Bobby Lashley (Jeff Vulgamore/Combat Press)

What If Pro Wrestlers Were MMA Fighters? Fantasy 64-Man Tournament – Round 2

What if pro wrestlers were MMA fighters? It’s a question a lot of crossover fans have probably asked themselves. Some former WWE superstars, including Brock Lesnar and CM Punk, have even provided an answer. However, we here at Combat Press are striving to provide an even more comprehensive answer to how some of the best pro wrestlers would fare against one another in a 64-man fantasy tournament.

A panel of writers from Combat Press, combined with some of our colleagues in the world of MMA and pro-wrestling media, have taken on this task. The match-ups were done based on the wrestlers’ real last names, alphabetically. The premise is simple: the fights are judged on UFC 1 rules and based on the combatant’s real-life martial-arts credentials and reputation for toughness in actual brawls and street fights. Let’s continue with the second round of the tournament.

[Ed. Note: The number in parentheses next to the fighter’s name in the result represents the number of votes he received from our panel in his match-up.]


David “Tank” Abbott vs. Brock Lesnar

How they got here: Abbott def. Vader; Lesnar def. “Judo” Gene LeBell

Abbott: UFC heavyweight title challenger; 10-15 MMA record; JUCO All-American wrestler; renowned street fighter.

Lesnar: UFC heavyweight champion; 5-3 (1 NC) MMA record; NCAA national champion wrestler

What the writers are saying:

Max Freedman: “Brock bullrushes Tank and scores an easy ground-and-pound TKO early.”

Bryan Henderson: “Abbott had a favorable match-up against Vader, but he’s on the other end here. Unless he lands a one-punch knockout, he’ll be steamrolled by Lesnar’s power, size and intense aggressiveness.”

Riley Kontek: “Is this one even in question? It’s not a matter of when as much as it is how long it will take for Brock to dismantle Tank. My guess is under a minute.”

Andres Magana: “Lesnar’s stronger, faster, more athletic, and has a superior ground game.”

Kyle Symes: “The whole fight would be like every Lesnar fight: Can his opponent land a big punch before getting taken down? In this case, I’d say it wouldn’t happen. Lesnar all day.”

Rob Tatum: “As tough as Tank Abbott might have been, there’s no way he can hang with the power and athleticism of Lesnar.”

Result: Lesnar (7) def. Abbott (0)

This would be a mauling. Lesnar is not only a better fighter, but he’s an infinitely better athlete than Abbott. Lesnar would bull-rush him quickly, batter him and finish him within minutes, if not within a minute. Lesnar is the obvious favorite here, but there is still some stiff competition left for him to face.

Kurt Angle vs. Darrin “William Regal” Matthews

How they got here: Angle def. “Dr. Death” Steve Williams; Regal def. John “Bradshaw” Layfield

Angle: Olympic gold medalist in wrestling; def. Eddie Guerrero in backstage altercation; def. Brock Lesnar in amateur-style match prior to a WWE taping.

Regal: Trained catch wrestling under Billy Robinson; bare-knuckle boxing experience; def. Van Hammer in backstage scuffle via headbutts.

What the writers are saying:

Freedman: “Despite Regal’s toughness, Angle’s wrestling is the difference-maker in this one.”

Kontek: “Unless Regal gets disqualified for fighting dirty, expect Angle to dominate this fight to an eventual finish.”

Magana: “He won a gold medal with a broken freakin’ neck. Angle wins. Oh, it’s true. It’s damn true.”

Symes: “Regal has the respect of a lot of people in pro wrestling, but considering his strength feeds directly into Angle’s strength, I’ll take the Olympic gold medalist here.”

Tatum: “Under UFC 1 rules, this is a closer fight than you’d think, but Angle’s pure wrestling skills are going to be too much for Regal, no matter how many headbutts he gets in.”

Result: Angle (7) def. Regal (0)

In another unanimous verdict, the Olympic gold medalist marches on. Regal would not be an easy man to beat up or put away, but Angle’s level of wrestling and overall athletic edge would be too much for Regal to handle. Regal could likely land a couple of punches, but best believe he will be on the receiving end of a power takedown or two before Angle chooses to put him away.

Josh Barnett vs. “Filthy” Tom Lawlor

How they got here: Barnett def. The Iron Sheik; Lawlor def. “Marvelous” Marc Mero

Barnett: UFC heavyweight champion; 35-8 MMA record; MMA fighter/pro-wrestling trainer

Lawlor: 10-7 (1 NC) MMA record; University of Central Florida wrestler; Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt

What the writers are saying:

Freedman: “How’d the two most well-rounded martial artists end up matched up? Barnett uses the big size and strength advantage in this one.”

