By the time former WWE superstar Kurt Angle was 28, he had become one of only four people to have ever pulled off the Grand Slam in amateur wrestling: winning major tournaments at Junior, Collegiate and World Championship level, as well as taking an Olympic gold.
Since then he has been described as one of the most talented and decorated professional wrestlers of all time and has smashed records in the sport at every opportunity.
However, he admits to being put in his place when, leaving to catch a flight to London recently his daughter shouted after him, “Make sure you get Harry Styles’ autograph!”
No matter how famous and successful you are, there’s always Harry Styles.
Angle took part in One Direction’s ‘1D Day’ back in November and was in the ring with the boy band who are self-proclaimed huge fans of his.
“They’ve done an awesome job with these kids. They’re not big-headed, they’re not stupid,” he said.
“They stay out of trouble and they stay clean. I’ve had my fair share of fame. When I won my gold medal, for example, instantly you’re a hero and every chat show wants to talk to you. You learn to cope with it and I was very grateful. “These guys seem just the same. They’re still overwhelmed and say to each other, “Can you believe that just happened?”
It added an interesting perspective to the recent media speculation regarding the band’s Liam Payne, who recently got into hot water on Twitter by arguing with the press about how much his life is documented and commented on.
“Liam, he’s a great kid.” Angle said. “Those guys have people checking on them all the time to make sure they’re doing okay, and they are so well taken care of. I do feel for them though, they can’t go anywhere. As long as they stay level-headed, they’re always gonna have success.”
After a career spanning nearly 20 years it is fair to say that Angle can speak from experience. Loved by his fans as much as he ever was,
Angle took to the ring in the UK on his huge TNA (Total Non-Stop Action) Wrestling tour, which started on the 30th January.
“The fans are awesome here. We always get such great numbers in the UK,” he added.
“I did an article a month ago on the top ten cities in the United States to wrestle in. I couldn’t get past the fact that London would definitely be a top ten city, and I’d pick it before lots of cities in the US. There’s a reason for that, and it’s because every time I come over here the excitement is amazing.”
To add to the rapturous atmosphere that greeted him on the tour, TNA inducted the wrestling icon into their Hall of Fame at the London Wembley Arena show on the 1st February.
“Being inducted into the hall of fame means such a lot to me. It’s a great honour, and I’m glad to be the second wrestler to be inducted after Sting. I’ve had a blast in TNA. WWE was a monster, is a monster, and will always be a monster. “TNA however, was about helping this small company out of the basement, and I’ve done everything I can to help it. Professionally, I think we can all say it’s been a great success. It’s a great company to work for. I’ve had so much fun doing it.”
Where to go from here? Kurt spoke to us about how much he enjoyed the roles he played in action films such as The Warrior (2011) and Pain and Gain (2013).
“I didn’t realise how much I loved movies until I went to India, and was on their television show, ‘Baal Veer’. Being on set is great. I’ve had a blast on movie sets and I really enjoyed working with Dwayne Johnson and Nick Nolte. When I get back what I really want to do is sign up to more things like that and try to make more movies. I know haven’t even touched the tip of the iceberg yet in regards to what I could do there and I’m very excited about that.”