WWE Editor @jeffersonlake
Five great WWE sporting crossovers: Trading sports for sports entertainment
Last Updated: 08/10/19 11:47am
Tyson Fury’s involvement with WWE is not the first time a star from a legitimate sport has ventured into the scripted world – and it is unlikely to be the last.
Crossing over from one to the other has been a tradition in wrestling going back to the days of boxer-v-wrestler matches such as the ones between Muhammad Ali and Japanese legend Antonio Inoki in the 1970s.
Several big names from the world of American sports - notably the NFL - have found themselves in the squared circle and at WrestleMania II there was even a battle royal featuring gridiron players taking on wrestlers.
We have picked out our five favourite times when athletes traded sports for sports entertainment…
The gold standard for sports stars entering WWE - at least for British fans - remains Wayne Rooney's 2015 appearance on Raw.
After hearing Wade Barrett trash talk Manchester United (to a mixture of cheers and boos from the Manchester crowd), Rooney was invited into the ring to "act like a man".
The then-United striker did not oblige that request but when Barrett got in his face, he delivered an admittedly tame slap which 'Bad News' sold like the pro that he is.
Setting the template for 2019's battle between Tyson Fury and Braun Strowman is the famous WrestleMania match between Floyd Mayweather and the Big Show.
Mayweather gave up almost two feet in height and an incredible 240lbs in weight when he tangled with WWE's giant in 2008.
But, a fierce right hook later, he emerged with his undefeated record intact and went on to fight Conor McGregor in another bout between two fighters from different sports.
Although she would go on to have a glorious WWE career, Ronda Rousey was very much an MMA fighter when she first stepped between the ropes.
Seeking some support at WrestleMania 31, The Rock turned to Rousey in the crowd and she immediately took down Stephanie McMahon with an arm lock.
On that day, a spark was lit which would lead to one of the greatest rookie years in the history of the business.
With a goatee-sporting Michael Cole on interview duty, legendary hard man of football Vinnie Jones vowed to find his namesake Vince McMahon backstage and "knock him out".
While he did not make good on that promise, Jones did get to tee up Steve Austin for a Stunner on the Big Boss Man.
He then achieved an accolade which is almost on a par with winning a world title - getting to share a beer with none other than good old Stone Cold himself.
Perhaps the least well known of all the sporting celebrity involvements came on an episode of Raw in 2007, when Jose Mourinho was in the front row alongside his family.
A very youthful looking Shane McMahon calls out Mourinho, describing him as "the head coach of the Chelsea football game".
Said Raw was taking place in Earls Court, a venue not a million miles away from Stamford Bridge. However, that small fact did not prevent the crowd from erupting in a deafening chorus of boos.