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Kurt Angle Names Iron Man Match With Brock Lesnar as Most Difficult of His Career

Kurt Angle held a Q&A session with his fans on his Facebook page on Friday, and in one question was asked to reflect on his WWE Hall of Fame career.

At one point Angle was asked, "What was your most trying match, physically or mentally?" Angle responded by writing, "The one hour iron man match with Brock Lesnar. It was intense... and so was Brock. Not to mention my sister passed away the night before. That match was 2 world class athletes going toe to toe for 60 mins. Intense."

Angle and Lesnar's famous SmackDown feud over the WWE Championship culminated in a 60-minute Iron Man match on the Sept. 18, 2003 episode in Raleigh, North Carolina. The match, regarded by many as one of the best in the Blue Brand's history, saw Lesnar take an early lead and manage to win 5-4 despite Angle rallying late and trapping Lesnar in the Ankle Lock in the final minute. "The Beast Incarnate" managed to hold on long enough to not tap before the time expired.

The Olympic Gold Medalist has been in three Iron Man matches throughout his career, but never managed to win any of them. He fell against Chris Benoit on the April 29, 2001 episode of Raw in a submission-only Iron Man match (dubbed the Ultimate Submission match) 4-3 after the bout was forced to go to overtime after the 30-minute mark. Fast forward to 2005 and Angle challenged Shawn Michaels in a rematch of their WrestleMania 21 bout in a 30-minute Iron man match on the Oct. 3, 2005 episode of Raw. That match resulted in a draw after both men picked up two victories apiece.

The only other man besides Angle to appear in three WWE Iron Man matches was Bret Hart, and his only defeat with that stipulation came at WrestleMania XII against Shawn Michaels.

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The match stipulation didn't see the light of day for nearly six years after John Cena defeated Randy Orton in an hour-long match for the WWE Championship at Bragging Rights in October 2009. It finally reappeared in NXT to cap off the Bayley-Sasha Banks feud at NXT TakeOver: Respect in October 2015, and has since only been used once per year on television.

The most recent Iron Man match came at Extreme Rules back in July between Seth Rollins and Dolph Ziggler over the Intercontinental Championship. The bout ended in controversial fashion when the score was tied 4-4 and sent to overtime by Raw general manager Kurt Angle, only for Ziggler to get a roll-up victory thanks to a distraction by Drew McIntyre 10 seconds later.