Declared to be a "Future Legend" by the Cauliflower Alley Club, Kurt Angle is a professional wrestler who currently wrestles for TNA, but made his name during a seven-year tenure in WWE, where he was referred to as "professional wrestling's only Olympic gold medalist" (which is legit; he won gold medals for wrestling at the 1996 Summer Olympics WITH A BROKENFREAKIN' NECK!).You can read an extensive article on his career over at That Other Wiki, of course.
"BROKEN FREAKING TROPES! THESE TROPES ARE TRUE! THEY'RE DAMN TRUE!":
All American Face: Played straight when he's a face, such as after 9/11 and he beat then heel "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. Subverted when he's a heel. In his first match he was played up as a face coming from an amateur and Olympic background, but during his first match the crowd was bored, he was told in the ring that he was going to be a heel and he ran with it.
Ambiguously Gay: Kurt's had... strange interactions with a lot of wrestlers, namely Rey Mysterio Jr, who he called a boy and said he was going to manhandle, and Brock Lesnar who actually kissed him. Also once kissed The Big Show (although it was mostly to disarm him long enough to pick him up for the Angle Slam).
Angle: "Everyone, all these fans know, that I am the greatest wrestler in the world!"
Bad Boss: As the general manager of Smackdown, he started out decent enough but gradually got worse as time went on, his last real acct of benevolence was trying to pacify the Big Show. He claims this will not be the case as Impact's director of wrestling operations, as he claims to have no more aspirations in wrestling.
Poured milk on Taker's motorcycle on the July 6, 2000 SmackDown.
During Taker's search to figure out who was stalking his then-wife Sara, he confronted Angle on the June 11, 2001 Raw. Angle said that he was sorry that "some maniac" was stalking Taker's wife, and added, "First of all, I met your wife once - I didn't even like her! I didn't even find her attractive!" Taker punched Angle and gave him the Last Ride.
Kevin Nash powerbombed Angle for his promo on the October 18, 2007 TNA Impact.
His interviews in 2006, after he joined TNA, which is why he was known as "Krazy Kurt" by fans. Among his outrageous claims at the time was that he claimed to carry Hulk Hogan to a five-star match in 2002.
One bizarre segment had Kurt Angle stumbling upon his then-wife, Karen, canoodling on a couch with AJ Styles. Angle jumps to the conclusion that Karen has come to try to win him back. She denies this but Angle angrily tells her that so long as he's with Samoa Joe (as tag team partners opponents at Lockdown, that is) that their marriage is on hold. He then chases Karen into Styles' arms. The whole thing comes across as Angle leaving his own wife in the tender loving care of AJ Styles until such time as he can be bothered to be a husband to her! See for yourself.
Companion Cube: His gold medals. In 2001, Chris Benoit stole his medals and challenged him to a two-out-of-three falls match at that year's Judgment Day PPV for them. In a 2003 promo on Smackdown Angle interrupted Benoit's promo, when he referred to his medals as "his kids" and the WWE Title as "his wife".
Crowd Song: Regardless of whether he was a face or a heel, WWE fans would always chant "You suck!" in time with his music.
Determinator: Here are some events that he's able to do with a broken neck:
Winning a gold medal at the 1996 Olympics.
Endured several brutal attacks from "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, including kicking out of three Stone Cold Stunners at SummerSlam 2001 and taking a piledriver on the concrete floor on the SmackDown before Unforgiven 2001.
Holding off neck surgery to compete at WrestleMania XIX.
Eagleland: If he is feuding with a foreigner, type 1 as a Face, Type 2 as a heel.
Evil Cripple: Okay, he was rehabbing an injury rather than being outright crippled but he was still an evil authority figure in a wheel chair on Smackdown for awhile.
