Age might be the single greatest enemy to an athlete but don’t tell that to UFC Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock.
At 56, the retired fighter is still shredded, looking as good as he ever did during his mixed martial arts career but don’t expect him to climb back into the cage again. Instead, Shamrock has turned his attention back to professional wrestling where first cut his teeth in the late 1980’s before he made fighting his primary focus.
Lately, Shamrock has become a mainstay of TNA’s Impact Wrestling and his performances have left more than a few jaws on the floor as he’s started pulling off moves that he never even attempted while a mainstay at World Wrestling Entertainment.
According to Shamrock, he’s still finding his footing following his return to action but his body feels great and he’s showing no signs of slowing down any time soon.
“When I went there about a year ago on Bound for Glory, I was just getting back into wrestling and I didn’t know how things were going to go,” Shamrock explained when speaking to MMA Fighting. “The minute I got in there and started scrapping around with [my first match], I felt natural. It felt good. I felt like I could do this.
“It wasn’t bad for my first start. Since then I’ve started climbing. I’ve made some mistakes along the way but that’s to be expected since I’ve been out so long. I’m trying to build myself back up to where I was and I know I’m going to get there. I’m getting real close to where I want to be right now. On Oct. 24, Bound for Glory, when I step in there and I’m going to make sure no one forgets about me.”
Staying in shape has never been a huge struggle for Shamrock but time waits for no one so he was forced to find his own fountain of youth as he got older.
“I tell you what, I did do some stuff with BioXcellerator out of Medellin, Colombia and it’s been able to really rejuvenate me,” Shamrock said after working with a company known for regenerative stem cell treatments. “It’s also my way of living. I cleaned up my lifestyle and I’ve really been taking care of my body and lived a good life. I’m really starting to see the benefits of living that clean life. I think it’s paying off now.
“You’re seeing me be able to compete at such a high level at the age that I’m at. I truly believe as I’m sitting here right now, I feel like there’s more I can do. I can still grow more even from what people have seen. I’ve been out of wrestling for a long time and I feel rusty but even where I’m sitting now, I feel like I’ve knocked off that rust and I can only get better.”
In addition to his appearance at the Bound for Glory pay-per-view event on Saturday, Shamrock is also being inducted into the Impact Wrestling Hall of Fame. As part of his induction, Shamrock will hear messages from numerous past opponents and friends from throughout the industry including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
Shamrock was already one of the first fighters to join the UFC Hall of Fame thanks to his contributions to mixed martial arts and he feels a similar sense of pride when being acknowledged for his accomplishments in professional wrestling.
“It’s awesome because it almost verifies your existence in that time,” Shamrock said. “It’s not going to go away. To have those people who were such an impact on my success to be there and say some words for me, I just don’t have any words to say other than I’m very grateful.”
Considering the reception he’s received since returning to TNA, Shamrock has fallen in love with pro wrestling all over again but he has no regrets that he wasn’t able to put more time into that craft because his fighting career absorbed so much of his time over the years.
In a way, Shamrock has been able to create a lasting legacy while constantly living in two different worlds between mixed martial arts and professional wrestling and he wouldn’t change a thing.
“I think what most people fail to realize, I was a pro wrestler first,” Shamrock said. “I started out early on with Nelson Royal over in South Atlantic Pro Wrestling. I did wrestling first and then found no holds barred and then went back into pro wrestling. I made my debut in wrestling but all the doors opened for me in the fighting world. That’s why I went there.
“I went where the doors were opening. I basically just followed the road that I was given.”