Ken Shamrock says that despite pro wrestling being a work, he was hurt doing professional wrestling more than he ever was doing professional fighting.
Ken Shamrock was one of the first to merge the world of mixed martial arts and professional wrestling on a large scale in North America when he joined WWE in 1997. Despite the fact that he had already started his career as a professional wrestler earlier in the decade, Ken Shamrock had exposure from UFC and a reputation in that world that helped elevate his presence on WWE television when he signed on to referee the Submission Match between Steve Austin and Bret Hart at WrestleMania 13.
After having successful Hall of Fame careers in both MMA and professional wrestling, the former NWA World Champion still makes appearances in the world of Combat Sports including occasional appearances for IMPACT Wrestling.
Speaking on The Kurt Angle Show, Shamrock reflected on his early tryouts in professional wrestling and says that even though he found himself not fully invested in professional wrestling because of the entertainment aspect of it, he eventually learned a tremendous amount of respect for the industry because of the different elements involved into developing a proper professional wrestling presentation.
“So it was something that I didn't like when -- not that I didn't like it, but I wasn't all into it. You know, it was more entertainment to me; watching my dad, more of that kind of thing, but not something that I could feel like I could do because I didn't think I could act like I was trouble or let somebody beat me. That's just not how I'm built.
“But after I got into it, I really started to respect it. I started to understand the technical [aspects of] it. The [mental strength] that you have to have to be able to create characters, to be able to create angles, to be able to put a match together. There's just so much to it that I don't think people truly understand how very hard it is to be successful in a pro wrestling ring. I learned huge respect for it. I got hurt more in pro wrestling than I ever did in fighting because, in fighting, I don't have to let nobody hurt me. I don't have to let nobody do that, I could just take them out.”
Ken Shamrock went into the IMPACT Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2020 during the weekend of Bound for Glory and was honored by his peers including Bret Hart, Mick Foley, and even Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
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