Mike Tyson’s WWE Role Changed Because He “Was Not A Smart Guy”


Mike Tyson’s importance to WWE’s Attitude Era cannot be overstated. He was a major player in the build-up to WrestleMania XIV and was also critical in elevating Stone Cold Steve Austin’s credibility as a badass.

But just because Tyson made some appearances here and there doesn’t mean everything with him went smoothly. In fact, a former WWE employee said that what fans saw wasn’t all original because some things had to be changed due to Tyson allegedly struggling with what he was presented with.


On an episode of Cheap Heat Productions, former WWE photographer Tom Buchanan described how Tyson was supposed to have a more direct role in the build-up to Austin vs. Shawn Michaels.

Mike Tyson was originally s upposed to referee the WrestleMania XIV match between Shawn Michaels and Steve Austin

“Tyson gets up and he turns around backwards, and somebody else in the media has to say, ‘Mike, turn around!’”

[Tyson is] not a smart guy. I think he was originally scheduled to be an in-ring referee, special guest referee, but it became clear to us that he just didn’t have that capacity, so he became an outside the ring guest enforcer, and it worked that way.”


Mike Tyson messing up a very specific opportunity for the cameras caused WWE to change their minds. Those that produced WWE programming concluded that Tyson lacked the camera presence to referee effectively.

As a result, Tyson was relegated to the role of ringside enforcer instead of being directly involved in the match itself.



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