Is Ken Shamrock headed back to the ring to referee a match? And what more, is he headed back to WWE of all places? Well, fans sure have let their opinions known on the matter, and an explosion of comments flooded the internet in recent weeks, the chorus of voices collectively hoping for just this possibility.
In fact, so much noise was made about Shamrock possibly nabbing the gig as special guest referee in the Matt Riddle and Seth Rollins match scheduled to go down at Extreme Rules this Sunday, the MMA legend actually got wind of all the noise being made. He had some interesting comments to make on his Twitter account about the possibility:
“Seen posts about people wanting me to guest ref the Rollins vs Riddle Fight Pit…If so we’d have to call it the Lions Den.”via Ken Shamrock on Twitter
The Lion’s Den match he is referencing of course calls to mind the feud he and the legendary Owen Hart had back during 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 pro wrestling where many legends were made including the Harts themselves, Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit and many others.
As for The Lion’s Den in MMA terms, the Den was the first ever MMA team, and it was created in 1994 by the man himself, Ken Shamrock…
This match in particular was held during the Fully Loaded PPV in 1998 as well and is a special treat for pro wrestling fans…especially those that are partial to technical wrestling matches; it is essentially a dream match for the ages and way ahead of its time, and because of both men.
Coincidentally Shamrock would also go on to have tremendous matches of the same caliber with Steve Blackman, yet another martial artist turned pro wrestler, although not of UFC fame.
And speaking of that UFC fame…. Before Brock Lesnar, there was of course Ken Shamrock. There were others who brought the world of mixed martial arts to prominence, and this article is too short to get into all that, but perhaps the only other name that needs mentioning is of course Bas Rutten…these two men took the sport of real fighting and mixed martial arts to the heights it now enjoys today. They popularized it and helped it land in the realm of mainstream media. Without them the sport would not be where it is today; that’s for sure.
Of course the precursor to all of this was the development of Jeet Kun Do, he martial art developed by the legendary actor and martial artist, Bruce Lee. The art form rejected what was useless in the fighting arts and kept only what was useful. The UFC is a wonderful collective of many styles of martial arts meshed together to form one brutal fighting method, which essentially is all styles.
Anyways…back to the point at hand, shall we?
It was in the nineties as well that Shamrock at least would parlay that fame and reputation as a dangerous man indeed to the zany world of professional wrestling…the WWE in particular, and as they say, the rest is history. Cliché, I know….
He wrestled extensively for WWE, then went the way of TNA, where he had a great run as well. But it was perhaps in WWE that people remember him most. His feuds with The Rock were also quite memorable… a great match at WrestleMania 14 in particular was indeed quite spectacular.
And so why would he be the perfect fit for Extreme Rules in the match pitting Riddle vs. Rollins?
Well, he knows how to referee a classic match. Anyone remember WrestleMania 13…the bout pitting Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart? Well, it’s only 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 too holds that match in high regard, and if you ask me, Ken had a large part in that as well—the success of that match. He can only add to this match here as well.
And it doesn’t matter if it isn’t per se a Lion’s Den match…the goal is similar…it’s a fight pit for crying out loud, and in a fight pit, there are only two men I’d want on my side…one of them is Brock Lesnar, and the other is undoubtedly Ken Shamrock. Oh yeah and Chuck Norris…never underestimate Chuck Norris, folks.
Riddle has a background—and an extensive one at that—in mixed martial arts—hence why the match is so apropos…and in my mind and obviously the minds of many regarding this subject at least, Ken Shamrock would definitely be the right man for the job. Is it likely that it happens…that this comes to fruition? Of course not. According to Wrestling Inc., Ariel Helwani already broke the news that MMA fighter, Daniel Cormier, will be the special guest referee. Here’s some of what he said:
“Breaking: Daniel Cormier will serve as guest referee for next Saturday’s Fight Pit Match between Matt Riddle and Seth Rollins at WWE’s Extreme Rules in Philly. Oct. 8. No, seriously. It’s really happening. Oct. 8. Incredible…”
Too bad. But man would it have been nice to see Shamrock in that role again; at least for old school wrestling fans.