Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Saturday Morning Ringside: Muhammad Ali invades the World Wide Wrestling Federation (1976)

Forty years ago, as Muhammad Ali was preparing for a boxer vs. wrestler match vs. Japanese icon Antonio Inoki, Vincent J. (Jess) McMahon invited Ali to appear on the World Wide Wrestling Federation's Championship Wrestling program, which was routinely taped in Allentown, Pennsylvania. McMahon's son, Vincent K. McMahon, is the sole announcer, as Ali disrupts a match between future Hall of Famer Gorilla Monsoon and Baron Mikel Scicluna.

I remember reading an account of this in a newspaper and being stunned. Ali would eventually fight Inoki to a draw, but he would return to what was now the World Wrestling Federation (the "Wide" had been dropped) in 1985 as a referee for the first main event at Wrestlemania.

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