Over a decade after the two split acrimoniously, Kurt Angle will finally reunite with WWE when he’s inducted into its Hall of Fame later this year. The news was broken by ESPN and confirmed by WWE.com earlier today.
A gold medalist in freestyle wrestling at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Kurt Angle entered the world of pro wrestling in 1998, signing a contract with the then-WWF and training at its Power Pro Wrestling developmental territory in Memphis. His first WWF TV match was at the Survivor Series in November 1999, where he debuted as a role model at a time when role models and clean-cut babyfaces were squarely out of fashion. Although roundly booed by most fans, his ironic heel persona was an instant favorite among many wrestling fans. He took to the art of pro wrestling quicker than almost any wrestler before him, solidifying himself as one of the best in-ring workers in the world without months of his WWF debut. He remained undefeated for months, quickly moving into the hunt for mid-card titles, and won his first WWF/WWE Championship in October 2000, which made him the first Olympic gold medalist to win the company’s top title. Over the next six years he held numerous other championships in WWF, and wrestled classic matches against the likes of Chris Jericho, the Rock, Brock Lesnar, Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels and more. He was one of the biggest stars of that era, until he was released due to health reasons in 2006.
After leaving WWE in 2006, Angle wrestled for TNA until early 2016, where he had fantastic matches with the likes of AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Nigel McGuinness (aka Desmond Wolfe), and more. Angle was the top star for TNA during much of that time. Since leaving TNA roughly a year ago, he has made sporadic appearances for various independent promotions, but has largely avoided the spotlight.
This year’s WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held in Orlando, Florida, on March 31, 2017, two days before Wrestlemania. It’ll be broadcast live on the WWE Network.