Mixed martial arts superstar Quinton Rampage Jackson signed a multi-year partnership with Spike TV, Bellator MMA and TNA Impact Wrestling.
The deal, which also includes a four-part reality series and potential movie projects through Paramount, will see Jackson compete in the cages of Bellator and the rings of TNA. This agreement follows a trend started by fellow fighter Muhammed King Mo Lawal, who is splitting his time between the two companies.
Jackson, 34, isn’t wasting any time kicking off his wrestling career as the former UFC light heavyweight champion makes his debut on Impact Wrestling 9 p.m. EST Thursday, June 6 on Spike TV.
“They have the best wrestlers over there at TNA, and I want to go there to show them what I can do,” Jackson said during a press conference, which also featured Spike TV president Kevin Kay, TNA president Dixie Carter and Bellator CEO and chairman Bjorn Rebney.
“I think I’m a natural pro wrestler. People don’t know I used to play around with my old wrestling buddies in high school and college. People don’t know about my love of pro wrestling. I’ve been watching TNA. They got Sting and Hulk Hogan, come on. I need to go over there and learn from the best and put on a great show…”
Carter has high hopes for her newest acquisition to the roster.
“We all know Rampage is a global star, and TNA is a global product,” Carter said. “We are looking for him to make the same impact in our world the way he impacted the MMA world. The question is can he dominate TNA the way he has dominated in MMA. That’s our hope.
“I can tell you he’s very confident that will be the case, and that makes me pretty confident that will happen as well. He is a tremendous talent and has a big personality…We are confident that talent and personality is really the perfect fit for us at Impact.
“I want to be very clear. He is very serious about his deal with TNA. He is committed to being the best at what we do, and I’m excited about that. This is a unique partnership and innovative as 2013 is a big strategic growth year for us. We are in this expansion process on the show and in different things we are getting involved in.
“This relationship works perfect for us. We are going to be supporting and working closely with Spike, with Bellator, with Paramount as we build ‘Rampage’. I’m very, very confident that he is going to have the kind of impact on our show, pun intended, that we all think he can…We are very excited to see him for the first time on our stage. So that will be exciting and interesting as well.”
Carter believes he has a lot of training to do as he prepares to square off against the likes of Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe.
“He has a huge commitment that he has made to me and this sport to take it seriously, but I do know when he does come in, it will be in a big way,” Carter said.
Jackson, who is finishing rehab on a knee injury, is confident in his abilities and that he can juggle his schedule successfully.
“I’m going to do it all,” Jackson said. “I’m going to do both. A lot of fans don’t understand this, but sometimes when you have a training camp, I sometimes set aside two months for a fight, and there are 12 months in a year, so with that other time I can do training for pro wrestling on my down time…”