Former UFC Champion and WWE Intercontinental Champion Ken Shamrock is on his way back to the squared circle.
Shamrock will return to pro wrestling on January 31st in Atlanta, Georgia for an event titled Ultimate Bar Brawl being presented by McAloon Productions. This will be Shamrock's first pro wrestling match in the United States since August 9th, 2009 when he worked a match against Jimmy Jacobs for JCW.
There will be an all-around MMA theme to the bout as Shamrock will take on former UFC fighter "Filthy" Tom Lawlor. Lawlor is no stranger to pro wrestling, having been a long-time fan and frequent podcast guest over at the Wrestling Observer. Lawlor has had a successful transition to wrestling of late, working for MLW.
In recent years, Shamrock has made no bones about the fact that he has wanted to return to wrestling. He finally made that return last month when he worked for Battle Championship Wrestling in Australia. He worked two matches for the promotion, a singles victory (via submission) against Gabriel Wolfe and a BCW Tag Team Championship victory (w/ Carlo Cannon) over Big Cuz and Wolfe.
Shamrock has spoken out about wanting to make a return to WWE as well, previously making public statements about wanting to face Brock Lesnar for the WWE Universal Championship. He's also said that he would like to return for a match with Kurt Angle.
"I have tried to toss that little seed out there for a while [a match between him and Angle]," Shamrock told Wrestling Inc. in June. "Kurt has always been that guy to have wanted to create the opportunity when he was wrestling, but for whatever reason it never happened," Shamrock said. "A guy who actually brought it in versus a guy who brought it in and thought he made it better, so we can find out who the real submission artist is."
Shamrock left the WWE in late 1999, less than three years after his career there had began. He was written off television after a feud with Jericho and never returned. It was at that time that he went on to resume his MMA career, notably with Pride and eventually once again with the UFC.
As far as professional wrestling goes, Shamrock did wrestle for TNA Impact Wrestling during the company's early days in 2002 and 2004, even winning the world title there, while also working a couple matches for NJPW in 2003.