When word came down late last night that U.S. Champion and scary-looking Irish badass, Sheamus, had come out on the losing end of a locker room scrum with Sin Cara (nee Hunico) it raised eyebrows across the WWE universe.
Sheamus? Isn't he 6'4" and about 270 lbs?
Sin Cara? Isn't he 5'10" and about 200 lbs?
What the hell, how could Sheamus have lost?
Well, if you've never been in a legit fight before, you might think size makes all the difference, since that's how it's usually played out in WWE. But speaking as someone who spent a few years in the Army, training in ground fighting techniques with soldiers of all shapes and sizes, I can say with certainty that size has about as much to do with winning a fight as hair color.
In other words, when Sheamus and the guy formerly known as Hunico traded blows, or locked up, or did whatever they did backstage - that six-inch and 75lbs advantage the Irishman had did about as much good as his fiery red hair.
Jorge Arias, the man behind the current Sin Cara character, was a high school state wrestling champion. In Texas. You know how good you have to be to be a state champion in a state the size of Texas? After amateur wrestling he graduated immediately to professional, in Mexico, which I'm imagining was somewhat of a more difficult lifestyle than being an IT guy, like Sheamus was around this time.
So prior training and life experience can come into play in a legit fight, and be way more effective than size. If anything, size serves well to prevent a fight from starting, but once it does, unless that size comes equipped with skills, it's useless.
Now, we've all heard prior stories of wrestlers going at it in the locker room. Chris Jericho and Goldberg had a famous encounter. Booker T and Batista, Bret Hart and Vince McMahon, hell, even legends like Bruno Sammartino and Iron Sheik once took on half a dozen Canadian football players backstage at an event once.
The thing that all the victors in those encounters had in common (Jericho, Booker T, Hart, Sammartino/Shiek) is that they had more experience and training than their opponents, even if they were almost universally out-sized.
With that said, I thought it would be fun to look at the current WWE locker room and imagine what would happen if it suddenly went all "Fight Club" and was every man for himself. Which superstars would stand tall in a legit shoot fight amongst their colleagues?
Let's get the obvious one out of the way first:
Why he would win: He's a legit MMA fighter, built like a truck and one of the most intimidating men on the planet. I heard he also conquered a streak of some sort.
Why he wouldn't win: He's a part-timer, so there's a good chance he wouldn't even be around for the brawl, plus, I also heard he doesn't fight for free.
Now that we've got rid of the favorite anyone would pick, who's left in the WWE locker room that could make like the Highlander and be "the only one."
Well, here's my top 10 picks to be the last man standing:
1. Alberto Del Rio
Why he would win: He has a legit MMA background and he's 6'4" 240. He's also shown in matches he's willing to 'shoot' when he has to.
Why he wouldn't win: He was fighting Lesnar? Other than that, he's even money or better against anyone in the locker room.
2. Daniel Bryan
Why he would win: If there is anyone you would believe would know how to shoot fight, it would be Bryan, who seemingly knows every hold and maneuver in the history of wrestling.
Why he wouldn't win: His lack of size would dictate he would have to get his opponent grounded, and hope he wasn't fighting someone equally skilled.
3. William Regal
Why he would win: He's been around the block and knows every move and hold, both legal and banned. Would probably fight dirty too.
Why he wouldn't win: His age would work against him now, but in his prime, he would be up there with Del Rio as a legit shoot threat with size.
4. The Big Show
Why he would win: Show is legit huge and probably a lot stronger than what he's shown on WWE programming. His size alone would make him a handful for anyone, but combine that with him being in the business so long he's probably picked up some moves makes him dangerous.
Why he wouldn't win: He's old and size isn't as big a factor as skill or experience, even with someone the size of Big Show.
5. Jack Swagger
Why he would win: Not only is Swagger a real-life 6'7" 260, but he's also an accomplished amateur wrestler. Don't let the way he's booked trick you into thinking he couldn't kick legit ass in a fight.
Why he wouldn't win: Whether Swagger's head is screwed on straight at the moment has always been his biggest problem, and would be in a fight too. Can he out-think a skilled opponent?
6. Santino Marella
Why he would win: Don't laugh. Marrella competed in more MMA fights than Batista, though less than Del Rio.
Why he wouldn't win: Like Batista, he probably wasn't a good MMA fighter, but he apparently has some training, so don't sleep on him.
7. Tyson Kidd
Why he would win: The last trainee of the Hart dungeon, he had to have picked up some shoot moves from the old man.
Why he wouldn't win: Lot's of skilled wrestlers above him with greater size and experience advantages.
8. Yoshi Tatsu
Why he would win: Former boxer. Has already beaten Sheamus up over a protein drink container.
Why he wouldn't win: He got released before the fight took place?
9. Bad News Barrett
Why he would win: Has a legit tough-guy background, former bare-knuckles fighter.
Why he wouldn't win: Very few people would stand up and bare-knuckle fight you in a legit brawl.
10. Sin Cara
Why he would win: Apparently he's already shown he can beat Sheamus.
Why he wouldn't win: He tries fighting someone who can legit fight?
And that's my list Cagesiders, anyone you think I left off, or ranked too high/low?