Ken Shamrock Discusses What AEW and WWE Need to Learn From Each Other

Posted By Caroline Walsh on 07/11/19

Ken Shamrock appeared on Rybackís Conversations With the Big Guy show and discussed what he thinks AEW and WWE can learn from each other, whether he wants a WWE Hall of Fame induction and more. Shamrock discussed how his outspoken attitudes have landed him in trouble and explained why he thinks he deserves to be in the WWE Hall.

Highlights from the discussion are below, along with the full podcast:

On his habit of speaking openly about his opinions regarding WWE: ďIíve always done that and even in a sense of, it could be detrimental to me and my career. But Iíve always, given the way I grew up as a kid and the struggles I went through, the one thing that I think was instilled in me by my dad was that if you canít speak the truth. And even if itís not the truth, maybe itís just your thoughts or what you think. If you canít speak that, and somebody is going to be offended because you are speaking that, then thereís something wrong with them and not you. Because you should be able to say something without accusing or trying to hurt somebody. Somebody goes, ĎHey, what do you think about the product?í ĎOkay, hey! I think that Iíd really like to see more toughness in there. I would really like to see them focus more on trying to be more aggressive and more wrestling rather than this soap opera stuff. Yeah, real wrestlers, get real wrestlers in there, and donít be pushing people that arenít wrestlers. More aggressive, more of the attitude type thing.í But itís just my opinion. And someone comes back and [says] ĎHow dare you speak bad of WWE?í Itís like, ĎWhoa, whoa, whoa! Hold up.í Thatís not what I did. I gave my opinion on what I thought should happen. Itís not that ó it doesnít need to happen. Someone comes up and says, ĎHey, why did you leave WWF?í And I give the reason why I left. ĎOh, how dare you talk about that. You have no right to say anything like that!í Iím like, ĎUhh, I was asked, and I told.í And so to me, if you canít do that, then you might as well put a gun to your head and shoot yourself. Because if you cannot speak freely and be honest with what you feel and what you think, and what has happened to you as a person, and other people get mad about that? Thatís their problem. If youíve gotta start living someone elseís life and someone elseís vision? Put a gun to your head and shoot yourself because you now donít have a life.Ē

On AEW and WWE needing to learn from each other: ďI spoke on it the other day when we were talking about [AEW], and we were talking about WWF. I said, ĎIf you could mix the two, youíve got yourself a show. [AEW], youíve got guys that are just tremendous athletes, great wrestlers. But on the opening of the card to the closing of the card, youíve spot, spot, spot, spot, spot, spot. And itís hardly anybody slows down to tell a story. To get heat, get real heat. To get a good babyface pop or comeback. It just seems like everybodyís running all these things in together. And I thought Dustin Rhodes [vs. Cody] ó that told a story. A story that people can connect with. But where is the rest of the stories? And then youíve got WWF which all they do is tell a story with no physical wrestling. Like, no attitude, no aggressiveness, no viciousness. So theyíre missing heels, theyíre missing heat. The way guys get heat now is getting on the mic and being able to tell how bad everybody else is. Thatís not real heat! Real heat is going in and kicking a guy in the nuts and bashing a chair over his head, and beating on him and breaking his legs ó not really, but. And then getting into the audience and being able to mouth off, and then get back on and create more heat through action. And then you get, thatís real heat.Ē

On if he wants to be in the WWE Hall of Fame: ďOh, thereís no question. I mean, I think any athlete who competes in an organization wants to be recognized. And I think the best way to do that is to be able to be in the Hall of Fame. And you know, I ó and itís not like Iím asking to do it just because I was in the WWF, and I was a champion in the UFC. But I think that I belong in there, because when you look at the actual credentials of a Hall of Fame, itís did you change the way people look at the sport? Did you break records? Did you change the way people have to do [things]. For instance, you look at Deion Sanders, they had to keep changing the way people ran routes on his side, you know? Thatís what a Hall of Famer is, is somebody that changed the landscape when youíre in that ring or when youíre on that field. And I really truly believe that when I went into that ring, I changed the landscape of pro wrestling. Because prior to Ken Shamrock, there was probably maybe a handful of submission holds. And those submission holds didnít come by tap-out. They came by a verbal I Quit. The only time people tapped out was after Ken Shamrock. Then there was tap-outs. Prior to that? It was ĎI quit, I give up.'Ē

On if heís spoken to anyone in WWE about an induction: ďNo, you know what? Iíve run across different people at signings and different things like that, but you know, nothing like that. And you know, listen, Macho Man, I donít know. It took him about 30 years to get in or something like that. Obviously, I want to go in. I think I deserve to get in. But again, like I said, Iím also also okay with waiting too, because I know that there is a lot of other guys that put a lot more time than me that didnít get in for a very long time. So, I understand it. I guess just have to wait my time. I know that I will get in but I just donít know when.Ē