FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION
Well, I decided to cover the Olympic Hero next.
MATCH BY MATCH:
1. Except for the short Hardcore reign, all of Kurt Angle's title wins were by submission. Making Rhyno, Steve Austin, and Booker T tap out their titles is no small feat.
2. This is no coincidence I'm sure, but look how much Kurt's winning percentage picked up when he turned face. I'll try and point this out, but I assume he turned face the night he faced Raven and beat the crap out of him.
3. Kurt Angle appears to be a great help in filling out holes in booking. Look at all the tag matches he's been involved in this year. If he had kept one partner, you might almost be inclined to place him in a tag team nomination.
OVERALL RECORD: 49 wins, 38 losses, 9 no contests
RECORD AS FACE: 16 wins, 8 losses
BEST MONTH: August 2001 (6-0-2)
WORST MONTH: March 2001 (2-7-0)
TAG TEAM PARTNER OF CHOICE: Edge & Christian (9 matches; 3-6-0)/William Regal (8 matches; 5-3-0)
OVERALL TAG TEAM RECORD: 16-17-4
Awards to think about Kurt Angle in.
BEST WRESTLER: Kurt Angle was one of only three wrestlers to hold onto the WWF title this year. He also picked up the WCW World title, the WWF Hardcore title, and currently holds the WCW US title. His second-half win-loss record shows what he can do when he stops clowning around.
BEST TAG TEAM: Angle may receive minimal support for his unofficial tag work with William Regal.
BEST HEEL: Coming into the year, Angle was the WWF champion. He always held onto the belt through dastardly acts, such as pulling out twin brothers and interfering Steve Austin. Angle always had a way of angering the crowd by insulting the local sports teams (a trait that his friends Edge & Christian would later pick up.)
BEST BABYFACE: By standing up for the WWF, Angle soon became a fan favorite. Plus, when Austin defected to WCW, Angle challenged him many times over, all to the delight of the fans. It will be good to see him face another feud as a good guy. Hopefully this is in his future.
BEST WORKER: Angle is one of the most exciting guys to watch in the ring with his Olympic amateur background. He's also adapted new moves into his already impressive moveset. The anklelock has won Angle many a match, plus his habit of using the German Suplex reminds us that Chris Benoit isn't dead.
BEST TECHNICAL WRESTLER: Kurt Angle actually fought with Benoit in the Spring about this fact. They came out about even in the feud, although Angle did show some greatness by grabbing a win over Benoit at Wrestlemania X7.
MOST FAVORITE WRESTLER: Even before Angle turned face, he was a favorite of the fans on the internet. Recently some of those same fans have turned on him. Those fans are idiots, let me tell you. Also helping Angle is the recent tragic events which have caused an uprising in our love for the United States. This falls right into Angle's secion because he was singing America's praises way before September 11.
MOST IMPROVED WRESTLER: Angle's addition of the anklelock would be the most obvious reason to think about him in this category.
BEST WRESTLING GIMMICK: Kurt Angle in himself is a gimmick. He's a former Olympic champion who never let's us forget about it. Before this was used to taunt all the fans, but current it's been more directed towards his "inferior" opponents. This gimmick itself may have died out once and for all when Austin dumps his medals in a river, but his stance as a true American will probably go on forever (until the WWF wants to REALLY turn him heel.)
BEST WRESTLING MOVE: There's many moves to list off here. We'll start with the pinfall finisher, the Angle/Olympic slam. No matter what it's called, it always causes an impact. It's easy to execute, fun to watch, and can see devasting if applied right. Just look at King of the Ring, when Angle dumped Shane McMahon off of a wooden platform with the move.
Then there's the anklelock I've been talking about. Formerly Ken Shamprock's move, Angle has many many more people tap out to the hold. It can be used with the Angle Slam if necessary, and I've heard it's twice a powerful if his straps are down.
Other popular moves include his moonsault that never hits, a HUGE belly-to-belly suplex, and the rolling german suplex set that is really Benoit's move, but Angle is the one using it right now.
BEST MATCH: Good lord, where to start? Well, there's any of the three PPV matches against Austin (one with RVD.) There's any of the three PPV matches against Chris Benoit. You could pick the one with Steve Austin recently where William Regal cost him the title. You could pick the one early this year with Steve Austin where Triple H saved his title. BUT, in my opinion, he had his best match with Chris Benoit in a cage on June 11th. Throw out the logistics (yes, there was a door right there,) and you have one of the best cage matches on RAW ever. It also came complete with a HOLY SHIT moment when Angle did his moonsault from the top of the cage. Good stuff.
BEST FEUD: Angle really got into it with Steve Austin this Summer, but they weren't exactly friends during any part of the year. Austin was in pursuit of Angle's title during the first part of the year. Even when they were on the same side, Austin didn't like hanging out with Angle, and they often ended up fighting like a bunch of six year olds. Once Angle realized how Austin really was, he went right after his WWF title.
Kurt also had a good feud against Chris Benoit. They were tagging a bit before Wrestlemania. After a brief fight, they really got into it. Benoit made Angle tap out of the first time, and they eventually battle a number of time to determine who is the greatest technical wrestler in the WWF. At Wrestlemania, Angle got a win by grabbing Benoit's tights. At Backlash, Benoit got revenge by winning a submission match. Finally, at Judgment Day, Kurt Angle defeated Benoit with a little help from his friends, Edge and Christian.
One last feud to remember was his feud with Shane McMahon. After winning his gold medals back from Benoit, Angle re-enacted the Olympic celebration. This was broken up by McMahon who pissed on his parade by yakking about WCW and calling him a wussy. Angle went to one of the best matches of the year at King of the Ring with Shane. It was sickening and thrilling at the same time.
WORST BABYFACE: You can make an argument that by making Angle face, you've taken away his best quality. The ability to insult people comically. This may be one of the reason that the Angle push didn't go to the heights of the previous Rock and Austin pushes.
WORST WRESTLING GIMMICK: Insane Angle wasn't the most popular of his attitudes. It also wasn't one that lasted very long, probably because he seemed to become a knock-off of Shamrock.
MOST OBNOXIOUS: A lot of people can't stand Angle's ME ME ME schtick.
BEST ANGLE: Kurt! (Tee Hee!) OK, in all seriousness, when Kurt Angle started hanging out with Vince McMahon and Steve Austin in the back, comic gold was in the book. Between guitar singing and wearing kid cowboy hats, Angle stole the spotlight off the other two a couple of times. YOU'RE IN A FREAKIN' MOP CLOSET!
WORST ANGLE: Austin stealing Angle's medals was better the first time around with Chris Benoit. With all the kidnapping, it got just too cheesy (even for the WWF.) I mean, a kiddy pool? C'MON!
For your consideration... Kurt Angle.