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WWE Hall of Fame to honour Muhammad Ali

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WWE Hall of Fame to honour Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2024 on Friday, April 5, 2024…

One of the most iconic figures in sports history, the three-time World Heavyweight Boxing Champion and Olympic gold medalist was known around the world for his charisma, his confidence, and his ability to back it up inside the ropes.

Known simply as “The Greatest”, Ali’s influence transcended sports as his work as an activist, artist, and personality established him as one of the most renowned figures in the entire world. Although best known as a boxer, Ali made a great impact in the sports entertainment world.

On June 26, 1976, Ali competed in “The War of the Worlds” which was an exhibition match against WWE Hall of Famer Antonio Inoki inside the Nippon Budokan arena in Tokyo, Japan. The match, which was competed under specific rules, resulted in a 15-round draw in front of 32,000 fans in the crowd. The bout was also broadcast on closed-circuit television to nearly 33,000 fans inside Shea Stadium in Queens, New York.

The event was a huge success and brought in countless new fans to the industry while also being viewed as a precursor to modern mixed martial arts. Both Ali and Inoki became friends after the event with Inoki even using Ali’s theme music and catchphrases as his own.

After retiring from the boxing ring with a career record of 56-5 with 37 knockouts, Ali returned to the squared circle where he served as the special guest referee for the inaugural WrestleMania in 1984 during the main event between Hulk Hogan & Mr. T and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper & “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff.

Ali’s defining moment in the match came when he punched Piper with his signature right hand – a move that restored order to the bout.

Ali sadly passed away on June 3rd, 2016, at 74, but his legacy as one of the greatest athletes persists, and his work to modernize and globalize professional wrestling helped seamlessly blend the world of sports and entertainment.

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