Was Hulk Hogan versus Mike Tyson Ever a Possibility?
On the latest Something to Wrestle With, Bruce Prichard recalled Mike Tyson being signed to referee a match between Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage in 1990 and if a match between Hogan and Tyson was planned. Tyson was signed and announced to be the guest referee for a match between Hogan and Savage at The Main Event III on NBC in February of 1990, with speculation at the time being that there may be a match planned between Hogan and Tyson at WrestleMania VI due to comments both men made and the amount that Tyson was set to be paid seeming to be too much for a free TV appearance. However, reports at the time said this didn’t seem to be the case.
The whole thing became moot after Tyson lost to Buster Douglas in one of the biggest upsets in sports history two weeks before the show, and Tyson backed out of the appearance. Highlights from this part of the discussion, and the full podcast, are below:
On if a Hogan vs. Tyson match was ever discussed: “Sure. I mean, the prospect of actually having Hulk Hogan vs. the baddest man on the planet, Mike Tyson, without a doubt is always going to be discussed. I don’t care who’s in what place, you always talk about who’s the best and who would win in wrestler vs. boxer. And there probably were not two bigger stars in the galaxy than Hulk Hogan and Mike Tyson at the time. So yeah, it was discussed. However, dealing with Don King who was Mike’s promoter and manager at the time, that can always be a little tricky and walking through landmines as well. But Mike always loved the business. Mike grew up watching wrestling, and he absolutely loved the business and had a lot of respect for it. So there was always — I think that there was always potential there to do something with Mike.”
On why they opted not to do a match between the two: “But the reality of ever getting to that? What the hell do you do with it. You can’t beat Tyson, you can’t beat Hulk. And it was not a situation where both guys could look good. Using Mike’s name and having Mike be a big part of something we were doing, yeah. F**k yeah. And the biggest match on PPV, the biggest draw on PPV up to this point was Randy Savage vs. Hulk Hogan from WrestleMania V. The return in primetime on NBC for The Main Event to air live on a Friday night, to add Mike Tyson’s name into that? Come on, you’ve got the three biggest names at that time on PPV in one match. That was huge, and that was Vince’s goal all along, was to get Mike involved somehow. And I don’t think Mike was even available for WrestleMania at the time.”