Ken Shamrock talks the possibility of him winning the WWE title during his run, UFC and more

Ken Shamrock talks the possibility of him winning the WWE title during his run, UFC and more - 1st September 2014


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Thanks to Jules Allen for sending this in:

The following are highlights from a recent interview with former WWE star Ken Shamrock. You can listen to the entire interview in the video player:

On working with trouble young people:

“I went through a lot of troubles as a kid. I lived on the streets pretty much. I spent much of my teen life, or child life, as a ward of the court…. I was helped through these things because people helped me to do that and I felt like it was my time and my opportunity to do the same thing….. (Being well known) does open doors for me and gives me a platform to be able to speak to some of these kids and they’ll listen. Whether they take it to heart and apply it in life – I can plant a seed and give them hope. But I definitely want to have the opportunity to show them that there is a way and there is hope.”

On excelling at sports at school and college:

“I was a very angry kid. A lot of bad things happened to me at a very young age and I took that out on physically on other people. So when I was taught to channel that anger into something positive – which was football, wrestling, whatever sport it was; eventually becoming a fighter – I was able to channel that into positive directions.”

On his first wrestling memories:

“The first thing I ever saw, which stuck in my mind, was Pat Patterson and Moondog Mayne. They were going at each other pretty good! I was a young kid, but to me it was pretty big and pretty exciting to watch that.”

On comparing the UFC in its beginnings to UFC nowadays:

“It was raw, really raw. You had guys who were truly from different disciplines. You didn’t have the mixed martial artists that you have today. It was no holds barred! No rules, no time limit, you fought three or four times in one night, bare knuckle. It was intense! You didn’t even know who you were going to fight next! Compared to today – it’s all technical. You’ve got records, you can train for them. The skill levels are much, much higher than what we had. Back then, there were only two people who had the skills to do a training camp, and that was myself and Royce Gracie.”

On the possibility of winning the WWF Heavyweight Championship:

“I know Bret Hart had talked to me about it a few times. He had the belt at the time and he was going to drop it to me. He had discussions about it. The Rock was going to move up (the card) and I was going to move up and challenge for the belt. But The Rock went ahead of me, which was fine, he was a great worker…..I’ll work my way up and I’ll get a shot myself….I just figured that I would be right behind him. He captured the belt…..the matches we had (previously) were main event material, and were the main event a few times, and so I really believed that that opportunity would come, but I never did. But as we know, there’s politics in everything, and I never did (get the shot). I have no idea why that decision was made.”

*click here for full audio interview


Ken Shamrock official website

WWE - Ken Shamrock

UFC - Ken Shamrock


UFC profile

How did you get involved in fighting to begin with? I was doing some pro-wrestling down in North Carolina back in 1989-1990. A friend of mine, Dean Malenko, brought me these tapes of Mixed Martial Arts in Japan. That was interesting stuff to me. Prior to that, I was a bouncer. I would get into fights and have to go to jail and pay a fine to get out. This offered me the opportunity to do the things that I was getting in trouble for. So, I went to Tampa, Florida and tried out. Three months later, I went to Japan and won my first fight. I didn't have a lot of experience, but I'd always been a fighter. After that, everything just kinda lined up for me."

You had a tough life growing up. Tell us about that. At 10 years old, I had gotten into a lot of trouble. I originally came from a predominantly black neighborhood in Atlanta, Georgia. My brothers and I were the only white kids in school. I got in a lot of fights. Then, I moved to Napa Valley (California) and I had a southern accent, so I didn't fit in with the white kids there and I got in more fights. At 14, I ended up in the Shamrock Boys Home. After that, I started to understand how to take my anger and put it into something positive like football, baseball, basketball, wrestling. I learned about doing things by the rules. If you lose your temper and do something wrong and get penalized for it, the whole team pays for it. He [Bob Shamrock] showed me the same thing happens in life. If I go out there and steal a car, I'm not the only one that suffers. My family suffers, my brothers suffer. So, I kinda learned discipline through sports. When I was younger, I used to fight a lot. As I grew older though, I got more disciplined. There's a place for fighting. You don't do it on the street. People get hurt. The biggest thing I learned is that your job stays in the ring and your life stays in life. There are two different characters. You don't mix those two together."

The Lion’s Den:
The Lion's Den started when Ken was fighting for the Pancrase organization in Japan. The organization wanted him to train fighters in the US so they could bring in more fighters from the states. In trying to come up with a name for it, he recalled a documentary he saw about lions. It showed how a group of lions hunt and worked together. He felt his group of fighters should work the same way and be like a family, so he chose to name his gym the Lion's Den. "And I'm still the King Lion," says Shamrock.

Ken was a pro-wrestler in the WWF from 1997 to 2000.
"I just wanted to do something else. It wasn't because of the money, I just wanted a change. It definitely helped me build a bigger fan base. But, I got tired of going on the road all the time."

Ken was the first ever King of Pancrase. Pancrase is an organization in Japan that was similar to the UFC but with more rules. Shamrock’s record in Pancrase from 1993 to 1996 was 17-4-0.

As a teenager in wrestling, Ken once broke his neck when he slipped on the mat attempting a throw.

Doctors told him he would never play sports again, but he proved them wrong.