A Tale of Many Turns
At the 2002 installment of Survivor Series, Paul Heyman pulled the referee thus preventing him from counting to three after his client Brock Lesnar had hit the F5 on Big Show, costing Lesnar the match. Heyman had been telling Lesnar that he could not defeat Big Show leading up to the pay-per-view, but Lesnar didn’t listen. Not even Show breaking his ribs would break the spirit of The Beast, who responded by busting Big Show in the skull with a brutal steel chair shot. Lesnar chased Heyman around the ring, but Lesnar ran into a chokeslam from Big Show. Show would pin Lesnar and win not only the WWE Championship, but the services of Paul Heyman.
Lesnar, now a face, would go into a furious rage in the weeks that followed when Paul Heyman made it known that Lesnar would never receive his rematch, and attacked anybody he could possibly get his hands on to vent his frustration. This venting method, however, would backfire when SmackDown General Manager Stephanie McMahon suspended him.
Kurt Angle, the new number one contender, would go to Brock and ask him to help him win the WWE title, something Lesnar agreed to do if Angle would get him reinstated. And Angle did. So, Lesnar would receive his payback on Big Show and Paul Heyman by costing them their gold at Armageddon 2002. As a result, Kurt Angle was the new WWE Champion. This was despite interference from another one of Heyman’s clients, A-Train.
On the first edition of SmackDown after the pay-per-view, Kurt Angle would introduce Paul Heyman as his new manager, who again announced that Lesnar would not be receiving a rematch for the title he once held.
Big Show would defeat Lesnar in the main event that night and suffer a beatdown at the hands of both Show and Angle. Nonetheless, Lesnar got his revenge on the Olympic Gold Medalist after SmackDown went off air. He clotheslined Big Show out of the ring and knock him out with a steel chair just like he had before Survivor Series, leaving a one-on-one brawl with Angle. On the outside, Lesnar would hit an F5 that propelled Angle’s right knee into the steel ringpost. To finish the attack, Lesnar would hit a kneebreaker on the protective barricade to temporarily sideline Angle.
A month later at the Royal Rumble, Kurt Angle defeated Chris Benoit to remain the WWE Champion while Brock Lesnar won the Royal Rumble match, eventually setting up the first match of three between these two wrestling machines at WrestleMania XIX.
WrestleMania XIX: The Anamoly’s Era Begins
To say Kurt Angle got the upperhand going into his WrestleMania 19 bout against Brock Lesnar would be an understatement. With the help of Shelton Benjamin, Charlie Haas and Paul Heyman, Kurt Angle used many tactics to get in Lesnar’s head. He promised Brock a match on SmackDown for example, but never stated the stipulation, which was a gauntlet match. Lesnar would have to go through Benjamin and Haas (Team Angle) to get to Angle himself, something he did successfully. However, Paul Heyman attacked Lesnar from behind with a steel chair before he could actually get his hands on Kurt.
Kurt also, sporting a hoodie, switched places with a person to pick up a pin on Lesnar after the crowd believed Lesnar had F5ed him.
These shenanigans wouldn’t come without a price though. SmackDown General Manager Stephanie McMahon told Angle if he got disqualified on purpose or had someone interfere on his behalf, then he would lose the World Heavyweight Championship. With the playing field now level, Lesnar and Angle were set to square off on the grandest stage of them all for the most sacred prize in sports entertainment.
The two came face-to-face in the middle of the ring for an intense stare down. Angle clutched his WWE Championship, sending Brock a message that it was his and was to stay his before handing it off to the referee. The referee raised the prestigious belt in the air; a belt the likes of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, The Rock, Shawn Michaels and many other greats had held then promptly called for the bell.
The match was a very physical one from the beginning and featured a collegiate-style chain wrestling. After all, both men had very well documented amateur wrestling backgrounds. They were the two most decorated athletes in WWE history finally clashing inside a squared circle.
