Before he ever gets back in the ring for his supposed rematch with WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder next year, Tyson Fury will step through the professional wrestling ropes for a match later this month.
Or will he actually wrestle?
As part of the Monday night WWE wrestling program “Raw,” Fury appeared to publicly made official that he will wrestle massive bad guy Braun Strowman in an October 31st match in Saudi Arabia.
Take a look at Fury Monday night sitting across from the hulking Strowman, as they fictitiously signed the contract for the match. And then, of course, did a little wrestling promoting right afterwards:
— WWE (@WWE) October 15, 2019
There is much debate about Fury taking part in this event. And while he is reportedly being paid at least seven figures by Vince McMahon’s wrestling organization to participate, he is also taking a significant risk of tens of millions more, especially with his surgically-repaired right eyebrow.
Fury suffered a nasty gash over that right eye in his September, 12-round decision win over little-known Swedish heavyweight Otto Wallin in Las Vegas. The cut required over 40 stitches to close, and there is legitimate concern that Fury messing around in a professional wrestling ring, even in a choreographed match, could re-injure the eye and jeopardize the proposed February bout with Wilder.
Fury’s British promoter Frank Warren expressed concern to broadcast and web outlet “TalkSport” in the U.K. on Monday about Fury participating in an actual wrestling match for the WWE,
“I’d be a liar if I said I was pleased with it, I’d prefer him not to do it but he’s doing it,” Warren said.
“Listen, I’ve seen WWE fighters get cuts, it’s the nature of contact sports. I’d prefer he didn’t do it because it could jeopardise his boxing career.”
“But he’s doing it and he’s his own man. In some ways I suppose it’s keeping him focussed and keeping fit and well. It’s not like he’s a baby, he’s 30 years of age.”
This is not the first time that McMahon and the WWE have enlisted a current or former heavyweight champion for promotion of their matches and pay-per-views.
McMahon very famously used Buster Douglas just two weeks after his monumental February 1990 upset of Mike Tyson to be a ring referee in the Hulk Hogan-Randy “Macho Man” Savage match on a live network televised wrestling show on NBC:
He later used Tyson too, in 1998 for promotion/a wrestling angle supposedly wanting to fight with one of his noted bad guys, “Stone Cold,” Steve Austin. Then, Austin was part of the main event match at “Wrestlemania XIV,” in Boston that March.
And Tyson, again as the ref, ended up double-crossing Austin’s opponent, Shawn Michaels, and helping Austin win the WWE title,
However in both of those cases, Douglas and Tyson did not put on the tights and actually wrestle, like Fury intends to do.
Fury told the London Daily Mail tabloid that he’s been working with WWE wrestlers and trainers at their Orlando training facility for the organization. This in order to get moves and choreography ready for the match with Strowman.
Will it be an actual match or just some publicity seeking stunt, where Fury isn’t trying actual wrestling moves and being thrown around, endangered?
That’s what McMahon and the WWE want to buy their Pay per View for in three weeks.