Back in 1998, WWE had been struggling with its competitors for a couple of years, more specifically, WCW (World Championship Wrestling).
They had recently just formed the “New World Order” which helped them poach the biggest wrestling stars away from WWE in Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and Hulk Hogan.
A continuous loss of profits coupled with tv ratings dropping and loss of advertisers, WWE had to roll the dice to not just become the main promotion of wrestling, but to just stay alive.
Vince McMahon had been at the helm of WWE after acquiring it from his father 13 years previously. He was now looking for almost a miracle to help regain the top spot in wrestling promotion.
The timing could not have been better however for McMahon to pull off this risky move. The move involving the then disgraced Mike Tyson, who had recently been suspended from boxing after his infamous incident with Evander Holyfield.
Having Tyson suspended from boxing was a win-win situation for WWE in making a comeback to the top.
This was because one, Tyson was in desperate need for another income and two, his actions in the ring built up his reputation for being untameable.
McMahon had offered Tyson $3.5 million to make a few appearances in the build-up to WrestleMania and then appear as a special guest referee.
This move led WCW to be bought out by WWE in 2001 which helped them regain their top spot of the wrestling promotion ladder.
However, Tyson was also linked with a boxing match with Triple H. They were going to go 6 rounds as Triple H recalls but by the time the details were being ironed out, Iron Mike had served his suspension and was allowed to box again.
Tyson still made the odd appearance in WWE events and was inducted into the WWE hall of fame in 2010. It is clear to see the impact that Tyson had on the world of wrestling with WWE and McMahon acknowledging this with his induction.
The future for WWE and wrestling could have been very different.
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