Angle was just seven years removed from winning his Olympic Gold Medal and now was in the best shape of his life after losing seven pounds in training for the match. He hoped to be leaner, meaner and faster than ever against the man with unbridled strength and aggression, the NCAA All-American, The Anomaly; Brock Lesnar.
Lesnar’s taped up ribs, injured the previous Thursday on SmackDown, served as a target for Angle. If Angle could dissect this weakness, Lesnar would likely have issues breathing which would cripple his chances of attaining the WWE title. Lesnar, however, didn’t allow this to become a factor early and stayed in control. He’d go for the first attempted pin off a powerslam and receive a two count before Angle kicked out.
Lesnar went to work on Angle in the corner, powering over the small man with stomps to his midsection. He’d pull him towards the center of the ring for a clothesline but Angle reversed into a belly-to-back suplex. Lesnar popped right back up to hit the clothesline he had just missed then again worked on Angle’s midsection. Angle, though, slipped out of the ring favoring his midsection.
The crafty veteran would make it back in the ring before Lesnar and attacked Lesnar’s ribs while he was rolling in. Lesnar fought off Angle with a Gorilla Press Slam.
This theme would continue for the next several minutes of the match. Angle would dissect Lesnar’s injured ribs but Lesnar would will his way back into the match until Angle utilized submissions to make it increasingly difficult for Brock to breath.
Following the use of those submissions, a series of suplexes and a knee throwing Brock to the outside would leave the monster reeling and Kurt’s confidence as high as ever. Upon getting back in the ring, Lesnar nailed a spinebuster out of nowhere that triggered a comeback dependent on simply manhandling the champion. It appeared odd to say Lesnar was working his way back as an underdog due to his enormous stature; however that was indeed the case this entire match.
Lesnar nailed a couple of impressive belly-to-belly suplexes, damn nearing sending Angle all the way across the ring, to get a two count. Angle responded with four consecutive German Suplexes and an attempted Angle Slam. Brock would counter into the F5, but Angle squirmed his way out into an Ankle Lock. Brock would once more fight back, but at what cost? What condition were his ribs in? Was his ankle even 100 percent after Angle’s devastating Ankle Lock?
With Angle thrown to the outside, Lesnar rested, trying to allow some of the pain from his injured ribs to subside. Angle stalked him as if he were prey and pounce into the corner, however Angle was the one that was soon the prey with the shoulders of Lesnar driving into his ribs, his midsection that had been somewhat weakened to begin the match.
Angle ducked a right hand out of the corner and hit the German Suplex again to open up a window of opportunity to put away the number one contender once and for all. Angle went for the pin; 1, 2, kickout! Off the Angle Slam, Angle went for another pin; 1, 2, kickout! Lesnar wasn’t going to be easy to put away. He had the heart of a lion and even despite injury, the body of an animal.
Lesnar went for a quick pin but was unsuccessful. He was successful when hitting the F5 in the middle of the ring on Angle. Brock was slow to the pin, would that cost him; 1, 2, kickout! Yes it did! Lesnar’s injured ribs triggered a moment of pause, allowing Angle just enough time to recover from a move that absolutely nobody had kicked out off.
Angle quickly wrenched in the Ankle Lock on Lesnar after kicking out. Lesnar screamed out in agony trying to scratch and claw his way to the ropes. Just when he seemed to be making progress, Angle dropped down the grapevine. Now, Brock was going to have to drag this 230-pound grown man on his back across the ring. A tough task for even the strongest of men; a task Brock accomplished with relative ease nonetheless.
Angle struggled to lock in the Ankle Lock one more time, before Brock kicked him away. Brock positioned Angle for the F5, however Angle countered into a small package for a two count. Brock leaped out of an Angle Slam and hit the second F5 of the match. Surely Angle was done, but Brock didn’t care. He backed into the corner then looked up at the top turnbuckle with a sickening grin on his face. Was this beast of a human being going to go to the top rope? That’s exactly what he planned to do.
