Let’s rewind to April 23, 2007. WWE’s Superstars were coming to the end of their post-WrestleMania European tour with a RAW taping in London, England, and one of the world’s most charismatic and controversial football managers – Chelsea’s Jose Mourinho – had a ringside seat to watch all the action unfold.
At the time, Vince McMahon had just lost “The Battle of the Billionaires” to Donald Trump at WrestleMania 23, John Cena and Shawn Michaels were feuding over the WWE Championship, and WWE ‘fan’ Santino Marella debuted one week earlier to win the Intercontinental Championship from Umaga.
Jose Mourinho, meanwhile, decided to prepare for Chelsea’s Champions League semi-final with Liverpool by taking his two children to Earl’s Court for a night of WWE, which seemed fitting for a man who constantly finds himself caught up in dramas.
Football fans have grown to either love or hate Jose Mourinho over the last two decades, making him one of the most polarizing people in the sport. The Premier League’s very own John Cena or Roman Reigns, if you like, only much more villainous.
It should come as no surprise that Jose Mourinho was roundly booed by the United Kingdom fans when he appeared on RAW, but what else happened on the one night when the self-proclaimed “Special One” swapped sports for sports entertainment?
Without further ado, let’s take a look at five of the most notable things that happened that night on RAW.
#5 Shane McMahon teased a match with Jose Mourinho
The RAW episode began with Shane McMahon trying to select an opponent from the crowd, just like how Vince McMahon had selected Santino Marella from the crowd in Italy one week earlier. Suddenly, after mocking two other fans at ringside, Shane spotted someone who looked familiar.
“Wait a minute, I know you. That’s Jose Mourinho…”
The camera immediately panned to Jose Mourinho, who wore a huge smirk on his face and began wagging his index finger back at Shane O’Mac.
As the majority of fans booed the then-Chelsea manager, Shane proved, if it wasn’t obvious already, that he did not know much about the great sport of football.
“The head coach, if you will, of the Chelsea football game.”
Referring to Jose Mourinho as the head coach of “the Chelsea football game” is the wrestling equivalent of calling John Cena a “World Wrestling Sports Entertainment Champion”. In other words, it just doesn’t make sense. Shane’s football lingo was way off.
“What do you say? Uh-uh… you don’t want any of this.”
It looked as though Jose Mourinho’s on-screen appearance would end with that comment from Shane, but Vince McMahon’s son was not done there…
#4 Shane McMahon took another dig at Jose Mourinho
During the same promo, Shane McMahon went on to say that he witnessed Great Britain’s greatest wrestler single-handedly defeat six men in a pub brawl the previous night. Then, just when Jose Mourinho probably thought he was safe, Shane took one last dig at him.
“If you can call them men. Actually, I think they were members of your [Jose Mourinho’s] Chelsea Football Club.”
This moment has led to the creation of several videos on the internet titled “Jose Mourinho gets owned by Shane O’Mac on WWE RAW”, but that seems a bit unfair when you consider that “The Special One” did not have a microphone to respond.
Seconds later, the person who Shane was referring to – current Performance Center trainer Robbie Brookside, father of NXT UK’s Xia Brookside – was introduced as his opponent.
Looking back, WWE’s higher-ups likely thought the United Kingdom fans would rally behind someone from their own country, but the crowd turned against Brookside as soon as Shane said he was from Liverpool.
The most popular person in the opening segment turned out to be Vince McMahon, who joined forces with Shane and Umaga to defeat the helpless Brookside in a 3-on-1 handicap match.
Despite three of WWE’s top villains standing tall at the end of the first segment, it was Jose Mourinho who received the loudest boos in the first 20 minutes of the show – and he probably wouldn’t have it any other way!
#3 Jose Mourinho met Vince McMahon backstage
Controversy seems to follow Jose Mourinho wherever he goes. As this article is being written, he has just walked out of a virtual press conference because the technology isn’t working properly, and #JoseOut has been trending on Twitter for three hours because his current club – Tottenham Hotspur – failed to beat relegation-threatened Bournemouth.
This would be a season-defining moment for most managers, but not Jose Mourinho. This is a standard matchday for the Portuguese coach.
Similarly, Vince McMahon is often the subject of debates on social media when his own team of performers – WWE Superstars – do not entertain fans to an adequate standard.
If a WWE storyline is well received by fans, the Superstars involved usually get the credit. If a WWE storyline is badly received by fans, Vince McMahon gets the blame.
This, as football fans will know, is similar to the sporting world, where big names like Jose Mourinho are not immune from heavy criticism from their own team’s supporters.
As you can see above, the two titans of sports and sports entertainment posed for a picture alongside Shane McMahon on the night of the April 2007 episode of RAW.
#2 Jose Mourinho watched John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels
Yes, we are talking about THE John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels match! Football fans know that Jose Mourinho has always been a man for the big occasion, and RAW matches do not get much bigger than this Cena vs. Michaels classic from 2007.
The WrestleMania rematch lasted 55 minutes and 49 seconds, with Michaels finally getting the better of his opponent by countering an Attitude Adjustment into a Sweet Chin Music to pick up the victory.
Michaels told NBC Sports in 2018 that the match, which is widely considered to be the best in RAW history, is one of his favorite in-ring encounters of his WWE career.
“It obviously doesn't hurt when you're in a phenomenal environment as well. Let's face it, the folks in the U.K. are pretty easy to wrestle in front of. They are a very passionate group. I gotta say that's one of my favorite matches.”
Following the match, Michaels posed with Cena’s WWE Championship before taunting the man he just defeated with some D-Generation X crotch chops.
Jose Mourinho is no stranger to post-match taunts, so he would no doubt have admired this moment from Michaels!
#1 Jose Mourinho was unable to see Edge vs. Randy Orton
At the time, Edge and Orton were the WWE version of Chelsea’s Didier Drogba and Andriy Shevchenko. The two men tried to form a partnership but it soon became apparent that they were better on their own.
Orton went on to have a huge amount of success in WWE but his start to 2007 was less than impressive, with the former Evolution member winning just three of his first 20 matches that year. He was, as Jose Mourinho might say, “a specialist in failure”.
WWE fooled the audience into thinking that Edge vs. Orton would take place that night, which meant they had no idea that Cena and Michaels’ WrestleMania rematch would continue for as long as it did.
All four of those Superstars battled it out for the WWE Championship at Backlash six days later, but it was understandable if some fans were disappointed not to see Edge vs. Orton on RAW.
It is worth noting, however, that Michaels was still one of WWE's biggest names at this time. Prior to that year’s WrestleMania, “The Heartbreak Kid” had more WrestleMania main-event appearances alone than the other three Superstars together. Three for him, one for them. Respect! Respect!
All things considered, we can all agree that Jose Mourinho chose a suitably special night to watch a live episode of WWE RAW!