In the world of “Sports Entertainment,” Kurt Angle has earned the unique honor of being considered as one of the greatest “wrestlers” of all time. Angle has mastered the art of blending actual wrestling with putting on a good show to become one of the greatest this business has ever seen. Kurt began his wrestling career in 1998 and has since worked for three different promotions.
Our Olympic Hero has almost two decades under his belt and has accomplished just about everything there is to accomplish over the span of a career. Including winning a gold medal with a broken freakin’ neck. It took some digging, but here are the top 15 things Kurt Angle has never done is his illustrious career.
15. Never Won the (WWE) United States Championship
This one might be a bit confusing because of lineage issues but here we go. The United States Championship dates all the way back to 1975 and it’s inaugural champion, Harley Race. This belt was defended in NWA/WCW up until they were purchased by WWE in 2001. The title became WWE property and was defended until Edge unified it with the Intercontinental Championship towards the end of 2001. Then in 2003, Stephanie McMahon revived the title during the first Brand Split and renamed it, the “WWE U.S Title.”
The WWE version of the title is the one Kurt Angle has never held. However, he did have a very short reign with the WCW version of the title during the Invasion story line in 2001. See I told you this was confusing.
14. Never Competed in the Original WCW or ECW
Kurt Angle is one of the rare Superstars to debut for WWE during the 1990s without having worked for a rival company at any point. As we know, most of the major stars back then had spent time in either ECW, WCW, or both. Chris Jericho, Triple H, Steve Austin, and The Undertaker are a few that come to mind.
The closest Kurt ever came to working for a rival promotion came during the fall of 1996. Fresh off his Gold medal victory in the Summer Olympics of that year, Kurt was introduced to the ECW brand by Shane Douglas. During the October 26 broadcast, Angle did an in-ring interview and guest commentary during a match. That same night, Angle witnessed an intensely sacrilegious segment involving Raven and Tommy Dreamer. Kurt then left and threatened to sue ECW if any part of that broadcast involving him was ever shown.
13. Never Won the ECW Championship
Although the Olympic hero never wrestled for the original incarnation of ECW, that doesn’t mean that he didn’t have a chance for an ECW Championship reign. During the summer of 2006, Kurt Angle was drafted to the WWE’s version of ECW. Kurt, along with stars such as RVD and Big Show were touted as the brand’s top talent.
However, this move would prove to be bad timing for Angle as the eight year contract that he signed in 1998 was set to expire within the coming months. After complaining about years of working while severely injured, and never having any time off, Kurt was granted an early release from his deal. It was too bad for both sides too. If Kurt had stuck around, maybe that would’ve saved us from the ECW title reigns of the Big Show and Bobby Lashley.
12. Never Competed in a Money in the Bank Match
Realistically, due to the timeline of Kurt’s departure from WWE, he would’ve only had two chances to compete in this MITB Ladder match at WrestleMania. Chris Jericho introduced the concept of the match a few weeks before ‘Mania in 2005. At that point, Angle was already deeply involved in his inter-promotional feud with Shawn Michaels that had begun at that year’s Royal Rumble.
In 2006, Angle didn’t compete in this match because he was going into WrestleMania as the World Heavyweight Champion. With all due respect to Kurt however, the match didn’t necessary need him due to the star power that was involved in the first two matches. And at 47 years old, even if Angle did make a return to WWE in the near future, I’m sure this match wouldn’t be at the top of his bucket list.
11. Never Held the TNA Tag Titles For Longer Than a Month
Kurt Angle has an interesting history with the TNA Tag Championship. Despite the fact that he has two reigns with the belts, he’s never held them for longer than 30 days. Kurt’s most recent reign came in June of 2012 when he teamed with A.J. Styles to defeat the team of Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian. However, this dream team’s reign was cut short as Daniels and Kazarian regained the titles just 18 days later.
Kurt’s first TNA Tag Team Championship reign was a little more interesting. At Hard Justice 2007, Kurt battled Samoa Joe in a Winner Take All match. Joe was the X-Division Champion and was also in sole possession of both tag titles, while Angle held the TNA World Championship. Kurt won the match, meaning he held all the TNA Championships simultaneously. Fifteen days later, Sting won a Four-Way match to become Angle’s official Tag title partner. However, the Kurt/Sting reign ended 13 days later at the hands of Team Pacman. AKA, Ron Killings (R-Truth) and the NFL’s Adam “Pacman” Jones. And speaking of Team Pacman…….
10. Never Received TNA Tag Title Rematch From Team Pacman
Yes, you read that correctly. Or as the Olympic Hero would say, “It’s True. It’s True.” At No Surrender 2007, the Tag Team Champions Kurt Angle and Sting surrendered the belts to Ron Killings and Adam Jones. Probably the worst tag team in the history of wrestling. Especially considering the fact that Jones had signed a deal with TNA stating that he could not be touched or participate in any physical roles.
To be fair, Angle did turn on Sting during the match and cost them the tag titles. Jones pinned Sting after an Olympic slam from Angle. But if I were Kurt, I would’ve found a new partner and demanded a rematch. I mean, Adam Jones holding a victory over Kurt is almost as bad as James Ellsworth owning two victories over A.J Styles. Just saying.
9. Never Been Pinned By Hulk Hogan
This one might be a little more difficult to believe because pretty much everyone has laid down for The Hulkster over the years. Just ask Kevin Nash, Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker, Randy Savage, Ric Flair, etc. During Hogan’s WWE run in 2002, he actually helped put over quite a few guys, with Angle and Brock Lesnar being at the top of that list.
Kurt earned a surprising submission victory over Hogan at the 2002 King of the Ring. And what’s even more surprising is that Hogan let that slide without receiving a big rematch victory over Angle. The two squared off in two singles matches after that with Hogan winning both times by DQ. And the few times they wrestled each other in tag matches, Hogan won each time by pinning Kurt’s partner. Pretty impressive if you ask me.
