Professional wrestling is a form of an entertainment sport which includes scripted matches with predetermined outcomes. And for those who love pro wrestling, they know that WWE is the mecca for it.
But it is also true that there are many superstars from the WWE roster who were once amateur wrestlers. And one of the most famous WWE superstars is 1996 Olympic gold medallist Kurt Angle.
Here are other fighters from WWE who once competed in amateur wrestling at college, school and sometimes at international level.
Aka the “Nature Boy” is one of the greatest pro wrestlers of all time. However, all his ring skills were honed and perfect on a wrestling mat in high school. The 71-year-old attended Wayland Academy in Wisconsin where he won two private school wrestling championships.
Later he was recruited to the University of Minnesota on a football scholarship. Had he not dropped out of college, Flair would have to choose between wrestling and football for the Golden Gophers.
The WWE Hall of Famer is still regarded as one of the finest amateur wrestlers in the USA. But his explosive charisma and engrossing talent on the mic amalgamated with his grappling skills made him the most influential figures in the square.
There still are not many wrestlers who executed the moves as flawlessly as the Hitman Hart. He was not into executing suplexes and counters too good but the ground moves which he performed had fans glued to the TV.
And some those skills can be attributed to his training in the Hart Family Dungeon, and his experience as a wrestler. During his time on the mat, he won a city championship in Calgary in 1974 and also became the Mount Royal Collegiate Champion in ’77.
Eat, Sleep, Conquer, Repeat! An adage which has become synonymous to Brock “The Beast” Lesnar. But before becoming a successful WWE superstar and MMA fighter, the 42-year-old had proved his mettle on the mat.
He first attended Bismark State College prior to wrestling for the Minnesota University. His NCAA career list of achievements is a long one. Besides this, he was also the Big Ten Conference champ twice, and an All-American at the Junior college level.
Kurt Angle’s Olympic hero gimmick was not just a scripted ploy. He was as equally great as an amateur as he is a pro. Nicknamed the “Wrestling Machine”, Angle is ’96 Games gold medal was enough to prove his worth in the amateur wrestling.
As a freshman, he went undefeated and won the Pennsylvania State Wrestling Championship as a senior. He won NCAA Division I championship twice and All-American honours three-times.
Besides this, he was also the 1995 Worlds gold medallist and bronze and silver world cups.
Lashley is known for his athleticism and nimble feet with a great physique. Considered by many to one of the best wrestlers in WWE, he was also a successful college amateur.
After winning the state championship in high school, Lashley captured a litany of championships and medals in collegiate wrestling.
During his time at Missouri Valley College, he won national championships three-time and was named Collegiate Wrestler of the Year in 1998. His dominance continued as he wrestled in the military.