Josh Barnett's known for his MMA career, but he does have a history in pro wrestling.
He talked to ESPN about his love for wrestling growing up, and how he transitioned into it.
"My interest in wrestling began when I was a little kid, watching NWA and WWF on television," Barnett said. "It carried on through most of my life, to be honest, and still does. When the internet became more of an option, [I began] tape-trading with people for Japanese-shoot wrestling stuff."
Barnett, who has been competing in MMA since 1997, got into pro wrestling through one of his training partners, who was working with New Japan at the time.
"Come 2002, a good friend and one of my old training partners, Tsuyoshi Kohsaka, was doing some work in New Japan," Barnett said. "I reached out to him and said, 'Hey. I would really love it if I could get an opportunity to go and wrestle in New Japan. Would you put out a good word for me?' And he said, 'Sure.' He got me in touch with them, and from there, it moved incredibly quickly. As soon as I knew it, I was headlining at Tokyo Dome."
Going from MMA into pro wrestling does need some getting used to. it was about getting the work done and continuing to get better at it. The better you work on your craft, the better will be.
"It was just a matter of learning the ring itself, the environment," Barnett said. "There are a lot of subtle things that are very, very important in wrestling, and to pick those up just takes time and experience. The only way that I really feel is best to do that is to go on the road. I learned every day by showing up early and leaving late."
In the last year, Barnett has appeared for Impact Wrestling in an angle with Bobby Lashley, and also competed in Antonio Inoki's IGF promotion.
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