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The Kurt Angle Match Marathon


HarmonicGenerator
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Some of you might remember a year or two ago, I did month-long match-a-day rematches of each of the Big 4 PPVs, picking a match from each year's event in the lead up to its most recent one. I can't comment on whether it was a good read but it helped me make the most of the Network.

 

Since Kurt Angle's going into the Hall Of Fame, I thought I'd do something similar, but take it a step further. Between now and the HOF ceremony I'm going to try and watch all Kurt's WWE PPV matches, in order. I'll aim for one a day but I know there'll be days when I can't - but if I start this, I will finish it!

 

(In the case of Royal Rumbles, I'll only watch his bits instead of the whole thing. I may do the same for elimination matches but it depends how long they are. And I'm not watching Luther Reigns matches just because Kurt's in his corner. I have to draw the line somewhere.)

 

I hope that coming out of this I'll have got a fuller appreciation for Kurt and how he developed and how his career ebbed and flowed throughout his WWE career. Plus I've never tracked a particular wrestler in this way before so it will be interesting.

 

If anyone wants to play along too, please join in!

 

The matches

Survivor Series 1999 - vs Shawn Stasiak

Armageddon 1999 - vs Steve Blackman

Royal Rumble 2000 - vs Tazz

No Way Out 2000 - vs Chris Jericho

WrestleMania 2000 - vs Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit

Backlash 2000 - vs Big Show

Insurrextion 2000 - vs Chris Benoit

Judgment Day 2000 - with Edge & Christian vs Rikishi & Too Cool

King Of The Ring 2000 - vs Chris Jericho, vs Crash and vs Rikishi

Fully Loaded 2000 - vs The Undertaker

Summerslam 2000 - vs Triple H and The Rock

Unforgiven 2000 - vs Triple H

No Mercy 2000 - vs The Rock

Survivor Series 2000 - vs The Undertaker

Rebellion 2000 - vs The Rock, Rikishi and Stone Cold Steve Austin

Armageddon 2000 - vs The Rock, Rikishi, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Triple H and The Undertaker

Royal Rumble 2001 - vs Triple H

No Way Out 2001 - vs The Rock

WrestleMania X-Seven - vs Chris Benoit

Backlash 2001 - vs Chris Benoit

Insurrextion 2001 - vs Chris Benoit

Judgment Day 2001 - vs Chris Benoit

King Of The Ring 2001 - vs Christian, vs Edge, and vs Shane McMahon

Invasion - with Stone Cold Steve Austin, Chris Jericho, Kane & The Undertaker vs Booker T, DDP, Rhyno and The Dudley Boyz

Summerslam 2001 - vs Stone Cold Steve Austin

Unforgiven 2001 - vs Stone Cold Steve Austin

No Mercy 2001 - vs Stone Cold Steve Austin and Rob Van Dam

Rebellion 2001 - vs Chris Jericho

Survivor Series 2001 - with Stone Cold Steve Austin, Rob Van Dam, Booker T & Shane McMahon vs The Rock, Chris Jericho, Big Show, Kane & The Undertaker

Vengeance 2001 - vs Stone Cold Steve Austin

Royal Rumble 2002 - Royal Rumble match

No Way Out 2002 - vs Triple H

WrestleMania X-8 - vs Kane

Backlash 2002 - vs Edge

Judgment Day 2002 - vs Edge

King Of The Ring 2002 - vs Hulk Hogan

Vengeance 2002 - vs The Rock and The Undertaker

Summerslam 2002 - vs Rey Mysterio

Unforgiven 2002 - vs Chris Benoit

No Mercy 2002 - with Chris Benoit vs Edge & Rey Mysterio

Rebellion 2002 - with Chris Benoit vs Los Guerreros

Survivor Series 2002 - with Chris Benoit vs Edge & Rey Mysterio and Los Guerreros

Armageddon 2002 - vs Big Show

Royal Rumble 2003 - vs Chris Benoit

No Way Out 2003 - with Team Angle vs Chris Benoit and Brock Lesnar

WrestleMania XIX - vs Brock Lesnar

Vengeance 2003 - vs Brock Lesnar and Big Show

Summerslam 2003 - vs Brock Lesnar

No Mercy 2003 - vs John Cena

Survivor Series 2003 - with John Cena, Chris Benoit, Hardcore Holly and Bradshaw vs Brock Lesnar, Big Show, A-Train, Nathan Jones and Matt Morgan

