With his win-loss record falling to an unimpressive 13-13 and just being fired by UFC after losing his last two matches to a pair of inexperienced prelim level The Ultimate Fighter alumni in Amir Sadollah and Brad Tavares, maybe it's time for Phil Baroni to find a new career. In the January 10th Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer thinks he has the perfect solution:
Baroni came out to a big star reaction. He really belongs in pro wrestling, as he's 34, has questionable cardio and has taken a lot of beatings. Plus, he's got a great physique, tremendous charisma and would walk right in and as far as being able to come out and do unscripted promos, he'd be in the top 5% in wrestling right now. His drawback is being 5-8. His stuff with Frank Shamrock was probably the best back-and-forth promo match of the past few years.
Personally I'm amused at Meltzer marking out and giving Baroni the opposite career advice to that he sensibly gave to the naive Roy Nelson, despite most of the same negatives applying to Baroni as they did to Nelson. Thirty four is very old to attempt to break into the professional wrestling business. The advantage of his ripped physique is blunted by his lack of height, as Baroni is several inches shorter than the current recommended WWE threshold for developmental talent signings. His ability at doing unscripted promos is a bit of a moot point too, given that wrestling promos today are so heavily scripted. However, the biggest problem, and Dave should know this, is that you can't just take an MMA fighter with tremendous charisma and turn them into a decent worker overnight, particularly one that has questionable cardio and has taken a lot of beatings. Just ask Frank Trigg. Despite being booked with the most talented athlete in TNA, A.J. Styles, their fans crapped all over Trigg's debut match at No Surrender 2008, which led to the promotion souring on him and ultimately never using him again. So TNA's out of the question, given that they've got no place for Baroni to learn the ropes. The chances of making it in WWE aren't much better, for all the aforementioned reasons, not to mention WWE's tendency to bury people who became stars outside their company. I for one would be highly surprised if Baroni would be willing to relocate to Florida for the $500-$1,000 per week chump change that WWE gives their FCW developmental talent for the long shot of becoming a WWE superstar. Thus, Baroni transitioning to a pro wrestling career is really a pie in the sky fantasy.