Joining us today on the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling Podcast is one of the most talented, entertaining and charismatic stars in MMA today. He is a former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion and also a former TNA Impact Wrestling Superstar “King Mo” “Muhammad Lawal. “King Mo” is no stranger to speaking his mind and this interview is full of great stories and fascinating insight into the mind of a fighter who backs up what he says. We also get a glimpse at a huge pro wrestling fan who if he had his way would be a full time wrestler and would be fulfilling a lifelong dream to a be a pro wrestling champion.
Full Episode Download Link:
King Mo on Being a Natural Heel & What He Learned in TNA Impact Wrestling:
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Growing up as a wrestling fan:
I loved the NWA, WCW and Mid-South. The WWE was cool but I always loved WCW. It’s not anything racial at all but it was the black wrestlers that I saw in WCW that seemed more real. In WWE you had people dancing, WCW had Ron Simmons. I loved Ron Simmons. When he beat Vader for the belt I went crazy because you never thought it could happen. But also Booker T and Stevie Ray you saw a big difference and the only guy you saw juking and jiving was 2 Cold Scorpio.
Nearly signing with WWE in 2004 and eventually signing with TNA:
WWE offered me a contract after the Olympic Trials in 2004. I went there and they offered me a developmental deal but I turned it down. Shad Gaspard said to me if I want to win a lightweight title in a fight go do that because wrestling will always be there. So I did that but looking back maybe I should have taken that deal. I made the decision I made and I can live with it. I waited and got an opportunity with TNA and they sent me to OVW and I got a chance to obtain my dreams, granted it didn’t really play out the way I wanted to because I didn’t get to have a match and I was match ready. Things didn’t really work out the way I wanted and Dixie (Carter) was always busy and they didn’t seem to think I was ready and I didn’t get a chance to prove myself.
Initial impressions of the TNA locker room:
It was cool and they are cool people and the locker room was really cool. I had absolutely no problems, they treated me really well with open arms and showed me the ropes. Samoa Joe was really cool to me, Bobby Roode, James Storm it was a real great welcome.
His anticipated Impact Wrestling TV debut:
I was nervous as hell. I just wasn’t trying to be the “Black Glacier”. Because if you remember Glacier didn’t get a “pop” after all that build up and that was the last thing I wanted to do. It all would have failed if that had happened.
Are his MMA Entrances Inspired by Pro Wrestling?:
Pretty much. I figured that everything I’ve done is pro wrestling, kung-fu movies, Heathcliff and Walter Payton. Those things molded my life growing up. Those are things that were most important to me,
Is Training Pro Wrestling harder then MMA?:
Hands down. If people want to say “Mo, you really don’t know what you are talking about”. Find a pro-wrestling school and take some bumps and go through the first few weeks of pro-wrestling school and see how you feel. Go wrestle a match. Phil Baroni didn’t believe and said being a fighter is way tougher and I said it is tough but if you don’t believe me go see and Phil went to FSW (Future Stars Wrestling) and started to complain to me about his “neck, back, shoulders, heels, knees” all being sore from taking bumps. People don’t realize it’s work on your body. Back in the locker room you see guys before they go out to the ring and they are struggling to walk. You see guys like a Dolph Ziggler who is my age and even though he looks good I guarantee that back in the locker room he’d be struggling or Jack Swagger aka Jake Hager is probably struggling because they are always putting their bodies through the ringer for the sake of your entertainment.
The Origin of the Name “King Mo”:
That came from one of my boys because they said I was always king of the crowd. I love that because I am the king of the crowd. They always loved me or hated me. “King Mo” is something that anyone can be. There are kings of all races and cultures so I figured that “King Mo” sounds good. But I am a fan of all the kings of wrestling, “King” Booker and “King” Harley Race. I always loved them and of course Jerry “The King” Lawler is a beast too.
Other Pro Wrestlers competing outside of the wrestling business.
It’s the way you process things. I think (CM) Punk will do good. It all depends on what you learn and what you see. He will probably get someone he can probably beat, he isn’t stupid. They will give him someone who is known but not good. Not for his first fight, I just see them giving him someone that he can beat. If you think about business, CM Punk’s first fight will do one million buys. So why risk it with having him get beat for his first fight. Try to get him a few wins and then see what he can do later. He is serious about it. Let him fight a grappler first, let him fight a striker, let him fight a wrestler. Let him grow and then give him a test. (Brock) came at the right time and then he left at the right time, he made his money. He is smart. You know how wrestlers like to work and trick and prank. Wrestlers are kind of shady anyway, not to bash them but you can’t believe what anybody says. Like when they said Kurt Angle was going to try and make a wrestling comeback. I think he thought about it until he showed up for practice and once he got there realized he wasn’t that committed.
King Mo also discusses his fighting career in great length and covers winning the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship, signing with Bellator, his future fight plans and his favorite pro wrestlers on the Independent Scene.