The WWE announced their newest member of the WWE Hall of Fame on Monday Night Raw on Jan. 30. The newest member of the 2012 class is former boxing world champion Mike Tyson, who will enter the Hall of Fame in the Celebrity Wing.
It was during the Attitude Era when Tyson made his mark in the WWE. At the time, Stone Cold Steve Austin was beginning his meteoric rise to the top of the WWE but still had Shawn Michaels and Degeneration X to contend with. Austin was also in the early stages of his intense feud with Vince McMahon, a feud that defined the entire era.
There is always a time in wrestling history where you see a changing of the guard. When Hulk Hogan beat The Iron Sheik for the WWE Championship in the early '80s, that match marked the beginning of Hulkamania, which was one of the most popular eras in WWE history.
When The Ultimate Warrior beat Hulk Hogan it marked a new era. When Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart wrestled their iconic Iron Man match at WrestleMania, it marked a brand new era. When Shawn Michaels pretty much broke his back against The Undertaker, his career was on borrowed time. Michaels did the right thing and gave Austin the rub in his final match before his retirement.
It all started with Vince McMahon introducing Mike Tyson as the special guest enforcer in the Austin and Michaels world title match. Austin came out and immediately made an enemy of Tyson. Then DX presented Tyson with a new DX shirt and made him the newest member of the team after Tyson betrayed Chris Jericho and delivered his world famous knockout punch.
It seemed like the fix was in.
However, things are not always as they seem. In the world title match, Tyson came in and counted a quick three count to help Austin win his first world championship. When Michaels complained, Tyson knocked him out. It was a huge fan moment and the changing of an era.
Mike Tyson fought in the WBA and was one of the most dominating boxing champions of all time until personal problems clouded his judgment and caused his life and entire career to spiral out of control. While his legal troubles and in-ring controversies seemed to cloud his career, he still made it into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2011.
Now, he can add the WWE Hall of Fame to his resume.
Author Shawn S. Lealos has been a professional wrestling fan since the rock and roll days of the 80s. Shawn watched all the promotions, but held an affinity for the more rugged ones in the Mid South and Dallas focused World Class regions. He still watches wrestling today, enjoying the WWE, TNA and ROH, watching all three on television weekly.