Kurt Angle: Will He Go Down As the Greatest Pro Wrestler Ever?

Matthew HesterSenior Writer IAugust 6, 2010

31 Jul 1996: Kurt Angle of the United States holds the American flag at the free-style wrestling competition during the Summer Olympics at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia.
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

I often see articles on this guy or that guy being the best ever. These articles consist of mostly blind favoritism that makes me question their actual wrestling knowledge.

In fairness, though, anyone who has read any of my articles knows that I'm harsh when it comes to grading greatness. I think you have to be though if you're going to put the words "greatest ever" in front of someone.

I can say one thing though, and that is I am unbiased to the T.

I am telling you all of this because I am going to talk about someone who has the possibility to be one of the best ever. I don't put many modern grappler's in that category to be honest with you.

The man who I feel has a chance of being one of the best ever in pro wrestling is Kurt Angle. I remember watching him at a house show before he made his debut. As soon as I saw him lock up, I knew he would be great.

Since his debut in 1999, he has done nothing but confirm my feelings. He has accomplished more in the ring during his short time than most in their entire career. The only thing that can stop him is himself.

We all know what Angle did for the U.S in the Olympics in 1996. If winning Olympic gold with a bad neck doesn't prove his tenacity and character, nothing will. The interesting thing is we almost didn't get Kurt Angle to grace our presence.

When he was first approached by Vince to wrestle for him, Angle wanted nothing to do with it. He was afraid that Pro Wrestling would tarnish his legacy. If you give it some thought though, Angle had some valid reasons for his doubts.

Luckily for us, though, Angle would join the WWE.

Kurt Angle made his Pro Wrestling debut in 1999, and since then the wrestling world has never been the same. He would quickly capture every title the WWE would have to offer.

More impressive than any title, though, was the instant credibility he carried to the ring night in and night out. If Kurt Angle was on the card you knew you were in for a treat.

Angle, in my opinion, has passed all of my heroes as a kid. I have to say that is impressive considering my favorites were: Bret Hart, Randy Savage, HBK, and Mr. Perfect. His technical abilities are second to none.

In wrestling it takes more than technical skills to be considered to be an all-time great. Angle has gone to become one of the most entertaining guys on the stick in years. His work as a heel has been nothing short of great.

Over the last 11 years Angle has been part of many great feuds. It's hard to even keep count how many there has been. My most memorable ones were the feuds with Stone Cold and the Rock.

Like most wrestlers, even the great ones, injuries play a part in their careers. As great as Angle was, he couldn't avoid these problems. Early in his career he would develop serious neck problems.

He has had multiple operations on his neck, and even today is in danger of paralyzing himself. While some question Angle's decision to continue wrestling with a bad neck, I doubt anyone doubts his dedication and toughness.

If Kurt Angle were to retire today an argument can easily be made that he is one of the best ever. He is not retired though, which means Angle can still achieve more in his career.

If Angle can wrestle another five to ten years, I think it is safe to say that he can be considered one of the greatest wrestlers to ever live. He certainly has the ability and style to do so.

All of this ultimately rest in the wrestling gods' hands though. Angle is on borrowed time. Make no mistake about that. How much time does he has left to wrestle? Only time will tell.