Former UFC fighter Stephan Bonnar is now trying his hand at pro wrestling and recently stepped into the ring with Moose in Impact Wrestling. Bonnar had a lengthy career in the Octagon and he was asked how he's doing when he spoke to Wrestling Inc. on our WINCLY podcast.
"How is Stephan Bonnar doing? Well, that mother***er is dead. The American Psycho is here. He's a Hall of Famer, the game changer and face rearranger. He's always doing good," Bonnar said even though he's suffered multiple injuries in his career.
"I laugh at injuries. I have a broken wrist and a torn pec and I could give a damn."
Bonnar has made the switch to pro wrestling in his 40s and he talked about what he wants to get out of the sport.
"I've already done some really epic stuff and I feel like I'm just getting started. My game's developing. Everyone says the same thing, 'You need reps, kid.' If feels weird being 42 and being called a kid. But all of the old-timers with the wisdom just tell me to keep getting the reps in. And I'm getting the reps in," stated Bonnar who was then asked if he could see himself having a run with WWE.
"Are you kidding me? I got fired from the UFC. I'm doing this for the freedom. My goal isn't more fame, it's freedom. If I can't do whatever the f*** I want, this it's gonna be pretty hard to do it. Honestly, I'd get fired pretty quick from the WWE. So, I don't have my hopes set on that."
He said that AEW has not grabbed him either and he's not going to sign exclusively with anybody, no matter who it is.
"Nothing against those people but I want to do indie wrestling at its finest… My goal is to really learn the art of pro wrestling and that's something you develop as an artist," said Bonnar. "For right now I'm just embracing [the bookings] and I don't know what it's gonna lead to. I have absolutely no desire to work for one company and not have the freedom.
"Bruce Lee said that martial arts is expressing yourself freely and I think you can carry that to pro wrestling. I can express myself in the ring through pro wrestling matches and try to make this entertaining and learn this."
Bonnar's most high-profile wrestling match thus far was against Impact's Moose and he talked about going up against someone that size.
"Today's pro wrestling isn't what I grew up watching. Moose is a big guy and is what I imagined a pro wrestler to be as a little kid," stated Bonnar. "Even when I was still fighting – and I knew in the back of my head I would be doing this – but I was thinking I had to get so much bigger to be a pro wrestler. Earlier in my MMA career and before wrestling shifted to this smaller type of wrestler, now I retire and I rediscovered wrestling again and now I'm big for the sport. Moose is the biggest guy I've went with."
Impact Wrestling is in a new era with the move to AXS TV recently and Bonnar talked about the vibe backstage.
"It was great. I got to team up with Ken Shamrock who I grew up watching and I wanted to be Shamrock as a little kid. It was great working with Shamrock and sharing a locker room with him. It was on my bucket list and I scratched it off," revealed Bonnar who was then asked if he would be interested in more dates with Impact.
"For sure. I am a free man and I'm indie wrestling at it's finest right now," Bonnar said before mentioning the promotions he's working for. "My schedule's filling up and I'm having fun. I'm developing as a wrestler and learning. I've got the right guys educating me like Jerry Bostick, MVP and Kevin Sullivan. They're shaping my mind."
Bonnar has done some commentating for MMA events before and he was asked about the possibility of doing wrestling commentary as well.
"The one thing I always looked forward to when training for a fight, those three months, wasn't so much the moves I was gonna do in there, but talking to Joe Rogan afterwards," admitted Bonnar. "Or cutting a promo before a fight. Or turning heel. Do you know how much fun that was and how many fans I lost because of that?
"But it was fun for me and I was laughing so hard underneath it all that it was worth it."
Bonnar's full interview with Wrestling Inc aired as part of today's episode of our WINCLY podcast. It can be heard via the embedded audio player at the bottom of this post. In the full interview Bonnar discusses his upcoming match at Paradigm Pro Wrestling's "Fighting Spirit Heavyweight Grand Prix", why he won't be signing ANY exclusive contracts, his recent match with Moose for Impact Wrestling, taking the opposite path as CM Punk and more.