By Giancarlo Aulino
In this episode of Beyond The Game, VIBE Correspondent Giancarlo Aulino interviews the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock aka “The World’s Most Dangerous Man”. He is also widely regarded as one of the pioneers of Mixed-Martial Arts (MMA).
In this interview, Ken discusses his new podcast titled: World’s Most Dangerous Podcast, the evolution of MMA, his fights with Tito Ortiz, what it was like transitioning to the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), and who he’d like to wrestle if he returned to WWE.
Giancarlo: You recently entered the podcasting world with the World’s Most Dangerous Podcast. What interested you about podcasting and what motivated you to want to start one of your own?
Ken : For me it’s been all about the fans. Ever since I got into the ring. When I fought in Japan for my very first fight and heard people chanting my name—this was in Japanese by the way—I had to ask the referee: “What are they saying?”, and he said “they’re saying Wayne Shamrock”, because I went by my middle name over there, and so I said: “Oh, okay” and I just got this feeling of appreciation. The fans have played an important part in my career and the hard work that I put in, ever since that time. Des Woodruff, my business partner and myself, we decided let’s build a website, we’ll do a blog on there. We’ll have ways for fans to contact us and stay entertained, as well as abreast of everything that we’re up to and doing, because I was also moving into this entrepreneurial world of trying to develop new businesses and other areas.
Me and Des started seeing all these other podcasts that have been going on for quite some time, and we just felt like if we do a podcast, what makes us different? I’m no different than the rest of these guys—Joe Rogan has one, Chael Sonnen—everybody has one and they’re all talking about the same stuff. I said: “Des if we do this, we got to be different” and so we came up with the name Dangerous Podcast. We thought: “It’s a good name but now we have to live up to that name”--we have to be different, we have to be dangerous, we have to tackle things that most people won’t and stay neutral without taking sides. We said: “Okay let’s do this, but let’s create a podcast is different right from the start. Let’s forget about the topics that we’re going to go after, but let’s just start with the ingredients. What is our podcast going to be about?” So of course it’s going to be about MMA, we’ll always have an opportunity to talk about that whether it is stories about my beginnings, something going on within the world of MMA or in sports, we’ll talk about those things and we’ll be entertaining and creative on those topics.
Giancarlo: One of the things you feature on your podcast is called the Lion’s Cage. Can you talk to us a little bit about how you guys came up with that idea and what’s the feedback been like for that segment?
Ken : We had thought about storytelling and being able to talk about old stories, beginning times or even stuff that may not even have to do with the start of my career, but just the start of my life and some of the things that people can look at and go “well that’s why he is the way he is.” And I think the thing that really kind of separated us from everyone else is because I’ve rebranded myself--I wanted to go into the business world, I want to be an entrepreneur--I want to create opportunities for other people in business but also for myself, and rebrand myself in that direction. We thought that the whole Shark Tank thing is really interesting, and if it’s possible for us to do something like that in a podcast. Nobody is doing that. If we could create something like that in a podcast that would definitely separate us from the rest, besides the topics that we go after.
We were kicking around and came up with the Lion’s Cage to try and stay with the scenario and character. We decided we would do that, but what people would do is they’d have to submit their ideas and business ideas, and we would go through them and find ones that we thought would have potential, or that we think would have potential if we fix a few things and pokes holes in it so we could show them things that they need to fix and then go from there. That right there tended to be a big hit, it really did almost bring sports and business together. We were excited about that, because that has been my drive to one, want to do the podcast, two, to get into all the social media sites, and three, to try staying connected to the fans that helped make me who I am today.
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