10 Sports Stars Who Have Entered the Pro Wrestling Ring

1 of 11

10 Sports Stars Who Stepped Into the Squared Circle

USA-TODAY-Sports
USA-TODAY-Sports

Is pro wrestling fake? Of course it is. However, performers within the business get very upset when people use the term 'fake' when talking about pro wrestling. They prefer the term 'scripted'. Because anyone who's watched more than a few matches, can see that wrestlers take some pretty serious punishment.

'Bumps' are planned out and carefully executed, but wrestlers get hurt all the time. The thing with pro wrestling is that there is no offseason. Performers travel the country and world year round to entertain millions of fans. It's because of that fact, that many people aren't cut out to be wrestlers. Being athletic, is half the battle.

However, when it comes to athletes, there's always a place for them in the squared circle. Let's face it, pro wrestling is entertainment. That's why high-profile professional athletes make great candidates to appear at special wrestling events. Vince McMahon saw the value in bringing athletes nearly 30 years ago when he started the phenomenon known as Wrestlemania.

Over the years, many pro athletes have stepped between the ropes and entered the squared circle. Not all of them are naturals, but it's all about entertaining the people and drawing in new viewers. That's the thing, pro athletes often make terrible performers, but as long as more people watch than normal, it's a win for the promotion.

In this slideshow we'll take a look at 10 sports stars who made the transition to pro wrestling. For a lot of them it was a 'one-off' thing, while others came back a few more times to entertain the people. One thing is for sure, there will always be sports stars that cross over into the world of pro rasslin':

2 of 11

Floyd Mayweather

Jayne-Kamin-Oncea-USA-TODAY-Sports
Jayne-Kamin-Oncea-USA-TODAY-Sports

Mayweather 'fought' Big Show at Wrestlemania 24. Money ended up scoring a victory and of course he took home another big payday at the same time. However, the best moment from this feud took place at the February PPV before WM, when Mayweather caught Show with a right hand and broke his nose (for real).

3 of 11

William 'The Refrigerator' Perry

@Sport10internet
@Sport10internet

The Fridge made an appearance at Wrestlemania 2 and participated in a superstar battle royal that was eventually won by Andre the Giant.

4 of 11

Steve Mongo McMichael

@ClubhouseCancer
@ClubhouseCancer

Mongo had a good career on the gridiron and also a pretty good run in WCW. He was a member of the Four Horsemen and probably had the best long term run of all the athletes that have become wrestlers.

5 of 11

Muhammad Ali

@BroImaPro
@BroImaPro

Ali got in the wrestling ring on a couple of occasions. He squared off against Gorilla Monsoon, Antonio Inoki and was an enforcer at Wrestlemania 1.

6 of 11

Shaquille O'Neal

Ed-Szczepanski-USA-TODAY-Sports
Ed-Szczepanski-USA-TODAY-Sports

Shaq is a huge pro wrestling fan. He appeared on WCW television way back in the mid-90's and also guest hosted Monday Night Raw a few years back. He got into with Big Show, but there's yet to be a payoff match. Fans are still hoping to see O'Neal actually thrown down in a 'real' match.

7 of 11

Dennis Rodman

nycjim
@nycjim

Dennis Rodman was in the NWO back in the late 1990's. How cool is that? He famously teamed up with Hollywood Hogan for a couple of PPV matches in the summer of 1998.

8 of 11

Karl Malone

@TheDeliverer_32
@TheDeliverer_32

Malone was a big fan of DDP back in the late 1990's and eventually the two teamed up to take on Hogan and Rodman at Bash at the Beach 1997. The Mailman certainly delivered a diamond cutter or two during his stint in the squared circle.

9 of 11

Pete Rose

Rob-Leifheit-USA-TODAY-Sports
Rob-Leifheit-USA-TODAY-Sports

Pete Rose is famous for getting tombstoned by Kane at Wrestlemania. It's happened on a couple of occasions and now Rose is in the celebrity WWE hall of fame.

10 of 11

Mike Tyson

Joe-Camporeale-USA-TODAY-Sports
Joe-Camporeale-USA-TODAY-Sports

Tyson is also in the celebrity wing of the WWE hall of fame. He's appeared for the company multiple times, but he's most well known for his role in Wrestlemania 14 as the special guest enforcer in the main event.

11 of 11

Lawrence Taylor

Robert-Deutsch-USA-TODAY-Sports
Robert-Deutsch-USA-TODAY-Sports

LT pretty much takes the cake of sports stars that have gotten into the ring. He main-evented Wrestlemania 11 with Bam Bam Bigelow and held his own in a big way.

