Martial arts has always been a small part of Pro Wrestling. However, it’s been a growing trend for some time now. The entertainment of pro wrestling has gone from exaggerated elbow drop finishes, to submission moves originally seen on UFC pay-per-views.
After watching a video online of Brock Lesnar pulling off a bone snapping kimura on his foe, Triple H, I couldn’t help but see it as a reenactment of the real snapping of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira’s shoulder at the hands of Frank Mir recently. This was not the first occurrence I’ve noticed of pro wrestlers incorporating MMA either. I remember tuning into Spike for a UFC event once and catching the end of TNA. The wrestlers went back and forth in submissions, to standing in muay thai stances. This was a huge difference from my childhood memories of the WWF with Razor Ramon and Shawn Michaels fighting on a ladder to reach a hanging belt.
Maybe I caught random instances of this I thought. Maybe. But after hearing Bellator CEO, Bjorn Rebney and TNA president, Dixie Carter on MMA Uncensored speaking on King Mo’s new MMA and pro wrestling contract including an intervening storyline between the two groups – it’s obviously here to stay.
As the saying goes, imitation is the biggest form of flattery. To some however, it looks as if the industry is emulating the attraction that is MMA, simply because of its popularity. Either way, legally there is no issue at this point.