Ken Shamrock has taken credit for bringing ‘tapping out’ to submission holds with him to WWE in the late nineties.
Shamrock was a former star of the Ultimate Fighting Championship before making his then-WWF debut in 1997. The MMA star’s first foray into the company was as the special referee in the submission match between Bret Hart and Stone Cold Steve Austin at WrestleMania 13. In that match, a bloodied Austin passed out while in Hart’s sharpshooter handing the win to The Hitman.
While tapping the mat or an opponent to signal a submission was commonplace in mixed martial arts, the practice wasn’t widely seen in the world of professional wrestling.
Ken Shamrock has now taken to social media to simply say that he brought tapping out to the World Wrestling Federation.
The former UFC Superfight Champion wrote:
“Before I entered the WWF, Tapping out was not a thing! After I joined, Tapping out became a big thing! FACT [100 emoji]”
The Human Suplex Machine Taz responded to Shamrock’s comment. Taz was well-known as a submission specialist, often defeating opponents with his patented Tazmission. Those opponents frequently tapped out to Taz in ECW.
The current leader of Team Taz in AEW stated:
“Hmmm, regarding WWF, you are correct. Not sure who started doing it in wrestling first you or I, but it was close to the same time I think. Hope you are well man!”
Shamrock responded to Taz, indicating that he was in fact just referring to the WWF:
“Just speaking on WWF I know you did your thing & I loved it. Stay strong my friend”
Hmmm, regarding WWF, you are correct. Not sure who started doing it in wrestling first you or I, but it was close to the same time I think. Hope you are well man! https://t.co/7M14AjOCpD
— taz (@OfficialTAZ) April 8, 2021
Before tapping out became commonplace in wrestling, competitors usually submitted verbally to the referee indicating that they gave up.