Tuesday, March 11, 2008
XXIV = 24, for the Roman numerically-challenged.
That's right -- I'm a wrestling fan, born and raised. It's in my blood. I enjoy it and watch it on a different level than most. I can break things down that you wouldn't believe, considering that match endings are choreographed. Let's just say this: it's a man's soap opera, and I'm a man who enjoys it.
Now with that being said, I understand that the quality (read: WWE) has deteriorated greatly in the past few years; however, the "Super Bowl" of wrestling aka Wrestlemania is rapidly approaching and there is a media frenzy around it. Why is that, you ask? Simple: "Pretty Boy" Floyd Mayweather, Jr. is participating in a match this year.
Yes -- you read that right. He's fighting in a few weeks... and it made me think about the other times that athletes from other professions have dared to enter the squared circle. This is what I've found:
I'd forgotten all about Muhammad Ali jumping into the ring against Antonio Inoki, the Japanese wrestling equivalent of Hulk Hogan. The match was so stiff that Ali actually spent time in the hospital afterward due to the blood clots that he developed in his legs from all the hard kicks. Inoki allegedly was kicking him extra hard because he was frustrated that they couldn't come to an accord on how the match would end. Apparently, Ali didn't learn his lesson and decided to go back for more in a fight against Gorilla Monsoon soon thereafter. One airplane spin later, Cassius Clay put the boots away for good.
Joe Louis is another boxing great who took his shot at the squared circle. He wasn't very good, but his career didn't end until he had a match with a rather clumsy wrestler who plopped down on him in such an awkward fashion that he actually injured Joe's heart. As you would imagine, his physician naturally (and soundly) suggested that he look elsewhere for his next paycheck.
Now, we have "Pretty Boy" Floyd aka "Money" Mayweather (159 lbs) getting ready to square off against "The Big Show" Paul Wight (441 lbs). What is the over-under that Floyd is going to be the next to get legitimately injured in some way (especially by that behemoth mountain of a man who is probably none-too-happy that Floyd is allegedly receiving a $20 million paycheck for his appearance)? I'll bet it's pretty ugly.