He climbed the top rope and looked out over the arena to seize the moment. He jumped off the top rope and executed a beautiful Shooting Star Press, however Angle rolled out of the way. Lesnar’s skull legitimately bounced off the mat, injuring his neck and causing a concussion, leading to an improvised finish for this WrestleMania main event.
Angle went for the pin; 1, 2, no!
He lifted Lesnar to his feet to go back on the offensive. Lesnar, out of nowhere, would nail the third F5 of the match. Cover; 1, 2, 3! Brock Lesnar was the new WWE Champion!
Kurt Angle shook the new champion’s hand and fully embraced in a hug as the show-ending fireworks went off in Seattle. The era of The Animal, Brock Lesnar had officially begun!
Vengeance: Kurt’s Heroic Return
At WrestleMania 19, Brock Lesnar wasn’t the only one who came out injured. You see, Kurt Angle suffered a serious neck injury and missed months of action as a result.
He returned shortly prior to the Vengeance pay-per-view event in 2003 as a face and thanked Brock Lesnar for the friend he had become over that time. Kurt, however, still had an eye on the WWE Championship that was previously his.
Kurt challenged Brock and Brock accepted. Big Show also had a claim to the title that was also his months before and was inserted into the upcoming title match as well. At Vengeance 2003; Brock Lesnar was going to defend his WWE Championship against friend Kurt Angle and longtime rival, Big Show.
The match at Vengeance was announced as being a No Disqualification match, perhaps an equalizer for Kurt and Brock against the giant, Big Show. They would need it too, considering Show had pinned both of them in recent weeks.
The bell rang as this WWE Championship bout kicked off. Angle and Lesnar teased going mano e mano right off the bat, but instead opted for a 2-on-1 attack of Big Show. This plan wouldn’t be very successful as Show clotheslined both his opponents to take an early advantage.
Show tossed Angle out of the ring to focus on Lesnar. Lesnar though took the offense to Show rather than vice versa, kneeing the big man several times in the gut. It seemed to be a glimmer of hope against a man who rarely gave others hope. Rather than converting this hope to an advantage, Brock was rewarded for efforts with a monstrous chokeslam. “Big Show is going to win the WWE title early!” Michael Cole said. What Cole didn’t factor in this equation was Kurt Angle, who made the save after a count of two.
Angle tried to take the offense to Show just as Lesnar had, but had just as little of success. Angle, like Lesnar, would need the other to break up Show’s pin on him to save the match.
Brock now went on the offense and finally succeeded in taking Show off his feet with a dropkick from the second rope. Next, was an F5 attempt that failed horribly and resulted in Big Show nearly getting a three count.
Angle entered the ring and smashed Big Show in the head with a garbage can lid. He slid Lesnar a second lid which led to the two practically playing pinball with Show’s head. Alas, a double shot would do the trick in taking a woozy giant off his feet.
Angle and Lesnar attempted a double team on a suplex upon Show standing up, but Show instead hit a double suplex.
Show readied for a double chokeslam but ironically he would be the victim of a double team chokeslam from Kurt Angle and Brock Lesnar.
Lesnar would go for the cover without success, leading to a face off with Angle. A shoving match soon erupted until Lesnar clotheslined Angle to the mat. Following some additional offense, Lesnar nailed an F5 on his friend.
Angle wisely rolled out of the ring as Lesnar set his sights on Big Show. Show pulled himself up by the ropes and stumbled his way into a 500-pound F5. Angle would intervene in the pin afterwards to keep his hopes of regaining WWE’s top gold alive.
A pissed off Lesnar made his way to the outside and manhandled the Olympic Gold Medalist. He’d toss him into the steel steps and promptly began oozing with confidence. He stood Angle up and bounced his skull off those same steps to a sickening thud. Angle’s head would bounce off the steel post on the other side of the ring before Show unintentionally saved him by pulling Lesnar back inside the ring by his head. Lesnar, however, hit a slingshot maneuver to get the ball rolling.