8. Never Wrestled Bret Hart
If you think about it, there were actually quite a few different scenarios that would’ve allowed this dream match to take place. If Kurt had chosen to debut in WWE in 1996 instead of ECW the two could’ve battled. If Bret decided not to take WCW’s huge contract offer in 1997 this could’ve happened. Or if Goldberg hadn’t ended Bret’s career prematurely we might’ve eventually seen this match.
The point is, the possibility of a match like this isn’t as far off as it may seem. The two would’ve surely torn the house down similar to the way Kurt did with Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 21. A match between possibly the two greatest technical wrestlers of all time is something I’m sure many fans would die to see.
7. Never Held The WWF/WWE Title Longer Than 150 Days
During the course of his WWE career, Kurt was fortunate enough to win the company’s top prize on four different occasions. However, much like his previously mentioned TNA Tag Team Championship reigns, he never established any memorable, or lengthy title reigns. Angle’s longest reign with the gold ironically came during his first run.
Kurt beat The Rock in October of 2000, and held the title for an unimpressive 126 days, or roughly four months before dropping it back to The Rock (this was The Rock’s time after all). I guess Kurt should maybe just be happy he held the belt, but it seems that he was always a placeholder, than “the guy.” Remember, the best “wrestler” does not always transition into the best or longest serving WWE Champion.
6. Never Reformed Team Angle
If someone were to make a list of the best tag teams/factions that WWE cut short, Team Angle would definitely have to be on that list. The original Team Angle consisted of Shelton Benjamin, Charlie Haas, and Kurt Angle, who served as the team captain. While Benjamin and Haas continued to team together for many years after the Team Angle split, they never reached the success that they could’ve attained if WWE had truly gotten behind the trio.
Since then, Kurt has been in more than a few factions. But none were able to compare to the dynamic concept of the original Team Angle. If Angle were to return to WWE in 2017, it would be interesting to see him take a young team under his wing again like American Alpha or a few struggling Superstars such as Dolph Ziggler or Apollo Crews.
5. Never Won the Royal Rumble
The Royal Rumble is a time honored tradition in WWE that gives 30 Superstars a chance once a year to main event WrestleMania. There a men who have won the Rumble match only once, and there are Superstars who have won it multiple times. And sadly, there are guys like Kurt Angle who not only have never won the match, but also never really had much success in it either.
During his eight year WWE run, Angle only competed in the Rumble match three times in the years 2002, 2004, and 2005. In 2002, he was one of the final two men in the ring but eventually lost to Triple H. Kurt’s saving grace here is the fact that he was involved in a World Championship match for three of the years that he didn’t compete in the Rumble match.
4. Never Wrestled CM Punk or Daniel Bryan
Due to his incredible training regimen and natural love for the business, Kurt has managed to stay in tremendous shape even to this day. At 47 years old, Angle is still putting on five-star matches with wrestlers on the indy scene. That’s why it’s not too hard to imagine the fireworks that a Kurt vs. CM Punk, or Daniel Bryan match would have created. Especially if they could’ve met during the peak of Bryan and Punk’s WWE careers around the year 2012.
Unfortunately, the chances of either or these dream matches taking place are very, very slim. Kurt has yet to make his return to WWE. Daniel Bryan was forced to retire early due to multiple injuries. And CM Punk hates WWE with the passion of 1,000 burning suns. So we’ll just have to keep dreaming.
3. Never Won the Main Event at WrestleMania
At WrestleMania XXIX, Angle defended the WWE Championship in the main event against Brock Lesnar. While he did manage to put on a great show, Brock came out victorious. The next year, Angle played the role as challenger to the WWE Champion Eddie Guerrero. He lost that one too. Finally, two years after that, Angle defended his World Heavyweight Championship against Rey Mysterio and Randy Orton. And you guessed it, he lost that match too.
It’s safe to say that in WrestleMania main event or World title matches that Kurt hasn’t had the best of luck. He does however, hold some impressive WrestleMania victories against Chris Benoit, Kane, and Shawn Michaels. So his WrestleMania career isn’t a complete failure like the Big Show or Mick Foley.
2. Never Wrestled The Undertaker at WrestleMania
The Undertaker has wrestled 22 different opponents at the biggest event of the year, and none of them were Kurt Angle. That includes two matches with Kane, two with Shawn Michaels, and three with Triple H. How this fantasy ‘Mania match never happened is beyond me. While Kurt and ‘Taker did feud quite a bit over the years, it never culminated with a ‘Mania match.
Here’s an idea. While Kurt was World Champion in 2006, how about we let him have two PPV matches against ‘Taker instead of just one? Kurt scored a clean victory over ‘Taker at No Way Out 2006. So why not let them go at it again at WrestleMania 22? Instead we got a Triple Threat match between Kurt/Mysterio/Orton and a horrible Casket match between ‘Taker and Mark Henry.
1. Never Been Inducted Into the WWE Hall of Fame
No one truly knows what the relationship between Vince McMahon and Kurt Angle is like. Angle left the company in 2006, and despite numerous attempts at a comeback, the WWE has just never seemed too interested. While there have been rumors of a 2017 return that have heated up as of late, none of that is solid and Kurt Angle remains out of the WWE Hall of Fame.
Triple H has done a great job in recent years of patching things up with some of Vince’s greatest enemies (Ultimate Warrior, Bruno Sammartino, Goldberg), so it’s more likely than not that Kurt will return one day and take his rightful place in the WWE Hall. But until then, Angle joins names such as Owen Hart, Chyna, and The Rock, as a person who belongs but hasn’t made it yet.
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