Mike Tyson recently spoke about actually wrestling a match, never wrestling Steve Austin and more. Here are the highlights…
On Actually Wrestling a Match: If I’m healthy, and I am, I think, I would do it,” he said. “You have to be in shape. You can’t just come off the street and do this stuff. I did a little wrestling before in there during rehearsal, and you have to be in top shape. You gotta work out. You’re going to get hurt, so you have to be in shape that way you can make sure you limit the damage. Before boxing, I was a WWF fan. It’s like a soap opera for men. That’s what poor, inner-city kids did, we watched these guys wrestle and we fantasized about being them and that glory and that fighting.
Was He Disappointed He Never Wrestled Steve Austin?: No, no way. Anything they gave me, I was just very grateful to be a part of. I’m just very grateful to be a part of that stuff, but I used to like Big Show, and Floyd can’t beat Big Show in a fight, and that doesn’t make boxing look good, you know what I mean? It doesn’t make wrestling look good. They should’ve had Big Show choke Floyd out or something. Gorilla Monsoon slammed Muhammad Ali, and you’re telling me Floyd, who is 140 pounds, that he’s going to beat a 500-pound guy like that? C’mon man. When you step into their field, you have to let them be kings in their field. Gorilla Monsoon slammed Muhammad Ali. Andre The Giant kicked Chuck Wepner’s butt, right? So don’t bring guys into their field and make them look bad on their own mat. I don’t like that. From a fan’s perspective, I didn’t like that.
On Crowd Reactions in Wrestling: That excitement from the WWE. You see, most of these guys when they finish, they can’t control it, they can’t handle it. You think this stuff is easy to handle when you have people screaming at you? You might not be in a good mood, so you say, “To hell with you.” They scream at these guys. After Vince McMahon makes these guys big stars, they go one way, and the wrestlers go another way. So now they have to handle that. Vince can’t protect these guys when they’re out living their life like that. They create these huge personalities, these massive superstars, but there’s no way to protect these guys. It’s impossible. They must be miserable because they can’t go out.
His Thoughts on The Shield: I like them, but it’s tough getting used to all the new guys. Back in the day, these guys were around for 20 years, but now, they just don’t have long careers like they used to have. As far as entertainment, nobody beats Mick Foley. He must’ve broke every bone in his body. I saw him and Terry Funk fight one time and they should’ve died. They should’ve been dead. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. They must be some hard-core guys. Another guy I like is Randy Orton. He’s so different than his dad. Cowboy Bob Orton with the belly and the big old hat. Randy has the Superman physique, but his dad was that big-bellied guy who had a broken arm for like 10 years [laughs]. Times change, you gotta change with the times.
On Dusty Rhodes: These are some entertaining guys. Nobody is more flamboyant than Dusty. Nobody has his talk, nobody has his rap. None of the black guys can talk the s— that he talks. You thought Dusty was from the ghetto somewhere the way he was talking. During my Hall of Fame speech, I looked at John Cena, the guy who was doing all the gangster signs, and I said: You think you’re part black with all your signs, and Booker T. is over there ducking and stuff, but Dusty Rhodes, he’s black exploitation black from the ’70s like, hey blood, hey brother. [Laughs] These guys are athletes, like I said, but they are also some very entertaining people. If Dusty Rhodes would’ve came out now, he would have his own reality show, his own talk show. He just has the biggest personality of anyone around.