Royal Rumble 2004 - Royal Rumble match

No Way Out 2004 - vs John Cena and Big Show

WrestleMania XX - vs Eddie Guerrero

Summerslam 2004 - vs Eddie Guerrero

No Mercy 2004 - vs Big Show

Survivor Series 2004 - with Luther Reigns, Mark Jindrak and Carlito vs Eddie Guerrero, Big Show, John Cena and Rob Van Dam

Armageddon 2004 - vs Santa Claus, and with Luther Reigns and Mark Jindrak vs Big Show

Royal Rumble 2005 - vs Big Show and John Bradshaw Layfield, and Royal Rumble match

No Way Out 2005 - vs John Cena

WrestleMania 21 - vs Shawn Michaels

Judgment Day 2005 - vs Booker T

Vengeance 2005 - vs Shawn Michaels

Summerslam 2005 - vs Eugene

Unforgiven 2005 - vs John Cena

Taboo Tuesday 2005 - vs John Cena and Shawn Michaels

Survivor Series 2005 - vs John Cena

New Year's Revolution 2006 - vs John Cena, Shawn Michaels, Carlito, Chris Masters and Kane

Royal Rumble 2006 - vs Mark Henry

No Way Out 2006 - vs The Undertaker

WrestleMania 22 - vs Rey Mysterio and Randy Orton

Judgment Day 2006 - vs Mark Henry

One Night Stand 2006 - vs Randy Orton

Vengeance 2006 - vs Randy Orton

Edited by HarmonicGenerator
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We begin with Survivor Series 1999, and Kurt's PPV debut against Shawn Stasiak.

 

(I did review this already in my Survivor Series thread, but since I have to watch it again anyway I might as well write a whole new thing.)

 

The match:

Howard Finkel gives Kurt a big big introduction. The crowd, sadly, don't. Angle and Stasiak do some nice basic takedowns and counters to start, JR points out this is a different kind of action than they're used to seeing in the WWF, which the Twattitude crowd would agree with since we're about a minute in and they've already chanted "boring" and something about Redwings.

 

Kurt hits the first big move of the match with a belly to belly and poses to the crowd, obviously not put off, and Lawler's pointed out something similar to JR which (and I'm getting deja vu writing this so I probably said it last time) either means they're trying very hard to cover for it, or it's part of the plan all along and Kurt's going to be a heel because he actually wrestles and doesn't just brawl and hit his finishers. We'll see.

 

Stasiak's got the upper hand, and in response to another "boring" chant, sticks Kurt in a chinlock or a front face lock or whatever it's called. Kurt hits a clothesline and rolls out of the ring and gets on the mic to tell the crowd they do NOT boo an Olympic gold medalist. Good on him. It doesn't really rile them up, so Stasiak takes it back to the whatever lock. Kurt does a nice tiltawhirl counter and rolls Stasiak up for a two. He hits a couple of his soon-to-be signature right hands and a powerslam for two, then Stasiak hits a BLOODY F-5 for all intents and purposes, sowing the seeds for the Planet Stasiak vs Brock Lesnar feud in 2002.

 

Angle hits the "Modified Slam", which is not yet Olympic or Angle, and which Lawler claims he stole from him. They're saying Angle's getting booed but I'm not hearing it. We'll see how he gets on next time.

 

My thoughts

A decent start. The 1999 crowd haven't got on board yet, but the WWF themselves seem to be.

 

Angle Landmarks:

First PPV match

First appearance of his music

First turn-around-arms-out entrance move thingy he does

First belly to belly

First Angle Slam

First pinfall victory

And, technically, the first time he pulls the straps down, but it's after the match, so it only half counts.

 

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I only just saw that match myself recently, and its so random. The crowd aren't into at all, and despite Kurt being fairly new to Pro wrestling at the time, you can tell he's got something special that will develop nicely (as it did obviously). A good showing for Angle, with him trying his best to get some heat from the crowd as well.

 

A weirder thing that I found was their hype of Stasiak going into this. Was this pre or  post "Meat"? I presume the hype was to give Angle more cred in beating him, but I don't recall anything about Stasiak being pushed at any time really.

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I went through Wikipedia last night checking which ones he didn't appear on so I know the order I've got to go in. I've got a clean run of every show for a while - he didn't miss a PPV until Insurrextion 2002! And as far as I can tell his last one was Vengeance 06.

