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Kurt Angle Interview
The WWE, NJPW and TNA star, and former Olympic Gold Medalist, talks to The American's Josh Modaberi
Angle won the the gold medal in the 100kg freestyle class at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta by beating Iranian Abbas Jadidi, despite having a broken neck.
What the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania grappler has achieved both in the amateur ranks and at professional level is nothing short of amazing. Angle will soon be able to add another accolade to his name when he is inducted into the TNA Hall of Fame at Wembley Arena on February 1.
"We thought the best place for me to be inducted into the Hall of Fame would be where we have our biggest and best crowd: London, England," he exclusively told The American. "I was originally going to be inducted into the Hall of Fame during our biggest PPV of the year, Bound For Glory in October.
"Sometimes we dabble from real life into storyline and that's what we did with the Hall of Fame. They wanted the induction to be here in England so we've kept it hanging, when I heard the plan early on I was kind of sceptical, it is a real honor, it is a real award, I wasn't too sure of using it as part of a story line.
"They explained to me why and what they wanted to do with Bobby Roode and I, and that they would have the big ceremony here in London which I thought was a great idea."
As well as London the TNA bandwagon is also heading into Dublin, Glasgow for a live episode of flagship show IMPACT!, Manchester and Birmingham for a PPV taping. So what can fans expect from this tour?
"One thing that I can say about our guys is no matter what the writers come up with, no matter what the office tells us, these guys have a high standard that is unprecedented," the 45–year–old continued. "Everybody wants to bring their A game, I don't want to pick on former companies or anything like that but there were times when guys would just say, 'I'm not wrestling tonight, just let me cut a promo'.
"These guys want to wrestle, they want to be out there performing for the fans, they want to have a five star match. Everybody is kind of tripping over everybody else about getting on the card.
"I haven't seen this kind of positive reinforcement from wrestlers in a long time. We have the right attitude in the locker–room and that is what you need."
2013 brought a lot of change to TNA, good and bad, the company took the show on the road away from their base in Orlando where they have now returned and a number of key wrestlers have departed.
However Angle is looking forward to what the rest of 2014 has in store for himself and the company.
"It's a new era, you're going to see new stars," Angle said. "My job at this point of my career is not just to make myself look better but to create new stars.
"I've been able to do that this past four months with Bobby Roode and you look at the matches we've had, Bobby Roode is now set in stone as a main eventer in the company and he deserves it, I think he is one of the top three best wrestlers in the world right now.
"Right now in TNA I love Austin Aries, James Storm who I haven't really been able to mix it up with yet, and Magnus – that is a five star match in the making."
Talking of Magnus he is the first British wrestler to win a World Heavyweight title in a major American wrestling company and Angle is expecting big from the man from Kings Lynn, England.
"I think the timing has been perfect," he adds. "We've had Magnus for years and really didn't give him that opportunity until recently and he has embraced it."
"From his promos to his wrestling ability, I can't speak highly enough about what Magnus has done."
You can catch Kurt Angle and the rest of the TNA wrestlers in action during the UK and Ireland Tour. Tickets are on sale now via www.gigsandtours.com/go/tnafan, www.ticketmaster.com or www.facebook.com/tnawrestlinguk.