Henderson: “In addition to the size disparity, Lawlor also falls short to Barnett in terms of demonstrated MMA skills.”

Kontek: “Lawlor puts up a fight, but Barnett’s size, wrestling and toughness turn this into a one-sided affair.”

Magana: “Although both fighters are skilled, I’m siding with Barnett due to his size advantage and what I’d consider a more well-rounded ground attack.”

Symes: “Lawlor is as scrappy as they come, but overcoming the size disadvantage here is a tough task. The fact that Barnett isn’t someone who gets by just on his athletic ability or brute strength, but by superior technique also makes this one easy to call. I’m sure Lawlor could catch Barnett with something, but I see this being Barnett’s fight to win nine times out of 10.”

Tatum: “This one isn’t close. Barnett has the size, skill and experience to cruise past Lawlor.”

Result: Barnett (7) def. Lawlor (0)

In the MMA world, more so than wrestling these days, size matters. Lawlor was a solid light heavyweight in his own right, but Barnett is a big heavyweight who would absolutely suffocate “Filthy” Tom. Hilariously enough, these two are actually scheduled to wrestle soon, but it’s a worked match, not a cage fight. In the event they fought, Barnett would close the distance, put pressure on Lawlor, put him on his back, and finish him via submission.

Sione “The Barbarian” Vailahi vs. Bobby Lashley

How they got here: The Barbarian def. Dave Bautista; Lashley def. Shinsuke Nakamura

Barbarian: Studied sumo in Japan; notorious Polynesian tough guy.

Lashley: 15-2 MMA record; NAIA national champion wrestler; Army wrestling champion.

What the writers are saying:

Freedman: “The MMA experience will be too much for the tough Samoan to overcome. ‘Fight of the Night’ potential in this one, though.”

Henderson: “It’s never easy to pick Lashley. He’s big and powerful, but he mostly took out cans in his foray into MMA and could gas easily. Still, Lashley’s wrestling and MMA skill set makes him the more technical fighter of these two.”

Kontek: “The Barbarian just needs to land one clean shot on the jaw of Lashley. However, Lashley’s quickness and explosiveness would let him get inside on Barb, ground him and beat him up on the mat.”

Magana: “Lashley’s athleticism should edge him out a victory against the beast of the Barbarian, but it’s not going to be an easy match-up. Lashley is going to be sore for his next fight.”

Symes: “Do we have to reinforce the cage for these two behemoths? Lashley’s size and athleticism would intimidate almost anyone he goes up against — anyone except for someone like The Barbarian. Lashley has shown that he’s not an unstoppable force once the fight becomes something other than him steamrolling the competition, which is exactly the type of scrap The Barbarian would make it. Give me the Tongan in this fight.”

Tatum: “The athleticism of Lashley is simply too much in this one.”

Result: Lashley (6) def. The Barbarian (1)

In a street fight, The Barbarian might stand a chance, given his outrageous nature and anything goes style. However, even under UFC 1 rules, he couldn’t do some of the most brutal stuff that comes to our imagination. Lashley is an amazing athlete, an absolute brute and a proven MMA fighter. He would take down Barb when needed and work him from top position. He can’t finish the Tongan, but he’d gain respect for the toughness of Barb during this fight.

Lou Thesz vs. Kevin Nash

How they got here: Thesz def. Shelton Benjamin; Nash def. Nathan Jones

Thesz: Submission and amateur wrestler.

Nash: Reportedly in over 100 street fights in his life; smacked around Roddy Piper and Samoa Joe backstage.

What the writers are saying:

Freedman: “Nash is going to need a lot more than a jackknife powerbomb to overcome the technical skill difference between these two. Thesz advances.”

Henderson: “Thesz might struggle with Nash’s size, but how do you pick against an all-time wrestling great in this pairing?”

Kontek: “Nash’s street-fighting skills are definitely important, and size would be big here, but Thesz would find a way to get inside, ground Nash and ride him out from top position.”

Magana: “Thesz wins due to his superior technique, which he can use to target Nash’s notoriously weak legs.”

