WWE announced earlier this week that Kurt Angle will finally get his rightful place in the WWE Hall Of Fame, headlining the HOF class of 2017. Angle is a former Olympic Gold medalist and a former 5-time WWE World Champion (not including his solitary WCW Championship). Apart from his world titles in WWE, Angle is also a former United States champion, Hardcore Champion, Intercontinental Champion while also holding the WWE Tag-Team Championship along with Chris Benoit. To add to his laurels in WWE, Angle also won the King Of The Ring in the year 2000.
Despite all his accomplishments in the WWE, Angle left the company in 2006, citing health reasons before showing up on TNA some months later. Even though Angle hasn’t been in a WWE ring for nearly 10 years, fans have been clamouring for a return for the better part of a decade. Every time a surprise entrant or tag-partner was announced, some part of the WWE Universe speculated about the possibility of a returning Kurt Angle.
Rumours of an impending return for Kurt Angle had been doing the rounds for a couple of months but WWE finally made the official announcement last week to the delight of WWE fans. Angle is one of the most beloved Superstars from an era where pro wrestling really was at the top of its game, popularity-wise. As we prepare for the Olympic Hero’s return to the WWE, let’s take a look a few things some fans may not know about Kurt Angle.
5: Two-time NCAA Champion and National Wrestling Hall of Famer
We’ve all heard about how Brock Lesnar is a NCAA Division 1 champion from WWE. What WWE don’t tell us as often is that Kurt Angle is also a NCAA Division 1 champion. Not just that, Angle actually won the NCAA Championship twice – in 1990 and 1992 while attending Clarion University of Pennsylvania. Unlike other WWE Superstars who are NCAA champions like Lesnar and Jack Swagger, Angle is the only WWE Superstar to win the NCAA championship twice.
Despite his NCAA and Olympic success, Angle later successfully transitioned to pro wrestling and took the WWE by storm. However, his former colleagues from the world of amateur wrestling still honoured his achievements in the sports by inducting him into the National Wrestling Hall Of Fame in 2001 as a distinguished member, 16 years before he was finally inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame.