I made this pretty much directly after the first tournament. I thought it would be a waste not to post it, so here it is: Kurt Angle Campaign Headquarters 16 reasons to vote for Kurt Angle: 1. He's unorthodox: People, i.e. Slyfox, often criticize Kurt Angle for going too far outside of the WWE style, and for abandoning conventional psychology in favour of a high impact, entertaining and oh yes, unorthodox moveset. However, as you will probably already be aware and definitely will be later on in the post, this has held him back to no extent, and definitely gives him a big advantage in a tournament based on in-ring prowess such as this. 2. He's the most decorated athlete in WWE/TNA history: It's true, look: 2.1. Amateur awards (from Wikipedia, obviously): * Canadian Cup Championship o 1990 winner * Collegiate / High School o 1987 Pennsylvania State Wrestling Champion o 1988 Clarion University Freshman of the Year * Espoir World Cup o 1989 runner-up * International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles o FILA Junior World Freestyle Champion (1988) o FILA World Freestyle Champion (1995) * National Amateur Wrestling o National Amateur Wrestling Hall of Famer (class of 2001) * National Collegiate Athletic Association o 1990 NCAA Division I Champion o 1991 NCAA Division I runner-up o 1992 NCAA Division I Champion o 1990, 1991 and 1992 NCAA Division I All-American * Olympic Games o 1996 Summer Olympics gold medal in freestyle wrestling (heavyweight) * USA Wrestling o USA Junior Freestyle Champion (1987) o USA Senior Freestyle Champion (1995, 1996) o USA Wrestling Hall of Famer (class of 2001) * World Championships o 1995 gold medal in freestyle wrestling (heavyweight) * Yasar Dogu Tournament o 1989 runner-up I think this list proves that - at one time or another - Kurt Angle was the best amateur wrestler in the world. At the very least, he was world class. Again, very beneficial in a tournament based on in-ring prowess. 2.2. Professional awards: # Inoki Genome Federation * IWGP Third Belt Championship (1 time) # Power Pro Wrestling * PPW Heavyweight Championship (1 time) # Total Nonstop Action Wrestling * TNA World Heavyweight Championship (2 times) (First) * TNA World Tag Team Championship (1 time) with Sting * TNA X Division Championship (1 time) * King of the Mountain (2007) * Second Triple Crown Champion (1 time) # World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment * WCW United States Championship (1 time) * WCW World Heavyweight Championship (1 time) * WWE Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Chris Benoit (First) * WWF/E Championship (4 times) * WWF European Championship (1 time) * WWF Hardcore Championship (1 time) * WWF Intercontinental Championship (1 time) * World Heavyweight Championship (1 time) * 4th Grand Slam Champion * King of the Ring (2000) * 10th Triple Crown Champion As you can see, Angle is a six time world champion in WWE alone, equal to the Undertaker and Stone Cold Steve Austin, more than Shawn Michaels even. In addition, he's a KOTR champion, a triple crown winner (in TNA too!) and the fourth Grand Slam winner. 2.3. PWI Awards: * PWI Feud of the Year award in 2000 - versus Triple H * PWI Most Hated Wrestler of the Year award in 2000 * PWI Rookie of the Year award in 2000 * PWI Most Inspirational Wrestler of the Year award in 2001 * PWI Comeback of the Year award in 2003 * PWI Feud of the Year award in 2003 - versus Brock Lesnar * PWI Match of the Year award in 2003 - versus Brock Lesnar * PWI Most Popular Wrestler of the Year award in 2003 * PWI Wrestler of the Year award in 2003 * PWI Match of the Year award in 2005 - versus Shawn Michaels I'd say they all speak for themselves. Notice his two matches of the year. Shawn Michaels is Mr. WrestleMania? Sure, but the runner up is Kurt Angle, and that'd be different if Angle had been around as long as HBK. Look at 2003! Just look at it. Five, count 'em, five awards in one year. It's quite possible that's a record. God knows he's broken enough of them. 3. He's one of the fastest rising stars in WWE history: Only two years after beginning professional training, he won his first WWE world title, after already becoming the Eurocontinental Champion soon after his debut in early 2000, granting him Rookie of the Year (of the year? Of the freakin' decade more like) status. 4. His defeated list is a Who's Who of different styles: He's beaten high-flyers, brawlers, technical wrestlers, submission artists, even the heaviest of super heavyweights - it ain't always pretty, although it usually is, but he goes out there and he gets the job done. Chris Jericho, Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit? They're on there, multiple times. Shawn Michaels, Triple H, The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin? Same again. The Big Show, Undertaker, Mark Henry, Kane? Indeed, on there. AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Christian Cage? Check. Hulk Hogan, Edge, Booker T? Checkarooni. Rob Van Dam? You bet your ass! 5. He doesn't need gimmicks: Most people seem to think that Kurt Angle doesn't perform well in gimmick matches. That's simply not true - he's simply not been in a lot of them because he's more than entertaining enough without them. He won one of the biggest, most gimmicky matches in history anyway - the Armageddon Hell in a Cell. 5.1 Which is why Rob Van Dam beating him was bullshit: An Ultimate X match gave RVD an advantage, apparently. Why? Beats me. People hear "tall object" and "RVD" in the same sentence and they rush to the polls. Rob Van Dam makes a career of jumping off tall stuff, Kurt Angle makes a career of jumping up at the last second and throwing people off tall stuff. Kurt Angle had the advantage in that match, and he was robbed. 