He tried a clothesline. Once, twice, three times before meeting a clothesline from Big Show. Show continued his offense with a leg drop; 1, 2, no!
The camera panned to a shot of Kurt Angle, whose head had been busted open thanks to the work of Brock just minutes ago. Brock was now in trouble of his own with Show controlling the pace of the match that currently was a glorified one-on-one.
Show went for the superplex, which had previously collapsed the ring. Angle tried to stop it but Show pushed him away. This distraction would allow Lesnar to position and nail a running a powerbomb on Big Show that rightfully received “holy shit” chants from the Pepsi Center crowd in Denver, Colorado.
Brock climbed on top of this mountain of man and hooked his tree trunk of a leg; a pin that was broken up by a steel chair shot to Lesnar’s spin courtesy of Kurt Angle. Angle would swing for the fences once more, this time hitting Lesnar in the head. Lesnar rolled to the outside and now we had a gold medalist and a giant inside the ring to clash.
Angle dropped down for a pin on Show now; 1, 2, kickout from Big Show.
Show soon would be on the receiving end of a chair shot from Angle similar to the one Angle had just nailed Lesnar with. Show fell out of the ring and Angle followed.
Angle rushed Show with the chair in hand but was met with a boot to the chair (thus hitting his skull) to send him to the floor.
Big Show dismantled the Spanish announce table (good thing the commentators were long used to going without a table by this point) with some bad intentions in mind for Kurt Angle.
He grasped Angle’s neck in preparation for the chokeslam, but Angle jumped out and hoisted Show in the air for Angle Slam through the announce table!
Now that Big Show was out cold for the foreseeable future, Brock and Kurt slowly crept in the ring. Both men were busted open. You could cut the tension with a knife, it was down to the two men with ameuter wrestling background. Two former WrestleMania main event opponents. The two former foes and current friends. Two former WWE champions squaring off to see who could walk out of Denver on this night with the gold proudly on their shoulder.
Suddenly, the two fierce competitors went toe-to-toe with right handed jabs. Angle seemingly had the edge with more “pebble in his punches” as Tazz stated to put the champ literally on the ropes.
Lesnar, however, fought back with a knee to Kurt’s midsection and many right hands. The Master of Disaster set Angle up for the F5, but Kurt frantically grabbed the rope with desperation. Lesnar tossed him to the outside, which in this scenario was a win for Angle.
Lesnar went to the outside as Kurt began stirring. Lesnar tried to sling Angle’s body into the steps as he had done earlier, but rather had it done to him.
Angle now was pounding Lesnar’s face into the steel steps, keeping the theme of “turnabout is fair play.”
The two men got back inside the ring as referee Mike Chioda screamed for. Lesnar missed an uppercut and was hit with two belly-to-back suplexes. Lesnar would counter the Angle Slam to follow and hit a spinebuster! Cover; 1, 2, kickout!
Lesnar locked in a gutwrench squeeze, as Tazz called it and transitioned into a rear naked chokehold (with an arm trap) on the submission specialist.
Just as Angle gasped for air in the mile high city, Big Show broke the hold to save the match after being knocked unconscious earlier in the match with an Angle Slam through the Spanish announce table.
Show went for the pin on both opponents; 1, 2, both kickout.
Show roared and signaled for a double chokeslam. He lifted them up and slammed them down. Pin on Brock Lesnar; 1, 2, kickout! No dice for the pin attempt on Angle either as Brock broke up the pin.
Show went for another chokeslam after cursing at Lesnar, but Lesnar kicked him in the man region in a shot that would send a man of any size down to the canvas. “Right in the yambag!” Tazz proclaimed, this years before #YambagCity was coined.
