Five Fighters Who Starred in WWE | Smark Out Moment

Five Fighters Who Starred in WWE

Posted by Outside Interference Thursday, March 7, 2019
Boxing has long been the world's leading and most popular combat sport, from the early days of prize-fighting right up to more recent modern times.

From the days of Sugar Ray Robinson and Muhammad Ali to today's crop of stars such as Vasyl Lomachenko and Terence Crawford, boxing's popularity and high-profile has been soaring once again.

While boxing has always been at the forefront, wrestling has also been a huge success with fans and a subsequent crossover from fighters into the world of WWE was going to be a massive hit.

Therefore, there have been many big names from the squared-circle to climb into the wrestling ring in the past. So, here are five famous pugilists that made appearances in WWE during or after their esteemed careers.

1. Floyd Mayweather Jr

Since retiring, once again, five-division world champion Floyd Mayweather Jr has been busy making more million-dollar purses from exhibitions across the globe, with his most recent coming in Japan.

But back in 2008 the 'Money' man entered WWE and began his rivalry with Big Show at No Way Out. The two came to blows and Big Show walked away bloody from the confrontation, leading to plenty of stories of whether or not Mayweather got a little too carried away with his punches and didn't pull them as much as he should have.

The feud came to a thrilling conclusion at WrestleMania 24 as Mayweather prevailed in a David vs Goliath match-up on American territory, albeit with the help of his entourage and a pair of brass knuckles to even the odds.

The now 42-year-old was recently called out by former opponent Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez, who is the odds-on 2/5 favorite in the boxing betting from bet365 to overcome Daniel Jacobs in May, for a potential rematch later this year. That looks unlikely with Mayweather enjoying life in retirement.

2. Evander Holyfield

Four-time world heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield made the odd appearance in WWE but his most notable came back in 2007 when he randomly met Matt Hardy for a boxing match on Saturday Night's Main Event.

This all came about with instigation from Montel Vontavius Porter ("MVP") who was the United States champion at the time and feuding with Hardy. Despite MVP bringing Holyfield into the mix, it was MVP who would suffer a knockout blow from Holyfield after running his mouth a little too much.

WWE treated this like a true special occasion, even bringing Michael Buffer in to do an announcing job for the gig.

Holyfield returned in 2018 for a guest stint in WWE, but didn't take part in any more physicality like what he had previously done.

3. Butterbean

Back in 1998, WWE decided to change up the formula a bit by introducing a tournament dubbed the Brawl for All, wherein real, legitimate fights would take place between some of the undercard and midcard wrestlers who had nothing else going on and opted to participate.

Unlike the scripted nature of everything else, these fights were true and it was a complete mess that most people frown upon in retrospect.

The entire purpose of this was supposedly to build to a new challenge for Stone Cold Steve Austin by having Dr. Death Steve Williams win, but it was Bart Gunn who randomly came out of the tournament the victor.

Capitalizing on this, WWE set up a fight between Gunn and Butterbean—one of the most accomplished boxers during that time frame—for WrestleMania 15.

Needless to say, Gunn was out of his league, as Butterbean very easily took him down in just 35 seconds. The overwhelmingly large former heavyweight fighter was just too much of a professional for any other outcome to possibly take place.

4. Muhammad Ali

Not only the most recognized and famous boxer in history, Muhammad Ali is still also the most widely known athlete among fans.

Ali had several brushes with pro wrestling over the years to varying degrees with Jake "The Snake" Roberts, Classy Freddie Blassie and most notably Gorilla Monsoon and Antonio Inoki.

Known as "The Greatest", Ali was at the first-ever WrestleMania as one of the featured celebrities on-hand for the main event of Hulk Hogan and Mr. T against Rowdy Roddy Piper and Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorfff.

Ali is one of the names people continuously bring up as a future WWE Hall of Famer, yet surprisingly, that has not happened.

Perhaps this year, since WrestleMania and the Hall of Fame is back in the New York area where the first WrestleMania took place (albeit in MetLife Stadium instead of Madison Square Garden), Ali could possibly be inducted into the celebrity wing for this year's class of 2019.

5. Mike Tyson

Another former world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson, still the youngest ever in history, was a huge fan favorite and one of the most polarizing figures in the sport.

Iron Mike featured first back in 1998 when he had an entertaining altercation with another popular character 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin. As expected, things soon got out of hand between the pair of hot-heads and blows were traded.

It remains one of the most talked about moments in WWE history, going down as perhaps the single biggest segment throughout Monday Night Raw's over 1000 episode run.

Tyson aligned himself with D-Generation X for the main event of WrestleMania 14, but by the end of the night, counted the pin for Austin's victory over Shawn Michaels, raising Austin's hand to officially ring in the Austin Era. Just to put a button on the night's affairs, Tyson also blasted the Heartbreak Kid with his fist.

In 2010, Tyson made a return to the WWE ring, featuring as Chris Jericho's tag-team partner in an encounter against DX (Shawn Michaels and Triple H), but they smoothed things over and ended on good terms.

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