Olympic gold medallist Kurt Angle is to be inducted into the TNA Hall of Fame during the company’s UK tour.
The 45-year-old amateur and professional wrestling legend is part of the Maximum Impact VI tour, which begins in Glasgow this evening and visits Manchester tomorrow, ahead of shows in London and Birmingham.
Angle, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, will be inducted into the hall of fame at Wembley Arena on Saturday, after originally being slated for the honour last October.
He said: “There are some things I wanted to accomplish before accepting induction into the TNA Hall of Fame, and now I’m ready.
“I’m thankful I have been able to do this in my own time. The phenomenal wrestling fans in the UK will be part of this memorable and emotional night this Saturday.
“Wembley is such a storied venue, and with thousands of fans it will be a perfect setting for the induction ceremony.
“The majority of my life has been dedicated to achieving success as a wrestler.
“Being inducted into the TNA Hall of Fame is an accomplishment and an honor I will forever cherish.”
Angle becomes the second inductee into the TNA Hall of Fame, following the inaugural induction in 2012 of ‘The Icon’ Sting.
Angle, who was a collegiate champion and won a gold medal in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, seamlessly transitioned from his domination as an amateur wrestler to being a professional wrestling phenomenon.
The only Olympic gold medallist in professional wrestling history, Kurt is one of the most decorated champions in TNA, having won every major championship including the TNA World Heavyweight Championship five times.
He joined the organisation in 2006 after a similarly successful spell with WWE, during which time he forged a reputation as the best wrestler in the world.
“I am privileged to be a witness to the Kurt Angle story. His influence on wrestling is unrivalled in this sport, or any other,” said TNA executive vice president John Gaburick.
“TNA is grateful for Kurt’s continued devotion and contributions to our organisation, this business and to the fans.”
Manchester’s Phones 4u Arena was originally set to host TNA’s first international pay-per-view, called TNA One Night Only: British Empire Cup.
However, TNA bosses said that due to fans’ requests, it was decided the evening would instead consist of a double taping of TNA Impact, the company’s flagship TV show, which airs on Freeview channel Challenge on Sundays at 9pm.
The company’s first UK pay-per-view will now be TNA One Night Only: Joker’s Wild 2, held at the Birmingham NIA on Sunday, and broadcast around the world later in 2014.
Angle said: “This is going to be the first time that we do a pay-per-view outside of the US so it’s a milestone for TNA.
“The company being so young, being able to do this right now we have to be pretty blessed.
“We have a great line-up and the boys coming over are going to put on the best performances they possibly can.
“These are the best crowds that we’ll see all year long, so everybody will be up for the challenge.
Fans will also be able to see TNA World Heavyweight Champion Magnus - the first Brit to win the world title of a major American wrestling organisation.
The 27-year-old, real name Nick Aldis, from King’s Lynn, Norfolk, beat Jeff Hardy for the vacant TNA World Heavyweight Championship in a tournament final last month.
He will be joined by Bully Ray, Mr Anderson, Bobby Roode, Samoa Joe, Austin Aries, James Storm, Gunner, Christopher Daniels, Kazarian, Rockstar Spud, Ethan Carter III, Robbie E, Jessie Godderz, Zema Ion, Joseph Park, Eric Young, Chris Sabin, Sam Shaw, Gail Kim, ODB, Velvet Sky, Lei’d Tapa and Madison Rayne.
Tickets for the tour can be bought from www.ticketmaster.co.uk, www.gigsandtours.com/tour/tna-wrestling, www.facebook.com/tnawrestlinguk or the individual venues.
A limited number of seats remain available for the historic Wembley event.