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UFC, Bellator stars both involved in major pro wrestling events

Ronda Rousey UFC 193 Media Day
Ronda Rousey
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The MMA connection to U.S. pro wrestling continued on Sunday night when Bobby Lashley, King Mo Lawal, Stephan Bonnar and Colby Covington were all involved in an Impact Wrestling pay-per-view event from Ottawa, Ont.

In addition, Ronda Rousey has been regularly training at the WWE’s Performance Center in Orlando, Fla., to get ready for a match that is now expected to take place in April at WrestleMania.

Lashley and Lawal, both Bellator fighters, along with retired UFC Hall of Famer Bonnar, and UFC’s Covington, along with ATT owner Dan Lambert, were involved in several months of storylines on Impact’s television show on Pop TV.

Lambert, who is actually a huge pro wrestling fan, had claimed that his real fighters would expose the pro wrestlers for being loudmouths who couldn’t fight. The story itself started when Lambert, purely in storyline, tried to get Lashley to quit pro wrestling to concentrate on MMA.

Impact was the former No. 2 pro wrestling group in the U.S., but has fallen on hard times in recent years and is struggling badly after losing its television deal on SPIKE TV three years ago.

This built to a six-sided cage match with Lashley & Lawal against Bonnar & Moose, real name Quinn Ojinnaka, a former NFL star, who has been a pro wrestling regular for several years, at Sunday’s Bound for Glory event, the company’s biggest show of the year.

Thiago Alves had been part of the television storylines, but he was not at Bound for Glory. Lambert brought Covington, whose usage of old-style pro wrestling heel interviews in recent weeks has made him a controversial UFC character, and two others to Canada to be part of the show.

In the match, Lawal and Moose ended up outside the ring after going through the cage door. Lambert threw Lawal back into the cage. Lambert and his ATT crew all got in the cage and locked the door, leaving Moose on the outside and Bonnar to face six people. Eventually Moose climbed the cage from the outside and dove on several of the ATT crew. The match ended when Covington distracted Moose and Lashley speared him for the pin.

Impact will be taping all of its television through early January over the next week in Ottawa. With the heel side winning, the angle will likely continue at the tapings, which continue through Friday.

This means Lawal and Covington, along with Lambert, will likely be on the shows for the next few months.

Rousey, Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir, the MMA Four Horsewomen, along with Shayna Baszler, had teased a confrontation with the WWE’s Four Horsewomen, Charlotte Flair (the daughter of legend Ric Flair), Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks and Bayley back in July.

Nothing has been followed up from a television or streaming video standpoint after the early interviews, but since that time, Baszler has signed a WWE contract and is performing on their developmental NXT brand. The other three have all been training at the WWE’s Performance Center. Rousey and Duke had first started training in California with Brian Kendrick, a WWE wrestler. Shafir is engaged to a WWE developmental wrestler, Roderick Strong, and was featured in several angles a few months back.

While many expected the match for Survivor Series, which takes place in two weeks, the word in wrestling is that the match is expected to be at WrestleMania, the company’s biggest event of the year, which takes place on April 8 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

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