Wrestling / Ken Shamrock


Ken Shamrock (b. Ken Kilpatrick in 1964) is a retired American Professional Wrestler and Mixed Martial Artist best known for his work in WWE and the UFC. He actually started as a pro wrestler, debuting in the South Atlantic Pro Wrestling promotion in 1989, under the name "Mr. Wrestling" Vince Torelli. This led him to All Japan Pro Wrestling, and he would go back and forth between SAPW and Japanese "shoot-style" promotions such as Universal Wrestling Federation and PWFG until he walked away from wrestling for MMA. He competed for Pancrase and was on the first UFC event and would compete regularly for them until he returned to wrestling in 1997, this time for WWE. Over his time in WWE, he would hold the WWE Intercontinental Heavyweight Title once, the WWE World Tag Team Title once with the Big Bossman and win the 1998 King of the Ring Tournament. He returned to MMA in 2000 and went back and forth between the two. In 2002, he signed with the new NWA-TNA promotion, and was crowned the new NWA World Heavyweight Champion at NWA TNA #1. He has also been a trainer and was a coach on The Ultimate Fighter. His achievements in MMA include winning the UFC Superfight Title, the King of Pancrasists Open-weight Title and, along with Royce Gracie, being one of the first inductees into the UFC Hall of Fame.

As usual, you can find the basics at The Other Wiki.

"Ultimate, Dangerous Tropes":

