There are a few things professional wrestling fans love more than knowing that their favorite wrestlers have the actual skills to back their in-ring personas up. Combat athletes, such as Sonya Deville, Ronda Rousey, Shayna Baszler, Matt Riddle, and, most importantly, the Olympic gold medalist and wrestling legend, Kurt Angle, have all proven incredibly successful in the world of professional wrestling.
Now that both professional wrestling and mixed martial arts are experiencing a new boom in popularity, more MMA stars could choose to make the jump to the world of professional wrestling, quite possibly, to huge fan responses.
Chael Sonnen has made a career out of blurring the lines between mixed martial arts and professional wrestling, bringing wrestling-style scripted promos and trash talk to the octagon in a revolutionary style of selling fights.
Sonnen would make for an incredible manager and mouthpiece for young wrestlers that lack the promo skills that he has. It is documented that he is not only a fan of the professional wrestling business but he has strong opinions on how it should be done as well.
If Chael Sonnen introduced the world of MMA to professional wrestling-style promos, then Conor McGregor revolutionized it. He has brought more fans to the sport than anyone in history through his improvised one-liners and charisma-filled post-fight speeches. He single-handedly carried a rivalry between himself and Jose Aldo and turned it into a compelling narrative.
If there ever was a true wildcard in the sport of mixed martial arts, it is Conor McGregor. He has come to the world that wherever he wants to take his career, he not only will do it but also will be incredibly successful in it too. Professional wrestling could just be the next step for the Notorious One (and, if he proves to be just as popular here, he could end up being the next face of the WWE or AEW brand)
Junior Dos Santos
All Elite Wrestling’s recent cooperation with American Top Team has resulted in multiple entertaining storylines, one of them culminating in a match starring none other than former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Junior Dos Santos.
JDS clearly had the time of his life on the ring, smiling and having fun the whole time. With a string of injuries plaguing the latter years of his career, Junior Dos Santos could in fact hang up his MMA gloves and become a full-time professional wrestler.
Iron Mike Chandler is the complete package when it comes to being an athlete and a performer. He is an incredibly exciting fighter who can’t help but be wholesome and inspirational every time he grabs the microphone. He is like an MMA version of the meme-able Captain America.
Professional wrestling and mixed martial arts both have always been known as a home for scary tough guys but whenever a wholesome and loveable character such as Michael Chandler emerges, they manage to gain incredible reactions from the fans.
UFC 276 saw Israel Adesanya enter the octagon, paying homage to The Undertaker, with the iconic music and urn accompanying The Last Stylebender. All of this occurred while Vince McMahon was watching.
Adesanya is incredibly athletic. He has dynamic moves in the cage that he could bring to a wrestling ring at any time. His microphone skills and dramatic entrances prove that he gets the entertainment side of the business as well as any seasoned professional wrestler.
Another member of the American Top Team, Tyron Woodley has recently made a cameo on AEW Dynamite alongside another legendary former welterweight, Matt Hughes. After his UFC career, Woodley remained in the public eye through his two boxing matches with Jake Paul.
With Jake Paul’s older brother Logan recently signing with the WWE to feud with The Miz, a professional wrestling feud taking place between Jake Paul and Tyron Woodley in All Elite Wrestling is a lucrative possibility for everyone involved.
Jorge Masvidal has already made his first wrestling appearance in All Elite Wrestling, hitting Chris Jericho with his signature flying knee. He is not only already arguably the second biggest draw in the sport of MMA after Conor McGregor but he already has an extremely credible and universally recognized finishing move.
If the partnership between All Elite Wrestling and American Top Team keeps going on, fans could soon be treated to Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal using his flying knee in a wrestling ring on a regular basis.
Sean Strickland has recently made a name for himself by establishing himself with a loose canon persona. He has added an interesting character to his already exciting fighting skills to turn himself into must-see MMA TV.
While he isn’t there yet, becoming a larger-than-life character is at the heart of professional wrestling. If he chooses to, he could very easily bring his new volatile persona and hilarious press conference antics to any professional wrestling company he wants.
Thug Rose is already a legend in women’s MMA. Her two championship wins both in spectacular and impressive fashion are landmark moments in the sport. She brings a calm and methodical approach to the octagon every time she walks out and she could quite easily bring that aura with her to the wrestling ring.
She could follow in the footsteps of former fighters, such as Sonya Deville, Ronda Rousey, and Shayna Baszler, and create herself an incredible career in the WWE who are always looking for new and exciting stars.
Professional Wrestling is a field built around the concept of reinvention. Legends such as Chris Jericho have managed to stay relevant through their ability to reinvent themselves as in-ring characters.
Colby “Chaos” Covington managed to do the same thing with his career in the UFC, bringing himself from the brink of being released to two UFC championship opportunities. His skill of reinvention and strong amateur wrestling background could prove useful if he ever chooses to switch careers.
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