There’s a forgotten piece of history of IMPACT Wrestling that often gets ignored; the original NWA World Heavyweight Champion for the then named TNA wasn’t on the card. True story. MMA legend Dan Severn was the NWA Worlds Champion at the time of NWA-TNA’s launch, but due to his salary demands, the promotion could not afford to bring him in.
Rumors were rampant then and now that Severn was going to defend his NWA Worlds Championship against Ken Shamrock in the first ever main event. That never came to pass, and instead a battle royal was held to crown a new champion and that man would end up being Severn’s most legendary rival, Ken Shamrock.
Shamrock’s run in NWA-TNA was anything but impressive. He worked with some average workers at best, and his first real opportunity to showcase what he could was also his last match in the promotion as a regular roster member. Shamrock dropped the NWA World’s Championship to Ron Killings, and was back in the UFC weeks later gearing up for Tito Ortiz.
Since then Shamrock has only had a few appearances in wrestling. He did come back for a few shows in 2004 for TNA, and a few more times throughout the years, but never again for a major pro wrestling company. Though he returned to MMA multiple times throughout the years, mostly because (I assume) that’s where the money was. Yet, now Shamrock is back in pro wrestling (again, because that’s where the money is). He’s had nine matches in the last two years, and four in the last month. As Ric Flair, Sting and others have shown us, age is sometimes just a number.
While I can’t speak towards what Shamrock has left in the tank, as he hadn’t wrestled since 2009 previously, and before then he hadn’t wrestled multiple matches in a year since 2004; I can say I’m intrigued in a return.
I’m not the only one either, as IMPACT Wrestling’s Co-President Scott D’Amore sent out several Shamrock-themed tweets about the very idea of bringing back Shamrock, saying;
— Scott D’Amore (@ScottDAmore) April 30, 2019
Brian Cage is also very much on board with this idea, but considering he broke a bone in his back, there’s some doubt about when he’ll be able to return to the ring. While speaking to the Busted Open show, Cage revealed;
It doesn’t look like I’m going out. [The doctor said] I think you’re gonna be fine, you just have severe inflammation and bone bruise, there could be a small fracture there… however, if it is a fracture, I don’t see it being any major fracture and even then, there’s nothing you can do much for that, so maybe just err on the side of caution.
So it looks like IMPACT will keep the belt on Cage, but will we get Shamrock? Unfortunately Michael Elgin’s unforgiven’s ass is currently next up, but Shamrock would be interesting. The next major pay per view is Slammiversary, and I’d be surprised to see Cage wrestle any meaningful matches prior to then, so you’d probably have to wait until after Slammiversary or at the next special event they do.
Shamrock has kind of been ignored from the historical significance of IMPACT, and part of that is really a mystery. Sure, when Shamrock was there, he had different bosses than there would be years after, so there isn’t the same attachment but Shamrock has long been a name in the fight-game, who could bring in some interest. Why IMPACT has avoided him for this long is anyone’s guess. Sure, maybe Shamrock has been asked and just hasn’t been interested, but it makes too much sense to not bring Shamrock back this year.
It makes even more sense when you realize he’s a legitimate Hall of Famer, and you could easily induct him into the IMPACT Wrestling Hall of Fame this year, while getting him back in the ring. Now by no means do you need to put a title back on him, though a tag team title match with Shamrock and Dan Severn taking on LAX would be super-fun, just having him in a major match at Slammiversary would mean the world to fans, and to the historical acknowledgement of Shamrock to the promotion.
Bring back Shamrock, and let’s do a special event in July or August. Call it “Blast from the Past” and put it in the IMPACT Zone or the Mid-Hudson Civic Center. Bill it as the Most Dangerous Man vs. the Most Dangerous Machine. You could even bring in Severn to guest-referee the match.
Regardless of how it’s done, it’s long past due to bring Shamrcok back to the promotion he helped establish.