Why Tyson Fury was born to be a WWE superstar after boxer’s debut appearance on Smackdown – The Sun
JUST when you thought Tyson Fury’s gruesome eye injury and enforced boxing break would wreck his cult-like popularity, the Gypsy King knocks over another audience.
When SunSport predicted a career change of the Traveller showman in 2017, little notice was taken of the outlandish prediction but for a long time it has made perfect sense.
Yes the acting on this week’s WWE shows Smackdown and Raw was as hammy as a gammon shank but in a couple of promos with fellow giant Braun Strowman, Fury has done more to win over American fans than heavyweight rival Deontay Wilder has managed in a lifetime.
The WWE universe is vast and ridiculously diverse.
The biggest brand in professional wrestling, a staple of North American culture, sells out arenas all over Europe and is now cracking the Middle East, boosting their billion-dollar coffers even further.
A walk around the O2 when the WWE comes to London will reveal the expected chaperoned school children and teenagers but plenty of adults still dress up in the costumes and grandparents remember the ‘golden years’ of Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks.
Even in the ring, you are as likely to see 70-year-old Ric Flair make an appearance as you are to spot an up-and-comer fresh out of the NXT production line.
Dozens of sports people have used the appeal and reach of the WWE – and one-time rival WCW – to help sell their product to a new market.
What was good for Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Floyd Mayweather and Dennis Rodman will certainly benefit Fury.
And Conor McGregor has wisely kept relevant among the wrestling world with intermittent online feuds or comments, the path for The Notorious to make his WWE entrance was paved a long time ago.
Fury wore a statement suit for his debut on Friday, without a shirt underneath.
But by Monday he appeared to have his own line of attire already printed with catchphrase “You Big Dosser” emblazoned on the back of his t-shirt.
There’s little doubt that the renditions of Elvis and Aerosmith, that his UK audience never seemed to really fall for, will blow away the WWE crowd that he is far more used to seeing their biggest wrestlers struggle for personality and on-mic sparkle.
Former UFC fighter Brock Lesnar has the brilliant manager Paul Heyman as his mouthpiece, Strowman offers up little more than a growl and Roman Reigns has always been hammered for his lack of personality.
And past behemoths like the Big Show and Kane always struggled for bark to match their bite.
But in Fury, who was a social media sensation long before he was a world champion, thanks to his stint as Batman or the time he whacked himself with an uppercut, they have a readymade crossover star who ticks a startling number of boxes.
Being a world champion boxer gives him genuine combat credibility, the likes that MMA pioneer Ken Shamrock, Lesnar and Ronda Rousey enjoyed.
But being able and willing to sing, ad-lib and showboat, whether in the odd cameo or as a long-term performer, is something rarely seen in the industry.
CM Punk was arguably the most electric entertainer and in recent memory, certainly after the Attitude Era glory days of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Triple H.
But his reputation is in tatters after talking himself into the UFC and getting slaughtered in two painful fights.
But Fury – especially after his incredible resurrection against Wilder that was instantly made into a meme likening him to The Undertaker, arguably WWE’s greatest ever creation – is the real deal in and out of the ring, on the mic and in a battle.
Why is WWE a good move for Tyson Fury?
- WWE programming reaches more than 800 million homes worldwide in 28 languages
- WWE Network is the first-ever 24/7 direct-to-consumer premium network and is currently available in more than 180 countries
- WWE has over 1 billion social followers, and is amongst the top most influential sports brands globally
The 31-year-old has been warned off all physical exercise until mid-November, following the 47 stitches he needed on the two cuts around his right eye, and depending on the healing process that could rule him out of action until the back end of 2020.
After losing three years of his career to drink and drug abuse and obesity, the father of five now insists his only addiction is to the gym and training so there were fears a stint on the sidelines could hit his mental health and momentum.
But by breaking into the WWE and building feuds with any number of superstars, he has a reason to remain in shape, another source of sizeable income and a direct route into millions of American homes.
If promoter Frank Warren and US partners Top Rank thought they had hatched a handy little plan to introduce their golden goose to a new crowd, they were spectacularly right.
But it looks like Fury, who has at no point employed a PR team to repair his once-rank reputation, has grabbed the bull by the horns and gone on a brilliant rampage.
Because while Anthony Joshua’s career hangs in the balance ahead of his must-win rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr on December 7 and Wilder remains bizarrely anonymous in his own town, let alone country, Fury is on everyone’s lips for all the right reasons.
Whether his next fight is for the WBC heavyweight title in Los Angeles for the WWE Universal belt in a steel cage, Fury is once again ahead of the curve and in control.
Will he appear at the annual flagship Wrestlemania show in April? Could he actually win a belt in the scripted world of sports entertainment? How far away is a clash with headline act Lesnar?
Only one 6ft 9in maverick knows and it is going to be a suitably bonkers ride for the rest of us to find out.
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