6. He's beaten both tournament winners, cleanly, in singles competition in incredible matches: He kicked out of Sweet Chin Music and made Michaels tap to an Ankle Lock at WrestleMania 21, and sneaked in a pin against the Phenom and his Triangle Choke at No Way Out 2006. The former was officially match of the year, the latter should have been. The former showed how Kurt Angle can compete against and beat questionably the best performer ever on the grandest stage of them all, the latter showed how he could outfox one of the most calculating, unemotional, unstoppable wrestlers ever. If you think I'm overestimating them, well, you shouldn't have voted for them. Or you should've provided better reasons for voting against them. 7. It'll make Slyfox call us names again: This one's a foregone conclusion, and the best damn reason yet, no? 8. He's won King of the Ring: In 2000, and this was when the quarter final, semi final and final all took place on the same night. These sort of endurance skills will come in handy in any situation, but in particular if Angle makes it to the elite 8 - the final three matches are conducted in one night, just like King of the Ring was. To prove it wasn't a fluke, the very next year he made it to the final again, being cheated by a Shane McMahon run in. He beat the living shit out of Shane O'Mac that same night in a street fight. 9. The Ankle Lock: Kurt's signature submission hold is effective against anyone. Superheavyweights, cruiserweights or anyotherkindaweights - everyone is vulnerable to the ankle lock. Meaning, if submission rules apply, there's no-one Angle cannot beat. Even if submission rules don't apply, it's still a big advantage in any situation and there's rarely a match where Angle doesn't lock it in; usually multiple times. Not to mention that damaging somebody's ankle seriously prohibits their ability to, y'know, get up and seriously decreases their agility. 10. He's an active wrestler: This is more of a reason to not vote against him, rather than one to vote for him. You shouldn't vote solely on the era that someone was around in, and it is your duty to have at least watched one match of both competitors in a match before voting, preferably more. YouTube, Dailymotion and other members are your friends. Otherwise, don't vote and trust the WZ population will elect the right man to win. It's that simple. Angle has the good fortune of having 99.9999% of, if not all, people on this site have watched a large number of his matches. 11. He's agile and not afraid to go aerial: This is another reason I was pissed off that RVD went over Angle. People seemed to be suggesting Kurt Angle didn't know his top rope from his, er, something clever. The fact is, Kurt Angle can be astonishingly quick and agile when he needs to be, being one of the most effective possum players in the business. He'll suddenly get a quick burst of energy and all of a sudden the whole match is turned around. He'll gladly go high risk, which leads me to my next point... 11.1. He pulls out all the stops for the big matches: I doubt Angle will have trouble polishing off the competition he has early on, so this an important point. With a great important, particularly on a large stage, Kurt Angle goes up a notch, from 11/10 to 12/10, if you will. He uses game plans he wouldn't use anywhere else, and he uses the big moves. The moonsault is an example of this. And that move he invented just to use on Sting. That 450 Knee Drop thing. What, you thought it was a botch? It would seem likely, exept you're forgetting Kurt Angle doesn't botch. 2009 edit: He's also since started doing a somersault plancha. 12. Playing Possum Already mentioned under the previous reasons, I decided Angle's possum playing (I hope that's how I'm meant to put it) was significant enough to deserve its own, um, section. Angle suddenly getting backing in the game is more than Undertaker sitting up, Shawn Michaels kipping up or even the Hulkster hulking up. The most prominent examples are when he'll suddenly pop up from a high impact move, even ones like Sweet Chin Music, and do one of two things... usually - get in a surprise Ankle Lock or leap to the top rope and throw his opponent down to the mat. 13. Striking Ability (Seriously) I've always thought that, despite primarily being a grappler, Angle is a fantastic striker. He's one of the only mainstream wrestlers, perhaps the only mainstream wrestler, to use stiff, deliberate right hands, European uppercuts and the like to such a great effect. I mean, the likes of John Cena, Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin and Mick Foley can exchange blows all day and, as we've all seen, they have pretty much bugger all effect on their opponent, who carries on firing back until they get barged over a rail or something. When Kurt Angle strikes, Kurt Angle always has the advantage and he's always on the offense. Those guys I listed? They're great brawlers, but that doesn't mean their striking ability isn't actually pitiful. Angle is up there with, if not past, the deadman in terms of sheer effectiveness. Just watch Kurt Angle beat someone down. Half the time they're knocked across the ring with a European uppercut. The other half their forehead bursts open from just a few stiff punches. Not to mention his chopping ability... 14. Reversals This one kind of goes without saying with a technical/submission wrestler such as Angle, but I put it in anyway. Any move involving a foot, and a lot not involving a foot, can easily be reversed into an Ankle Lock at any time. Watch Angle/'Taker at No Way Out 2006 if you don't believe me. Similarly, strikes, and other moves, can be reversed into powerful suplexes, tosses and slams in the blink of an eye, not excluding Angle's other finishing move, the Angle Slam. In short, Kurt's matches can end in an instant. 15. TNA Not so much a reason as much an issue I need to address. So, does the addition of TNA to Angle's legacy lessen it somehow? Absolutely not. In fact, I'd go as far to say that it helps my argument. Despite questionable circumstances, Kurt's time in TNA has only added to his legacy. He's defeated icons, well, icon, like Sting and TNA's dangerous originals like Joe, Styles and Abyss. Hell, he even went to Japan under TNA and defeated Brock Lesnar and Yuji Nagata. TNA also helps me out with Angle's one and only notable weakness: gimmick matches. In TNA, if a match doesn't have some sort of gimmick, it doesn't get on the card. Angle's won match after match after match despite this. The King of the Mountain being the most prominent example. Angle won it, in case you didn't know. 16. What I said last year: That's some damn fine reasoning Sam. Damn fine.