Edited by HarmonicGenerator
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Next up, we go to Armageddon 1999, and it's Kurt Angle vs. Steve Blackman. I'm looking forward to this, I liked the Lethal Weapon.

 

The match:

Before actually starting the match, I've been distracted by two things.

 

1) The set of Armageddon '99 is fantastic! Looks like a proper bit of movie set stuff. Doesn't often get mentioned when the 'best PPV set' discussion comes up.

2) The opening tag team battle royal. The Dudleys, Hardys, E&C, Acolytes, Too Cool, Godfather & Menry, the Headbangers and the Posse. AND there's two other tag matches on this card. That's a division with some depth, and it feel like today could compete to some extent. Where there's no comparison, however, is the fact at least four of those teams gets MONSTER pops by today's standards. It's impressive.

 

Anyway, let's get to some Angle.

 

After a short, confident video, he's heading out, and he has a proper entrance video and the US flag on his singlet and everything. Kurt gets on the mic and begins to tell the crowd about the Three Is, but is interrupted by the BOOMBA-CHICKY-BOOMBA-CHICKY-BOOMBA-CHICKY-BOOMBA-CHICKY of Steve Blackman's entrance music, which is great music. He gets a good reaction, Angle kind of got booed but it's the quietest one I've heard on the show so far (possibly even the Posse got slightly more).

 

Blackman belts it straight down to the ring and we're on, he kicks Angle in the gut and strikes him in the corner. JR makes a good point of it being Blackman's martial arts style against Angle's Olympic wrestling style. MIXED MARTIAL ARTS?

 

Anyway, this match has a backstory of the two of them having been partners but they had a falling out or lost a match on SmackDown or something, JR did explain but this match is going at mega pace so it's hard to keep up. Blackman's hit a missile dropkick and missed with a top rope headbutt and it still doesn't slow down. Workrate!

 

Angle takes advantage with a clothesline and a dropkick, then puts his arms out to the crowd, and THERE'S the booing. They don't like him showboating, that's for sure. A bodyslam and Angle signals to the turnbuckle. He gets booed again… could this be … Yes!

 

Well, no, because he missed it, but there's the Angle Moonsault! That is a thing of beauty. It's just a lovely looking backflip off the top.

 

The pace slows for the first time as Blackman does his bow and arrow lock that looks even more painful than it did on SmackDown 2, and Angle gets thrown into the turnbuckle with such force he gets knocked over. Backbreaker by Blackman and he locks in another submission I remember from the games. DDT by Kurt gets two, so does a suplex, aaaand for fuck's sake, there's a "BORING" chant, but I think by this time it must be a thing done to annoy Kurt, like "You Suck" would come to do, because he reacts to it and they stop for a bit to boo him.

 

Brawling on the outside! He gets chucked into the steps! Shawn Stasiak this is not. It's a pretty decent match, this. Lovely sunset flip over the ropes by Blackman, Angle hits a cross body, it's rolled through, double arm suplex, and a "woo!" from Kurt. Blackman gets choked by Kurt's foot in the corner, "Angle Sucks" chant. Blackman back on offence, and this is remarkably back and forth, I was expecting this to be a one-sided 'make Angle look strong' match but you wouldn't be surprised to see Blackman win this.

 

A few moves later, Blackman goes up top, misses, Angle tries a rollup, hits a German Suplex… and GETS THREE! Who needs Suplex City when one will do the job?

 

(Come to think of it, why did Kurt need to start doing loads when one should be enough?)

 

Kurt's celebrating like he's won the fight of his life, Blackman whacks him with his nunchucks and the loser walks out while the winner lies around in pain.

 

My thoughts:

Very surprised how dominant Steve Blackman looked for a lot of this. Having not seen much of Kurt's very early stuff before, I'd assumed he was always positioned really strongly for how quickly his rise up the card came, but maybe that's not the case. Good match though, lots to enjoy.

 

 

Angle landmarks:

First appearance of the classic entrance video

First PPV mention of the Three Is

First Moonsault

First little "Woo!" from Angle

First German Suplex

Edited by HarmonicGenerator
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Was Blackman a face for that match then? I distinctly remember 'Blackman sucks' chants in the Rumble

 

It certainly seemed that way.

 

Trout Stain - we're about to find out! I watched this one about a year ago but don't remember much except the result. Here goes, Royal Rumble 2000 against Tazz!