1 of 11

10 Sports Stars Who Stepped Into the Squared Circle

USA-TODAY-Sports
USA-TODAY-Sports

Is pro wrestling fake? Of course it is. However, performers within the business get very upset when people use the term 'fake' when talking about pro wrestling. They prefer the term 'scripted'. Because anyone who's watched more than a few matches, can see that wrestlers take some pretty serious punishment.

'Bumps' are planned out and carefully executed, but wrestlers get hurt all the time. The thing with pro wrestling is that there is no offseason. Performers travel the country and world year round to entertain millions of fans. It's because of that fact, that many people aren't cut out to be wrestlers. Being athletic, is half the battle.

However, when it comes to athletes, there's always a place for them in the squared circle. Let's face it, pro wrestling is entertainment. That's why high-profile professional athletes make great candidates to appear at special wrestling events. Vince McMahon saw the value in bringing athletes nearly 30 years ago when he started the phenomenon known as Wrestlemania.

Over the years, many pro athletes have stepped between the ropes and entered the squared circle. Not all of them are naturals, but it's all about entertaining the people and drawing in new viewers. That's the thing, pro athletes often make terrible performers, but as long as more people watch than normal, it's a win for the promotion.

In this slideshow we'll take a look at 10 sports stars who made the transition to pro wrestling. For a lot of them it was a 'one-off' thing, while others came back a few more times to entertain the people. One thing is for sure, there will always be sports stars that cross over into the world of pro rasslin':

2 of 11

Floyd Mayweather

Jayne-Kamin-Oncea-USA-TODAY-Sports
Jayne-Kamin-Oncea-USA-TODAY-Sports

Mayweather 'fought' Big Show at Wrestlemania 24. Money ended up scoring a victory and of course he took home another big payday at the same time. However, the best moment from this feud took place at the February PPV before WM, when Mayweather caught Show with a right hand and broke his nose (for real).

3 of 11

William 'The Refrigerator' Perry

@Sport10internet
@Sport10internet

The Fridge made an appearance at Wrestlemania 2 and participated in a superstar battle royal that was eventually won by Andre the Giant.

4 of 11

Steve Mongo McMichael

@ClubhouseCancer
@ClubhouseCancer

Mongo had a good career on the gridiron and also a pretty good run in WCW. He was a member of the Four Horsemen and probably had the best long term run of all the athletes that have become wrestlers.

5 of 11

Muhammad Ali

@BroImaPro
@BroImaPro

Ali got in the wrestling ring on a couple of occasions. He squared off against Gorilla Monsoon, Antonio Inoki and was an enforcer at Wrestlemania 1.

6 of 11

Shaquille O'Neal

Ed-Szczepanski-USA-TODAY-Sports
Ed-Szczepanski-USA-TODAY-Sports

Shaq is a huge pro wrestling fan. He appeared on WCW television way back in the mid-90's and also guest hosted Monday Night Raw a few years back. He got into with Big Show, but there's yet to be a payoff match. Fans are still hoping to see O'Neal actually thrown down in a 'real' match.

7 of 11

Dennis Rodman

nycjim
@nycjim

Dennis Rodman was in the NWO back in the late 1990's. How cool is that? He famously teamed up with Hollywood Hogan for a couple of PPV matches in the summer of 1998.

8 of 11

Karl Malone

@TheDeliverer_32
@TheDeliverer_32

Malone was a big fan of DDP back in the late 1990's and eventually the two teamed up to take on Hogan and Rodman at Bash at the Beach 1997. The Mailman certainly delivered a diamond cutter or two during his stint in the squared circle.

9 of 11

Pete Rose

Rob-Leifheit-USA-TODAY-Sports
Rob-Leifheit-USA-TODAY-Sports

Pete Rose is famous for getting tombstoned by Kane at Wrestlemania. It's happened on a couple of occasions and now Rose is in the celebrity WWE hall of fame.

10 of 11

Mike Tyson

Joe-Camporeale-USA-TODAY-Sports
Joe-Camporeale-USA-TODAY-Sports

Tyson is also in the celebrity wing of the WWE hall of fame. He's appeared for the company multiple times, but he's most well known for his role in Wrestlemania 14 as the special guest enforcer in the main event.

11 of 11

Lawrence Taylor

Robert-Deutsch-USA-TODAY-Sports
Robert-Deutsch-USA-TODAY-Sports

LT pretty much takes the cake of sports stars that have gotten into the ring. He main-evented Wrestlemania 11 with Bam Bam Bigelow and held his own in a big way.


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