Mike Tyson’s two recent appearances for All Elite Wrestling (AEW) have gone from one extreme to another.
At their Double or Nothing pay-per-view event on May 23, a somewhat sleepy Tyson didn’t get physically involved beyond taking his shirt off and threatening 65-year-old wrestling legend Jake “The Snake” Roberts, a manager now for the upstart company.
But this past Wednesday, Tyson was much more animated and much more physical when he showed up again.
The full latter segment, which you can see here, featured Tyson and his group, including some UFC fighters, facing down and brawling a bit with wrestling star Chris Jericho’s Inner Circle faction. It has created some real buzz for AEW and their weekly “Dynamite” show on TNT.
Jericho spoke with ESPN’s Marc Raimondi a bit about the experience. He had some familiarity with Tyson, as the two worked together a bit years ago for WWE, and this was really a continuation of that story.
He’s hoping to get a chance to have some sort of match in AEW with the 53-year-old Tyson:
“Obviously, the idea is to do something more. That’s the thought process, I think between both parties. What that is at this moment, we’re thinking and discussing. Look, Chris Jericho versus Mike Tyson in a wrestling match, in a street fight, in a boxing match, would be big. I’m not Mike Tyson. I’m not 1/1,000th of Mike Tyson, but I’ve been boxing for six years. I know how to box. I could win fights on my own against people of my skill level. So if that’s what he wants to do, that works, too. Whatever he feels comfortable with, I can make it good. That’s what I do for a living. That’s what I’ve been doing for 30 years.”
To be clear, in case you get an idea otherwise, no, Jericho is not saying he can legitimately box with Mike Tyson, only that he’s trained some and that he believes he could capably do a worked boxing match with Tyson, if that’s something Mike would be more comfortable doing than a wrestling match. There have been plenty of worked boxing matches in pro wrestling history, from Mr. T and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper at WrestleMania 2 in 1986, to Evander Holyfield facing Matt Hardy on a 2007 episode of WWE Saturday Night’s Main Event. We won’t even get into the boxer vs wrestler matches, including Johnny B. Badd vs Arn Anderson.
Jericho is fully confident he can guide Tyson through some sort of watchable entertainment if he gets the chance, and he should be; he’s an all-time great and he’s done it all in the pro wrestling world, an extremely experienced performer who still operates at a high level this far into his career. If anyone in major wrestling today can do something good with Tyson, it’d be Jericho, who also lacks detrimental ego and would be willing to show ass, figuratively and perhaps literally, as the likes of Ric Flair and Chris Candido have done over the years.