Ken Shamrock is preparing for his upcoming bout against Royce Gracie in Friday’s Bellator 149, and the former UFC and WWE star recently sat down for an in-depth interview with wrestlinginc.com. Shamrock revealed a lot about his preparation, the direction of Bellator, his time in UFC, and of course, his career in sports entertainment as a professional wrestler. Ken Shamrock, aka “The World’s Most Dangerous Man,” spent just under three years with the WWE before his sudden departure in 1999. And now, we know why.
“There was a lot of stuff happening there. For me, I’d kind of hit this wall where I was on the roads so much that I was missing my kids’ football games and wrestling matches and the dances they were going to. I had five kids, so it really hurt me to miss that many things. I felt that was a good time for me to figure out how to stop being on the road and be with my family… It just seemed like I spent so much time on the road, I missed my kids growing up, and I couldn’t handle that.”
Ken Shamrock is now the father of seven children, and clearly wanted to dedicate more of his time to family. He would eventually sign with the upstart promotion TNA, which promised a much lighter schedule. In 2002, Ken Shamrock became TNA’s first ever World Champion, but was not long for there either, spending two short stints with the company, and leaving for good in 2004.
“I remember after I had won the title they came to me and wanted me to drop it to Ron Killings, who was a very good worker. Good kid. It just seemed like they stopped using me… When I joined them I told them I was still fighting and didn’t mind doing this, but I couldn’t commit 100 percent because I have fights and I’m training at different times. Going into it, that was the deal… It wasn’t an angry departure. I was satisfied with them, they were satisfied with me, it just didn’t work out.”
Ken Shamrock arrived in WWE during the height of the Attitude Era, headlined by Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Undertaker, and others. He had some memorable feuds with The Deadman, Owen Hart, and The Rock, but never quite cracked the main event scene consistently. His lone World Championship match came in 1997 against Shawn Michaels in a December In Your House pay-per-view, which he won via disqualification. It appears that title that alluded him in WWE still haunts him to some degree, remaining the only major championship he’s been unable to capture.
“I’ve always put out there that I’d love to have another run at that Heavyweight title. I felt it was cut short, a lot of it on my part because I felt everything was slipping away with my family and I had to fix that, but I felt that I didn’t get a good run at that title… Like that Royce fight, you try to get it for ten years and think it won’t happen. Here I am fighting him, so after I fight Royce, maybe I’ll get offered a shot at the Heavyweight title sometime.”
Shamrock noted that the only contact he’s had with WWE since his departure has been from their royalty and promotional departments regarding action figures made in his likeness. It remains to be seen whether WWE would be interested in bringing him back as a performer. Back in 2014, Shamrock suggested that he belongs in the WWE Hall of Fame, but his name has not popped up in any rumor mills for this year’s class.
Ken Shamrock will face Royce Gracie on Friday at Bellator 149. The two faced off for the first time more than 20 years ago at UFC 1 and then again at UFC 5. For more on Bellator and facing Gracie, be sure to read the entire interview at wrestlinginc.com.
[Photo by Ross Dettman/Getty Images for IFL]