Brock and Kurt now went at it one more time. After exchanging some offense, Kurt locked in the Ankle Lock, but would let go to take care of a charging Big Show with an Angle Slam. Brock was the next victim of Kurt’s signature slam. Pin; 1, 2, 3!
Only four months removed from neck surgery, unsure if he would ever wrestle again, The Olympic Hero Kurt Angle had reclaimed the WWE Championship!
SummerSlam: A Friendship Born Out of Competition, Ripped Apart By Greed
Brock challenged his friend Kurt Angle to a his rematch for the WWE Championship and Kurt accepted. Mr. McMahon though had other plans, and told Brock he’d have to earn his title shot. Set up was a steel cage match between Brock and McMahon, if Brock won, he got his rematch. And oh, the special guest referee for this match was none other than Kurt Angle.
Brock would be attacked prior to the match by an unknown superstar, which eventually caused him to lose his balance and collapse during an F5 attempt on the chairman. Vince tried to capitalize on this and cover The Anomaly, but Kurt opted to lock in the Ankle Lock on him instead.
Brock flipped off the mat and attacked Angle from behind, beating down his former friend inside the cage, including hitting a nasty F5.
Brock would destroy much smaller wrestlers like Zack Gowen (who also only had one leg) leading up to the pay-per-view. He had made a deal with the devil and torn apart a friendship at the same time.
It was a WrestleMania rematch, but this time it was personal.
The two men refused to shake hands prior to the match, showing just how far they had come from just the previous month’s Vengeance. Once friends, these two men were now bitter rivals.
Brock Lesnar had made a deal with the devil and now Kurt Angle was ironically seeking his vengeance. Kurt would be damned if this man who had changed, morphed into a killing machine in front of his very eyes would take away the WWE Championship he had fought so hard to gain.
Just a year prior at SummerSlam 2002 Brock Lesnar won the WWE Championship for the first time with Paul Heyman by his side. Now, though many things had changed, there was very few things that had changed in reality. Brock Lesnar was an angry beast looking to gain the WWE’s top prize and would resort to any tactic to do it.
The bell rang and we were off in a match that saw Kurt Angle take the early edge. His goal was to ground this monster and to not allow him to build up a head of steam.
Adversely, Lensar’s goal was to end the match as quickly as possible so Angle’s legendary stamina wouldn’t be able to come into effect. The longer this match went, the more likely Angle was to come out on top.
Lesnar began to show his power against Angle by dismissively pushing him to the mat with ease when Angle attempted to lock up. Lesnar arrogantly gazed and smirked at the champion. He had a new heir of superiority about him since entering this sadistic relationship with Vince McMahon.
Angle tried to play mind games with Lesnar, even flipping him off. Tazz argued that this was a smart strategy, as it would get Brock off his game and not allow him to gain confidence; which is exactly what happened.
Lesnar rushed Angle in a rage but was the victim to a series of arm drags before rolling to the outside and destroying the ringside area. Angle had indeed gotten him off his game, but if Brock was to get an advantage on Angle now, his animalistic power combined with this rage would be a lethal combination to Angle’s title reign.
Lesnar grabbed the title and began to walk out. Angle, though, attacked him to let him know it wasn’t going to be that easy. They brawled on the ramp, exchanging offense until Kurt rolled Brock back inside the ring after bashing his head on the protective barricade.
The seesaw affair continued with the veteran Angle outsmarting Brock, but Brock would get offense in spurts just due to his raw talent. Not only raw talent, but freakish, raw power, on display as he tossed Angle outside the ring like a ragdoll.
Brock now took the offense to Kurt outside the ring, tossing him into the steel steps shoulder first. Perhaps the No Holds Barred match Angle had with Big Show three days prior on SmackDown was now coming into play.
Back into the ring, Brock strutted around in control with his aforementioned confidence building. He maintained control through the next several minutes with Kurt only receiving a few glimpses of hope.
