Jim Ross Recalls Mike Tyson Joining WWE For WrestleMania 14
The WrestleMania 14 appearance of Mike Tyson was something the boxing legend wanted to do with Jim Ross saying that Tyson “wanted” to be with WWE at that time.
At WrestleMania 14 in 1998, WWE decided to bring in Mike Tyson as a special guest enforcer for the WWE Title match between Shawn Michaels and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.
In early 1998, Mike Tyson was one of the most famous professional athletes in the world. He was a huge star in boxing over the previous decade and he was also suspended from boxing after biting Evander Holyfield’s ear multiple times in a June 1997 fight.
Jim Ross had a big role in WWE at the time since he was WWE’s lead play-by-play announcer and also running the talent relations department meaning he was like a real-life General Manager of WWE.
In a recent episode of the Grilling JR podcast that Jim Ross does, they talked about WrestleMania 14 with JR noting that Mike Tyson really wanted to be in WWE.
“He wanted to be with us. We didn’t have the impasse to sell him on let’s do something. He wanted to do something, and yes some of that was because of his financial needs. You know, Don King had really done a number on him, and Mike had done a bigger number on himself. So, we knew that the money that was in play and we had the capital. We had the funds to take care of that.”
“So, it was never an issue on how we get him together? How do we get Mike to like WWE enough to commit to a certain amount of time and come and participate in this crazy ass presentation on live television? But, that was not hard. He wanted to do something. He needed to do something.”
While Mike Tyson appeared to be on Michaels’ side going into the match, he ended up counting the pin for Austin after the original referee was knocked out. After the match, Tyson also punched Michaels in the jaw to lay him out while Tyson would go on to celebrate with Austin.
As for future appearances in wrestling, Mike Tyson recently said he’d rather appear in WWE than AEW. That led to AEW’s “Daddy Magic” Matt Menard calling Tyson a “mark” although we are guessing he might not do that if he saw Tyson in person.