Symes: “Nash is always credited as being one of the most athletic big men in professional-wrestling history. He’s also thought of as one of the smartest when it came to the backstage politics and business decisions. That would lead me to believe he’d come up with a strategy to overcome Thesz’s grappling. Still, Thesz was no small man himself, and he would get Big Kev to the ground and keep him there, negating the height and size advantage held by Nash.”

Result: Thesz (5) def. Nash (2)

Nash has been in over 100 street fights in his life, but he’s never been pitted against an animal like Thesz. Nash definitely has a size advantage and big power in his hands. However, the wrestling of Thesz would be too much, especially considering Nash was never a known grappler. If Nash could land early, then he could put Thesz down. However, Thesz is two-dollar-steak tough and would likely grapple Nash to death.

Wade Barrett vs. Charles “Karl Gotch” Istaz

How they got here: Barrett def. Earthquake; Gotch def. Scott Norton

Barrett: European bare-knuckle boxing champion; survived stabbing in Europe.

Gotch: Olympian in wrestling; submission wrestler.

What the writers are saying:

Freedman: “Gotch may take a few to get on the inside, but he ultimately snatches a limb and gets the tap.”

Henderson: “Barrett could have gone a long way, had he not run into a wrestler. The takedown is often a great equalizer in a battle against a striker, and Gotch will make use of it here.”

Kontek: “This comes down to who lands the first shot — Barrett with one of his big punches or Gotch with his wrestling shot. Gotch gets through Barrett’s barrage and stretches him on the ground.”

Magana: “Again, wrestling reigns supreme. Gotch might eat a strike or two from the bare-knuckle boxer, but he gets Barrett to the ground and controls him from there.”

Symes: “Barrett is as tough guy (survived a robbery attempt that ended up with him getting stabbed) and has the striking edge, but Gotch’s grappling and training pays off here.”

Result: Gotch (5) def. Barrett (2)

As in the Thesz/Nash match-up, Gotch and Barrett would combine for a grappler-vs.-striker affair. Barrett definitely has more of a chance given his bare-knuckle boxing background and experience in organized combat. However, Gotch’s Olympic-level wrestling would be the deciding factor. Barrett could land the one-hitter quitter, but Gotch is as tough as they come and would get Barrett on his back. He’d stretch him until Barrett could fight no longer.

Charles “Chad Gable” Betts vs. Antonio Inoki

How they got here: Gable def. “Dangerous” Dan Spivey; Inoki def. Sean O’Haire

Gable: Olympian in wrestling; Pan-American gold medalist in wrestling.

Inoki: Karate and wrestling background; def. The Great Antonio in wrestling match turned shoot fight in the ring.

What the writers are saying:

Freedman: “Tough, tough match-up here. Inoki takes it, but don’t ask me why.”

Kontek: “Gable’s wrestling is intriguing, but Inoki is far more well rounded. This is a tough one to call, but Inoki scores the victory.”

Magana: “Although the size difference is notable, Gable wins. Inoki is definitely going to land one of his patented slaps, stunning Gable. However, Gable’s instincts will kick in, and he’ll manage to wrestle Inoki to the ground.”

Symes: “Gable is an incredible athlete and brings legit amateur-wrestling credentials to this fight. Is that enough to overcome the size and grappling knowledge of Inoki? This fight would be tough to judge due to the grappling exchanges, but Inoki would take the win by inflicting more damage.”

Tatum: “Toughness wins out in one of the toughest match-ups in this round. Inoki walks away the winner”

Result: Inoki (4) def. Gable (3)

By the closest of margins, Inoki takes this bout. Gable’s Olympic-level wrestling would be a dangerous tool here and could give Inoki trouble. However, Inoki can grapple and strike. He also holds a pretty good size advantage over Gable. This would be a back-and-forth battle. Inoki would take a close decision by landing more damage throughout the fight.

Scott “Bam Bam” Bigelow vs. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff

How they got here: Bigelow def. Tracy Smothers; Orndorff def. Booker T

Bigelow: 0-1 MMA record; saved three children from burning house while suffering burns to 40 percent of his body.

Orndorff: Pro-football player; locker-room general; bit off Tony Atlas’ ear; def. Vader in backstage fight while wearing shower sandals.

What the writers are saying:

Freedman: “Orndorff/Vader 2.0 with the same results.”

Kontek: “Bam Bam doesn’t go down easily, but ‘Mr. Wonderful’ eventually shows why he was so respected in the pro-wrestling locker room with some brutal punches.”

