WWE News: Vince Russo details how WWE signed Mike Tyson
What's the story?
When Mike Tyson was suspended for biting Evander Holyfield's ear back in 1997 it seems that Vince McMahon came up with the genius idea to bring the boxer into WWE. It was an idea that catapulted WWE and Vince Russo recently opened up about how it became a reality.
In case you didn't know...
Mike Tyson's big WWE moment came back at WrestleMania XIV when he was the special guest enforcer for the match between Shawn Michaels and Stone Cold Steve Austin. Austin and Tyson already had their issues, which made this a tense atmosphere, before Tyson turned on DX and counted the pinfall for Stone Cold to win the WWF Championship.
It was a huge moment for WWE because fans of boxing all over the world tuned in to watch Tyson on WWE TV since he was always an unpredictable character when it came to his boxing career. He was paid $3 million for his involvement in that WrestleMania match and was even allowed to knock out punch Shawn Michaels, so it seems that he got his money's worth.
The heart of the matter
Vince Russo was recently part of The Steve Austin Show Unleashed, where he talked about how genius the idea was to bring Mike Tyson to WWE.
"I believe this was the start of the Attitude Era. Vince's decision to bring Tyson in to WWE when he was suspended for biting Evander Holyfield's ear was freaking genius. Who knows what Vince spent, but that money he spent catapulted WWE. That is what I mean when I say that Vince was a visionary. He saw that; it was genius."
It is reported that Vince spent around $3 million on that one appearance at WrestleMania XIV even though it is unknown how much Tyson made from the whole deal, but it seems that it was money well spent.
"When Vince and I, with the very early stages of the Attitude Era, there was a time when it was just him and I writing; Ed [Ferarra] wasn't even around yet. When I was pitching Tyson to Vince, I mentioned that regardless of how they had booked Pro Wrestling 101 the previous 30 years, we're going to have to go the other way. When they are expecting us to make a left, make a right because it's going to be unpredictable, it's going to be must-see TV. This was one of those moments and you will appreciate this; a lot of times keep my mouth shut and listen to the conversation with Bruce Prichard, Jim Cornette, Kevin Dunn, just to see organically where they were going to go. I would just sit back and see what they had in mind. I would never forget, the reason why Vince McMahon wanted to bring Mike Tyson in to WWE, he was selling Tyson on how bad his PR is at the moment, but that if he came to WWE, we will make you a huge babyface, and put you in a huge babyface light. We have to help you with your PR and get people back on your side."
Stone Cold Steve Austin appeared on Raw's 25th Anniversary a few weeks ago as he once again proved that he can always find a way to get the better of authority. It is unknown when he will appear again and Tyson's last WWE appearance was when he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame back in 2012, so it seems that his role in the company is done.
Everyone who watched wrestling in that era can remember Jim Ross shouting out "Tyson and Austin" and how passion and into it that JR got, it dragged the audience in as well. Tyson was a fantastic deal, he was a worldwide star and much like Ronda Rousey right now, he could have done real damage to Austin in the ring.
Tyson was unpredictable, but he was someone who did the job WWE needed at the time and that brawl with Austin is still one of the biggest moments in the history of Monday Night Raw.