Muhammed Lawal, better known as “King Mo,” made some major moves last week by announcing that not only will he make his presence known in Bellator Fighting Championships, but he will also grace the squared circle for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, often referred to these days as Impact Wrestling.

Mo sees a family environment in Bellator and a learning experience in the TNA/Impact Wrestling era headed by Dixie Carter and Hulk Hogan. Bellator sees a marketable and still-improving light heavyweight who once held a 205-pound title for Strikeforce, and Carter—maybe more so than Hogan—sees big money in a former 205-pound champion showing up to TNA as nothing more or less than himself

On the surface, it seems like Lawal will get the best of two worlds, while Carter gets to make money off of the potential media frenzy that might transpire with Mo dedicating time to TNA.  And all the while, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney gets to spread the name of Bellator across markets by featuring a major MMA star—or at least, a guy who can be marketed as such—on the Thursday-night program hosted by the company that is seen as the WWE’s competition.

Lawal (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

However, in the long run, who really benefits from it?

The answer is everyone involved—it’s almost the same on paper as it is in reality.

Just as the Brock Lesnar deal got WWE fans involved in the UFC, and just as Lesnar’s WWE return sparked interest in professional wrestling among MMA fans, “King Mo” and his involvement in TNA while remaining under Bellator contract benefits all involved, especially MMA fans who stand behind Lawal and his endeavors.

It’s unknown how many fans are going to accept the former Strikeforce title holder as a legitimate staple of the current mainstream wrestling scene, as many voiced a displeasure for the legitimate strikes Lesnar landed on current WWE star John Cena, and therefore, it may cause many to fear the possibilities of what could result from a legitimate strike or two thrown by Lawal inside TNA’s ring. But a look at what’s really going on in the wrestling world might cause one to not worry too much about Lawal being active in TNA for a variety of reasons, but especially for two specific ones.

The first is the concept of celebrity interaction with the roster, à la NFL defensive back Adam “Pacman” Jones. When Jones made it to TNA, he got involved in matches without ever having to actually demonstrate any wrestling skill or athleticism, and that’s one thing TNA will do with Lawal in all likelihood. Dixie Carter and the people in the TNA brass realize that Mo is not the 2012 version of what Ken Shamrock was in 1997 on through 2000, when Shamrock transitioned from MMA into the then-WWF and won titles while Jim Ross brought Shamrock’s nickname to life through his commentary. Fans back in the Attitude Era of the WWE knew Shamrock’s past as the one-time greatest of all time in the UFC, as well as his status as the UFC’s first Superfight champion. In the same way, fans will come to learn about Lawal, his love for pro wrestling, his determination to leave fans wondering what he will do next, and of course, his MMA career.

That said, Lawal can get all the mentions he wants pertaining to his career, but he’s still a Bellator fighter, and just as Jones had little to no actual physicality in his stint with TNA, Mo can prepare himself for the possibility of not getting as much ring time as he would like to get for at least the first few months or so of his contract with Bellator. However, eventually, he will get some ring time so that he can live his dream.

Also, Lawal is going into TNA before Rebney decides when he will debut in Bellator. Mo’s debut will depend on when he finally is healthy to go in Bellator, so the issue of physicality may not in fact be an issue.

Now the physicality issue not being much of an issue is one reason why wrestling fans with any doubts about this should not worry too much, but what’s the other? We said there were two reasons to not worry about the fact that another celebrity is in TNA performing instead of just appearing, yes? So why else should we just sit back and enjoy the show?

Simply put, it’s TNA, folks. They do this a lot, but they are always consistent in featuring celebrities and other sports figures on their programming. They’ve featured mixed martial artists Eddie Alvarez and Joe Warren on their program as commentators, as well as Jersey Shore’s Jenni “JWoww” Farley, Ronnie Ortiz-Magro and Angelina Pivarnick, along with New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs and even Survivor winner Jenna Morasca, as active participants on their programming.

Not only that, but one of their former TNA champions, Samoa Joe, uses a pro-wrestling-safe version of the rear-naked choke as a submission finisher at times, so it’s not as though there has not been any MMA influence in TNA. Whatever Lawal ends up doing will be no different, and again, he will benefit from being another “famous” name on TNA programming. Only Bellator can help Lawal achieve his pro-wrestling dreams at this point, and as Bellator is expected to hit Spike TV in 2013, the timing could not be any more perfect.

Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

Lawal (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

Bjorn Rebney and Bellator also get something out of this whole deal, aside from getting Bellator’s name out in the open. By not announcing Lawal’s Bellator debut until Mo is healthy enough to train properly for a fight, Bellator is ensuring that Lawal will not try to pull double-duty akin to Deion Sanders and fight for Bellator the night after he just had a match that aired on TV or after he got “injured” on TNA’s Impact Wrestling show. Rebney and his people are waiting until they know Lawal is not injured before they announce that he will be a part of a future light heavyweight tournament.

As for TNA and Dixie Carter, they benefit from this as much as Lawal and Rebney. Carter, an opponent of steroids in the sports world, knows of Mo’s now-famously-infamous drug test and subsequent hearing, but she is not worrying about it because she has assured the public that Lawal will be the most tested person in both Bellator and TNA.

In addition to doing MMA a service and making sure Lawal is not taking any illegal substances, Carter benefits from having Mo in TNA because having a guy like Lawal—an accomplished wrestler and MMA star—in her ranks ensures entertainment and a face that will aim to draw people into TNA—especially those who either never heard of TNA before or swore off TNA because of what they thought was a monotonous product.

The more people buy into Lawal as part of the TNA brand of professional wrestling, the more money it makes Carter and TNA in the long run, and in the world of professional wrestling, isn’t money the bottom line of it all?

Carter can hope to make a lot of it once Lawal is featured on TV, Lawal can hope and expect to get the most out of his experience in pro wrestling for however long it lasts, and Rebney can hope and expect that once Mo’s time in TNA is done, he will have a still-hungry light heavyweight fighter to market to his heart’s content as fans across the world start talking about “King Mo vs. Christian M’Pumbu” before it even happens.

Who loses at the end of it all?

If you want an honest answer, the only losers in this are the people who choose not to watch it from start to finish, because for however long this lasts, this whole ordeal may just be worth paying some hard-earned money to see live—and it all will happen before “King Mo” even steps inside the Bellator cage for the first time ever.

Photo: Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)