Evil Versus Evil: Kurt Angle, Luther Reigns and Mark Jindrak versus JBL's Cabinet. Kurt Angle even bound and gagged non wrestler Joy Giovanni and shoved her into JBL's limo in an attempt to frame him. (His "publicist" Amy Webber was feuding with Joy and Big Show was very protective of her, giving a believable motive and hopeful response from an angry giant)
Fake Hair Drama: After losing his hair vs hair match we would strap on wigs to hide his baldness.
Game-Breaking Injury: His Ankle Lock Finishing Move. Though he did not invent it (Ken Shamrock used that move during his WWF run between 1998-1999), he made it popular. He would fall victim to the Angle Lock himself during a Wrestlemania match with Chris Benoit, although he in turn caught Benoit with the Crippler Crossface, which was Benoit's Finishing Move.
In his second book, Foley Is Good...And the Real World is Faker Than Wrestling, Mick Foley pointed out how Angle's goofing around with Edge and Christian in 2000 contributed to making the shows "downright nerdy."
Trusted Hulk Hogan when he said that Dixie Carter was aware of his wife's cheating ways. Yeah, that's right, he's trusting the Manipulative Bastard who screwed Dixie out of her company, has a vendetta against Sting, kept Kurt Angle away from the title and employed the Jarretts to aid in his conspiracy, and is the present Big Bad of the company who'd have every reason to make him hate Dixie Carter (who it's been acknowledged on-air suspended Jeff Jarrett from power upon learning about the affair) and join Immortal. Well, since Sting became Dangerously Genre Savvy, someone has to be Genre Blind...
King of the Ring 2001 - Kurt wrestled three matches in one night, including a 26 minute Street Fight match with Shane McMahon that was more violent than expected thanks to a Special Effects Failure or two. (The reason he wrestled three matches in a single night? Shane, who intentionally interfered in Kurt's King of the Ring tournament matches to ensure that he would both move on to the finals and lose the tournament to weaken him up for the Street Fight.)
As Kurt's building neck injuries reached the point of being acknowledged on live TV, this has become a larger element of his matches.
Not only did he mentor and trust Garett Bischoff and Wes Brisco, he was the one responsible for getting Brisco hired. Good job letting The Mole in, Kurt!
The week after he unmasked the Vice President of Aces & Eights, what should've happened was a backstage scene with D'Lo Brown being summarily questioned, berated, and accused by Dixie Carter and other TNA officials because Kurt Angle told them that he was the VP. Instead, Kurt decided to sit on the information for over a week and go for the big reveal on TV. Even worse, when Wes Brisco came out to draw him into a brawl, he took the bait instead of making the reveal then and there…leading to D'Lo coming out amongst the other officials to break up the fight, putting him in perfect position to low blow a crazed Angle and make the reveal on the Aces & Eights' terms.
Kurt Angle the man and the character. For the uninitiated, he was in the summer Olympics with a broken neck. No, he didn't get it during the wrestling tournament, he had it before the tryouts. Not only did he convince them to let him compete, he won the gold medal. While he's at times injury prone, his neck at least is made of titanium.
This is an understandably large point of pride both for his character and in real life.
In-universe, this trope manifested in his ability to take multiple finishers and still kick out. He has taken three Stone Cold Stunners in a row, multiple choke-slams, multiple F 5 moves from Brock Lesnar, and so on.
His gold medal celebration at the 1996 Olympics. On the September 18, 2000 episode of Raw, Triple H (who is later joined by Mick Foley) made fun of Angle's crying.
Triple H: "Now Kurt, forgive me if I'm wrong - that was very emotional for you, I understand that - but Kurt, maybe it's time, y'know? Maybe it's time for you to come to terms with your true feeling - maybe it's time for you to admit it to yourself, Kurt - maybe it's time to open the closet door, Kurt..."
He would also cry again in 2001, on the Raw after Judgment Day (in which he regained his gold medals that were stolen by Benoit), when he would re-enact his Olympic gold medal ceremony.
After being relieved of his duties of General Manager of Smackdown by Mr. McMahon, Kurt Angle got on his knees and begged and cried for his job back.
