Dan ‘The Beast’ Severn’s career began in pro-wrestling organizations like UWF International and AAPW, but between late 1994 and 1996 he would try his hand at MMA, becoming a major star in the UFC by winning two one-night tournaments and a superfight championship.
However, at the same time he would also make history by simultaneously being crowed as NWA’ heavyweight pro-wrestling champion.
Severn reigned as champion for four years in NWA (and would later be inducted into their hall of fame), before arriving in the WWF in 1998 via an extremely rare non-exclusive contract.
Over the period of a year, Severn would compete in ‘King Of The Ring’ and ‘Brawl For All’ tournaments as well as going up against major stars like ‘The Rock’ and Owen Hart.
He would also reignite an old rivalry with another former UFC star Ken Shamrock, defeating him in a triple-threat match that also included Hart, and then losing to him later by DQ.
Severn essentially played himself in the WWF rather than taking on a larger-than-life persona, and refused writer’s suggestions to play a ‘heel’ character based on his ‘The Beast’ nickname that would have seen him have ‘666’ written across his forehead and become a disciple of ‘The Undertaker’.
Those creative differences would lead to him leaving the WWF in 1999, but remarkably Severn has continued to compete on the independent circuit ever since alongside his MMA career, and even stepped into the ring against Matt Riddle in 2017 at 58 years-old.