The Forgotten MMA Careers of Six Past and Present WWE Wrestlers

February 26, 2017 - WWE


Steven RondinaFeatured ColumnistFebruary 26, 2017

The Forgotten MMA Careers of Six Past and Present WWE Wrestlers


    Mixed martial humanities and veteran wrestling have always been kissing cousins. From a initial complicated MMA graduation being founded by Tiger Mask to today, when competitors can be seen in a ring one month and in a enclosure a next, there has always been, and expected always will be, a good understanding of crossover between a dual sports.

    Unfortunately, both MMA and pro wrestling fans have always had brief memories, and that has resulted in many crossover careers—long and short, successful and unsuccessful—being mislaid to time. With that in mind, it’s value powdering off a aged alien VHS tapes and dredging a oceans of video calm online now to unearth some of a mislaid gems wrestlers have given us.

    Here are 6 past and benefaction WWE wrestlers who finished a burst to MMA and, for one reason or another, had their careers get mostly ignored by a open during large.

The Not-So-Forgotten Careers

    Before delving into that wrestlers’ careers have been mislaid about, it’s value profitable discerning loyalty to a WWE wrestlers who finished a noted symbol on a MMA world.


    CM Punk

    The Straight Edge Savior repelled a pro wrestling universe by walking out of a WWE after a 2014 Royal Rumble, and afterwards he repelled a whole quarrel sports universe by signing with a UFC after that year. His entrance was pushed behind time and again, nonetheless a spotlight still shined splendid when he finally stepped into a enclosure during UFC 203. Unfortunately, that usually put some-more courtesy on his nauseous opening conflicting Mickey Gall.


    Ken Shamrock

    As one of a many critical fighters in UFC history, Ken Shamrock’s bequest in MMA simply overshadows his career in a WWF. That’s a bit of an accomplishment, too, as he managed to constraint a Tag Team Championship, Intercontinental Championship and 1998 King of a Ring pretension in usually dual years with a company.


    Brock Lesnar

    It’s flattering easy to be remembered when we explode Randy Couture to take a UFC heavyweight championship and afterwards urge it in one of a biggest pay-per-views in quarrel sports history! The second section of his MMA career didn’t go generally well, given a unsuccessful drug tests and ongoing lawsuit, nonetheless there’s no discuss Lesnar set a customary for crossover success.


    Dan Severn

    Much like Shamrock, Severn is some-more warrior than he is pro wrestler. Unlike Shamrock, however, his run with a WWF didn’t have any vital milestones, with his biggest achievements being a semifinals run in a 1998 King of a Ring contest and violence adult a Godfather (for real) in Brawl for All.

Alberto Del Rio

    Few people remember Alberto Del Rio’s time in MMA, nonetheless many have seen his work in fire competition. That’s given Del Rio, now famous as Alberto El Patron, was concerned in one of a many barbarous freakshow fights in a story of MMA.

    Working underneath a ring name of Dos Caras Jr., Del Rio faced mythological kickboxer Mirko Cro Cop during Pride Bushido 1…while wearing his lucha mask. The quarrel finished in usually 46 seconds around infamous headkick, with a prominence eventually going viral as a covenant to both Cro Cop’s harmful knockout energy and a wackiness that could be found in Japanese MMA.

    While that impulse is by distant a biggest of Del Rio’s legitimate sports career, a former WWE champion wasn’t usually some jobber from a Japanese circuit. Before stepping into a squared circle, he was sincerely successful in a turn turn as a Greco-Roman wrestler who indeed competent for a 2000 Olympic Games. What’s more, he continued to contest in MMA all a approach until his WWE entrance in 2010, aggregation a critical 9-5 record with 7 acquiescence victories.

    Today, he splits his time between wrestling and operative with MMA graduation Combate Americas. It’s easy to consternation if that attribute could chaperon him behind into enemy once more.


    When Batista left a WWE in 2010, many were available him to usually pierce to Hollywood full-time. He had picked adult a few bit tools in radio and cinema during his time with a company, and with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson surging, it seemed like directors and producers would be available him with open arms.

    While that might or might not have indeed been a case, Batista astounded many when his initial open coming post-WWE came not on a red runner or film set…but in a stands of a tiny Strikeforce show. Rumors that Batista was looking to start an MMA career widespread like wildfire from there and were eventually valid loyal when he put coop to paper with Rhode Island-based graduation CES MMA. The association built a pay-per-view around his debut…and it was a disaster.

    A few days before a fight, a male who was ostensible to face Batista, Rashid Evans, was arrested for trial defilement and transposed by Vince Lucero, a paunchy journeyman with a 22-22 record. The corresponding of a statuesque physique builder subsequent to a sticky warrior drew copiousness of sneers, as did a fact Lucero mostly dominated a early goings of a fight, alighting some tough shots and outworking Batista in a bind to a indicate where he began hamming for a crowd.

    Lucero gassed quickly, though, and when he began to case a movement conflicting a cage, discerning arbitrate separations began to follow. Eventually, Batista scored a takedown, and Lucero, utterly simply, gave up! Batista went from position to position though problem before holding behind mountain and scoring a technical-knockout victory.

    The furious pitch of movement left many great that Lucero threw a fight, and some post-fight antics from both group irritated many of those in attendance. The evident greeting from fans and pundits was a resoundingly disastrous one, nonetheless thankfully, a fact it ever happened was fast mislaid by all.


