Brock Lesnar and the WWE: 25 Wrestlers Who Could Make It in MMA
Ever since UFC 121 when The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar shared a heated stare down, there has been talk of a return to the WWE for the former UFC Heavyweight champion.
There have been quite a few wrestlers who have swapped the squared circle for the octagon. Some of the most high profile include Lesnar, Ken Shamrock, Bobby Lashley and Dave Batista.
But could Lesnar's return signal the start of more wrestler's deferring to MMA. I will now look at 25 current wrestlers (WWW, TNA & ROH) that could possibly make a move to MMA.
I'm not saying they could walk straight into MMA, of course they couldn't, but with some hard training they might just be able to compete.
If you agree/disagree or have any other suggestions then please don't hesitate to post a comment, thanks!
1. CM Punk
CM Punk is straight edge and he lets everybody know about it. He doesn't drink, smoke or take drugs and he is damn proud of it too.
Add this to the fact that Punk already has some impressive submission moves and is also good with his feet and we have a potential MMA star on our hands.
2. Daniel Bryan
Bryan has made a big impact in the WWE since his arrival from ROH. Much like CM Punk, (who also came from Ring of Honor) he is also a keen submission artist.
His finisher - the LeBell lock - is devastating and his old ROH finisher - the Cattle Mutilation - was also a very successful move.
Add this to the fact that Bryan moved to Las Vegas last year and began training in mixed martial arts at Randy Couture's Xtreme Couture gym, and you have a man who would be a good fit for the octagon.
3. Ezekiel Jackson
Big Zeke is a monster. Physically, he is a lot like Lesnar. He stand at 6'2'' and weighs 285lb, all of it is pure muscle.
He might not have a martial arts background but he has the sheer size and strength needed to succeed in MMA.
4. Husky Harris
Harris is a third generation professional wrestler. He attended high school and won a state wrestling championship at 275 pounds (125 kg) in 2005.
He also played football and is obviously an athletic guy but he's definitely in the Roy Nelson mold.
5. Triple H
This might seem like an odd choice but we all know that "The Game" always gets what he wants.
He's a 13 time world champion and even though some people might think he doesn't deserve it, he's earned every last one through hard work and determination.
Triple H has had his fair share of injuries but has showed the mental fortitude to return, something any MMA fighter must possess.
6. Wade Barrett
Barrett is used to being put through his paces and was the winner of NXT season 1.
He has the physique to be able to compete in MMA. He also knows how to lead groups, he is the leader of The Nexus and hates the taste of defeat.
These ingredients would make the nexus of a good MMA fighter.
7. William Regal
Regal has won more than 60 championships worldwide and knows how to get the job done.
He grew up fighting on the streets of Blackpool, England. He is no stranger to fighting and is technically one of the better wrestlers in the WWE.
He's very good with his knees and is also well versed in submissions, just look at his finisher move - The Regal Stretch.
8. Alberto Del Rio
Del Rio has a very strong wrestling background. Growing up in a family of wrestlers, Del Rio decided to take up Greco-Roman wrestling and earned a place on the Mexican national team in Greco-Roman wrestling and while competing on the national team obtained several accomplishments.
The Mexican was on track to compete at the 2000 Summer Olympics but due to a lack of funding and support, Mexico did not send a wrestling team that year.
He has also competed in MMA before, he is 9-5 with 7 wins coming from submission. He faced Mirko Cro Cop in a losing effort and could possibly go back to MMA at some stage.
9. Chris Masters
"The Masterpiece" isn't just a bodybuilder. He's 265 lbs of pure muscle and John Cena has said that Masters is the strongest man he has ever faced.
His patented Masterlock may not be much use inside the octagon but I'm sure Masters could find something as devastating to put in his arsenal.
10. Jack Swagger
Swagger is an All-American wrestler. He attended the University of Oklahoma, he played football and wrestling but soon switched to wrestling full-time.
In 2006, as an All-American wrestler, he made 30 pins, setting the record for most pins in a single season.
He's been wrestling since he was five and add that to his ankle lock and you have the ingredients of a very good MMA fighter.
Kaval, winner of NXT season 2, has travelled all over the world. He's been successful where ever he's gone and could transition that to MMA.
He possesses a devastating array of kicks which would more than come in handy if he made the switch.
12. The Undertaker
Although Undertaker's success has come within the squared circle, he is an avid fan of other combat sports.
He is a big boxing fan and carried the American flag while leading Team Pacquiao to the ring during the Pacquiao vs. Velázquez fight in 2005.
He has incorporated some of what he has seen in other disciplines into his wrestling arsenal. His Hell's Gate submission move is a good example of this.
'Taker is also an avid mixed martial arts fan and has attended several UFC shows, his last appearance is what sparked the whole Lesnar return rumours.
13. A.J. Styles
Styles is a tough nut. He grew up in poverty and entered wrestling school because his friends were doing it, and he wanted to find out if he was a natural.
