Mike Tyson: 10 Ways Boxing Star Has Real Respect in WWE
While the antics of Mike Tyson have some in the real world scratching their head, the same shenanigans are applauded in the world of professional wrestling.
The former professional boxer and heavyweight champion of the world has earned massive respect within the wrestling community, especially from the WWE.
As a matter of fact, Tyson has gained such an enormous amount of respect from the WWE, the wrestling organization will soon bestow one of its highest honors on him.
But how did he do it exactly? How did "Iron" Mike Tyson, famous for boxing and notorious for unheard-of public outbursts, garner such adoration from professional wrestling?
The following reasons certainly have helped his case.
He Once Bit a Man's Ear off
Okay, so how does biting a piece of Evander Holyfield's ear off earn Mike Tyson respect in the WWE?
If he's savage enough to bite a man's ear off, then asking him to bash someone over the head with a chair or slam them through an announcer's table shouldn't seem so absurd.
The famous ear incident ranks right up there with the craziest stunts the WWE has offered us throughout the years.
He's Never Big-Leagued "Fake" Wrestling
Mike Tyson was a professional boxer. A true athlete.
He fought people for real.
He actually knocked people out with his fists, not with a fancy, flashy finishing move.
He could have easily declined, thinking the "fake" sport was beneath him and/or could damage his street credit.
Instead, he rolled with it.
It turns out, he had fun doing it too. Tyson is quoted as saying the following:
"I was the youngest heavyweight champion of all time, but the most fun I ever had in the ring was with WWE."
In fact, he's had nothing but positive things to say about professional wrestling.
WWE Has Invited Him Back Multiple Times
Mike Tyson's first involvement came in 1998.
Not only was he invited to participate, Tyson was given the role of enforcer during the main event of WrestleMania 14.
That's immediate respect right out of the gate.
Clearly, he performed well, because the WWE invited him back again in 2010 to host Raw.
In his second stint, he also earned the right to wrestle in a tag-team match.
The WWE provided Tyson a guest appearance on its biggest stage, as well as hosting duties and a match on the weekly show.
Not many celebrities have received that much spotlight on this stage.
His Personality Fits in the WWE
His nicknames "Iron Mike" and "Baddest Man on the Planet" alone sound like they were made for the WWE.
Not to mention Mike Tyson has a wicked-looking tribal tattoo on his face.
Tyson is a wild card.
Though he's calmed down as the years have gone by, he still is a true character.
What he'll do next is unexpected, and it's a perfect characteristic to have in the WWE.
He Wouldn't Back Down from Anyone
You almost have to respect Tyson in a WWE ring because of his intensity and toughness.
Honestly, who would he back down from?
Not Kane, not the Undertaker—not anyone.
Mike Tyson would have no problems going toe-to-toe with any wrestler in the WWE and wouldn't hesitate or back down.
Check out how he fared in his first encounter with Stone Cold Steve Austin.
He's Proven His Acting Chops
Hopefully this doesn't shatter anyone's dreams, but pro wrestling is fake.
It's all about performing and entertaining.
Wrestling takes athleticism, but it also takes acting ability.
Mike Tyson has proven a few times he can act decently well.
First with his successful segments in 1998. Then, though he played himself, Tyson played in the box-office hit The Hangover.
You could argue it was his acting in the film that earned Tyson the second WWE call. He nailed that performance as well.
He's a Hall of Famer in His Sport
Above all else, Mike Tyson is an athlete.
Athletes have respect for other athletes, and that includes pro wrestlers.
Second, he dominated his sport.
Forty-four of his 50 wins came via knockout, and he only lost six times. His stats include 19 consecutive wins by knockout to open his professional record.
Tyson is also the youngest boxer to ever hold the Heavyweight World Boxing Championship at 20 years old.
Finally, due to his terrific career, Tyson was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in June, 2011.
His resume alone garners him some respect.
He Showed True WWE Talent
Some celebrities are invited to host or participate in WWE weekly shows or pay-per-views.
While some shine, most are overly gimmicky.
Not Mike Tyson.
Tyson felt like he belonged in the ring with the other wrestlers.
Though he was a gimmick, his presence was presented masterfully. He fit in, he contributed, he played his role and he gave us no doubts about his participation. Ultimately, Tyson delivered.
Most celebrities make you think, "Really? What does (s)he have to do with wrestling?"
Not Mike Tyson.
Instead it was, "Of course Tyson is here. It's perfect."
He Changed the WWE
In 1998, the World Wrestling Federation was losing the television-ratings battle to World Championship Wrestling.
Desperate for an audience, Vince McMahon took a gamble and brought in former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson.
Tyson feuded with Stone Cold Steve Austin and positioned himself to enforce Austin's WrestleMania 14 match against Shawn Michaels.
The gamble paid off.
The ratings, response and storyline led to a massive overhaul in WWE branding, paving the way for the "Attitude" era. Not to mention, Tyson's meddling led to Austin's first championship title win of his Hall of Fame career.
Ultimately, the change contributed to the WWE beating the WCW in ratings for the first time in over a year. Three years later, WWE bought WCW.
He's a WWE Hall of Famer
During the weekend festivities leading up to WrestleMania 28, Mike Tyson will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
Tyson will become just the fifth celebrity inductee.
He will be one of five non-wrestling members in a Hall that honors 97 members.
It takes real respect to earn Hall of Fame honors in a sport you haven't competed in your entire career.
Garnering multiple invites, nailing it each time and ushering in a new era certainly earn Mike Tyson respect in the world of professional wrestling.
Now he'll have WWE Hall of Fame membership to prove it.