Kurt Angle is likely to be out of action for over four months, with surgery required on a troublesome knee injury that re-occurred yet again on the latest edition of Impact.
The 45-year-old Olympic Gold Medallist sustained the injury during his long-awaited match with Ethan Carter III, with whom he has been feuding for several months.
During the course of the match, Angle’s surgically-repaired knee gave out on him twice, leading to Carter capitalizing on the injury to get the pin and win over his nemesis.
After the bout, Kurt was immediately taken for X-rays, which unfortunately revealed the worrying extent of his injury. Angle has never looked comfortable on his knee since returning to TNA shortly before the Sacrifice pay-per-view event.
His knee has been causing him a great deal of trouble since the turn of the year, and he will be hope that prolonged, enforced break will give him chance to recover more fully.
Angle, who missed out on a match with EC3 at Lockdown in March due to a similar injury, was attempting to end Carter’s six month unbeaten record.
One week earlier, Angle interrupted Carter’s ‘exhibition match’ with Rockstar Spud, promising EC3 that he was “out for blood”. Carter meanwhile described the coming match-up with the Warrior as a “dream match”, and added that he could not truly achieve his aim of becoming the next ‘American Icon’ until he defeated Angle.
Prior to the Sacrifice, Angle won his first TNA match since returning from the injury that ruled him out of Lockdown, when he defeated Rockstar Spud via submission.
He was comfortable in victory, despite the attempted interventions of EC3. Angle dominated the match, and eventually claimed victory when he dodged an attempted kick from Spud and turned him into an ankle lock.
After the bell, EC3 attempted to attack Angle, only for Willow to intervene. The result was similar to that seen the previous Thursday, when Angle ran out to save Willow from a beat-down, after he had defeated Carter and Spud in a handicap match.
At Sacrifice, Angle and Willow defeated EC3 and Spud in a tag team match, with Carter leaving his partner at the mercy of their two opponents after a difficult start to the match.
Angle became the second member of TNA’s Hall of Fame at Wembley in February, and now sits proudly alongside his close friend, the Icon, Sting, who became the maiden member of the company’s legendary assembly in 2012.
After turning down his first induction offer at Bound for Glory last October – citing personal and professional problems, he informed Dixie Carter that he would be taking up the offer, after ending his feud with Bobby Roode and helping Samoa Joe defeat Magnus and EC3.
After a touching ceremony and speech, in which Angle thanked his UK and US fans for all their support, EC3 came to the ring. Carter Jr, who attacked Angle backstage earlier that week, claimed that the Olympic Gold Medallist had a torn ACL and MCL as a result of the confrontation, and that if rumours were to be believed he was on the verge of retirement.
Despite clearly carrying an injury, having been limping throughout the evening, Angle rebuffed EC3’s accusations, and knocked him from the ring with a single critical blow. Angle told EC3 that the company’s new investor had sanctioned a steel cage match between them at Lockdown.
In the pair’s next clash, EC3 boasted that he had created a new submission hold that was better than Angle’s iconic ankle lock… the leg lock. He added that having beaten the Icon, Sting, he had become pro wrestling’s new icon, the ‘American Icon’. Angle laughed off Carter’s suggestions, but was attacked for his trouble’s, with his already injured knee the predominate target. Angle was eventually ruled out of Lockdown, and did not make his return until over a month later.
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