By Gary Mehaffy
I had the opportunity to interview MMA legend, and ex-WWE Intercontinental, Tag Team and King of the Ring Champion, Ken Shamrock on Thursday, September 25th, 2014 for almost 30 minutes about his life and career to date. We talked growing up, getting into MMA, his feelings on working in WWE and much, much more. Some of the highlights were:
Working with trouble young people:
I went through a lot of troubles as a kid. I lived on the streets pretty much. I spent much of my teen life, or child life, as a ward of the court…. I was helped through these things because people helped me to do that and I felt like it was my time and my opportunity to do the same thing….. (Being well known) does open doors for me and gives me a platform to be able to speak to some of these kids and they’ll listen. Whether they take it to heart and apply it in life – I can plant a seed and give them hope. But I definitely want to have the opportunity to show them that there is a way and there is hope.
Excelling at sports at school and college:
I was a very angry kid. A lot of bad things happened to me at a very young age and I took that out on physically on other people. So when I was taught to channel that anger into something positive – which was football, wrestling, whatever sport it was; eventually becoming a fighter – I was able to channel that into positive directions.
His first wrestling memories:
The first thing I ever saw, which stuck in my mind, was Pat Patterson and Moondog Mayne. They were going at each other pretty good! I was a young kid, but to me it was pretty big and pretty exciting to watch that.
Comparing the UFC in its beginnings to UFC nowadays:
It was raw, really raw. You had guys who were truly from different disciplines. You didn’t have the mixed martial artists that you have today. It was no holds barred! No rules, no time limit, you fought three or four times in one night, bare knuckle. It was intense! You didn’t even know who you were going to fight next! Compared to today – it’s all technical. You’ve got records, you can train for them. The skill levels are much, much higher than what we had. Back then, there were only two people who had the skills to do a training camp, and that was myself and Royce Gracie.
The possibility of winning the WWF Heavyweight Championship:
I know Bret Hart had talked to me about it a few times. He had the belt at the time and he was going to drop it to me. He had discussions about it. The Rock was going to move up (the card) and I was going to move up and challenge for the belt. But The Rock went ahead of me, which was fine, he was a great worker…..I’ll work my way up and I’ll get a shot myself….I just figured that I would be right behind him. He captured the belt…..the matches we had (previously) were main event material, and were the main event a few times, and so I really believed that that opportunity would come, but I never did. But as we know, there’s politics in everything, and I never did (get the shot). I have no idea why that decision was made.
We talk so much more about his life before and during UFC, as well as his memories of working with Owen Hart, Shawn Michaels and many other top-tier WWF wrestlers. We also discuss where he sees himself in UFC history, his loyalties to Bret Hart and talk comparisons with Brock Lesnar. It is well worth a listen, so check it out at the link at the top of the page.