Quinton “Rampage” Jackson signed a deal with Spike TV, becoming the heralded free agent for Bellator and TNA Wrestling. The deal is similar to “King” Mo Lawal’s deal; he’ll appear on both shows.
There’s just one problem, especially for TNA: They’re primarily MMA fighters, not yet wrestlers.
Rampage told Brian Hemminger of MMA Mania that he isn’t ready at this time to train for wrestling. The quote from Rampage should be discouraging for TNA fans.
I've always wanted to be a pro wrestler since I was a kid, but now that I'm older and have had a lot of injuries, people don't understand the toll that wrestling takes on your body. I just don't think I can do that now while I'm fighting, but when I retire from fighting and go full time into pro wrestling, then I think I can go and get more extensive with my style and my moves. Right now, I just want to stick to what I know.
What Rampage knows is MMA, and that’s fine for him.
But it certainly doesn’t help TNA in the long run—or short run, for that matter. Both Rampage and King Mo are in their 30s, a late age to start in the wrestling game. In fact, King Mo had his first professional wrestling match in March. This was one year after he signed his deal with Spike TV.
Will Rampage turn out to be another King Mo for TNA? Well, he actually could be worse.
At this rate, Rampage might break into TNA at 40—a bad sign, since we know wrestlers who start late rarely break into televised matches with success.
Does the word Boogeyman mean anything to anyone? Does anyone remember the 40-year-old’s matches in the WWE? Considering his age, they weren’t terrible. But they weren’t exactly memorable, either.
TNA could face a possible disaster. It could be worse considering the public backlash the company could confront. Actually, it has a better shot at King Mo, considering he’s only 32 years old. Yet the injuries in MMA pile up, especially for Rampage who's 35.
Rampage could be the next flop in TNA. He will be remembered in MMA, but here’s hoping he can prove the critics wrong, including myself.