At Impact Wrestling's Slammiversary pay-per-view last week, company president Dixie Carter announced that Kurt Angle would be the second inductee into the organization's Hall of Fame, following in the footsteps of the icon Sting. Not long after the announcement, Angle took to his Twitter account (h/t WrestlingInc.com) to say that he aspires to also join the WWE Hall of Fame:
I've Been Inducted in Every Amatuer and Pro Hall Of fame. Except Wwe and that is Next. I Will Be the Only One. :) it's in Honor in TNA. But WWE Needs to Give Me My Props. We Will See Someday. Much Love.
It's hard to believe that professional wrestling's only Olympic gold medalist jumped to TNA more than six years ago. Angle was one of the most decorated WWE superstars of all time, achieving incredible success in his short time with the company. He debuted in 1999 and within two years was the WWE champion.
When considering this feat, it should be acknowledged that he rose so quickly during an era when Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H and the Undertaker were at their peaks, along with rising stars like RVD, Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero and Brock Lesnar.
Even today, nearly 15 years since he began wrestling, Angle is considered by many to be among the best in-ring performers in the industry.
His matches against the likes of AJ Styles and Samoa Joe are considered to be some of the greatest in TNA history, which is why his induction into the company's Hall of Fame is fitting. He helped bring credibility to the company for both television executives and wrestling fans alike.
For all Angle has done with TNA, he will most be remembered for his time in WWE. Aside from having greater national exposure, he accomplished more in just a few years than many of the all-time greats did in a career. Angle captured every title that existed at the time during his run with WWE. He headlined WrestleMania against Brock Lesnar in one of his most memorable feuds.
Angle turned in show-stealing performances weekly. He also developed creative timing and showed a willingness to laugh at himself. His backstage segments with Steve Austin during the WWE vs. WCW/ECW storyline were tremendous.
Despite debuting as a heel, his hard work in the ring and backstage talent forced the company to turn him face. Even as a babyface, the crowd chanted "You Suck" during his entrance as recognition of how good he was as a heel.
Unfortunately, Angle battled an addiction to painkillers. His neck and back injuries left him often on the shelf. A dedicated competitor, Angle refused to stay down and frequently turned to drugs to soothe his ailing body. When Angle turned down treatment, the WWE was unable to justify the risk of his behavior.
He went to TNA, where he worked a much lighter schedule. He remains a highlight of any Impact Wrestling broadcast.
The question remains, do you think Kurt Angle belongs in the WWE Hall of Fame? And perhaps more importantly, do you think he will eventually be featured as part of the annual WrestleMania weekend?