Cain Velasquez’s Options; he seemingly has quite a few of them at this point. The former multi-time UFC heavyweight champion had in the last few months been focusing on his Pro Wrestling efforts within WWE. That was until news broke of Velasquez’s release from the WWE. The initial reports came via Wrestling Observer Radio. Yet another budget-cutting measure the promotion has done amidst the pandemic. While the news is still pretty fresh, I still can’t help but speculate on future possibilities.
I think Cain Velasquez will be a coveted talent in a number of different mediums. He can land somewhere new very shortly if he wants to.
Cain Velasquez’s Options
All Elite Wrestling could certainly benefit from Velasquez being added to the roster. The promotion has assumed the role of the number two pro wrestling organization domestically. Performing there would present the confluence of a huge audience watching him but far more creative autonomy. The roster has plenty of names that could likely put on enjoyable matches with Cain including Chris Jericho, Jon Moxley, Brodie Lee, Jake Hager, Kenny Omega, Cody, and the list goes on.
Many pro wrestling fans were impressed as the fluidity and dexterity of Cain’s Lucha libre approach during his AAA tenure. Current AEW contracted wrestler Kenny Omega is a titleholder in AAA. This means a cross-promotional agreement with Velasquez could create an opportunity for him to return over there.
Many were frustrated with how WWE used Cain Velasquez. They would only use Velasquez a single time (in a losing effort) with his approach being more oriented to a puerile, WWE-style worked shoot in his lone match with Brock Lesnar. I think AEW would be a great fit for him on multiple levels.
A foray into Bellator MMA would be a curious thing to see. There are two obvious matchmaking options that would stand out to fight fans. Firstly being the bout with reigning Bellator double champ Ryan Bader. A chance for Velasquez to add the Bellator championship to his collection would be compelling to Cain, I imagine.
Secondly, a dream matchup with Fedor Emelianenko would be an MMA forum debate come to life. Though the fight is admittedly several years past it’s warranty date, there would be an undeniable excitement level here. To see two men who each have advocates that they’re the heavyweight GOAT finally clash? I’m here for that.
There’s plenty of other quality possibilities for Velasquez too including a rematch with Cheick Kongo, Josh Barnett, Vitaly Minakov, etc. Also, while Bellator has canceled some recent shows there is a report out there (from John Ourand of Sports Business Journal via Jason Cruz’s twitter) that they will hit the 30 show mark by the end of the calendar year. This could present Velasquez with options
This is probably the least likely option but I would love to see it. Cain Velasquez in a studio wrestling dynamic flanked by a manager whos serves as his talking piece while he stoically mean mugs. NWA nowadays has such a compelling confluence between the modern approach to pro wrestling and the best part of 80’s wrestling psychology/ presentation.
An NWA run could also facilitate Velasquez possibly working some Ring of Honor dates too. The promotion has had a working relationship with ROH as of late so it’s not totally out of the question at all. He could also some work a variety of high-level indy dates. Josh Barnett’s: Bloodsport would be a perfect fit for Velasquez.
I think he should come to Josh Barnett's: Bloodsport. https://t.co/9jeff9J5G9
— 𝕿𝖍𝖊 𝖂𝖆𝖗𝖒𝖆𝖘𝖙𝖊𝖗 (@JoshLBarnett) April 28, 2020
A return to the Ultimate Fighting Championship is an obvious option too. Velasquez was a former multi-time titlist and already has a legacy of being one of the greatest, if not the greatest in the eyes of some, in promotional history. Perhaps Cain has been chomping at the bit to get in on some of that Fight Island action. He does have a couple of unavenged defeats on his record that he may be keen to resolve (Francis Ngannou and Fabricio Werdum).
It could also time out well if he has aims of embarking on another UFC title run. By the time Velasquez gets the necessary amount of wins under his belt, his teammate DC will purportedly be retired by then. This could open up a lane for Velasquez to possibly tie Randy Couture’s record for most heavyweight title reigns in the UFC (three).
This is also somewhat low on the likelihood scale but could create some memorable moments. Who wouldn’t want to see Cain Velasquez and Ken Shamrock stare each other down inside the squared circle? It could also be interesting seeing Velasquez in a pro-wrestling organization that has a far more adult-oriented flavor than many other promotions. They also have a working relationship with AAA, much like the aforementioned dynamic with AEW.
There are also some great talents over there that could put on some barnburners with Cain. I would love to see Velasquez in the ring with names like Michael Elgin, Rob Van Dam, Willie Mack, etc. A matchup between Cain and Impact world champion Tessa Blanchard also intrigues me. Cain Velasquez’s Options are indeed plentiful and it will be intriguing to see which route he ends up taking.