Class of 2012: Celebrity Inductee
Baddest Man on the Planet
Hall of Fame Rating
6 out of 10
Out of all the celebrity inductees in the Hall, Mike Tyson deserves this honor the most. His participation was similar to Mr. T’s in Wrestlemania 1. It mattered. It actually legitametly affected the product in a positive way.
Most celebrities at Wrestlemania are window dressing. Vince brings them in to get media attention and to make himself feel good.
Pam is ditzy and fun AND accompanying Diesel! OMG!
Jake and Alice Cooper cuz they are both dark or something
This is the most obvious example of the entertainment factor of sports entertainment. Hard core wrestling fans generally glance over this element, which has grown into a spectacular waste of time on events especially Wrestlemania. (Remember Snoop Dog’s Rap Battle bumping Sheamus vs Daniel Bryan for US Title at Wrestlemania 27) Its real bad.
What does all this have to do with Mike Tyson? Well, Tyson is the anomoloy not the rule. Celebrities normally suck. They feel extra and never really affect anything. Mike Tyson did. His precense did exactly what Vince always wants (got media attention) and what real fans want (good story and actually helped change things).
Steve Austin was on a roll since 1997 and during his injury in the later half of the year (Owen Hart’s great contribution to Austin lore), Austin bloomed. He became the hero against the classic ways of doing things in the WWE. Austin lit a spark with his stunners of Ross and McMahon, and Mike Tyson became fuel to that fire.
In 1998, McMahon knew he had something with Steve Austin. The fans loved him. Austin 3:16, his catch phrases and bucking authority were all new in wrestling. This was hard. This felt real. So McMahon took a gamble. A huge gamble. If this gamble was unsuccessful, he was on the path towards the destruction of the WWF. Mike Tyson was that gamble.
Tyson cost over one million dollars to appear at Wrestlemania 14 and preceding Raw shows. At this point, McMahon was losing an uphill battle against WCW. Things were not hunky dory at the time. McMahon changed his product rather quickly in 1997 to adapt to the changing times (and in response to the now) But they still weren’t in the lead and were losing money fast. If Tyson hadn’t brought the attention and more importantly the fans back to WWF, it could have folded.
But Tyson did. He was the cherry on top to the Austin/DX Feud, which brought in the casual fan and the WCW fan. Many came for this and never left as it was obvious WWF was the better product. Tyson helped legitimize the change going on. Why?
The Baddest Man on the Planet. That was Mike Tyson’s nickname and how WWF labled him. Tyson, in all reality, was not a nice man. His job was to beat and destroy people. He had actually been in jail for a few years. Mike Tyson of 1998 would not be brought in WWE today. He was too controversial. And that’s why he mattered.
Vince took his gamble, and it worked. On top of that, Tyson (who was a fan) actually partcipated in a angle where he almost fought Austin, joined DX until he finally saw the truth at Wrestlemania and counted the beginning of the Attitude Era with Austin’s victory. It was a good story and it helped to change the importance of the outcome.
McMahon was always going to go Austin victory. Tyson’s involvement helped more people to see this victory and realize a change was in the air. Tyson is in the handful of celebrities who are musts in the Celebrity Hall. Well done.
Drew Carey’s 2011 induction was a debacle (he got booed at his speech, at Wrestlemania and even all the press was more “Huh” that “YAY”. )
Did they learn from it? Yes, it seems. Mike Tyson is one of probably five celebrities who have to be in the celebrity wing at some point. His inclusion here says that perhaps the WWE has decided to actually question the validity of a celebrity inductee and not just pick one.
Tyson mattered and with his main involvement being over ten years prior, his induction was good, at least as far as it goes with celebrities.
Realistically, celebrities don’t belong, but if they have to be there, Mike Tyson is up there with Mr. T in needing to be in the Hall.
Opens Door For?
Hopefully a pattern of good celebrity inductions. Mr.T, Cyndi Lauper and Andy Kaufman should be the next three
Reasons this shouldn’t have happened.
Worried about PG rating. But Tyson’s speech was far from TV MA, so none really.