Hello again and welcome to a special edition of Marking Out due to there being a lot of big news this week within the WWE. Earlier this week, it was announced that former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson will be inducted in this year's Hall of Fame class alongside Mil Mascaras, Edge and the Four Horsemen.
When it was announced, many were quick to denounce it as another lame celebrity induction. I myself am ecstatic that “Iron Mike” is being inducted.
While other celebrity inductees don't deserve to be in the HOF (Drew Carey and Bob Ueker), others definitely do because of the impact that they had in the wrestling world—no matter how small it may seem.
Look at the other two celebrity inductees inside the HOF, Pete Rose and William “The Refrigerator” Perry. Perry was biggest name in the WWF vs. NFL battle royal during WrestleMania 2 while Rose was involved in what at the time was an annual feud with Kane at a few WrestleManias. Each had their impact on the sport and they deserve a celebrity induction.
The same goes for Mike Tyson. He, out of any celebrity, played the biggest part in any wrestling promotion in history. Look back at the Monday Night Wars—WCW was dominating the WWF in the ratings for over 80 weeks when the WWF decided to go for broke and bring in Mike Tyson, one of the biggest names in sports at the time, as the special enforcer for the main event of WrestleMania XIV between Shawn Michaels and Stone Cold Steve Austin.
That announcement alone brought mainstream press to the WWF, something the WCW would do a couple months later with Dennis Rodman.
The boost in publicity would bring the WWF close to WCW in the ratings more consistently in the weeks up to WrestleMania, then the event would happen, Mike Tyson would betray Shawn Michaels and give the three-count, giving Steve Austin his first WWF Title.
The following night, Raw would be the closest to beating Nitro in over a year and then the following week, it the WWF beat WCW in the ratings.
The two promotions would bounce back and forth for a couple more months before the WWF would dominate the ratings and win the Monday Night War.
With one punch, Mike Tyson would help Steve Austin usher in the Attitude Era for the WWF and send the company to new heights, something many didn't think was possible. The impact of that night forever changed the face of wrestling, and for that, Mike Tyson deserves his place in the Hall of Fame.