TNA Wrestling

Rampage Jackson: Is He Too Old to Learn How to Be a Pro Wrestler?

Jan 26, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA;  Rampage Jackson (black shorts) fights against Glover Teixeira (black and white shorts) during UFC on FOX 6 at the United Center.  Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Sebastian MaldonadoFeatured ColumnistJune 11, 2013

Quinton “Rampage” Jackson made a splash with Spike TV this past week. He signed with Bellator MMA and TNA Wrestling and will be featured on both shows.

This became reality when Kurt Angle confronted Rampage in his first appearance on the June 6 edition of Impact. Rampage was the big free agent teased by TNA President Dixie Carter weeks earlier through her Twitter account.

Rampage brings notoriety to the wrestling organization. He’s charismatic enough to succeed and garner interest. He’s known for his hard-hitting slams and dominating opponents with his knockout power. Rampage unified the PRIDE and UFC Light-Heavyweight championships, perhaps his biggest accomplishment to date. He even filmed a few movies, most notably 2010’s “The A-Team.”

However, his success isn’t a concern. Is Quinton Rampage Jackson too old to learn how to become a professional wrestler?

At 34, Rampage is no spring chicken. He started his physical decline in his final days in the UFC—suffering consecutive losses to Jon Jones, Ryan Bader and Glover Teixeira. It’s difficult to finish a young man’s game in the mixed martial arts world, let alone the professional wrestling ring.

Wrestlers start their careers similar to MMA fighters. They hone their skills over long periods of time. Take a look at the most successful wrestlers today. The WWE contains Brock Lesnar, John Cena and CM Punk, among others.

All three men found early success in their careers at a young age. Lesnar won the WWE title at age 24, while Punk ruled the independent scene and joined the WWE at 26. Cena and Punk found success in the main event in their 30s.

TNA Wrestling may have a lot of established guys, but all of them developed their craft over time. Angle is a perfect example, winning every title in both TNA and the WWE in his 14-year career. Mr. TNA himself, A.J. Styles, grew from the independent scene to TNA. The 36-year-old wrestler honed his craft and rose to become the face of TNA.

Rampage has time working against him because of his age. 

Rampage may not turn into Styles or Angle, nor should he. The MMA fighter is starting at an age where traditionally not many have succeeded. Wrestling is a young man’s game. He won’t become the force he was if he joined 10 years ago.

Rampage Jackson will provide an impact in TNA. However, his age will limit him in the wrestling ring.

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