    You might not remember many of Mitch. As a slightest critical member of a Spirit Squad, he was frequency given any time in a spotlight as an particular and wasn’t partial of some of a group’s prouder in-ring moments due to a litany of injuries.

    That said, he has 3 important achievements in his quarrel sports career; he is strictly a former WWE World Tag Team Champion, he antiquated Torrie Wilson for 5 years and he indeed was a entrance foe of fan-favorite UFC heavyweight Derrick Lewis.

    Following his still recover from a WWE in 2007, Mitch (real name Nick Mitchell) began training in churned martial humanities and sealed on with informal uncover Worldwide Gladiator for his entrance quarrel in 2010. Unfortunately for him, his foe would shake out to be one of a hardest hitters in a whole sport.

    After a flattering opposition initial round, a bad takedown try by Mitchell was met with complicated punches in a sprawl. Mitchell kept reason of Lewis’ leg and kept pulling for a takedown, nonetheless Lewis usually kept on alighting hands until he was forced to let go. Lewis kept a feverishness on, and before long, Mitchell was in a disposed position.

    Mitchell hasn’t been seen in a enclosure since, nonetheless watcher accounts state a bin labeled “OVW” was seen withdrawal a premises after a fight…

Bobby Lashley

    Despite a fact Bobby Lashley is among a Western world’s many successful wrestling-to-MMA converts, a MMA career of a TNA World Heavyweight Champion (and male who helped destiny President Donald Trump trim Vince McMahon’s head) has mostly flown underneath a radar.

    Debuting in 2008, Lashley fast dynamic himself as one of North America’s tip categorical eventers for hire, bouncing around between several promotions and aggregation a plain record conflicting tangible journeymen. He didn’t conduct to find a plain home, however, until 2014 when he put coop to paper with Bellator MMA.

    Through his 5 fights with a promotion, Lashley has finished an extraordinary pursuit of elevating himself from a playground captivate to a legitimate, high-level heavyweight. That isn’t indispensably a surprise, given his clever NAIA wrestling certification and his thickly muscled physique.

    His roof is nonetheless to be determined, and unfortunately, as a 40-year-old part-time fighter, that isn’t expected to change.

Bam Bam Bigelow

    Bam Bam Bigelow is remembered as one of a best large group of a 1990s, and that’s a good thing! Because he really simply could have been remembered as one of a misfortune fighters in churned martial humanities history.

    In 1996, not prolonged after his second army with WWF, Bigelow sealed a understanding with fledgling MMA graduation U-Japan for a shoot. As a biggest name on a label and with no legitimate quarrel sports knowledge on his record, he would traditionally be requisitioned conflicting an easy foe, giving him time to rise and gripping a wheels greased for him to take another fight.

    U-Japan, for whatever reason, didn’t use that logic. Instead, they requisitioned him for a quarrel with Kimo Leopoldo.

    Leopoldo wasn’t an chosen churned martial artist, nonetheless with wins over UFC 2 finalist Patrick Smith and Japanese MMA fable Kazushi Sakuraba, Bigelow was expected to get steamrolled even on his best day. And a man that indeed showed adult for a fight? Well, that substantially wasn’t a best Bigelow.

    Within usually 7 seconds, Leopoldo was in full mountain position, with Bigelow pinned into a dilemma of a cage. That’s an impossibly formidable conditions for a well-trained competitor, nonetheless for a finish novice? And during a time when flattering many all (including fence-grabbing) was legal? It was fundamentally defeat afterwards and there.

    For a plain dual minutes, Leopoldo landed hard, uncontested punches to Bigelow with a arbitrate sitting behind and examination a carnage. The finish wouldn’t come until Bigelow rolled to his stomach and scarcely begged Leopoldo to penetrate in a kind rear-naked choke. The UFC alum thankful and warranted a blocking win during 2:15 of a initial round.

    Bigelow would go on to explain a quarrel was a work (as minute by Whether that’s loyal or it was usually an bid to save face is unknown. Even if Bigelow did chuck a fight, there is small doubt it would’ve jarred out a accurate same way.

Shinsuke Nakamura

    Shinsuke Nakamura’s career was a brief nonetheless impossibly noted one. Taking place during his ancestral early career in New Japan Pro Wrestling, a destiny King of Strong Style finished his approach onto a series of iconic and noted cards.

    After debuting during a 2002 year-end Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye label conflicting Brazilian jiu-jitsu dilettante (and destiny rival) Daniel Gracie, Nakamura found himself a visit enemy to crossover talent from K-1. He picked adult his initial win over 6’11” kickboxer Jan Nortje 6 months after and went on to contest during a initial Jungle Fight event, that featured associate prohibited prospects Fabricio Werdum, Lyoto Machida, Stephan Bonnar and Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza.

    With a 2-1 MMA record, Nakamura returned to NJPW and became a youngest IWGP heavyweight champion by defeating Hiroyoshi Tenzan during Battle Final 2003. That boost to his form in veteran wrestling afforded him bigger opportunities in MMA and set him adult to face Alexey Ignashov in a co-main eventuality to Dynamite!! 2003. The initial quarrel finished in a argumentative knockout detriment for Nakamura (which would after be overturned to a No Contest), nonetheless he would get his win behind 5 months after with a second-round submission.

    That feat would breeze adult being his final coming in fire competition.

    While his MMA career usually lasted about a year and a half, Nakamura found his approach to some of a grandest stages of his era. It’s easy to consternation how distant he could have left had he stranded with it.

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