To a lot of people, Shayna Baszler‘s move from MMA to pro wrestling was leaving one world for another. But for her, given her background, it’s more like switching branches on the same tree. She spoke with MMA Fighting.com to discuss her transition to wrestling, being apart of the Mae Young Classic and much more.
On transitioning from MMA to pro wrestling:
“I kind of had a feeling I’d enjoy it. I mean, if you follow my MMA career, I’ve always been the pro wrestler of women’s MMA, coming out with a guitar, saying crazy things on interviews, promos and such. Being a disciple of Josh Barnett, and learning about pro wrestling coming from old school catch wrestling, it’s always been a big part of our training. Maybe people won’t understand this or know the history of catch wrestling and the shared history of pro wrestling/sports entertainment has with mixed martial arts and fighting, but I’ve been under Josh for 12 years. I felt it was a way I could follow in his footsteps and Billy Robinson’s footsteps and carry the catch wrestling banner in my fights. It was important to me to be Josh’s first really successful sports entertainer. That was my goal, to honor everything he did for me.”
On being apart of the Mae Young Classic:
“It’s sooner than I thought, but at the same time, it’s exactly the right time. I think it had to happen this way, and there’s no better way than this tournament, where hopefully I show what I can do and what I bring to the table. The tournament and its historical importance is surreal to me.”
On a possible Four Horsewomen vs. Horsewomen Feud:
“If they think they want to challenge us, I don’t see any of the four of us saying no. I have to win this tournament first. I have to worry about that.”
On Ronda Rousey possibly wrestling:
“Ronda’s a natural athlete. Just learning a different rule set and bringing what she has from MMA would be the same, does her judo translate to MMA, will her MMA translate to pro wrestling? She’s been pretty successful one way, and I think she’ll be pretty successful the other way. Ronda’s one of those people that when she learns something, she goes in hard. If she wants to pursue this, she should pursue this … to where she would be one of the best, so we’ll see.”
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