Kurt Angle tried to have Torrie Wilson fired after he was thrown off the ledge of a parking garage by Big Show, trying to save her. Yeah, the giant tried to murder him, it's understandable he'd be upset but that wasn't Torrie's fault.
So we get why you decided to embarrass the man who tried to murder you before and put you in a wheelchair for the better part of the year. What was your motive for doing the same to Eddie Guerrero, Kurt?
Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: Well, many, but it became a theme against Desmond Wolfe. Originally Kurt Angle had been doing everything he could to hold down TNA's young talent in the Main Event Mafia but then had a change of heart and disbanded the group, vowing to help young talent instead. Then this new guy came in and attacked him in order to make a name for himself, putting a stop to that plan. Repeated with Ethan Carter III, only without the immediately preceded irony.
Out-of-Character Moment: Kurt's top rope 450 double knee drop to Sting during the 2007 Bound For Glory main event. Not only was it an odd spot for Angle, but it was an odd move to see when the two were in a blood feud at the time.
At the 2003 No Way Out pay-per-view (which was taking place in Montreal, Quebec), he insulted Canadians in general and Chris Benoit and Edge in particular, mocking their French heritage (although Edge is Anglo-Canadian, and has insulted French Canadians himself) in the Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys idiom. Extremely common at the time.
As the general manager of Smackdown, Kurt Angle sided with JBL in his attempts to win the WWE Championship, denying then fan favorite and fan voted John Cena a shot, after he bought into JBL's anti Mexican rhetoric and well, then champion Eddie Guerrero was of Mexican descent.
While feuding with John Cena in 2005, he made the point that he could say whatever he wanted and still get cheered, and proved it by remarking: "I don't really care for... 'the black people.'"
Whether he's a face or a heel, he'll always be cheered by the fans.
It even carried over into his WWE entrance music. Fans of his WWE tenure know that his music starts with a mid-tempo series of horns, and then eventually bridges into a series of two-note intervals, which fans punctuate by chanting "You suck!" in sync with the two notes. The chants started when he was a heel and continued during his face turns as an odd show of respect. Angle once Lampshaded this in one of his promos.
During one of his face runs, he would point at his opponent during his entrance as the fans chanted "you suck" at THEM.
Angle's first gimmick in WWE was a really, really arrogant heel that managed to put his foot in his mouth wherever he went. His first few months were undefeated which he bragged non-stop about in between oblivious swipes at the crowd. He went undefeated until he started losing tag matches wherein he would simply declare it was his partner that lost, not him. Then Tazz defeated him at the Royal Rumble. Kurt whined that it didn't count since Taz used a choke (it was the Tazmission). Then Taz beat him again. Kurt would then finally shut the hell up... until he won the Intercontinental and European belts.
During his feud with Shawn Michaels, Kurt Angle claimed that he could have done everything Shawn had done in his career if he had not been off in the Olympics. Fair enough but then he set out to do everything Shawn had accomplished in his career in a period of four weeks.
Spotlight-Stealing Squad: The Angle Alliance and the Main Event Mafia in TNA. There's a reason why a derogatory nickname for TNA used to be Total Nonstop Angle.
Stalker with a Crush: In 2005, when he was obsessed with Booker T.'s Real Life-wife, Sharmelle. There were some negative implications in this, as Angle said he wanted to have "bestiality sex" with her. "Bestiality" is copulation with animals. Booker T and Sharmell are both black. He likely meant beastly (i.e. do it like animals instead of with) but never corrected himself.
The Starscream: Angle was this in both the WCW/ECW Alliance and in the Sting-led Main Event Mafia. Between those two, he was reduced to this role for one night in his own Alliance in TNA when Christian Cage forced them to make him the leader in order to join.
Stun Guns: He's on the short list of people who have used a gun on a professional wrestling show, although he "just" shot the Big Show with a tranquilizer dart. It, makes a chair look a lot less effective but doesn't quite measure up to being choke slammed off a ledge.