Former WWE And UFC Star Set To Return To Impact Wrestling For First Time In 15 Years

MMA legend Ken Shamrock is photographed at Justin Bieber's comedy roast in March 2015.
Mark Davis / Getty Images

Ken Shamrock, the former UFC champion who had a memorable run in WWE during the “Attitude Era” of the late 1990s, is reportedly headed to Impact Wrestling, where he will be returning to the company for the first time since 2004.

As reported by Wrestling Inc., the 55-year-old Shamrock confirmed the news of his return on Twitter, where he has been feuding with Impact Wrestling star Moose in recent days. This Twitter beef started on Tuesday, when Moose responded to a conversation between Shamrock and reigning Impact World Champion Brian Cage, as the NFL-player-turned-wrestler criticized Cage for wanting to have a “playfight” with the mixed martial arts legend. Moose then referred to Cage as a “pathetic joke” and said that just like Shamrock, he’s the type who would only “fight once every few years.”

After several days of back-and-forth social media snipes between Moose and Shamrock, the latter shared a tweet on Friday, showing an Impact Wrestling graphic that confirmed the “World’s Most Dangerous Man” will be making his return to the company in Las Vegas, Nevada, on September 5 and 6. These tapings would mark Shamrock’s first appearances for Impact since its fledgling days, though it’s unclear whether the company has future plans for the veteran grappler after next month’s shows.

As recalled by Figure Four Weekly Online, Ken Shamrock was one of the original mainstays of Impact Wrestling, back when it was known as Total Nonstop Action (TNA) Wrestling and aligned with the National Wrestling Alliance. Shamrock won the vacant NWA World Heavyweight Championship in June 2002, making him TNA’s first recognized champion, but left the promotion later that year after he lost the title to Ron Killings (now known as R-Truth in WWE). He then made a brief return to the company in 2004 but left soon after, focusing instead on select independent appearances.

MMA fans, meanwhile, may recall Shamrock for his performances in the early years of the UFC from 1993 to 1997, which included memorable rivalries with Royce Gracie and Dan Severn. He then joined WWE in 1997, where he was first introduced as a guest referee in the Bret Hart vs. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin match at WrestleMania XIII and later became part of the company’s active roster.

As noted by Wrestling Inc., Shamrock had a brief stint as Intercontinental Champion and also went on to win the 1998 King of the Ring tournament during his two-year run with the company. He then returned to mixed martial arts action from 1999 to 2002 and was inducted, along with Gracie, as one of the first two members of the UFC Hall of Fame in 2003, per Forbes.