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Watch: Mike Tyson returns to the (wrestling) ring

Mike Tyson pats Cody Rhodes on the back after he became the inaugural TNT champion at AEW Double or Nothing.
24
May

While talk circulates of Mike Tyson entering a boxing ring once again, “Iron” Mike made an appearance in another ring Saturday night.

The former undisputed heavyweight champion made a cameo at the All Elite Wrestling “Double or Nothing” pay-per-view event last night, presenting the tournament’s winner, Cody Rhodes, with the inaugural TNT Championship after he beat Lance Archer at the TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Florida

The biggest pop, or what would have been the biggest pop of the night if there was a live audience, came when the 53-year-old Tyson confronted the heelish Jake “The Snake” Roberts in a showdown of two of the biggest names of their respective industries of the late-80s.

Tyson removed his AEW company shirt to reveal an impressive, muscular physique to dissuade Roberts from interfering on Archer’s behalf, enabling Rhodes to hit his finisher twice to claim the championship belt.

The appearance drew praise from Rhodes, who is also one of the company’s executive vice presidents. “Special moment to have Mike there for so many reasons. Surreal, that’s the best way to describe it, him being out there is surreal.”

This is far from Tyson’s first appearance in a wrestling ring. He played a pivotal role in World Wrestling Entertainment’s WrestleMania 14 event, counting the pinfall as special enforcer during the Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Shawn Michaels championship match, raising Austin’s hand in a moment which kicked off another golden age for the company.

He returned in 2010, teaming with Chris Jericho against Michaels and Triple H, before turning on Jericho to deliver the win to D-Generation X. In 2012, he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.

Tyson is a lifelong wrestling fan and wrote in his autobiography “Undisputed Truth” that he first felt like he’d “made it” when he met wrestling legend Bruno Sammartino at a party before he had become champion.

“I was totally starstruck. I just stared at him,” wrote Tyson. “Someone introduced us and he had no idea who I was, but I started recounting to him all the great matches I had seen him participate in, against people like Killer Kowalski, Nikolai Volkoff, and George ‘The Animal’ Steele.”

Tyson has had a renaissance in relevance again during the coronavirus pandemic, going viral each time he releases footage of him hitting the punch mitts. He has said he wants to return to boxing, even for an exhibition match, which has fueled talk of several nostalgia matchups.

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