From bad to good: 10 unforgettable changes of heart

Kurt Angle

Kurt Angle was never supposed to be a villain. Only three years removed from winning an Olympic gold medal at the 1996 Summer Games, Angle should have arrived in WWE as a lauded American hero. But with anti-heroism on the rise during the chaotic Attitude Era, the only person that believed Angle to be a true hero was Kurt himself. The holier-than-thou technician was heavily booed for much of the next two years, until fans found a reason to cheer for him.

As invading WCW and forces began inserting themselves into WWE programming during summer 2001, Angle stood firmly in the corner of Team WWE. And at Invasion, when “Stone Cold” Steve Austin turned his back on the company that made him a household name to align with The Alliance, Kurt became WWE’s shining star. The following week on SmackDown, the Olympic gold medalist returned home to Pittsburgh as the hero he always knew himself to be, and received a raucous hometown ovation. That night, Angle defeated Booker T to become the first WWE star to win the WCW Championship, finally giving fans something to cheer for.