Kurt Angle has been involved in some of the most memorable and most talked about matches in modern WWE history.
Angle has gone toe to toe with the likes of Brock Lesnar, Shawn Michaels and The Rock in matches that are still talked about to this day.
However, speaking in a new interview with Forbes, the former WWE Champion revealed that there is one match that stands out above all others.
Kurt Angle debuted in the WWE in the Autumn of 1999, but by January 2003, he had already competed in a match that according to Triple H, “raised the bar.” Reflecting on his career, Angle recalled that match, his Royal Rumble 2003 clash with Chris Benoit, calling it a “masterpiece.”
“My favorite match is versus Chris Benoit at the 2003 Royal Rumble for the World Heavyweight Championship, or WWE Championship. Chris was a mirror image of me with his intensity, his technique, and his persona. He stepped it up every time in the ring. We matched each other’s intensity, and it just worked extremely well. We had a lot of submission trade offs, and a lot of false finishes, and the match is really intriguing.
After I won, Team Angle came out, we celebrated and I walked out of the ring. The fans stood and gave Chris a standing ovation for 15 minutes, and it was a ppv Vince McMahon let it go, and the fans appreciating Chris showed us how good that match was. Even Triple H came up to me afterwards, I was only in the business three years at the time, and he said, “ you just raised the bar.” I didn’t know how good the match was. I thought it was okay. Now when I watch it I’m like oh my gosh, this thing’s a masterpiece. To have someone like Triple H telling you that you raise the bar, that’s a huge compliment.”
During the interview, Angle also named Kenny Omega as a dream opponent, praising the AEW World Champion as “incredible.” The Olympic Gold Medallist compared Omega to his former rival in IMACT Wrestling AJ Styles, for the way he is equally as effective as a high flyer, or working a more ground based style.
Kurt Angle wrestled his final match at WrestleMania 35 inside MetLife Stadium. He had earlier returned to WWE in 2017 where he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
Following one last run which included briefly joining The Shield, Angle bowed out of active competition with defeat against Baron Corbin. In the years since his final outing, Angle has revealed his frustration with his last run inside the ring, declaring that his retirement match was “filler.