TNA’s Kurt Angle ready for Manchester

TNA's Kurt Angle ready for Manchester
TNA's Kurt Angle ready for Manchester

An Olympic gold medal, five WWE heavyweight world championships, five in TNA and now a Hall of Fame induction.

Kurt Angle is wrestling personified; his career as golden as the medal that proudly hung from his next following the 1996 Atlanta Games.

And ahead of TNA’s show at the Manchester Phones 4u Arena tonight (Friday) he told the Burnley Express he has no plans to hang up his boots...just yet.

“It’s great coming over to the UK, it’s a great tour. Thousands of fans come to the shows and here is actually where we get some of our biggest audiences. We only come here over once a year so the fans are always up for it.

“It’s been a challenge (moving to TNA), nothing is bigger than the WWE so it’s going to be difficult. I’ve been doing it now for seven years and I’m really enjoying it.”

Angle joined WWE in 1998, going on to become one of the brand’s biggest stars, wrestling in some of the company’s biggest ever matches including Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania XXI and The Undertaker, No Way Out 2006.

He signed with TNA in 2006 and despite enjoying helping cement its growing reputation admitted he did not know where he would be when his contract runs out later this year.

“My contract is up in September and I don’t know if there will be a re-sign with TNA. I’m very happy here but you can never rule out WWE.

“I’ll definitely be carrying on wrestling , I won’t retire. I still feel I’ve got another three years in me.

The list of wrestlers who have helped influenced Angle’s career reads like a who’s who of ring royalty.

“Triple H, The Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Eddie Guerrero. All these guys really helped me when I first started. They took me under their wing. Even when I was World Champion I still didn’t really know what I was doing but they were always amazing.”

At the age of 45 Angle now finds himself tutoring the younger generation.

Indeed, this weekend he will officially be inducted into the TNA Hall of Fame while in London.

“It’s a great honour. Sting was the first inductee last year and to be following him is incredible.”

He may be one of the biggest names in sports entertainment now but that did not stop him from trying to reignite his Olympic dream two years ago.

The 1996 freestyle heavyweight gold medallist was well into training for the London 2012 Games when injury put paid to his chances.

“Unfortunately I kept picking up injuries. That comes with age. It was a lot tougher training than it was when I was 26. It was a disappointing but it was a bit of a wake up call as well.”

Now, it’s all about the UK and Manchester tonight.

“We always have an amazing time in Manchester. They’re always up for it and that means we have to go out there and give five star performances.

“The blood and adrenalin will be pumping and there’s going to be some great matches.”

Tickets are still available. Search “TNA Wrestling” on www.ticketmaster.co.uk