Kurt Angle (born December 9, 1968 in Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania) is an American professional wrestler, amateur wrestler and actor. He is currently under contract with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, where he is a former five-time TNA World Heavyweight Champion. He is also known for his time in the World Wrestling Federation / Entertainment (WWF/E), and for being the only Olympic gold medalist in the history of professional wrestling.
Angle was involved in amateur wrestling during both high school and college. In college at Clarion University of Pennsylvania, he won numerous accolades, including being a two-time National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I champion. After graduating, he won a gold medal in freestyle wrestling at the 1995 World Wrestling Championships. Angle then competed in the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, where he won a gold medal in heavyweight freestyle wrestling. Kurt Angle is also one of only four people to complete a Grand Slam in amateur wrestling which is the junior nationals, the NCAAs, the World Championships and the Olympics. He was named the greatest shoot wrestler and one of the top 15 college wrestlers of all time by USA Wrestling.
Initially turning down an offer to join the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), Angle signed a multi-year contract with the company in 1998. His first bigpush in the company was in February 2000, when he held both the European Championship and the Intercontinental Championship at the same time. A few months later he won the King of the Ring tournament. Not long after, Angle began pursuing the WWF Championship, which he went on to win later in the year, capping off a rookie year which the company has referred to as the greatest in WWE history. He continued to be a part of main event matches until August 2006, when Angle was granted a release from his contract. Throughout his tenure in the company, he was a six-time world champion (four-time WWF/E Champion, World Heavyweight Champion and WCW Champion), he also held the United States Championship, Intercontinental Championship, European Championship, Hardcore Championship and WWE Tag Team Champion once each. In addition, he was the winner of the King of the Ring tournament in 2000, the tenth Triple Crown Champion, and the fifth Grand Slam Champion. In addition, he is one of three wrestlers (Edge and Big Show being the others) to have held every currently active male championship in the WWE.
Championships and accomplishments
After leaving WWE, Angle joined Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA), where he became the second wrestler in TNA to win TNA’s Triple Crown and the first man to hold all three TNA championships simultaneously. While in TNA, his real-life wife Karen began accompanying him to the ring and playing a part in his on-screen storylines. Angle has also made appearances for New Japan Pro Wrestling as well as Inoki Genome Federation, where he held their version of the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. In addition, he is a five-time TNA World Heavyweight Champion, the second Triple Crown winner in TNA history—being the only one to hold all the required titles at once (while also holding the IWGP Title, making him a quadruple champion for a brief time).
Angle is the only wrestler in history to be a Triple Crown winner in both WWE and TNA. He is the first man to have held the WWE, WCW, TNA, IWGP, and World Heavyweight Championships in his career. Angle is also a two time King of the Mountain winner, winning at the 2007 and 2009 Slammiversary PPV event, making him the only wrestler to have been both King of the Ring (WWE) and King of the Mountain (TNA). Between WWE, TNA, and Japan, Angle has won 12 World Championships and 19 total championships. In 2010 the Wrestling Observer Newsletter named Angle the Wrestler of the Decade of the 2000s