Brock wanted power. He wanted control. He wanted the money and the fame that went along with being the WWE Champion. He didn’t care if his only friend was Vince McMahon by the time he did it either. After all, if you’re only going to have one friend, your millionaire boss is probably a good choice, right?
Kurt finally battled back into the match by moving out of the corner, out of the way of running shoulder from Brock, causing his shoulder instead to hit the steel post.
Lesnar favored his shoulder as wheels turned in Angle’s a head. A couple of shoulder blocks would send Lesnar reeling, and a chope to his knee would do the trick in getting him off his feet.
Angle squared off with Lesnar with a series of punches leading to another shoulder block to again down the challenger. Lesnar missed a right hand, leading to a trio of rolling German Suplexes. Brock favored his injured shoulder as Kurt went for the pin to get a two count. Lesnar got his shoulder up.
16,000 fans were on the edge of their seat in Phoenix, Arizona as Lesnar hit a belly-to-belly suplex to regain the advantage. Angle tried to respond with an Angle Slam but Brock countered with a spinebuster! The referee counted to two before Angle kicked out.
Next was the F5, but Kurt countered with a tornado DDT. The champion had no quit in him on this night, against this opponent.
1, 2, no! The crowd groaned as the protagonist kicked out!
Kurt now pulled his straps down and stalked Lesnar. Lesnar reached his feet and was nailed with an Angle Slam. Pinfall, 1, 2, kickout!
Angle pulled his straps back up just to pull them right back down to pump up the capacity crowd. He again stalked Lesnar but this time locked in the Ankle Lock in the middle of the ring.
Lesnar would make it to the ropes only to be pulled back to the middle by Kurt. “Break his damn ankle!” Michael Cole pleaded, to avenge the broken leg Lesnar had caused Zack Gowen.
Lesnar squirmed out of the lock, causing Angle to inadvertently hit referee Mike Chioda.
Lesnar lifted Kurt in the air. He likely had the F5 in mind but was instead locked into some kind of sleeper hold variation. He had his legs wrapped around Brock’s head and his hands wrapped around his waist.
Brock weakened and collapsed to the mat. Angle released his strange submission in favor of the Ankle Lock. With no referee, Angle ignored rope break twice when Lesnar reached the ropes and opted to pull him back to the center of the ring.
Lesnar tapped after being in the Ankle Lock for a full minute. However, with the lone referee knocked out, the match didn’t stop nor was Angle about to relinquish his hold.
“Wait a minute! Wait a minute!” Michael Cole screamed. Vince McMahon sneaks out with a steel chair in hand to bash Lesnar in the back, therefore breaking the Ankle Lock.
McMahon now innocently looked on as all three men, including the referee, began to stir.
Angle stumbled into an F5 from Lesnar as McMahon was ready to celebrate. Lesnar favored his ankle before finally covering him, the referee slowly counted; 1, 2, no! Kurt Angle kicked out of the F5!
McMahon was shocked. Lesnar was shocked. The 16,000 fans in attendance also shocked.
McMahon angrily grumbled before advising Lesnar to do it again. And he did, but Angle countered into the Ankle Lock! Lesnar reached the ropes numerous times, but numerous times Angle would pull away. McMahon was panicked at ringside. He could do nothing about it. Lesnar had no choice, he had to tap. He did tap! Kurt Angle, somehow, was still the WWE Champion!
Mr. McMahon tried to attack Angle with a steel chair, Lesnar was ready though. He hit McMahon with the Ankle Slam into an unfolded steel chair. The Phoenix crowd exploded as their Olympic Hero hoisted the WWE Championship over a fallen chairman.
Angle had won this battle, but the war was by no means over.
60-Minute Iron Man Match: The Final Battle of a Long War
For only the third time in WWE history and the first time in broadcast television history, a 60 minute iron match was going to take place inside a WWE ring. The combatants were none other than the wrestling machine and quite possibly the best in the world at this time, Kurt Angle against The Anomaly, The Freak, The Beast, the man now known to the WWE Universe as The Perfect Storm, Brock Lesnar. And this match, of course, was for the WWE Championship.
