Home Muhammad Whenever Muhammad Ali appeared in professional wrestling, ranked

Whenever Muhammad Ali appeared in professional wrestling, ranked

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When people hear the term “crossover star” in sports, they immediately think of athletes who transcend their sport and occasionally transform popular culture. Mike Tyson, Tiger Woods, Tom Brady, Gretzky, Michael Jordan; to a lesser extent Hulk Hogan. But no matter who or what sport you might have an opinion on when it comes to game-changing crossover stars, they are all pale compared to one man – Muhammad Ali.

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Growing up as a young boy, Cassius Clay grew up watching Gorgeous George and Freddie Blassie and inherently learned that talking heels have the unique ability to draw crowds and earn respect, while also bringing in huge sums of money. money in the process. Ali even switched to wrestling from time to time. He called himself the greatest and years after his retirement many devotees still believe this to be true.


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Collision in Korea

Muhammad Ali Collision In Korea Cropped

Antonio Inoki and New Japan had thought it would be a great idea to put on a great show in Pyongyang, North Korea. Along with WCW, Collision In Korea featured Ali as the event’s guest of honor. While not involved in the show, Scott Norton recalled a great story from Ali during the Dark Side Of The Ring episode of the event.

Despite being a little older and suffering from the effects of Parkinson’s disease, the champion came to a temple and sprinted up the stairs, rocky style and shadow boxed to the top.

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The snake and the biggest

Muhammad Ali held back by Ernie Ladd cropped

Often on his podcast, Good Ol ‘JR complains about not having a tape recorder in the room when hanging out with The Greatest. Ali had come to town to be part of Mid-South Wrestling in the early eighties. Muhammad Ali had come to the territory with his longtime manager Bundini Brown.

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They came just to watch the show and hang out with The Iceman, but it wasn’t long before he got involved in the match with Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts. Ali swung for the fences, but Jake never sold the punch.

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Ali at Halloween Havoc

Muhammad Ali at Halloween Havoc 1994 Cropped

Although Muhammad Ali didn’t interact much with anyone during the 1994 Halloween Havoc event, it was obvious to bring him in. The event was not promoted on the backs of a man who retired 13 years ago. But considering he lived close to the Joe Louis Arena, it was an easy day of travel for the shameless wrestling fan.

He was on the show to hand the title over to Hulk Hogan after beating Ric Flair in a cage match that was supposed to be Flair’s last game.

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Gorilla sends Ali flying

Muhammad Ali Vs Gorilla Monsoon Cropped

During the Age of Expansion, Gorilla Monsoon was one of the most beloved commentators and later the commissioner during the last days of the new generation. But before all of that, Geno, as his friends affectionately called him, was a big, nasty monster heel, both as a solo and tag team star.

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As the original People’s Champion prepared for a crossover match with Antonio Inoki, he made a stop at Madison Square Garden and faced off against the Gorilla. He was given a huge plane ride for his problems. Even until his death in 1999, Monsoon still Kayfabed this encounter.

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Vs. Antonio Inoki – War of the Worlds

Muhammad Ali vs. Antonio Inoki cropped

Sometimes the story and level of dissection of “The Lone Gunmen” stories is more interesting than the event itself. When The Greatest faced off against The Burning Fighting Spirit, Antonio Inoki, this is what has happened over the years. Did the Nation of Islam threaten Inoki if he put his finger on Ali? Was the very first MMA match against Boxer a job or a shoot?

The whole match was mostly Inoki on the floor kicking in what turned out to be a pretty boring affair. But until his death, Judo referee Gene Lebell testified that the match was legitimate, even though the end of the draw did not hurt any of their careers and set up possible revenges in the future. . But it would end up being Ali’s only wrestling match. The respect between the two would last for the rest of their lives and Ali even attended Inoki’s retirement match.

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Guest Referee – WrestleMania I

Muhammad Ali and Hulk Hogan WrestleMania I Cropped

Barely three years after retiring from the ring, Muhammad Ali still wanted to be a part of the action. With Vince McMahon trying to put up the greatest wrestling card of all time, he had to make sure that the greatest fighter of all time was at least part of it in one way or another. He was the special guest outside to keep the peace during the main event.

Match referee Pat Patterson once recalled on a Legends Of Wrestling show that Ali really wanted to step in the ring and try Piper and Ace. But Patterson realized that Ali was starting to suffer from the early stages of Parkinson’s disease and was able to keep Ali relegated to the outside for the contest.


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