Updated: Wednesday, 22nd November 2017 @ 8:07am

'You're the best': Former Olympic wrestling star Kurt Angle shows his love for Manchester ahead of TNA tour

'You're the best': Former Olympic wrestling star Kurt Angle shows his love for Manchester ahead of TNA tour

Exclusive by Matthew Naylor

Kurt Angle has rated the wrestling fans in Manchester as among the best in the world ahead of TNA’s Maximum Impact VI tour tomorrow tonight.

The former Olympic gold medallist is on the bill for the Phones4U Arena show alongside superstars such as Samoa Joe, Bobby Roode and their British World Champion Magnus.

Kurt, who won the gold medal in freestyle heavyweight wrestling at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, claimed that the whole locker room cannot wait for the show.

“The Manchester wrestling crowd is always great, whenever we come here,” Kurt told MM exclusively.

“I think the English fans are a lot more hungry for it because they only get to see us once a year.

“We get our biggest crowds over here, so the boys get a lot more excited about coming over and the adrenaline’s pumping. They want to give the 5-star performances that we give.”

Set to be only the second inductee into the prestigious TNA Hall of Fame, Kurt will be honoured at London’s Wembley arena this weekend, which he admitted will be one of the biggest moments of his career.

“You couldn’t throw a world title at me right now and have that mean more than being in the Hall of Fame,” said the five-time Total Non-stop Action World Champion.

“I think they’ve chosen to do it in Wembley because of the crowd.

“I just thought ‘I might as well get it right here in England’, because it doesn’t get any bigger or better than that.”

The stars are preparing for filming their first television tapings outside of their usual American home; with a hectic schedule throughout the short stay this side of the pond.

Shooting six television shows and one Pay-per-view event in their week in Britain, Angle et al will be performing to sell-out crowds in Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham, London and Dublin.

Angle will be wrestling on the shows through a long-standing knee injury, but he has put back his surgery to perform in front of the British crowds.

"I wasn’t planning on coming over; I have to have surgery as soon as I get back to the States” said the star.

“But for the company and for my own interest, I wanted to come over here and perform in front of the fans.

“You have to learn in pro-wrestling how to work around injuries.”

Coming from a man who famously once wrestled a match through a broken neck, it could be expected that a little outstanding knee surgery would pale in comparison.

Calling injury and surgeries ‘just a part of the job’, Angle is looking forward to getting through his post-UK surgery so he can get right back into the action.

“I don’t like missing action so it’s important for me to have the surgery as quick as I can,” he added.

“They’re saying it’s going to take eight weeks but I don’t think so. I have always healed quickly so any time I’ve had a surgery or an injury, I’ve always healed in half the time.

“I plan on being back within four to five weeks of finishing the surgery.”

As this current tour will be his last in a while, the gold medallist is desperate to put something special on for the British fans he enjoys so much.

And, asked to choose between performing in Manchester and performing in London, Kurt could not have been clearer that he prefers the North-West end of the country:

“Manchester feels like more of a laid-back city and I really like the atmosphere here,” he said.

“You can’t compare the two.”

Picture courtesy of jgarber, with thanks.

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