Pro wrestling loses one Phil to MMA, and might get a different one in return. Phil Baroni -- The New York Badass known for his stints in both the UFC and Pride FC promotions during the noughties -- started gaining attention on social media with messages that he was heading to Wrestlemania in more than just a fan capacity.
Earlier today I spoke with Baroni's manager Matthew Granahan of the American Combat Association who informed me a contract is yet to be signed, but that he and Baroni have been working towards a deal with WWE through Gerry Brisco. No details were shared with me on the financial nature of the offer, however I have been told that it is contingent on how well Baroni performs over a 3 day try-out at the end of May in Orlando at the NXT Performance Centre, where he will be judged on in-ring performance, microphone skill and character development.
Speaking exclusively to Cageside Seats, Baroni seems optimistic about his future as a sports entertainer:
"I'm ready to introduce the WWE Universe to The New York Badass Incorporated Style! We are gonna have alot of fun and make alot of money together!"
Baroni is not the first MMA fighter to strive for a place with the live event giant, with both Stephan Bonnar and Chael Sonnen having claimed interest in working for WWE, but as yet nothing has come of it. Baroni has at least already laced up his boots in the squared circle, making his pro wrestling debut earlier this year for the Inoki Genome Federation at The Tokyo Dome City Hall, Japan as part of pro wrestling living legend and WWE Hall of Fame member Antonio Inoki's 72nd birthday celebrations.
Will things work out for the self proclaimed 'Best Eva'? Could we be seeing Enzo Amore's 'cousin Phil from across the river' appear at Full Sail Live in several months time? Your guess is as good as mine, but be sure to look for updates right here on Cageside Seats.