Symes: “Tough one to call here. On one hand, you have Bam Bam, who, despite his size, was extremely athletic for a pro-wrestling big man and would have a significant size advantage. On the other, Orndorff’s toughness is legendary in the business. Orndorff is scrappy enough to survive the initial storm from Bam Bam and make a comeback in the later rounds.”

Result: Orndorff (5) def. Bigelow (2)

As Max Freedman said in his analysis, this would likely be Orndorff/Vader 2.0. Bigelow is definitely tougher than Vader, but he’s similar in size, athleticism and stature. Orndorff was not one to screw with, and once he got his paws on Bigelow, it’s doubtful that Bam Bam would want much more. Orndorff would score the stoppage from strikes, this time without his flip flops on.

Steve Blackman vs. Mike “Bart Gunn” Polchlopek

How they got here: Blackman def. Dick Slater; Gunn def. Bob Holly

Blackman: Multiple-discipline black belt; MMA trainer; def. Bradshaw in fight at the airport; def. Marc Mero in the WWE’s Brawl for All tournament; submitted the Big Show in backstage kerfuffle.

Gunn: 1-1 MMA record; winner of the Brawl for All with victories over Bob Holly, “Dr. Death” Steve Williams, The Godfather and Bradshaw; lost to Butterbean via knockout at WrestleMania.

What the writers are saying:

Freedman: “Blackman is too tactical to get caught before ultimately getting the heavy-handed southpaw down and submitting him.”

Henderson: “This is the fight that should have happened in Brawl for All. Blackman was the tourney favorite there, so he’s my pick here.”

Magana: “Blackman wins a back-and-forth contest, managing to eventually TKO Gunn.”

Kontek: “Many say Blackman would have won the Brawl for All had he not dropped out due to injury. We find that out to be the case here, as Blackman outwrestles and outworks Gunn to a victory.”

Symes: “Gunn’s punching power is impressive, but Blackman’s well-rounded skill set is the difference here. If it was a straight-up boxing match, then Gunn takes it. When you add in all the elements of an MMA fight, Blackman is the winner.”

Result: Blackman (7) def. Gunn(0)

Had Blackman stuck around for the entire Brawl for All, this would likely have been the finals match-up. The career path of Gunn would have been much different, as Blackman would have beat him. Blackman is far more well rounded and would be wary of Gunn’s big left hand. Blackman’s striking would serve him well, but it’s his ground game that would score him the victory.

Ron Simmons vs. Danny Hodge

How they got here: Simmons def. CM Punk; Hodge def. Daniel Puder

Simmons: Pro-football player; feared and respected by the locker room for his toughness.

Hodge: Olympic silver medalist in wrestling; national champion wrestler at University of Oklahoma; Golden Gloves boxing champion; can crush apple with his bare hands.

What the writers are saying:

Freedman: “Hodge gets a brutal finish in this one that will have even Simmons thinking ‘DAMN.’”

Kontek: “It would be tough at first for Hodge to get through the strength and athleticism of Simmons, but his wrestling and boxing ability would prevail handily down the stretch.”

Symes: “Simmons’ athleticism and toughness got him through the first round, but an unlikely draw here stops his run. Hodge’s wrestling credentials as an Olympic silver medalist and national champ are going to cause problems for a lot of people in this tournament. Simmons makes it interesting early, but Hodge controls the fight with his superior grappling.”

Tatum: “Another really tough pick. Simmons might have the intimidation factor, but Hodge has wrestling and boxing skills.”

Result: Hodge (6) def. Simmons (1)

There is no doubt that Simmons is an absolute stud and would beat most men in this tournament. Unfortunately for Simmons, Hodge is not one of those guys. Hodge definitely gives up size on Simmons, but his wrestling would be too much. If Hodge was throwing hands with Simmons, he could hold his own until he wanted to shoot a takedown. Hodge had the skills to compete in MMA had it existed when he was in his prime.

Ken Shamrock vs. Harley Race

How they got here: Shamrock def. The Undertaker; Race def. Road Warrior Hawk

Shamrock: UFC Superfight champion; King of Pancrase; 28-17-2 MMA record; 0-1 kickboxing record.

Race: One of most respected tough guys in wrestling (Andre the Giant feared him); notorious fighter at the bar or at ringside with overzealous fans; pulled a gun on Hulk Hogan.

What the writers are saying:

Freedman: “‘The Baddest Man on the Planet’ strikes again for an ankle-lock finish early.”

