Kurt Angle is one of the greatest world champions of all time, and he’s won multiple world championships across multiple promotions, but who was the best of a good bunch to beat him to kick off their championship run? world? Starting out as an amateur wrestler, Kurt Angle quickly embraced professional wrestling. The Olympic gold medalist has a staggering 13 world championships in his cabinet. He won six world titles in WWE including four for the coveted WWE Championship.
He won the Big Gold Belt twice with one reign as WCW Champion and a single World Heavyweight Championship reign. Angle won the TNA World Championship a record six times and he won the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship once during his time in Japan. Angle improved his skills in the ring and he became a wrestling machine consistently putting on instant classics. Angle cemented his legacy as one of the greatest of all time, and dethroning him for a world championship is a big deal.
11 Ethan Carter 3
Ethan Carter III’s first run in WWE was disappointing as his name was Derrick Bateman and he was not taken seriously. However, that all changed when he joined Impact Wrestling in 2013. EC3 was entered into a program with Kurt Angle, who was in his sixth and final run as the Impact World Heavyweight Champion.
EC3 was introduced as the on-screen nephew of TNA President Dixie Carter. On the July 1, 2015 Impact edition, EC3 ended Angle’s reign at the Impact World Championship to kick off his first run as the Impact World Champion. It was a significant moment in his career, and he went on to hold the title for 101 days.
ten James Storm
Kurt Angle was in the midst of his fifth TNA World Heavyweight Championship reign after defeating Sting for the title at Hardcore Justice 2011. The Olympic gold medalist was struggling with injuries, but he continued during his championship reign.
After successfully defending the title against Bobby Roode at Bound for Glory, Angle defended the title against TNA mainstay James Storm on the October 20, 2011 edition of Impact. Within seconds, James Storm ended Angle’s reign of the TNA World Heavyweight Championship to win the title for the first time. It’s a shame that Storm’s reign barely gained ground as Roode beat him to the title a week later.
9 Joe of Samoa
Samoa Joe was one of Kurt Angle’s main rivals in TNA, and they produced barnburner matches against each other. Angle was the top heel in the business and he was enjoying his third reign as TNA World Heavyweight Champion.
At Lockdown 2008, Angle defended his championship against Samoa Joe in a Steel Cage match. There was a caveat as The Samoan Submission Machine would be forced into retirement if they lost to Angle. It was a close encounter with Joe capturing the TNA World Heavyweight Championship for the first time in his career.
8 Rey Mysterio
Kurt Angle returned to SmackDown in January 2006, and he won the vacant World Heavyweight Championship in a Battle Royal. Angle did a stellar job as champion, but he had a tough title defense at WrestleMania 22 against 2006 Royal Rumble winner Rey Mysterio and Randy Orton in a Triple Threat match.
The match only lasted just over nine minutes and Angle wasn’t even involved in the decision when Mysterio pinned Orton to become world champion. Sadly, Mysterio’s reign at the World Championship was lackluster, but it was a feel-good moment when he prevailed.
seven Shinsuke Nakamura
In June 2007, Kurt Angle defeated Brock Lesnar for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. The Olympic gold medalist defended the gold during his time in TNA, which brought more prestige to the championship.
Angle traveled to Tokyo, Japan and collided with Shinsuke Nakamura in a title unification match. Nakamura held the NJPW version of the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, and he defeated Angle to unify the two titles.
6 Book T
Kurt Angle made history as the first man to win the WCW Championship on WWE television when he ended Booker T’s WCW Championship reign on the July 26, 2001 edition of SmackDown. Four days later, Booker was determined to regain the title for an episode of Raw.
Booker and Angle have always had great chemistry together over the years. Ultimately, Booker regained the title to become a five-time WCW Champion thanks to interference from Steve Austin and Shane McMahon.
5 Brock Lesnar
The rivalry between Kurt Angle and Brock Lesnar was one of the main rivalries in 2003. At WrestleMania 19, the duo headlined the show with Angle’s WWE Championship on the line. It was an outstanding wrestling match, and Lesnar dethroned Angle to kick off his second run as WWE Champion.
Their feud didn’t end there as Angle regained the WWE Championship from Lesnar in a Triple Threat match at Vengeance. The score was finally settled in a 60 minute Iron Man match with Brock defeating Angle in one of the best matches SmackDown had ever seen.
4 A.J. Styles
AJ Styles was a mainstay in TNA for many years as a fan favorite, and he was not in contention for the World Championship. However, that all changed when The Phenomenal One was part of a five-way match for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.
Kurt Angle’s championship was on the line, and Matt Morgan, Hernandez and Sting were also involved in the match. Styles triumphed at No Surrender 2009 and he continued to hold the gold medal for seven months.
3 The rock
The rivalry between Kurt Angle and The Rock is an underrated feud from the Attitude era. Angle capped off a remarkable freshman year in 2000 by defeating The Rock for the WWE Championship at No Mercy.
No Exit 2001, The Rock and Angle engaged in a rematch with the winner to defend the WWE Championship against Steve Austin at WrestleMania 17. They produced another notable contest with The Rock ending the four-month reign of Angle as WWE Champion to become a six-time WWE Champion himself.
Sting is another iconic legend who had a great run with TNA. AT Bound for Glory 2007, Sting challenged Kurt Angle for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Bound for Glory is TNA’s biggest pay-per-view, and it was a competitive match between the two.
The first two races of the TNA World Heavyweight Championship belonged to Kurt Angle, but Sting ended his remarkable reign at Bound for Glory. Sting’s championship reign was poor for a man of his standards as Angle reclaimed the title two nights later at Impact.
1 Steve Austin
Kurt Angle became one of the biggest stars in 2001 alongside Steve Austin. The Olympic gold medalist defeated Austin for the WWE Championship in front of fans in his hometown of Pittsburgh at Unforgiven.
It was a feel-good moment, but The Texas Rattlesnake was furious and wanted his WWE Championship back. Thanks to William Regal turning his back on WWE and joining the Alliance, Austin won the WWE Championship for a sixth and final time on the October 8, 2001 episode of Raw.
Kurt Angle has put in phenomenal performances as both a heel and a babyface. Here’s a look at Angle’s best matches, both as a hero and as a villain!
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