Boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather Jr. can still boast about his undefeated record, even in the world of the WWE, after he KO’d 7-foot WWE superstar the Big Show during Sunday night’s (March 30) Wrestlemania XXIV.
In front of a record-breaking crowd of nearly 75,000 at the Citrus Bowl in Florida, fans waited anxiously for the high profile David versus Goliath style match-up.
Mayweather’s KO blow came after hitting the Big Show (Paul Wight) with three steel chair shots, which brought the giant to his knees. Once brought down to the boxer’s reach, Mayweather removed his gloves, revealing a pair of brass knuckles — which was legal because the fight was “no-holds-barred” — then laid a right hook to Big Show’s jaw, knocking his lights out and winning the match.
It wasn’t an easy win, though, for the championship boxer. Well, at least, in terms of following the scripted and rehearsed ways of the WWE. During the match, the Big Show, slammed him to the mat and stepped on him in the middle of the ring at one point. It got a little comical, however, when Mayweather climbed onto the 7-foot, 440-pound wrestler’s back, bringing him down with a chokehold.
According to Sports Illustrated, the right was initially supposed to be the Big Show versus Oscar De La Hoya and Rey Mysterio, but after De La Hoya turned down the offer, Mayweather was called in and accepted the challenge for a paycheck of course, rumored to be around $20 million.
Mayweather explained the move as a part of his full package as an entertainer — something he said De La Hoya doesn’t have.
“When you mention Oscar De Lay Hoya, you’re mentioning an ordinary fighter,” said Mayweather. “When you mention Floyd Mayweather, you’re mentioning an entertainer. A guy who’s not scared to go out there and take a chance and take a risk and go out the box, that’s what it’s about. Certain NFL players and NBA players are labeled as just that, when you look at me, I’m labeled as an entertainer.”
And entertain he did, and along with him, brought many from the hip-hop world.
Singer John Legend kicked off the event with “America The Beautiful,” while Snoop Dogg served as the Master of Ceremonies for the “Bunnymania Lumberjack Match” that resulted in Beth Phoenix and Melina defeating Playboy cover girls Maria and Ashley. Snoop even got in on the action, when Maria’s ex-boyfriend received a clothesline from the rapper.
Bootylicious Kim Kardashian was also on hand, introducing the “Money in the Bank” ladder match, where CM Punk repelled six other WWE superstars — including Shelton Benjamin, MVP, John Morrison, Mr. Kennedy, Chris Jericho and Carlito — to claim a shot at the championship of his choice.
Another highlight of the evening was when 60+ year old wrestling legend, the “Nature Boy” Ric Flair was defeated during his final performance as an active wrestler to the hands of another veteran, Shawn Michaels. He bid a tearful farewell to wrestling fans across the globe.