“Iron” Mike Tyson did it twice. The legendary pugilist and “Hangover” movie series co-star has the distinction of being in the Pro Boxing Hall of Fame as well as The WWE Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame. The Brooklyn native was officially given the honor by the WWE tonight at the American Airlines Arena in Miami. He was inducted by DeGeneration X members Shawn Michaels and Triple H.
“The baddest man on the planet is now the baddest Hall of Famer on the planet,” Triple H said before he and Michaels introduced Iron Mike.
Tyson had a short, but impactful stint with the WWE. I4 years ago, Tyson was the special “Enforcer” during Michaels’ Heavyweight Title Defense against “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. Tyson counted Michael’s shoulders to the mat as Austin pinned him. Austin’s first title run was instrumental in the WWE finally overtaking then rival company WCW in their historic “Monday Night Wars” for ratings supremacy with their respective weekly cable shows. Tyson joins the likes of Bob Ueker and Pete Rose in the WWE’s “Celebrity Wing” of their Hall of Fame.
Shawn Michaels aka “The Heartbreak Kid”–who has been referenced by such artists over the years as 50 Cent, Redman and Kirko Bangz in various rap songs–could barley hold back his laughter Triple H joked about Tyson’s “knockout” of HBK at Mania 14. Michaels said Triple H deviated from the plan and they were supposed to make fun of the boxer’s voice and his infamous ear biting incident with Evander Holyfield.
Tyson kept the mood light with jokes of his own when he took the stage.
“I always wanted to be a wrestler before they turned it into WWE,” he said of the company that used to be named WWF. “I never got the opportunity, I got arrested!”
After laughing with the audience Tyson reminded everyone “I’m still here.”
“This is so exciting, this is so overwhelming,” he added during a serious moment. Adding he grew up watching grappling greats such as Bruno Samartino, The Moondogs and Captain Lou Albano.”
Later Tyson laughed that his children were excited to come to the WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony but they didn’t want to come to his Boxing Hall of Fame induction. Tyson really cracked himself up when he started making fun of Wrestler/actor/former rapper John Cena.
“I didn’t know John Cena was black.,” he said with a huge chuckle. “He throws gang signs…. I start ducking when you throw those signs.”
Of course Tyson was playfully referencing Cena’s in the ring signature “You Can’t See Me” gestures which is a mimmick of Tony Yayo’s famous dance.
“Dusty Rhodes is black too!” said Tyson before ending his speech.
Also inducted into WWE’s Hall of Fame tonight were Mil Mascaras, Yokozuna, Ron Simmons, Edge and The Four Horsemen. If you watched wrestling back in the late 80s you know The Horsemen especially their leader Ric Flair had a heavy influence on hip-hop- – even up to this day – with their decadent lifestyles of “Jet Flyin’” “Limousine Ridin’” Rolexx Wearin’” and of course “Wheelin’ And Dealin’.”
Of course all the festivities this weekend are a build up to Sunday’s WrestleMania XXVIII at Miami’s Sun Life Stadium. The huge marquee match is John Cena Vs hometown hero turned megastar The Rock. Fellow M.I.A. Native Flo Rida will accompany The Rock to the ring tomorrow night.