 

 

The match:

BIG boos for Angle in Madison Square Garden. I think he's over now. Angle's out with his straps down. Howard Finkel is still doing the "only Olympic gold medallist to grace a WWF ring, most celebrated" etc full intro. Kurt gets on the mic and is roundly and soundly booed.

 

He gets a bit of New York cheap heat, followed by an "It's True", which I reckon's the first time we've heard that on a PPV … in the ring at least.

 

Kurt's opponent is to be announced, but the crowd already knows it's Tazz. The heartbeats and the 13 and the video start playing and it's a ridiculous for pop as he comes out with his towel on his head. I guess if he came in today that pop would happen in Full Sail, but maybe he'd have been that rare guy who went straight to the main roster.

 

Anyway, he's got the first strike in and thrown Angle over the top rope, showing the aptitude for Rumble style eliminations that he never used when he was actually in one. He tries to suplex Kurt on the outside but Kurt reverses and hits one of his own. Two brawls in a row on PPV for the Olympic wrestler.

 

JR points out he's had no time to prepare for Tazz but he's got the upper hand - "he's an Olympic gold medallist", points out Lawler, and so he doesn't need to prepare for anyone. Angle hits a belly to belly, goes up top, Tazz hits the ropes and it's a BOOM! Second rope Tazplex. Tazz gets a three but Angle cleverly puts his foot on the rope. He tries a rollup, doesn't get a pin - by my count, he's tried that in every match so far and it hasn't worked - and a clothesline lays Tazz out. German Suplex, this beat Blackman, but it doesn't beat Tazz! 

 

He tries for the Possibly Not Yet Named Slam, Taz counters and hits a brutal release German that flips Kurt all the way over, and then an equally brutal belly to belly, and Kurt looks finished here. BOOM! A T-Bone! Has Tazz made clear his thoughts on the whole Suplex City gimmick? Because I hadn't really realised it before, but the whole Human Suplex Machine gimmick is kind of a forerunner to Lesnar's thing at the moment.

 

TAZZMISSION! TAZZMISSION! They're not calling it that but it's the Tazzmission! Hand down once, twice, three times… Kurt Angle has been beaten. The streak… is over.

 

And it's a stretcher job. They've brought out an oxygen tank as well. They're dragging Kurt's limp body out of the ring onto the stretcher and sticking a mask on him. My goodness, if you want to put over a submission finisher that's how you fucking do it. I'm terrified of the Tazzmission after that. Beautiful selling by Angle.

 

My thoughts:

Super quick match, all things considered, and really a vehicle to put Tazz over as a killer more than anything. Interesting that Angle was picked as the best guy to help do that. The fact he was undefeated must have been a big part of that, but I wonder if they already thought of him as a good enough hand that he could play that role of ensuring the new guy looked great. He did that, for sure.

 

Angle landmarks:

First time in the opening match

First "it's true" (in the ring)

First finisher kick out (the German Suplex finished the Armageddon match, so until the Slam's properly established, this counts)

First loss

First loss by unconsciousness

 

PPV record so far:

2 wins by pinfall

1 loss by unconsciousness

Edited by HarmonicGenerator
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I've always loved that Rumble match against Tazz. He's really got the holier-than-thou, smarmy heel thing down to a tee by this point, makes Tazz look great but still looks good in defeat in the promo from the locker room afterwards when he's claiming he's still undefeated because it was an illegal choke.

 

Looking forward to the review of the Armageddon 6 man hell in a cell. It's in my top ten favourite matches and I've fawned about it before on here so looking forward to your spin on it HarmGen.

Edited by cobra_gordo
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Looking forward to the review of the Armageddon 6 man hell in a cell. It's in my top ten favourite matches and I've fawned about it before on here so looking forward to your spin on it HarmGen.

I loved that match. Not especially because of Angle but the sight of bloody Rock and Austin turning to face each other and the place going mental. The very definition of something legitimately being big deal, in stark contrast to the number of times they've tried to revisit Cena v Orton and present it as the same level of epic.

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I haven't seen the 6 man in ages. I think I'll put it on and join in HG's reminiscing!

 

 

I remember being stunned when Angle dragged his arm over for the pin. I felt sure one of the big 4 in that match were winning.

 

(Spoiler for the finish of this 16+ year old event in case you wanted to watch it now)

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