Throughout the history of top-level professional wrestling, whether it’s the modern-day WWE or the golden era of the territories, it has always attracted the biggest names and draws in worldwide sport.
Stars from various other sports have often delved into the world of wrestling, particularly fighters from boxing or the UFC. In recent years, a host of top names and world champions in the art of pugilism have downed their boxing gloves and instead entered the wrestling ring on the grandest of occasions, such as WrestleMania.
So, with that in mind, here are three high-profile fighters that have swapped boxing for wrestling throughout history.
Mike Tyson was once the most feared and destructive heavyweight world champion on the planet, with his hugely intimidating aura outside the ring and his incredibly fierce performance inside the squared circle.
But that came to a stunning halt in February 1990 when Buster Douglas, an overwhelming underdog, incredibly knocked Tyson out in 10 rounds at the Tokyo Dome in Japan. So, how did Douglas capitalize on his new-found fame? He featured as a guest referee for Hulk Hogan versus Randy Savage, of course!
While Douglas may have jumped at the chance to feature with a spot in wrestling after handing Tyson his maiden career defeat, the youngest heavyweight world champion in history also previously made a cameo.
In fact, he made several appearances across many years, but the most memorable may have been his encounter with the Texas Rattlesnake, ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin.
Putting the two together was an explosive decision which fans really loved. A little bit of back and forth, two middle fingers put up and a massive shove blew the roof off the building that night.
Floyd Mayweather Jr
Floyd Mayweather Jr is undoubtedly the most financially superior fighter in history and being the most popular PPV star in the sport meant a crossover to the WWE was always on the cards.
That window of opportunity came at WrestleMania back in 2008, when ‘Money’ Mayweather was on a short break from his illustrious career at the top of the pound-for-pound rankings.
After some entertaining build-up to their eventual encounter, Mayweather later collided with The Big Show in a bout dubbed ‘the Best versus the Biggest’. Mayweather stood up to the overwhelmingly large wrestler, who was a massive 7 foot tall, in their awaited showdown at WrestleMania 24.
The now retired former five-division world champion, who stands at 4/11 to best Manny Pacquiao for a second time in the latest boxing betting odds, should he once again return, famously broke his opponent’s nose in the build-up to that meeting and actually came out on top with the help of some well-placed brass knuckles.
The Money man was never going to lose, though, was he?