Kurt Angle Will Headline The 2017 WWE Hall of Fame Class After A Decade Away From The Company

(Image via Getty Images)
Oh, it’s true. It’s true. It’s damn true!
After more than a decade away from the company, Kurt Angle will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2017.
ESPN’s Brian Campbell was the first to break the news.

Angle came to WWE in 1998 after winning a gold medal in freestyle wrestling at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics with a broken neck. He grasped the business as fast as any wrestler in history, and quickly became a main event player and remained one of the company’s preeminent performers until his departure in 2006. Angle was one of the most complete performers in wrestling history with a combination of exceptional in-ring ability, an amazing real-life backstory, top-notch charisma on the microphone, the capability to excel as both a heel and babyface and even legit comedic chops.
While I vaguely knew that pro wrestling was “fake” growing up, Kurt Angle made it impossible for me to truly grasp what that meant. Because he was so damn good at every aspect of pro wrestling, Angle made it real to me, dammit.


He’s my single all-time favorite wrestler, so obviously I’m psyched to see him be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.

As you can see in the link above, Angle has publicly talked about his struggles with addiction recently, and has indicated that was a major reason why his run in Vince McMahon’s promotion fizzled out in 2006. After leaving WWE, Angle performed in TNA Wrestling for the next decade before leaving that company after his latest contract expired in 2016. In an interview with ESPN’s Brian Campbell, Angle said he wasn’t on bad terms with WWE after leaving.

“It was one of those things where when I left WWE, it wasn’t on bad terms,” Angle said. “It was just that I couldn’t do anything for them anymore because I was banged up and they couldn’t do anything more for me. I never felt ill will against them. It wasn’t like a nasty parting, it was just our time is up. You go your way, and I’ll go mine.”

The announcement that Angle will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame will undoubtedly fuel the hopeful speculation that we’ll see Angle wrestle again in WWE to finish his career. In response to the conjecture, Angle coyly stated in the interview with Campbell that for now his attention is only on the Hall of Fame.

“We have not talked about any wrestling,” Angle said. “Whether we do or not, that remains to be seen… There are no guarantees. I think right now the most important thing is the Hall of Fame — and I think both sides feel that way.”

Regardless of whether he wrestles again, it will be a joy to see Angle back in the WWE family. While you could argue that a Hall of Fame for a fake sport is completely subjective, there’s no one in my opinion more deserving of the honor than Kurt Angle.


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