  • The Ace: He was inhumanly strong, skilled in grappling and no slouch in striking, ripped to the gills, and over all this, an American. This naturally made him extremely marketable both in Japan and United States.
  • Arch-Enemy: Dan "The Beast" Severn, in UFC and in WWE. In MMA also Tito Ortiz & Royce Gracie.
  • Badass Teacher: He owns the Lion's Den MMA Gyms and has trained fighters like Vernon "Tiger" White, Guy Mezger, Frank Shamrock, Maurice Smith, Jerry Bohlander, Tra Telligman, Pete Williams, Mikey Burnett, Oleg Taktarov, Mark Coleman, Jason Delucia, Roy Nelson, Joe Hurley and many others.
  • Balls of Steel: Literally. Dan Severn tried to get out of a guillotine choke by low blowing Ken, but under his purple speedos Shamrock wore a muay thai metal cup, and all Dan did was hurting his hand.
  • The Big Guy
  • Boisterous Bruiser
  • Blood Knight: He loved to fight, since the first minute on his fight with Don Nakaya Nielsen to the last minute of the post-prime fight he should have not taken.
  • The Brute: As a heel.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Back when they were in PWFG, Kazuo Takahashi broke the script in a match and shot on Shamrock. Perhaps predictably, the matter ended in ninety seconds with a soccer kick to the face of the Japanese. Ironically, they turned into Vitriolic Best Buds when they later became sparring partners in Pancrase.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: According to Maurice Smith, Ken was one of the strongest guys from his time, even more than orthodox wrestlers like Mark Coleman.
  • Collegiate American Football: At Shasta College.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: His father left when he was five. His mother married a man who abused Ken. Ken spent time in foster homes, juvenile hall and group homes. That isn't Kayfabe, either. He was legally adopted by his foster father and took his last name.
  • Determinator
  • The Dreaded: Back in his prime in MMA, he was feared even by his own training partners for his strength and skill.
  • Fingerless Gloves
  • Finishing Move: Ankle lock.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: Suffered one in the WWF when Curtis Hughes kicked him stiffly in the neck, aggravating an old injury.
  • Gimmick Matches: At SummerSlam 98, he defeated Owen Hart in a "Lion's Den Match," which was held in a modified UFC-style octagon. At Fully Loaded 99, he defeated Steve Blackman in an "Iron Circle Match," which was a hardcore match where they were surrounded by cars in a parking garage. Shamrock won by choking out Blackman with a chain.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: He worked both roles in SAPW and in WWE.
  • Heroic Build: In his younger days.
  • Hit Me, Dammit!: During his Intercontinental Heavyweight Title match against Val Venis at WWF In Your House 27: St. Valentine's Day Massacre, Ryan Shamrock was supposed to slap him but missed her cue, with Ken attempting to salvage the situation by audibly yelling, "SLAP ME!"
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: During his first fight against Royce Gracie on UFC 1, Shamrock got two iterations of the trope. The first one was that he dropped backwards to leglock Gracie without knowing he had Royce's gi wrapped around his hand, which accidentally pulled his opponent on top of him. And the second and worst one was that he insisted on locking the hold without figuring he had to look for gi chokes, which let Gracie to do exactly that and submit him.
  • Hot-Blooded
  • I Know MMA: Specifically the Japanese shoot-style MMA, which is based around catch wrestling and other martial arts.
  • Insult Backfire: Shamrock's threat to beat Tito Ortiz "into a living death" caused Tito to burst into laughter. It's one of MMA's most famous groaners.
  • King of Beasts: He has a chain of MMA schools called the Lion's Den.
  • Knight Templar Big Brother: To Ryan Shamrock, who luckily didn't like to travel.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Aside from a great technical worker trained by Funaki and Suzuki, Ken was incredibly strong, which made his game more dangerous than the accustomed slim grapplers of Pancrase.
  • Military Brat: He was born at Robins Air Force Base in Macon, GA.
  • MMA Family: His brother Frank.
  • Noodle Incident: It was never explained why he put so much enthusiasm into beating up Billy Gunn. Granted, he put a lot of enthusiasm into everything he did, but, for some reason Gunn seemed to bring out something extra in him.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: He defeated the Rock to win the 1998 King of the Ring Tournament... the same night as the Hell In A Cell II match between Mankind and The Undertaker.
  • Permastubble
  • Power Stable:
  • Real Song Theme Tune: For most of his UFC career, he used Reveille's "What You Got."
  • Real Men Love Jesus: Is born-again Christian.
  • Red Baron: "The World's Most Dangerous Man", "One Punch Shamrock" (in his toughman contest days), "The Ultimate Hero" (in Japan after his UFC fights).
  • Screaming Warrior: "GET OUT OF MY WAY!", after the British Bulldog shoved dog food in Ken's mouth during their match at SummerSlam 97.
  • Surpassed the Teacher: Defeated his mentor Funaki at the first main event in Pancrase. Shamrock recalls it as a very special match, because he had never tapped out him or merely dominated him in the gym and the victory took Ken by surprise.
  • Training from Hell: Apparently, what it's like to train under him. Shamrock himself passed one under Yoshiaki Fujiwara in Japan.
  • Underwear of Power
  • Unrelated Brothers: He's unrelated to his foster brother and MMA fighter Frank Shamrock. In Kayfabe, Ryan Shamrock is his sister.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Subverted. While his technique was nowhere near the level of guys like Funaki and Suzuki, Ken was not slouch neither, but it was his very superior physique which allowed him to outmuscle everybody in Pancrase and dominate on the ground.
  • Unstoppable Rage
  • Ur-Example: The first King of Pancrase titleholder and the first foreign champion in a Japanese MMA promotion.
  • Worked Shoot: Ken had a long career in Japanese shoot-style promotions, which mean matches designed to look like MMA fights, and eventually a longer career in Pancrase, a MMA company famous for its relaxation at the time of host worked fights to promotional purposes. Shamrock has stated he fought those predetermined fights for the business's sake.
    • His famous fight against Matt Hume, which ended in a spectacular northern lights suplex dropped into a kimura, was actually an exhibition accorded among them due to Hume getting injured before the bout.
    • The second fight against Masakatsu Funaki is believed to be a work in order to rebuild Funaki's reputation, which got damaged after losing to Ken at the first Pancrase event, and also to preserve Ken before his expected fights in the upcoming UFC 3.
    • Ken was told to throw his second match with Minoru Suzuki in order to drop to him the King of Pancrase title, as Shamrock would compete later against Dan Severn (former UWF-i wrestler) in UFC and Pancrase could not take the risk of their champion losing to a wrestler belonging to a worked wrestling promotion.
  • Wrestling Doesn't Pay: Subverted. He took up pro wrestling because MMA was not paying enough.