How did the Kurt Angle ''You Suck!'' chant start?
Whenever Kurt Angle makes his way to the ring, the WWE Universe bursts with excitement and mercilessly chants “You Suck!” in synchrony with his theme song. Angle and the fans’ unanimous cry during his entrance are inseparable regardless of him playing a heel or a face.
Though the trend started in the early noughties, it is followed till this very date. The Olympic Gold Medalist wasn’t even spared at the sacred Hall of Fame ceremony where he took his rightful place amongst the sports entertainment’s greatest.
Kurt Angle debuted in the WWE in 1998 after winning an Olympic gold medal in amateur wrestling and a brief stint in Extreme Championship Wrestling. Angle was expected to be a fan favourite when he was brought to the WWE as he had represented the United States of America at 1996 Summer Olympics.
But to the management’s surprise, he was met with boos and jeers from his very first match itself. He wasn’t shown any sympathy even by the people of Pittsburgh, the city which happens to be his hometown. This forced the WWE to pull the plug on his “American Hero” gimmick.
Angle transformed into a despicable villain, a character which he played for the five out of the seven years of his initial run with the WWE. Angle feuded with the very best during the rudimentary stages of his career namely Triple H, Steve Austin, The Rock, The Undertaker and Chris Benoit.
These bookings helped Angle to become one of the major heels of the promotion at that time.
There’s no doubt that the “You Suck!” chants are one of the most popular chants in WWE’s history but only a few know the exact day this started. In fact, many enthusiasts still differ on what they believe is the exact episode the chants were first recited by the fans.
The following clip has been taken from the 22nd February 2001 episode of WWF Smackdown. In the clip, Kurt Angle is trying to give a glimpse of his prowess to a bunch of uninterested fans.
This is the first known incident where fans sang “You Suck” to Angle’s entrance music. However, the chants took a quite a bit of time to spread across arenas around the country. The trend was slowly catching fire but didn't really boom until the 4th November 2002 episode of Smackdown. During that period, Angle was booked in a lengthy feud with Edge.
It is the same feud in which Angle’s head was shaved. In one of the segments during the aforementioned period, Edge instigated the fans to chant “You Suck” at Kurt Angle. Before this incident, the chants were sporadic and weren’t a regular feature of the Angle’s entrance.
However, the fans’ participation increased drastically after the Rated-R Superstar’s approval.
Even after Angle turned babyface, the fans did not stop chanting. The management tried very hard to curb the “You Suck” cries but all their efforts went in vain. Therefore, Angle started stating that the chants are no longer directed at him and rather they are the WWE Universe’s opinion about his opponents.
In Kurt Angle’s final days of his first run with the WWE, the part of the entrance theme along which the fans chanted was cut.
During the mid-2000s, it appeared that the “You Suck!” chants were annoying the then-babyface Angle on-screen. However, in a Q&A session couple of months ago, Kurt Angle nullified those claims and admitted that he was, in fact, very fond of the chants from day one.
He felt that it was a review of his performance as a heel and he treats them as compliments.
Angle is back in the WWE as the General Manager of the Raw brand. With Angle’s return, even the “You Suck!” chants have made a comeback and it is even louder than it was back in the day.
Nowadays, instead of pretending irked, Angle acknowledges the chants and gestures as if he is orchestrating the recitation because he knows deep within that it is the WWE Universe’s way of showing him respect.
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