Henderson: “Again, Shamrock was among the elite in the early days of MMA. A prime Shamrock easily tops Race.”

Kontek: “Harley doesn’t go down without a fight, but he does go down at the hands of an MMA legend.”

Magana: “Shamrock was at one point considered one of the world’s most dangerous men. Although Race is tough, Shamrock is more well rounded.”

Symes: “Race has a reputation as one of the most intimidating people in the history of professional wrestling. While that might be a factor if he was going up against another pro wrestler, I don’t envision Shamrock walking into the cage and being intimidated in the least by Harley. Add in Shamrock’s fighting credentials, and Ken takes this one.”

Tatum: “Shamrock’s track record is too hard to ignore. Race put fear into a lot of people, but there’s not many in this tournament with the experience and skill of ‘The World’s Most Dangerous Man.’”

Result: Shamrock (7) def. Race (0)

The pick to win this fight was never in doubt, but it doesn’t mean this wouldn’t be an entertaining affair. Race would never give up and would inflict as much damage on Shamrock as possible. However, the fact of the matter is that Shamrock could do it all, and he would obviously stay away from throwing hands with Race. He would get Race down at some point and work his grappling until he secured a submission.

Dan “The Beast” Severn vs. Rick “Steiner” Rechsteiner

How they got here: Severn def. Jack Gallagher; Steiner def. Tony Halme

Severn: UFC Superfight champion; UFC 5 tournament champion; def. The Godfather in the Brawl for All; Arizona State All-American wrestler; Olympic team alternate; judo/jiu-jitsu black belts; master of sport in combat sambo.

Steiner: University of Michigan wrestler; beat up several lesser-known wrestlers in the ring.

What the writers are saying:

Freedman: “‘The Beast’ outlasts the ‘Dog-Faced Gremlin’ to earn a spot in the next round with a grinding stoppage win.”

Kontek: “This fight is closer than you’d think. Yes, Severn is an MMA legend, but Steiner is a lunatic who could put up a bit of a scrap before Severn’s experience takes its toll.”

Tatum: “Do I really have to pick a winner? Severn’s all-around skill set is better for fighting, but Steiner might have been a better fighter if he had gotten into MMA. Severn scores the win.”

Result: Severn (6) def. Steiner (1)

Steiner was feared by most, but reality would catch up to him here. He would not outfight nor outwrestle “The Beast.” Severn may not have had the most exciting style in history, but it was effective nonetheless. He would have his hands full with Steiner, but eventually take a decision victory.

Allen “Bad News Brown” Coage vs. Scott “Steiner” Rechsteiner

How they got here: Brown def. Authors of Pain’s Rezar; Steiner def. Jack Swagger

Brown: Olympic bronze medalist in judo; notorious street fighter; def. Owen Hart in backstage scuffle; fought the Cuban Assassin with a knife wound.

Steiner: All-American wrestler at University of Michigan; def. Diamond Dallas Page in backstage scuffle; one of most feared men in the locker room.

What the writers are saying:

Freedman: “While Brown could score a knockout via Ghetto Blaster, I’ll take ‘Big Poppa Pump’ to get this fight to the mat and score a ground-and-pound TKO first.”

Kontek: “Brown is legit, but Steiner is not only an immensely strong lunatic with a hot temper and top-level wrestling skills, but a dude that goes into the cage to kill, not win.”

Symes: “This would turn out similar to how Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate II went, with Tate looking to initiate takedowns (since that was her base) and Rousey reversing those with her judo. Steiner is going to look for the takedowns, but I’m not sure how effective those are going to be against someone like Brown. Steiner is crazy and extremely strong, but Brown uses his aggression against Steiner to secure the win.”

Tatum: “Hard to believe I’m voting out both Steiner brothers, but neither had favorable match-ups. This is closer than Rick’s fight against Severn, but Brown still outlasts Scott.”

Result: Steiner (4) def. Brown (3)

In a surprisingly close match-up, Steiner squeaks away with a victory over the gritty, tough Brown. This would be an absolute frenzied affair and the guaranteed “Fight of the Night” of the second-round match-ups. These two men are equally nuts and would absolutely wail on each other. Steiner would eventually get the best of Brown, keeping the Steiner brothers represented in this tournament.

Perry “Saturn” Satulo vs. Matt Riddle

How they got here: Saturn def. “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan; Riddle def. Charlie Haas

Saturn: former Army Ranger; amateur-wrestling credentials; beat up Mike Bell in the ring; survived multiple gunshots while breaking up a rape in progress.

