Opinion & Analysis
ROWLES: The Strange Story of Wayne Weems, His Pro Wrestling Alter Ego, and Questionable MMA Record
By Randy Rowles, MMATorch Columnist
May 22, 2007, 14:11
Current TUF 5 fighter Wayne Weems is also a professional wrestler, formerly known as "the Natural" Nathan Ironside. Weems is pictured among the roster on the SCW Website (Scott County Wrestling). According to the Sherdog Fight Finder, Weems has a professional MMA record of 9-2. Here's where things get funny. Weems got his last 3 wins over a 12 day period, and all of them over other pro wrestlers.
At a minimum, it seems likely that at least one of the Weems' victories was worked. Weems is listed as beating Trip Shatfires (!) on October 21, 2006 in the IWAI (Illinois Wrestling Association Inc). This is the only MMA match listed for Trip Shatfires. The IWAI is a pro wrestling organization. Here's a recap (halfway down the page) from a person who says they attended an IWAI pro wrestling show on October 21, 2006 where Nathan Ironside (Weems) defeated Trip Strychnine in a no holds barred, falls count anywhere wrestling match. Ironside became the new IWAI Television Champion. The IWAI is not MMA, so this win seems bogus, and especially considering someone saw Weems in a pro wrestling match with a guy named Trip on the same night he supposedly got an MMA win over a guy whose last name, Shatfires, sounds very pro wrestling.
Wayne Weems' last win is listed as an armbar submission victory over Josh Sobeck (real name Josh Reimers) at Midwest King of the Ring 33 on November 2, 2006. Here's a recap of a February 2005 pro wrestling show where Nathan Ironside (real name Wayne Weems) beat Josh Sobeck by armbar submission. Since the dates are a year and a half apart, this doesn't prove anything, but it's funny that Weems beat Sobeck the same way in an MMA match as he did in a pro wrestling match, and that Sobeck is listed in the Fight Finder under his pro wrestling name.
If you go back to the SCW Website, you can see Johnny Wisdom is listed among the pro wrestling roster with Wayne Weems. Weems is credited with a submission win over Johnny Wisdom on October 26, 2006. Like Trip Shatfires, Wisdom has an 0-1 MMA record with a loss to Wayne Weems. Like Josh Sobeck, Wisdom's also had pro wrestling matches with Weems.
Finally, I have no idea what to think of this one. Weems is listed as losing to Luke Gwaltney by TKO at Silverback Classic 20 on April 30, 2005. At the same event, in the very next fight, Nathan Ironside is listed as losing to Billy Stamp by TKO. Ironside is listed in the Fight Finder as 0-1. Now, Weems had been wrestling under the name Nathan Ironside since at least back in 2004. So, either a fighter named Nathan Ironside coincidentally had his one and only MMA match directly after Weems, or even more likely then -- Weems found a phone booth, transformed into his pro wrestling persona, and went right back out there and fought again. Strange stuff.
Now, don't get me wrong, I have no idea what any of this means. I just thought it was interesting, and I got to play internet detective for a while. Definitely, it seems the IWAI fight against Trip Shatfires isn't real, since the IWAI doesn't promote MMA, while they do promote pro wrestling. The other two wins are at least suspicious, considering the pro wrestling ties Weems had to each fighter, but they just as easily could've been real. It's not unrealistic that two pro wrestlers could fight each other for real. It's just that they came right on the heels of a very suspicious fight, and against two pro wrestlers with whom Weems had history.
Being as how Gray Maynard, and his 2-0 record, demolished Wayne Weems, it really gives perspective to the idea that there's more to a fighter than his record. Except for the few strange fights with other pro wrestlers, the rest of Wayne Weems’ fights seem legit. Somehow, Weems managed to compile a 9-2 record in MMA. Given how pathetic he looked against Maynard, though, it really makes you wonder -- Who in the hell were the 9 guys Weems beat?
Well, according to the Sherdog Fight Finder, besides his three amigos in pro wrestling, Wayne Weems also holds wins over:
Dan Robinson (0-2)
Nathan Ethridge (0-1)
Mark Long (17-26)
Allen Hernandez (5-4)
Shane Sams (0-1)
Dan Gilbert (5-7)
Geez, with my picture on here, I better be careful, or Wayne Weems is going to be looking to kick my ass! And I can assure you folks, no matter how bad Weems looked on TUF 5, he can still take me.
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