In 2010 Styles was ranked #1 on the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Top 500. "The Phenomenal One" is still only 32 and has achieved a lot in his wrestling career.
His innovative offence would stand him in good stead inside the octagon.
14. Doug Williams
Williams, much like William Regal, grew up as a fighter. In the early 1990s he won the British Judo Championship in the 72 kg weight class.
The Englishman has experience from all over the world and could use that to his advantage if he went into MMA.
15. Jesse Neal
Sure, he'd have to get rid of the mohawk, but don't let that fool you.
Neal is a tough guy and he served in the US navy for four years between 1998-2002. He was on board USS Cole, when it was suicide bombed on October 12, 2000.
In just a couple of years, Neal has transformed himself into a respected professional wrestler. If he wanted to, Neal could achieve a career in MMA.
16. Kurt Angle
Angle was involved in amateur wrestling during both high school and college. In college at Clarion University of Pennsylvania, he won numerous accolades, including being a two-time National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I champion. After graduating, he won the 1995 World Championship tournament. Angle then competed in the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, where he won a gold medal in heavyweight freestyle wrestling.
Angle has years of experience inside the ring and is a world class wrestler. Angle is one of the few guys in wrestling who could legitimately make it MMA without much trouble.
17. Matt Morgan
Morgan has a wealth of experience in both the WWE and TNA. He was also involved in Gladiators, and certainly lives up to his given name of "Beast".
He's in fantastic shape and how many guys would want to face a 7 foot monster? Not many.
18. Mick Foley
This may seem like a surprise choice but Foley is hard as nails. He attended high school in New York and wrestled, something which he has done ever since.
Foley is crazy and has a never say die attitude, something which every MMA fighter needs. This is the man that chose to wrestle instead of having an operation to re-attach his severed ear.
He might be too old for a career change but he has the spirit and down right craziness to be an MMA fighter.
19. Rob Van Dam
RVD is a trained kickboxer and martial artist. Growing up in Battle Creek, Michigan, Van Dam studied martial arts at two local dojos. He received instruction in Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Aikido, Kendo, and Kickboxing.
He also participated in amateur wrestling while in high school and has a very distinguished wrestling career. His mixture of martial arts kicks and brute strength would be a good mix inside the octagon.
20. Samoa Joe
Joe is an obvious choice for this sort of list. His wrestling style is heavily dependent on martial arts style kicks and submissions.
"The Samoan Submission Machine" avidly trains in Muay Thai Kickboxing, Judo, and Jiu Jitsu at LA Boxing in California. He is often noted as a sparring partner for Team Punishment member Justin McCully and is often in attendance in the locker room for Team Punishment fighters such as Tito Ortiz and Kendall Grove.
Joe is a powerful man and has unique offence which would give him a great foundation in MMA.
21. Tommy Dreamer
They don't call him the "Innovator of Violence" for nothing. Dreamer is a tough guy who is most well known for his run in ECW, a promotion he was described as the "heart and soul" of.
Dreamer would have to channel his hardcore thoughts into his fists rather than a weapon but if it was possible, he'd be a hell of an opponent.
22. Roderick Strong
Strong decided to become a wrestler after attending several training sessions with his father.
"The Master of the Backbreaker" makes wrestling look so simple and could surely become very talented at whatever he chose to do. If MMA was that choice then I wouldn't be surprised to see him succeed.
23. Christopher Daniels
"The King of Indies" has got to be one of the most underrated wrestlers in modern times. He has performed all around the world and won gold where ever he has gone.
Although Daniels may not have any strong links to MMA, he focuses a lot of his offence on kicks and is good friends with avid martial artist Samoa Joe.
24. Shelton Benjamin
While in high school, Benjamin achieved a 122–10 win-loss record and was a two-time South Carolina state high school heavyweight wrestling champion, earning the title in both 1993 and 1994.
He was then accepted to attend the University of Minnesota, where he achieved a 36–6 win-loss record and was a two-time All-American heavyweight wrestler.
Benjamin is a tremendous athlete, something which we were always told during his time with the WWE. He was never given the push he deserved though and maybe a sport where politics isn't as important would suit him better.
I know I said current wrestlers only but I thought I'd chuck this one in last as a bit of a curveball.
He is famous for holding the record for the largest undefeated winning streak in professional wrestling. The official count is listed as 173 wins and zero losses.
After ending his wrestling career, Goldberg went into MMA commentary. He was a color commentator for K-1 Dynamite, World Fighting Alliance and EliteXC.
When asked whether he was interested in becoming a mixed martial artist, Goldberg stated, "I'd love to, especially if I was 21 or even 29, but these guys are so far ahead of me in terms of experience. I never say never, though. But I don’t see myself stopping my movies, my shows, my commentating, or being a dad to do that".
Goldberg would be a formidable opponent and had he just started out in wrestling now, he would have most certainly made the jump over to MMA.