Riddle: 8-3 (2 NC) MMA record; collegiate wrestler with pinfall win over UFC champion Jon Jones.

What the writers are saying:

Freedman: “Saturn is one tough dude, but he won’t throw anything at Riddle that ‘Chipper’ hasn’t seen before.”

Henderson: “Riddle’s another proven mixed martial artist. Saturn is tough, but he doesn’t share that skill set.”

Kontek: “Saturn is as tough as they come, but Riddle is a proven fighter.”

Magana: “Bro! Riddle is more athletic, and while his striking game may not be the best, his tenacity, youth and well-roundedness should earn him the victory.”

Symes: “If this were a real street fight with no rules, I’d be more inclined to take the guy who was a former Army Ranger. However, with the fight happening under MMA rules, I’ll roll with the guy with more MMA experience. ‘King of the Bros’ takes another W.”

Result: Riddle (6) def. Saturn (1)

This fight was never in doubt. Riddle is a legit MMA fighter that could not only outwrestle Saturn, but outstrike him as well. Saturn would put up a fight, but Riddle would finish him at some point.

Tonga “Meng” Fifita vs. Billy Robinson

How they got here: Meng def. Bruno Sammartino; Robinson def. Frank Gotch

Meng: Street-fight and barroom-brawl legend; trained sumo in Japan; most feared man in the locker room.

Robinson: notorious catch wrestler; MMA/pro-wrestling trainer; def. Peter Maivia in street fight with a knockout after Maivia bit through his cheek.

What the writers are saying:

Freedman: “The proud Samoan seeks redemption for the infamous Peter Maivia knockout and gets a quick finish of Robinson.”

Henderson: “Possibly the toughest pick in this round. The stories about Meng are insane, but Robinson is the more technical of the two men. This would be a war.”

Kontek: “I have a real tough time going against Billy Robinson here, but it’s Meng. UFC 1 rules, so Meng runs wild again here.”

Symes: “This fight sounds like one that’d end in a double disqualification, given both men’s reputations. I’ll take Meng in a coin-flip prediction.”

Result: Meng (5) def. Robinson (2)

Many writers were torn on this bout. Given Robinson’s legit shooting background, many had confidence in him. However, they also remembered Meng is a lunatic who can brawl with the best of them. Robinson can try to get Meng down, but he has to get close first. When he gets close, Meng would do something of great damage and eventually get the better of Robinson. It’s a tough fight for both, though.

Bill Goldberg vs. Alberto “del Rio” Rodriguez

How they got here: Goldberg def. Rick Rude; del Rio def. Bruiser Brody

Goldberg: MMA and kickboxing training; outwrestled by Chris Jericho in a backstage scuffle.

del Rio: 9-5 MMA record; would have been a 2000 Olympian had Mexico sent a team to the Games; has beat up several wrestlers backstage; beat up his brother in a Swiss jail.

What the writers are saying:

Freedman: “Del Rio’s well-rounded skill set will overcome the size and strength advantage Goldberg possesses.”

Henderson: “Yep, Goldberg’s not tough enough for this one. Del Rio would score one of the biggest beatdowns in this round of the tournament.”

Kontek: “Goldberg is overrated for his fighting ability, whereas del Rio is actually legit. Goldberg puts up a fight briefly, but del Rio gets him to the mat and smashes him with ground-and-pound.”

Symes: “The only way del Rio wins this is if he catches Goldberg in a submission hold. Normally, guys like Goldberg get by simply on their physical gifts. However, Goldberg has spent time training to better his technique as well. I’ll take Goldberg to get the W.”

Result: del Rio (4) def. Goldberg (3)

This might be the closest of the second-round match-ups. In a sure brawl, del Rio would walk away the victor. The key is his wrestling. When Goldberg got into a dustup with Jericho, it was reported that Jericho outwrestled Goldberg. Del Rio is a far more accomplished wrestler than Jericho, and he would use these skills in besting Goldberg. Goldberg could land one big shot, but del Rio’s experience would get him through it.

The panel for this tournament consists of the following members of the media:

Shawn Bitter (Cageside Report), Max Freedman (Cageside Report; The Body Lock; Breakdown Podcast), Bryan Henderson (Combat Press), Riley Kontek (Combat Press; MMAintel), Andres Magana, Kyle Symes (Combat Press), Rob Tatum (Combat Press)