4 Pro Wrestlers ONE Heavyweight World Champion Arjan Bhullar Could Face

Published 07/20/2021, 1:59 AM EDT


Newly crowned ONE Heavyweight World Champion Arjan  Bhullar isn’t content with his reign over ONE Championship’s heaviest division. The Commonwealth Games Wrestling Gold Medalist and Canadian Freestyle Wrestling Olympian has his sights set on conquering the squared circle too.

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Bhullar recently expressed his intent to enter the world of professional wrestling, and he wants everyone to know he’s coming. “Singh” has taken to social media, calling out some of the biggest names in the pro wrestling world and dishing out challenges.

“I feel like the pro wrestling industry is ducking me. Absolutely. These guys are running scared,” Bhullar told ONE Championship.

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“I cut that promo, everyone got excited, and they know what we’re bringing into the squared circle. It’s real. It’s a fandom that is deeply loyal, and we’re out there to prove what the ONE World Title is all about and MMA is all about.”

There are a handful of mixed martial artists who transitioned to pro wrestling and vice versa and found success. Brock Lesnar instantly comes to mind. The 35-year-old Bhullar believes he can dominate both arenas, and is excited for the possibilities.

“Be that Vince McMahon and the WWE, be that Tony Khan and the AEW, the whole roster was put on notice, and they are still on notice,” the Indian athlete says.

“But I’ll give them credit. Vince and Tony are at the table. They are having discussions with us, but we’re going to make sure we get a winning deal here and we’re able to express ourselves to the fullest of our talent within that squared circle. That’s what really gets me excited.”

If Bhullar successfully makes his way into the pro wrestling circuit, who could he end up facing in his first match? Here are four potential opponents.

1) Bobby Lashley (WWE)

Seven-time pro wrestling world champion Bobby Lashley is the current WWE Champion. Lashley defeated The Miz in a Lumberjack Match to capture the title just last March, forcing the latter to submit to a Full Nelson.

Lashley has been in the pro wrestling game for over two decades. He made his WWE debut in 2005 and became popular for his immense physicality. He is only one of two pro wrestlers in history to have won the WWE, ECW, and TNA/Impact titles, the other being Rob Van Dam.

Bhullar may have his hands full against Lashley, who is not only an accomplished pro wrestler, but has also spent a considerable amount of time in the cage, recently competing for Bellator MMA. Lashley owns a 15-2 professional MMA record, which includes six knockouts and six submissions.

2) Jake Hager (AEW)

Jake Hager was popularly known early in his career for his in-ring alter ego, “Jack Swagger.” He competed for the WWE between 2006 and 2017.

As a pro wrestler, Hager is a two-time world champion, having held the WWE Heavyweight World Championship and the ECW Championship. He left the WWE in 2017 to pursue a career as a professional mixed martial artist.

Like Lashley, Hager is currently signed to Bellator MMA where he competes at heavyweight and sports a perfect 3-0 (1NC) record, which includes two submissions. He then joined AEW in 2019 and has wrestled for them since.

Back in his college days at the University of Oklahoma, Hager was a two-sport athlete, having competed in both wrestling and football. As an All-American wrestler, he holds the record for most pins in a season with 30.

3) Wardlow (AEW)

Known only by his mononymous ring name, Wardlow is a behemoth of a man who stands at 6’3” and weighs over 270 lbs. He is currently signed to AEW and is a member of The Pinnacle, led by Maxwell Jacob Friedman.

Wardlow started wrestling in 2014, competing on the independent circuit for various organizations including American Revolution Wrestling, International Wrestling Cartel, and Revenge Pro Wrestling. He joined AEW in 2019. Wardlow is a fairly new name on the world circuit, but has become immensely popular in a short amount of time.

Bhullar has mentioned talks with AEW CEO Tony Khan, and if he were to make his pro wrestling debut, the Indian star could very well end up facing Wardlow in his debut. To make things even more dangerous for Bhullar, Wardlow is well-versed in both boxing and jiu-jitsu.

4) Baron Corbin (WWE)

Former professional football player Thomas Pestock, now known as Baron Corbin, is currently signed to the WWE. In addition to being an offensive lineman in the NFL, Corbin is also a former three-time Golden Gloves champion (boxing) and a former grappling champion. Needless to say, Corbin’s accomplishments in sports are impressive.

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Corbin signed with the WWE via NXT in 2012. Since then, he’s become a huge name in pro wrestling. He won the third annual André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at Wrestlemania 32. He also won the 2019 King of the Ring tournament and is a former WWE United States Champion.

To make matters more interesting, Bhullar and Corbin have created some buzz by responding to each other on social media.

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Varun Khanna

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Starting off as a tennis author in 2018, Varun Khanna has gone on to contribute to EssentiallySports in various capacities. After setting up interviews with the likes of Serena Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou, Alizé Cornet, and Noah Rubin, Varun is now part of all major ATP and WTA press conferences and has gone on to pen more than 1300 articles for EssentiallySports. He now heads the tennis and NBA division of the organization.

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