I never hear anybody talk about this, but on the verge of Mike Tyson’s induction into the WWE Hall of Fame, it seems appropriate to bring it up now. In early 1990, all the newspaper wrestling columns (the way we got our smark info before the Interwebs) were saying that Mike Tyson’s gig as the referee for the Hogan vs Macho King match on The Main Event was to be the prelude to an actual match between Hulk Hogan and Mike Tyson in some sort of boxing/wrestling title unfication match. But then Buster Douglas shocked the world by knocking out Tyson for the title, Tyson backed out of the ref gig, and that was the end of his involvement in wrestling for another eight years.
Have you ever heard anything definitive as to whether or not such a match was ever actually in the works? Or was it just made up to sell newspapers? I know that they had already foreshadowed the Hogan/Warrior match at the Royal Rumble, but WWF Champion Hogan (who’s only real loss in WWF cannon had been that twin ref screwjob with Andre) vs the undefeated Baddest Man On The Planet would have blown away any and all PPV buyrate records now and forever, and I don’t doubt that they would have bumped Hogan/Warrior for Hogan/Tyson at Wrestlemania VI if the opportunity presented itself.
Yeah, I’ve heard similar things before, although with the Buster knockout it’s all academic anyway. You’d have to think that there would be way more upside for the WWF in that equation than for Tyson, as he was pulling in more in one fight than WWF was clearing in a year at that point (possibly a slight exaggeration, but not by much) and what would his motivation be? But the rumor was pervasive enough that I distinctly remember PWI doing a story about what would happen in a match between them and treating it as though it was something that was in the works, so there must have been SOMETHING to it. Unfortunately the Observer archives only go back to 1991, but if someone wants to shoot an e-mail to the WON mailbag address about it, I listen to the podcast every morning before work so I can report back if Dave answers it.