Both are credited as being the greatest in their respective era's. Frank Gotch and Kurt Angle, two names that define technical wrestling. Both had a lot of success in the ring but who would win in this clash of technical wrestling gods?
1) Breaking into the business
Frank Gotch broke into the business early and had his first match against former American heavyweight champion, Dan Mcleod. He held his own for nearly two hours, something that impressed Dan Mcleod. He had his second match with "Farmer" Martin Burns but was only able to last 11 minutes. Never the less Burns was very impressed and Trained the young Gotch.
Kurt first broke into wrestling through a decorated amateur career that attracted attention for two major companies at the time, ECW and the WWF. Kurt attended a ECW PPV and was disgusted after watching the infamous Crucifixion the Sandman. Roughly a year later he signed with WWF and became one of the largest known Pro wrestlers in the industry at the time.
Not much can be said of Frank Gotch's move-set. It was very minimal as very few moves were used or even around at that time. Among the most common were the back suplex, the Cross Kneelock, now more commonly called a drop toehold, and the double leg takedown. Every wrestler back then used headlocks, sidehead locks, and snapmares so it can assumed that Frank Gotch was well acquainted with them as well.
Kurt's move-set is so huge that I can't name most of them, however I can address Kurt Angle's suplexes. Kurt uses a huge variety of suplexes. He has been known to use back suplexs, vertical suplexes, belly to belly suplexs, and maybe one of his most known moves the release German suplex.
Kurt has a very expertly used German suplex, to a degree where it normally means the end is coming when he executes it, as he is building for either of his two lethal finishers. Kurt also has a very nice moonsault.
Frank Gotch is one of the most pure technical wrestlers in wrestling history, however he is not without controversy. In what is likely his most known match to secure his heavyweight title he cheated. He punched his opponent in the face once during the match and oiled up his body in order to avoid being locked in his legendary bearhug. Frank went on to win this match and became the heavyweight champion.
Kurt often doesn't need to resort to dirty tactics, but he does anyway, as he can out wrestle almost every one of his opponents. He has beaten some of the best in the world today. Kurt is likely the best technical wrestler going today, many people consider him such, me included.
4) Championships and Accomplishments
Frank Gotch was the second world champion in pro wrestling history. He secured the world title by defeating Hackenschmidt. He is the fourth longest reigning world champion behind Sammartino, Lou Thesz and Verne Gagne.
His reign lasted nearly five years. He also held the American heavyweight championship three times and he was the one to unite it with the world championship. He has also been recognized in three different professional wrestling hall of fames. He is also credited as being one of the men that popularized pro wrestling.
Let me start out with this one mainly since Kurt hasn't shut-up about it since he started. Kurt won a gold medal in the Olympics with a broken neck in 1996 and went on to become the first gold medalist in pro wrestling history.
He is also nine time world champion. He has held the WWE title four times, WCW world title, the World Heavyweight championship, The IWGP third belt and the TNA world title twice. He is also the first man to win and hold all three TNA titles at once and TNA bills him as a 12 time world champion by including his two NCAA titles and his gold medal as world championship. He has also held multiple secondary titles.
5) Finishing Moves
Frank Gotch had a very boring finishing move by today's standards. It was a Toe Hold. The move hyper extends the ankle in its most common form by grabbing the foot near the toes.
The move is pretty weak by today's standards and normally doesn't end a match and is very rarely used. However Gotch has showed this isn't the only move he can use to finish a match and it would be interesting to see what he could pull out of his bag of tricks.
By know many are well acquainted with Kurt's devastating Submission finishing move, the Grapevine Ankle Lock. The Move is a very legitimate submission used not only in Pro Wrestling, but in Amateur wrestling and MMA as well. Kurt has destroyed many people with the move while constantly threatening to break their ankle. He has also used the Olympic slam which isn't used as often as it once was but is devastating in itself.
Final Winner: Frank Gotch
Don't get me wrong Kurt is the best technical wrestler in the world today but Gotch was among the Best in the world when Technical wrestling wasn't just a common thing it was basically the only thing.
There is no way Kurt would be able to beat Gotch at his own game. The match would likely be grueling, very technical, very long and littered with reversals. The match would likely go on for over two hours with either not being able to best the other and needing to resort to dirty tactics. However after the greatest technical wrestling match in all of history I see Kurt Angle tapping out to Frank Gotch's infamous Toe Hold.
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