Kurt Angle: From Olympic Hero to Best Pro-Wrestler Of All Time?

James TurnerCorrespondent IFebruary 1, 2010

I've waited along time to write this article. But I wanted to make sure I stood behind my statement that I'm about to make when it was time to write it. Now I believe it's time.

During my 25 years of becoming a wrestling fan, there's always that defining moment where a wrestler comes onto the scene and you know their career will be something memorable.

Brock Lesnar made his debut the night after Wrestlemania in 2002. Five months later, he wins the title against The Rock at Summerslam 2002. Bill Goldberg made his debut in late 1997 and won the world title against Hogan on July 5, 1998.

As great as these two mammoth athletes are and their careers they had in professional wrestling, neither Goldberg or Lesnar had the career that the Olympic hero, Kurt Angle has had.

Eleven months after his debut at Survivor Series 1999, Kurt Angle won his first WWE title in defeating The Rock at No Mercy, classic PPV BTW. And during that first year, he was also the first Eurocontinetal (IC and European) champion and he won the King of the Ring all in the year of 2000. Did I forget to mention that he capped off 2000 with a victory in the six man Hell In A Cell that consisted of HHH/Rock/Austin/Taker/Rikishi. All future hall of famers, except Rikishi. That's a hell of an accomplishment for your first year.

Now I'm going to be maybe the first, at least on Bleacher Report to come out and say this but I truly believe that Kurt Angle is the absolute best athlete ever to grace the square circle of professional wrestling.

January 15, 2009, I wrote an article about Shawn Michaels being the greatest professional wrestler in history. June 18, 2009


I wrote my personal opinion on the top 25 greatest wrestlers of all-time.

On that list, I have HBK as #1, Bret Hart at #2, Sting at #3, and Kurt Angle at #4.

Now I wasn't so sure at that time if I truly believed HBK was the true #1, especially since the fact that Kurt Angle made HBK tap out on the biggest stage of them all, Wrestlemania.

Even with my doubts, I still put HBK as #1 because of what he has accomplished over his entire career. Any true fan knows HBK's resume. I wrote them in enough articles so I won't go over them here.

When I look back at Kurt Angle's career, he actually has had just an equal career as HBK, even better in many ways. Unless, you're the Undertaker.

Kurt Angle has headlined every Wrestlemania in his WWE tenure. If he didn't win, he made sure that his matches were 5 star. His two triple threat matches in 2000 and 2006 were classics. His battle with Lesnar in 2003 was memorable (think Lesnar botched shooting star press). We already know the classic one with HBK in 2005, which I believe was his best match. And how can we forget the underrated match he had with Benoit in 2001. Can never forget about him. R.I.P. Benoit.

I know when it came down to the WWE's Super Bowl, Kurt Angle ALWAYS risen up to the occasion. He was a machine. And this was just his tenure in the WWE.

How can we forget his current TNA resume.

Only the second person to win TNA's Triple Crown and the first to hold all three Championships simultaneously. Let's not forget his classic battles with Samoa Joe, the numerous classic battles with AJ Styles and the ones with one of my top three greatest wrestlers of all-time, Sting.

He's wrestled in Japan Pro Wrestling and Inoka Genome Federation. Now he's currently working on MMA work. This man is truly an Olympic machine. KURT ANGLE IS A BEAST!

My defining moment claiming Kurt Angle as the greatest professional wrestler was the Impact Show last year before their own Wrestlemania, Bound For Glory. He knocked AJ Styles out of the ring. And within a blink of an eye, he leaps over the top ropes and does a somersault onto Styles. I almost jumped out of my chair.

My initial thought was I hope his neck was okay. He has been battling through injuries, particular the neck his entire pro career. But he did the somersault and stood up right after. That moment, I had to declare him the best ever. It was executed perfectly.

Those who have watch Kurt Angle over the past decade know that he will go through extreme pain and risk just to put on a classic match. Think King of the Ring street fight with Shane McMahon. Think about the moonsault off the top of the cage against Chris Benoit and landed on nothing but the mat.

Angle just never fails to amuse me even till this day. He just keeps fighting and fighting.

One thing I admire about Kurt Angle the most is his professionalism. He has dealt with some personal issues in his life - drug addiction problems, issues with his wife off-air, recurring neck injury - but he always bounces back, keeps his head high, and always remains professional.

Many people, especially on B/R talked about how Kurt Angle was committing suicide once WWE released him and he went to TNA because he wasn't healthy enough to fight. People thought he would collapse in the middle of a TNA match. I was even worried about him. As time progressed, he once again showed why, "I won an Olympic medal with a broken freakin neck!"

I applaud Kurt Angle for being the best and giving his best everytime he stepped out into that ring. He has pour his heart, soul and life on the line just to give the wrestling fans something to remember. And he has given us SO MANY MEMORIES. And I believe his career is far from finish as he has a few more memories left to give the fans.

9 time World Heavyweight Champion (WWE/WCW/TNA). That's all that's need to be said. He is the definition of a true warrior. And you know what? I know for sure he will go down as the greatest ever.

Now before I end this article, take one look at that profile picture of Mr. Angle. That's the look of a warrior. One we will always remember and cherish. LONG LIVE THE OLYMPIAN MACHINE!

He's definitely the superstar of the decade in all professional wrestling. My personal opinion, he's the best ever. That's unless the Deadman has something to say about that.