Full Contact Fighter’s “The Daily Takedown:” Is Pro Wrestling Tougher Than MMA?
By Joshua Molina
Does Shawn Michaels’ super kick hurt more than Anderson Silva’s karate front kick?
Bret “The Hitman” Hart and Vitor Belfort can debate this point, but if you ask MMA legend Dan “The Beast” Severn, he will tell you that pro wrestling is harder than MMA.
Now before the MMA marks get in a huff over that statement, here’s what Severn means:
Pro wrestling is tougher on your body than MMA.
Most WWE pro wrestlers wrestle 180 to 200 a year. They put their bodies in the hands of other wrestlers who punch them, kick them, slam them, jump on them, chop them, choke them and knee them.
Pro wrestlers fall from ladders, jump through tables and fall on thumbtacks. Some of them even cut themselves with razor blades during matches to create real blood.
And although pro wrestling is scripted, it’s still full of physical contact. Pro wrestlers put on a show, but it’s not ballet; it’s orchestrated violence.
The former WWE wrestler is not the first to say that wrestling is tougher MMA. MMA stars who have either trained or tried to be pro wrestlers have made similar statements.
King Mo, a Bellator and TNA wrestler said it. Frank Shamrock said it. Although he never wrestled professionally, he trained to be one for awhile.
The great Ken Shamrock wrestled in the WWE for a few years, but was never really any kid. He was stiff and lacked fluidity in the cage.
When Shamrock fought, the pro wrestling matches looked really fake. No one could believe Shamrocks kicks and punches because they were obviously pulled.
No one would believe Ken Shamrock was being hit either because he never trusted his opponents to hit him.
In wrestling, you need to trust your partner or opponent. You need to trust that they will hit you, but just barely, just enough to look real, but not hurt too much.
And they have to do this with every kick, punch and slam, 200 nights a year, not to mention the daily training, remembering to eat right when all that is open is fast food, and not to mention the intense flight schedule.
There isn’t a profesdional wrestler alive who isn’t injured in some way everytime they step into the cage.
MMA fighters, of course, fight for real, and there’s no substitute for the feeling of knowing that you could die or get knocked out at any moment.
But the reality is that top MMA fighters battle two or three times a year. Younger men and women might compete six times.
And while there’s no substitute for the unexpected armbar or spinning backfist, it’s fair to say that pro wrestlers have it a lot tougher.
The Rock famously hit Mick Foley with 11 consecutive steel chair shots to the head in an “I Quit” match, captured beautifully in the documentary “Beyond The Mat.”
MMA fighters don’t have to put up with that. Thankfully, MMA is real.