Does Ken Shamrock return to the ring to officiate a match? And what more, has he returned to WWE of all places? Well, fans have certainly made their views known on the matter, and an explosion of comments has flooded the internet in recent weeks, with the chorus of voices collectively hoping for the possibility.
In fact, so much noise has been made about Shamrock possibly nabbing the gig as special guest referee in the Matt Riddle and Seth Rollins match that was to take place at Extreme Rules this Sunday, the MMA legend actually caught wind of all the noise made. He had some interesting comments to make on his Twitter account about this possibility:
“I’ve seen posts about people wanting me to ref the Rollins vs. Riddle Fight Pit… If so, we should call it the Lions Den.”
via Ken Shamrock on Twitter
The Lion’s Den match he refers to is of course reminiscent of the feud he and the legendary Owen Hart had back in the Attitude Era. They ended up having a Lion’s Den match at SummerSlam in 1998 to be exact. The two would also have a Dungeon Match, in which the match took place at the legendary Hart Dungeon in Calgary, Alberta, Canada – the institution of Canadian professional wrestling where many legends were created, including the Harts themselves, Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit and many more. others.
As for The Lion’s Den in MMA terms, The Den was the very first MMA team, and it was started in 1994 by the man himself, Ken Shamrock…
This particular match also took place during the Fully Loaded PPV in 1998 and is a treat for pro wrestling fans…especially those who enjoy technical wrestling matches; it’s basically a dream match for the ages and way ahead of its time, and because of both men.
Coincidentally, Shamrock would also have huge matches of the same caliber with Steve Blackman, another martial artist turned professional wrestler, but not of UFC fame.
And speaking of that UFC fame…. Before Brock Lesnar, there was of course Ken Shamrock. There have been others who have highlighted the world of mixed martial arts, and this article is too short to go into all of that, but perhaps the only other name worth mentioning is of course Bas Rutten…these two men took the sport of real combat and mixed martial arts to the heights they enjoy today. They popularized it and helped land it in the realm of mainstream media. Without them, the sport would not be what it is today; that’s for sure.
Of course, the precursor to all of this was the development of Jeet Kun Do, the martial art developed by legendary actor and martial artist Bruce Lee. The art form discarded what was useless in the combat arts and kept only what was useful. The UFC is a marvelous collective of many martial arts styles brought together to form a brutal method of fighting, which is basically all styles.
Anyway… let’s get back to the point at hand, shall we?
It was also in the 90s that Shamrock would have at least passed on that fame and reputation as a dangerous man to the goofy world of professional wrestling… WWE in particular, and as they say, the rest is history. Cliche, I know….
He wrestled a lot for WWE and then went his way to TNA where he had a great run as well. But perhaps WWE is where people remember him the most. His feuds with The Rock were also quite memorable…one big match at WrestleMania 14 in particular was quite spectacular indeed.
So why would he be the ideal candidate for Extreme Rules in the match between Riddle and Rollins?
Well, he knows how to referee a classic game. Does anyone remember WrestleMania 13… the fight between Stone Cold Steve Austin and Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart? Well, this is just one of the greatest pro wrestling matches of all time…a match in which a perfect story is told, as Bret Hart himself once said (paraphrased). Steve Austin also holds this match in high regard, and if you ask me, Ken was a big part of the success of this match as well. It can only add to this game here too.
And it doesn’t matter if it’s not a Lion’s Den match per se…the purpose is similar…it’s a fighting pit to shout out loud, and in a fighting pit there’s only two men which I would like on my side…one of them is Brock Lesnar, and the other is definitely Ken Shamrock. Oh yeah and Chuck Norris… never underestimate Chuck Norris, folks.
Riddle has a background – and extensive experience – in mixed martial arts – hence why the match is so fitting… and in my mind and obviously in the minds of many regarding this subject at least Ken Shamrock would definitely the right man for the job. Is it likely to happen…that it will happen? Of course not. According to Wrestling Inc., Ariel Helwani has already announced that MMA fighter Daniel Cormier will be the special guest referee. Here is part of what he said:
“Breaking: Daniel Cormier will serve as the guest referee for next Saturday’s Fight Pit Match between Matt Riddle and Seth Rollins at WWE Extreme Rules in Philadelphia. October 8. No, seriously. It’s really happening. October 8. Incredible… ”
Shame. But man would it have been nice to see Shamrock back in that role; at least for old school wrestling fans.