Unforgettable homage: WWE’s extraordinary tribute to Muhammad Ali, a tribute that transcends time and space


Over the years, wrestling fans have seen many crossover stars make appearances in WWE. Mike Tyson, Shaquille O’Neal, Snoop Dogg, and other well-known athletes and celebrities have made their mark in pro wrestling due to their enthusiasm for the sport. Very few, however, possessed the clout of the late great and legendary boxer Muhammad Ali. After carving out an unrivaled boxing career, Ali became a global sensation.

WWE capitalized on Ali’s influence by inviting him to officiate the inaugural WrestleMania main event. Nonetheless, WWE and Mattel are now paying tribute to Muhammad Ali posthumously six years after his passing away.


WWE and Mattel are set to release Muhammad Ali’s action figure

‘The Greatest’ made several appearances in pro wrestling, but his most talked about involvement was his WrestleMania 1 appearance. In 1985, fans in Madison Square Garden adulated Muhammad Ali as he made his way to the ring. Ali served as a special guest referee for the main event tag team match that saw Hulk Hogan team up with Mr. T against Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff.

WWE and Mattel will now commemorate the boxing legend with two editions of his action figures. While one figure out of the two-pack will present Ali as a boxer, the other will represent him as the special referee of WrestleMania 1. Mattel’s manager, Bill Benecke, revealed how they chose the two versions of the action figure while speaking with Sports Illustrated.

According to him, since it is a WWE action figure, it was paramount to represent him as the referee from WrestleMania 1. Furthermore, they also decided to create another figure with boxing gloves, considering all the boxer vs. wrestler matches that Ali had.


He said, “This is a WWE figure, so it made absolute sense to celebrate him in the role of special guest referee at the first WrestleMania—but how could we not deliver on his in-ring look from his boxer vs. wrestler matches? After a lot of conversation, the answer was obvious: both looks were the best, so we did exactly that, and created an Ultimate 2 Pack.”

One of the most talked about appearances of Ali, besides WrestleMania 1, was his encounter with Gorilla Monsoon.

The Ultimate Edition action figure 2-pack will exclusively be available at San Diego Comic-Con 2023, July 19th. It will also be available for purchase on MattelCreations.com starting Friday, July 21.

Ali is a revered personality in WWE as well. In fact, Brock Lesnar once described the power of Muhammad Ali.


Brock Lesnar once commented on his first interaction with Muhammad Ali

In an interview ahead of UFC 200, Brock Lesnar shared his first-ever meeting with Ali. This was one month after the passing of Muhammad Ali. Lesnar relayed that he watched almost all of Ali’s fights. But, Lesnar was at a loss for words while describing what it was like meeting Ali for the first time.

According to him, he met Ali when Parkinson’s disease had taken over. At the time, Ali didn’t speak but his pulsating energy could be felt by people around him Lesnar said, “I met him one time and he never spoke a word to me but I felt the presence and power from him.”

The Beast Incarnate further lauded Ali for fighting Parkinson’s for several years.


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