Is Angle The best?
A lot of articles have been published lately, each suggesting who they felt was the greatest wrestler to ever grace a Wrestling ring. Popular choices included HBK, Undertaker, The Rock, Austin and Cena. While all these men are great in their own right, I feel that none of them can hold a candle to Kurt Angle.
Definition of WWE Superstar:
I believe that the best way to define the greatest Superstar in the Business is to simply look at the six key areas that makes a Wrestling Superstar:
2. Wrestling Ability
3. Crowd Chemistry
We will be looking into each category, and then we will establish where Kurt Angle fits in and whether or not he can be regarded as the greatest Superstar the world of wrestling has ever seen.
While there is no real figure behind this mark, one can already tell you that Kurt Angle is by no means the greatest wrestler in terms of sales. However, when looking at his character and how he was built into the business, we can tell that the WWE never really look at sales when discussing Kurt. His matches along and incredible work ethic will sell itself.
Angle has been involved in four Wrestlemania Main Event Spots and several other key matches at Mania. He Wrestled Eddie Gurrero, Brock Lesnar, Rey Mysterio & Randy Orton for the WWE Championship, and most of these matches were considered instant classic by Dave Meltzler.
He was thrown into the Rock and HHH feud of 2000, arguably one of the greatest feuds of all time. This showed that the WWE believed Angle was the right man to break the feud up while not ruining its crediblity.
He was also involved in over 1000 matches during his six-year stint with the WWE, proving that the people liked what they saw. Angle does not need to sell merchandise, because he sells the tickets.
Angle is a former three-time Olympic Gold Medallist. He won the Gold for America in the 1996 Olympics with a broken neck—this marked just how incredible a superstar Angle really is.
Angle has demonstrated to everyone that he has a broad range of wrestling moves in his Arsenal from Technical, Power and Ariel. In his matches, he is the one that carries keeps the flow going. I believe that he carried his match with Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 21, he carried his match with the undertaker at No Way Out in 2005 and he most definitely carried his match with Eddie Guerrero at Wrestlemania 20.
The only instances where Angle takes a back seat in his matches are to guys with equal or greater in-ring ability to him (Lesnar, Benoit and a few selective others). His run-ins with Brock Lesnar have been regarded as pure Wrestling at its finest. Many may think that plain wrestling is boring to watch; however, after the many counters and near pin falls, it made Undertaker V Shawn Michaels look like The Brawler V Santino Marella.
The fact that every time Angle Music hits the crowd reacts by chanting “You Suck” proves how much chemistry Angle has with the Crowd. He has amazing Mic skills, and he has the unique ability of getting into the crowd's face whether it’s taunting them or making reference to their local sporting team.
Seen as how he and HHH were the main Heels at the time, Angle became increasingly good at playing the heel role as seen in his matches with Rock, Austin, Jericho, Big Show and others.
His cocky and egotistical mentality is always a good trait to have when searching for some sort of reaction. I am not saying that he is better than Austin or The Rock, but for someone who is arguably the greatest in-ring performer to have the ability to speak and create moments with the Mic is something Michaels and Austin could only dream of having.
2000 King of the Ring Champion
4 Time TNA Champion
TNA X Division Champion
TNA Tag Team Champion
King of the Mountain, 2007, 2009
United States Champion
World Heavyweight Champion
4 Time WWE Champion
Tag Team Champion
4 time PWI Feud of the Year
To read more, visit Kurt Angle’s Wikipedia Page.
As you can see, Angle’s accomplishments are second to none; he has won more gold than anyone else when looking at Major Organisations. He has won more gold then Flair, Michaels, Austin, Rock, Hogan etc.
Obviously, it is scripted; in some cases winning gold does not mean as much as one would hope. However, it just proves that Angle is a big draw and can definitely play the role of the Heel as well as anybody else.
Angle has shown on multiple occasions that he is more charismatic then the next guy. His ability to wrestle, speak, draw heat, etc. is something guys like Triple H and others can only dream about achieving. If Christian is called Captain Charisma, then Kurt Angle must be God.
Angle was used as a transitional champion, someone who could break the flow of the great yet repetitive feud between HHH and Rock, in 2000. Even though Angle was not exactly everyone’s cup of tea when it came to WWE Champion Material, he showed that through his wrestling ability and skill to create a story in the ring, Angle could be exactly what everyone needed.
Working with any superstar.
Like Michaels (only better), Angle could work with anyone in the ring and make them look like a million dollars. Examples of this can be seen in his match With John Cena when he first started and with Big Show (who even stated that his feud with Lesnar and Angle was the best moment in his career as it made people believe in his character more and it helped him to progress in the company instead of been a jobber which was what he was prior to the feud). His match with Shane McMahon at the 2001 King of the Ring is proof that that he can make anyone look golden. Not intending to take anything away from McMahon, Angle really took him to the limits and perhaps put on one of the greatest matches of 2001.
Putting superstars over
Angle has no problem when it comes to helping out the younger stars or passing the torch. In an interview, he stated that “if its good for the company then why not”. He has put over many superstars most notably, Eugene, Lesnar (something Austin refused to do), Michaels (just kidding), Shelton Benjamin, John Cena, Randy Orton and I am sure there is a boat load of other superstars who can be named.
Kurt Angle Greatest Feuds/Matches
Kurt Angle VS Chris Benoit: Steel Cage Match Raw
Kurt angle VS Stone Cold Steve Austin: Unforgiven 2001
Kurt Angle VS Shawn Michaels; Wrestlemania 21
Kurt Angle VS Austin, Rock, Rikishi, Taker, HHH: Armageddon 2000
Kurt Angle VS Lesnar: Wrestlemania 19
Kurt Angle VS The Rock VS Undertaker: Vengeance 2002
Kurt Angle VS Lesnar: 60 min Iron Man Match Smackdown
Kurt Angle VS Undertaker: No Way Out 2005
Kurt Angle VS Chris Benoit: 2-3 Falls Match
Kurt Angle VS Big Show VS Brock Lesnar
Firstly, this goes for all the wrestlers, especially the main event ones. Cena, Michaels, Benoit, Undertaker, Austin, Rock, Angle and others definitely deserve to be called the greatest superstars by any fans; the fact that they can put on a good show every week without a decent break is quite extraordinary.
For me, Angle is the best in terms of in-ring worker and wrestler. However, I understand that he may not be regarded as the greatest ever, because many wrestling fans believe that the length of one’s career plays a pivotal role when determining who’s the best. Seeing how Angle was only with the WWE for six years as opposed to Michael and Takers' 20 or Austin’s eight.
In actuality, this is probably a valid point. However, Angle has been a wrestler all his life and I assure you no one can put on a 5-star match every week and still have a great PPV match. Michaels did a lot of talking in his career and saved his best for PPV’s especially Wrestlemania hence the Nickname Mr. Wrestlemania. However, Angle wrestled on Raw, Smackdown, Heat and PPV and still put on a better match than any other superstar; that alone deserves him the right to be called the greatest.
My only concern is that with Angle jumping to TNA, I hope the WWE does not shun and him and exclude from being in the WWE Hall of Fame.