When you hear his name you probably think of a few different things. Olympic athlete. Gold medal winner. Former WWE Superstar. Current TNA superstar.
With the recent debut of AJ Styles in the Royal Rumble and the impending call-ups to the main roster for different NXT stars I wanted to look back at some favorite past debuts.
I will be the first to admit that I didn’t always love Kurt Angle. In fact, most of the time he annoyed me. However, Kurt did add something to the roster, his skill and speed were undeniable and, if nothing else, he always did his best in the ring and in story lines. He acted goofy, idiotic and naive, all for the fans.
Angle had a brief storyline with Tiger Ali Singh where Singh offered to pay Angle (a planted fan at ringside) for blowing his nose on the American flag. Instead he blew his nose on the flag of India and beat down Singh. See the Singh/Angle moment here. While this was technically Angle’s debut on Sunday Night Heat Angle didn’t have his in-ring debut until the 1999 Survivor Series.
Coming out in his trademark red, white and blue singlet Angle locked up in the middle of the ring with Shawn Stasiak. Here we saw what Angle could do in the ring. Both Angle and Stasiak were young, fit, strong competitors and the match had a good pace. Angle slid out of the ring, mid-match and lectured the crowd for taunting him. He said they were wrong to boo an Olympic Hero. We would hear this quite often over the next few years.
Angle would slide back into the ring and continue the match. Stasiak was on a roll but when he jumped off of the top turnbuckle Angle avoided the dive. Capitalizing on the miscalculation Angle grabbed Stasiak off the mat and hit him with the Olympic Slam before picking up the win.
See the full match
Angle would go on to have a winning streak for his first few months in the WWE until he passed out during a match with Tazz while in the Tazzmision hold. Angle would deny he lost and call it not a real victory for Tazz which would lead to a good rivalry for these two superstars.
I found it interesting that Angle’s in ring debut was at a pay-per-view, where he won and that Tazz would come in and do the same thing to him months later at the Royal Rumble in January 2000.
Tags: Kurt Angle, Olympic Slam, Shawn Stasiak, tazz, Tazzmission, Tiger Ali Singh