professional wrestling by signing with WWE. After one year, the gold medal grappler made his debut at Survivor Series 1999, getting the first win of an undefeated streak that saw Angle capture the European and Intercontinental Championships. His extraordinary rookie campaign culminated at WWE No Mercy in October 2000, where he defeated The Rock to capture his first WWE Championship.
Though his wrestling ability was unparalleled, Angle adapted to the entertainment side of sports-entertainment better than anyone could have expected. Whether it was preaching his “three Is” – intensity, integrity and intelligence – taking part in a five-second pose with Edge & Christian or joining “Stone Cold” Steve Austin for a backstage sing-along, The Olympic Hero was able to make the WWE Universe laugh when he wasn’t wowing them with his athleticism.
By the time he left WWE in 2006, Angle had become one of the company’s most decorated stars in a short period of time. His resume includes four rules as WWE Champion, a World Heavyweight Championship, the WCW, Hardcore, United States, Intercontinental and World Tag Team Championships.Moreover, Angle was the 2000 King of the Ring and even served as General Manager of SmackDown. He has spent the past decade in TNA, where he was the second ever TNA Triple Crown winner and a six-time TNA World Champion.
In honor of these achievements, along with his incredible contributions to the WWE Universe during his storied career, Angle will be revered in the WWE Hall of Fame.
The Rock also praised Angle on Twitter, writing: “Huge! Had some amazing title matches w/ this Olympic gold medalist. Congrats my friend. Truly one of the best men I’ve ever met. #WWEHOF.”
Mick Foley added: “@RealKurtAngle coming home to @WWE makes me happy! Well deserved! #ItsDamnTrue.”
Tickets for the 2017 WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony will be available starting this Friday, Jan. 20, at 10 a.m. ET. For complete information on how you can see Kurt Angle take his place in sports-entertainment history, visit Ticketmaster.com.
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