Talk about legitimacy. Impact Wrestling (TNA) recently made its biggest splash since they performed a cannonball on Monday nights alongside Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff. Of course, that cannonball quickly turned into a belly flop.
Charismatic mixed martial artist Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal has signed with Impact Wrestling. This is a deal that is easily comparable to Brock Lesnar's current blockbuster deal with the WWE, not by contract but by content, as a mixed martial artist will cross over into the world of professional wrestling.
TNA has actually one-upped the WWE as Lawal's unprecedented contract dictates a simultaneous working relationship between TNA and upstart MMA promotion Bellator.
Dixie Carter recently sat alongside Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney and their new signee as the new holy trinity of line-blurring crooned about the potential of a dual combat sport athlete. The Bo Jackson of the beatdown.
"I brought the idea to [Bjorn], he loved it and so hopefully the rest is history."
If TNA were to simply sign a currently suspended MMA talent from a withering promotion like Strikeforce, which has pretty much died with its eyes open, it would have simply been dismissed as yet another futile attempt made by TNA to rip off the WWE.
Instead, King Mo, one of the bigger stars in MMA, is getting a new start in a growing promotion while also signing with TNA. One could argue that he will carry more "legitimacy" as a tough guy since he will be continuing his MMA endeavors as opposed to Lesnar's emphatic retirement leading to a temporary return to the WWE.
I have previously discussed King Mo's potential in pro wrestling on multiple occasions. Given his flare for showmanship through his extravagant entrances and "King Mo" persona, it is not hard to deduce the fact that Lawal grew up a pro wrestling fan and gets it when it comes to self-promotion.
Lawal has previously discussed interest in joining a pro wrestling company, however nobody foresaw him embarking on a crossover career in such a busy fashion.
Among TNA's litany of criticisms, their inability to differentiate themselves from the WWE is among the most prominent.
While signing a star who made his hay in MMA is far from groundbreaking, TNA has hedged their money on Lawal's future success in wrestling and MMA, as well as the future growth of Bellator, which debuts on Spike TV in January 2013.
Should all parties see a significant return on their investment from their King Mo penny stock, perhaps TNA's alliance with Bellator and Spike TV could be enough to at least make a dent in the currently uncompetitive landscape of professional wrestling.
Talk about a holy trinity.