Ken Shamrock knows what you’re thinking. The 55-year-old MMA and professional wrestling legend understands the stigma that comes with someone his age re-entering the world of sports entertainment.
After all, the history is there. It isn’t hard to think of at least a few examples of performers who held on for too long or came back for “one more match” only to leave a sour taste in fans’ mouths.
“When you’re 55 years old, you always know there’s this thought process going on in peoples’ heads, and rightfully so because of what we’re used to seeing,” Shamrock told Yahoo Sports. “People will say ‘I’m back and I feel great’ but it doesn’t translate in the ring. Wrestling has done themselves bad in that sense.”
One of the staples of WWE’s famed “Attitude Era,” Shamrock has thrust himself back into the professional wrestling scene with IMPACT Wrestling. Formerly known as TNA, IMPACT is looking to capitalize on a shifting industry landscape with a new TV deal with AXS and by bringing back Shamrock after a 15-year hiatus to help continue its push.
“I don’t want to take away from anything that they’re doing or were doing,” Shamrock said. “They brought me in and that’s a credit to them seeing an opportunity to raise awareness and turn peoples’ eyes toward IMPACT. They’ve done a lot of moves to help create this buzz and generate user interest. I’m just a piece of that. The things they’re doing are definitely making it happen. It really is getting people to turn and look. People will tune in because they want to see a washed-up guy fail or they’ll say ‘Ken Shamrock’s doing this again, let me watch it.’”