Mike Tyson's History in Wrestling Ahead of AEW Double or Nothing

Haris KruskicContributor IMay 19, 2020


Boxing legend Mike Tyson will present the inaugural All Elite Wrestling TNT Championship to either Cody or Lance Archer at Double or Nothing this Saturday on B/R Live. Although this will be his first time on AEW, it won't be The Baddest Man on the Planet's first involvement in professional wrestling. In fact, Tyson was involved in some of wrestling's most important and memorable storylines.

Let's take a look back at his history in wrestling ahead of Double or Nothing.



Tyson was suspended from boxing for 15 months after biting off part of Evander Holyfield's ear and losing by disqualification in June 1997. It was during this time that Vince McMahon, CEO of the then-WWF, approached the condemned star in hopes of signing him to a contract. 

The Brooklyn native agreed and was seen in the crowd at Royal Rumble in January 1998. The next night on Raw Is War, McMahon called the then-31-year-old down to the ring.


First Raw is War Appearance

A chorus of boos and chants of "Holyfield!" rained down on one of the world's biggest villains at the time as he approached McMahon. Before the CEO could make an announcement, Stone Cold Steve Austin—not yet a WWF champion—stomped down the ramp. Taking issue with Tyson's appearances at WWF as the so-called Baddest Man on the Planet, the beloved Austin insulted and brawled with the former heavyweight champion before the two men were pulled apart. 

Many point to this brawl as one of the turning points in the Monday Night Wars between WWF and rival company WCW. Prior to Tyson's appearance, WCW Monday Nitro was on an 84-week ratings run of dominance over the WWF. That ended the following April after Austin, then 34, won the title. Three years after Tyson’s appearance at WrestleMania 14, WCW was out of business while the WWF thrived.


Aligning with D-Generation X and WrestleMania 14

After Tyson was announced as the "special enforcer" for Austin's match against Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 14 for the WWF World Championship, Michaels and his D-X stablemates recruited him in hopes of gaining the upper hand during their bout. They successfully did, and Tyson alongside D-X wreaked havoc on Austin for weeks in the buildup to WrestleMania.

However, Tyson turned on Michaels when he attempted to cheat during the match. After Austin hit his patented Stone Cold Stunner on Michaels, the special enforcer counted the pin and crowned his former adversary the champion.

A furious Michaels confronted and punched Tyson, only for the 45-3 heavyweight to return the favor with his famous right hook, dropping the Showstopper. Michaels retired for four years while he dealt with three herniated discs from a nagging back injury caused at the Royal Rumble three months prior. 

Austin's win at WrestleMania and the feud with Tyson propelled him into the national spotlight, and he became a household name. Tyson's mainstream exposure helped legitimize one of WWF's biggest stars. Austin became the undisputed face of pro wrestling for years.

Tyson used his newfound platform to get back in the good graces of fans around the world after his shocking actions against Holyfield the year prior. Rather than help Michaels cheat at WrestleMania, Tyson stopped him and in a way condemned his own previous actions. As a result, he raised Austin's hand at the end of the match while tens of thousands applauded both men.


Tyson's legacy in wrestling and AEW appearance

Tyson was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2012. Although his stint with the company only lasted about three months, it's the impact he made during that time to launch the company and its stars ahead of their biggest rival which sealed his spot among wrestling's greats.

His next chapter in the wrestling industry will be with AEW as he awards either Cody or Lance Archer with the inaugural TNT Championship. What else Tyson does is anyone's guess. One way to incorporate someone who has prior history with him is adding Chris Jericho into the fray.

Tyson hosted an episode of Raw in 2010 and made his in-ring debut by teaming with Jericho against D-X, his old foes from over a decade prior. Suddenly, the guest host turned on his partner by revealing a D-X shirt underneath another shirt he was wearing—a throwback to when he first aligned with the group in 1998. Tyson knocked out Jericho and gave D-X the win. Although AEW almost certainly won't want to bring anything from WWF up specifically, referencing it during a backstage segment has the potential to be hilarious.

Could we see Jericho or someone else get knocked out? It's not out of the question, especially considering the shape that Tyson's in as he prepares for a return to boxing.

ESPN Ringside @ESPNRingside

“I’M BACK.” - The Baddest Man on the Planet 🥊 (via @MikeTyson) https://t.co/kE2ug8waOe

What we do know is Mike Tyson will continue to entertain wrestling fans more than 20 years later.