Angle named Greatest Shoot Wrestler of All-Time
Kurt Angle is arguably the greatest technical wrestler in ECW, and has a WWE resume that is second to none. He has accomplished just about everything there is to accomplish in professional wrestling, but his amateur wrestling accolades are also among the most impressive ever. Everyone knows that Kurt Angle is an Olympic Gold Medalist, but that is just one of his wide array of amateur wrestling accomplishments. Now, the Wrestling Machine can add one more award to his trophy case. He has been named the Greatest Shoot Wrestler of All Time by USA Wrestling.
It's one thing to be known as the best of an era, but to be the best of all time is an extremely prestigious honor according to Angle.
"I've wrestled over a short time period compared to other wrestlers, but they felt that I accomplished more in that time period than any other wrestler," said Angle. "I'm one of only four wrestlers to win the Grand Slam, which is the junior nationals, the NCAAs, the World Championships and the Olympics. I'm also one of only four wrestlers to win the very, very tough and physical Krasnoyarsk."
According to Angle, Krasnoyarsk is a city in Russia where about 25 Russians representing the best of each weight class and wrestlers from about 20 or 30 other countries show up.
"Only four Americans have won them, and I'm one of them as well," said Angle. "So, with all of my accomplishments and all of my International success, and obviously my national success, USA Wrestling picked me as being the best wrestler of all-time. I'm very honored."
This isn't the first honor bestowed on Angle from USA Wrestling. He was also inducted into the Hall of Fame and was named one of the 15 best ever college wrestlers of all-time. But of all the honors, Angle says this one means the most.
"This one's my favorite because it marks me in the history books as being the best of all-time. That's something nobody else can claim," said Angle. "And since I came in WWE, I'm trying to make that same mark. I don't want to be remembered as just a great amateur wrestler and a great pro wrestler. I want to be remembered as the greatest of all-time in both."
Angle didn't become a great wrestler overnight, though. It took an unparalleled training program to become the greatest.
"The reason I won all of my events is because of my training. I had a training schedule that was second-to-none," said Angle. "It was so grueling that I called it fatigue training. I would train until I was ready to drop. There were a lot of wrestlers that were better than I was, but whenever I would get them tired, I would wear them down in my match and eventually they were like putty in my hands. That's what I did with great wrestlers like Mark Coleman, Mark Kerr, Dan Chaid, Kerry McCoy, Dan Severn and all the great USA wrestlers. It worked even better internationally because there were more technicians than there were conditioned wrestlers. So, I pushed them and kept the match really tight for the first three or four minutes until they started getting tired."
And it's that amazing conditioning that has led USA Wrestling to name him the Greatest Shoot Wrestler of All-Time.
"It's an honor to actually sit down and say ‘Wow, I'm the best ever,'" said Angle. "You hear about guys like Cail Sanderson who was undefeated in college, guys like John Smith who won six straight Olympic titles, guys like Dan Gable who won the Olympics in '72 and only lost once in college; to be compared to those guys and actually be considered the best is beyond an honor. It's something that nobody can ever dream of.
Now that Angle is considered the best amateur wrestler ever, he's hell-bent on becoming the best professional ever as well.
"I've got some big goals now," said Angle. "Now that I know what it feels like to be the best ever in amateur wrestling, I want to feel that same feeling here in ECW."