Kurt Steven Angle is an American retired professional wrestler, gold medalist in American freestyle wrestling at the 1996 Olympic Games, and former collegiate wrestler. He is best known for his tenures in both the WWE and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA). While at Clarion University of Pennsylvania, Angle won numerous accolades, including being a two-time NCAA Division I Wrestling Champion in the heavyweight division. After graduating from college, Angle won a gold medal in freestyle wrestling at the 1995 World Wrestling Championships. He then won a freestyle wrestling gold medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics, despite competing with a broken neck. He is one of four people to win the Junior Nationals, NCAA, World Championships, and the Olympics (known as the amateur grand slam). In 2006, he was named by USA Wrestling as the greatest shoot wrestler ever and as one of the top 15 college wrestlers of all time. In 2016, he was inducted into the International Sports Hall of Fame.
Angle made his first appearance at a professional wrestling event in 1996, and signed with the World Wrestling Federation (later renamed WWE) in 1998. Noted for his rapid comprehension of the business, he had his debut match that August within the company's developmental system after just days of training, and participated in his first World Wrestling Federation match in March 1999. After months of dark matches, Angle made his televised in-ring debut in November and received his first major push in February 2000, when he held the European and Intercontinental Championships simultaneously. Four months later, he won the 2000 King of the Ring tournament and soon thereafter began pursuing the WWF Championship, which he won in October. Among other accomplishments, Angle has held the WWE Championship four times, the WCW Championship, and the World Heavyweight Championship. He is the tenth Triple Crown champion and the fifth winner of the Grand Slam. In 2017, Angle was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
After leaving the WWE in 2006, Angle joined TNA where he became the inaugural, and record six-time, TNA World Heavyweight champion, and the second TNA Triple Crown winner, holding all three championships simultaneously. Angle is also a two-time King of the Mountain. During his tenure with TNA, Angle competed for New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) and the Inoki Genome Federation (IGF), winning the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. In 2013, Angle was inducted into the TNA Hall of Fame. He is the second wrestler, after Sting, to be inducted into both the WWE and Impact halls of fame.
Angle has won 21 Professional wrestling championship and overall is a 13-time world champion. He is the only pro-wrestler to have won the WWE Championship, WWE's World Heavyweight Championship, the WCW Championship, the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, and the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. Angle is also the only person to have been King of the Ring (WWE), King of the Mountain (TNA), and the first to have held both the WWE and TNA Triple Crowns. He has headlined numerous pay-per-view events, including WrestleMania XIX and Bound for Glory on three occasions, the flagship events of their respective companies. In 2004, the Wrestling Observer Newsletter inducted Angle into its Hall of Fame and later named him "Wrestler of the Decade" for the 2000s. He is considered one of the biggest stars of the Attitude Era and one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time. Former opponent and industry veteran John Cena said of Angle's legacy within WWE: "He is, without question, the most gifted all-around performer we have ever had step into a ring. There will never be another like him."