Shamrock talks the possibility of him winning the
WWE title during his run, UFC and more - 1st September
to Jules Allen for sending this in:
following are highlights from a recent interview with
former WWE star Ken Shamrock. You can listen to the
entire interview in the video player:
working with trouble young people:
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 theyll
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.
excelling at sports at school and college:
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
his first wrestling memories:
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
comparing the UFC in its beginnings to UFC nowadays:
was raw, really raw. You had guys who were truly from
different disciplines. You didnt 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 didnt even know who you were going to fight
next! Compared to today its all technical.
Youve 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.
the possibility of winning the WWF Heavyweight Championship:
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
work my way up and Ill get a shot myself
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, theres
politics in everything, and I never did (get the shot).
I have no idea why that decision was made.
here for full audio interview
Shamrock official website
- Ken Shamrock
- Ken Shamrock
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
The Lions 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. Shamrocks 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.