Kurt Angle was born on December 9, 1968 in Pittsburgh, PA. While an amateur wrestler, Angle suffered a broken neck that has hampered his pro career. At the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Kurt won a gold medal in the Freestyle Heavyweight 100 kg Division. He made his first national pro wrestling appearance shortly after his Olympic win in ECW and got into a confrontation with Taz. That night, the Sandman crucifixion angle took place and Angle stormed out of the ECW arena and never returned.
The Best Rookie Year Ever:
Kurt made his WWE debut at the 1999 Survivor Series. Within one calendar year, he won the King of the Ring Tournament, the Intercontinental Title, the European Title and most importantly the WWE Championship by beating the Rock. His title reign was prolonged by the most cowardly and biggest fluke wins by any champion. The highlight of this title reign was his Hell in a Cell victory over Steve Austin, the Rock, Triple H, the British Bulldog, & Rikishi.
During the WCW Invasion angle, Kurt started off on the WWE side. He went on to beat Steve Austin for the WWE title but after losing the belt back he joined WCW. After WCW was disbanded, Kurt said that he was working for Vince McMahon and was a double agent for the WWE. During this time period, he released his autobiography, It's True, It's True.
Angle was drafted to SmackDown as Vince McMahon's #2 pick. He started a feud with Edge and wound up losing a hair vs. hair match. A few months later, he became tag team partners with Chris Benoit and they won the newly created WWE Tag Team Titles. Despite their success together, they didn't like each other and the team quickly broke up.
Kurt beat the Big Show for the WWE Title with the help of Brock Lesnar because Lesnar was previously screwed by Paul Heyman and the Big Show. It turned out Angle was behind that double cross. As a reward, Heyman gave him his own wrestling team which consisted of Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin. He eventually lost the title to Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania XIX and then took some time off to repair his bad neck.
More Neck Problems:
2004 began with Kurt feuding with Eddie Guerrero. In April, Kurt was named as GM of SmackDown as a way to keep him on TV while his neck healed again. A few months later, he returned to the ring and resumed his feud with Eddie Guerrero. The beginning of 2005 saw him start a feud with RAW star Shawn Michaels and featured a classic WrestleMania battle between the two men.
Kurt was drafted to RAW in 2005 and continued his feud with Shawn Michaels while also feuding with John Cena over the WWE Title. Kurt brought in Daivari as his personal referee and later as his undefined something that would accompany him to the ring. In a total shock, RAW Star Kurt Angle appeared on the January 14, 2006 edition of Friday Night SmackDown and won a battle royal to become the World Heavyweight Champion.
Leaving SmackDown and the WWE:
When ECW was recreated in the summer of 2006, Kurt Angle was drafted by Paul Heyman to be a part of the brand. In real-life, things were not going well behind-the-scenes and the WWE released Kurt. He was quickly acquired by TNA Wrestling where he immediately became a part of the main event scene.
WWE & TNA Title History:
TNA Title History
TNA World Championship
5/13/07 Sacrifice - beat Champion Christian Cage and Sting
6/17/07 Slammiversary - won a King of the Mountain Match against Christian Cage, Samoa Joe, Chris Harris, and A.J. Styles to win the vacant title
10/25/07 iMPACT! - beat Sting
6/21/09 Slammiversary – beat Champion Mick Foley, AJ Styles, Jeff Jarrett, and Samoa Joe in a King of the Mountain Match
8/7/11 HardCORE Justice - beat Sting
8/12/07 Hard Justice - beat Samoa Joe
TNA Tag Team Championship
8/12/07 Hard Justice - beat Samoa Joe; Sting won a match a few weeks later to be his tag team partner
6/10/12 Slammiversary - w/AJ Styles beat Kazarian & Christopher Daniels
WWE Title History
10/22/00 No Mercy - The Rock
9/23/01 Unforgiven - Steve Austin
12/15/02 Armageddon - The Big Show
7/27/03 Vengeance - beat Champ Brock Lesnar & The Big Show
World Heavyweight Championship
1/10/06 - won a battle royal
WCW Heavyweight Title
7/26/01 - Booker T
2/27/00 No Way Out - Chris Jericho
10/22/01 - Rhyno
2/10/00 - Val Venis
WWE Tag Team Championship
10/20/02 No Mercy - w/Chris Benoit beat Edge & Rey Mysterio in a tournament final for the new titles
(Sources: PWI Almanac, Database Olympics.com & Onlineworldofwrestling.com)