The locker room was buzzing with excitement. Superstars gathered in bunches around TVs because they did not want to miss the classic that was about to take place.
Lesnar cheap shotted Angle to begin and take the early advantage in what was no doubt going to be a marathon, not a sprint. He would outpower Angle and wear him down, until hitting him in the head with a steel chair to get himself disqualified and give Angle a fall.
His strategy? Weaken Angle for the F5 to tie it up with a fall of his own, then lock in Angle’s own Ankle Lock to go up 2-1.
Next, Lesnar would nail the F5 on the outside to pick up a countout to go up 3-1. Angle was bruised, battered and down by two falls by this point, much reason to be discouraged. How was he going to comeback and gain three falls on this behemoth of a man?
Well, he had won an Olympic Gold Medal with a broken neck after all, so he had already proven how courageous he was when his back was against the wall. He would nail an Angle Slam to gain his second fall and attempt an Ankle Lock for his third.
This Ankle Lock wasn’t successful though, as Lesnar rolled out. Angle would duck a clothesline from Lesnar, who would instead nail the referee. When Angle pinned Lesnar off another Angle Slam, the referee wasn’t conscious to count.
Angle would pick up Brock only to be low blowed and hit in the head with his own title. Brock revived the referee and picked up his fourth fall to go up 4-2.
25 minutes remained as Angle began his comeback. Scratching, clawing his way as seconds turned into minutes and the clock ticked down on Angle and likely his championship reign. Nonetheless, Angle showed the “heart of a damn lion” as Tazz put it, trying to somehow keep his title and defeat this man who had turned his back on him.
It seemed it wasn’t meant to be when Angle reached in the well one too many times, failing to hit a top rope moonsault and getting pinned off a top rope suplex to go down 5-2.
14 minutes, the clock read as Lesnar now went to the top rope. Angle however popped up and hit a belly-to-belly suplex off the top rope to gain a fall. 5-3.
At the nine minute mark, Angle continued to brawl Lesnar and rolled into an Ankle Lock resulting in another fall. 5-4 was now the count with the minutes now in the single digits.
Despite a low blow, Angle would lock in the Ankle Lock once more with seconds remaining. Brock grimaced and screamed in agony as the clock hit double zeros, but he did not tap.
By the count of 5-4, Brock Lesnar emerged the new WWE Champion after a grueling final 60 minute battle known as an iron man match. Lesnar, through dirty tactics, finally rid himself of his former friend turned his arch rival.
At Survivor Series, Team Brock Lesnar would challenge Team Kurt Angle in a traditional Survivor Series match. Lesnar’s team consisted of former rival Big Show, the debuting Matt Morgan, Nathan Jones, and A-Train. Meanwhile, Angle chose The APA, Chris Benoit and John Cena, who chose Angle’s team over Lesnar’s to turn face.
Farooq would be injured during a match with Lesnar, so Angle was forced to replace him with Hardcore Holly. The match for Survivor Series was now set, which was a match Chris Benoit would apply the Crippler Crossface to Brock Lesnar to make him tap and secure the victory for Team Angle. Though it didn’t get him his WWE title back, this surely rid Angle of the sour taste in his mouth from the iron man match with Lesnar.
After avenging his loss to Chris Benoit, Brock Lesnar would finish up with the WWE with a WrestleMania 20 feud against Goldberg. Goldberg, who was also leaving, won the match with a Jackhammer before they both were nailed with the Stone Cold Stunner by “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.
Kurt Angle would stick with the WWE for three more years, notably feuding with Eddie Guerrero, Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker and Randy Orton. He would appear sporadically on television after his feud with Orton wrapped up at Vengeance before officially parting ways with his longtime employer on August 26, 2006 due to health issues. Months later, he would debut in TNA where he still resides today as a five-time world champion.