Muhammad Ali was always a proponent, fan, and supporter of pro wrestling. The venue made a great match with Ali, and if he lived another life, chances are Ali would have been a fantastic hand in the pro wrestling ring. He was brash, vibrant, loud, talented — all the things that make WWE and sports entertainment great. This past Saturday, Ali passed away following a bout of respiratory issues.
Gone, but never forgotten, The Champ was honored by WWE during their episode of Raw on Monday night. Several times during the broadcast, WWE paid respect to the boxing legend who dared to cross paths with a host of WWF/WWE wrestlers in the past. Among his many standout moments in WWE was his appearance at the very first WrestleMania, which paved the way for other superstars of media to cross promote themselves on the biggest wrestling stage of all.
Others have paid tribute to the legend thus far. UFC aired a tremendous video to Ali this weekend during their UFC 199 broadcast. Boxing analyst Jim Lampley paid a teary-eyed tribute to The Champ during an HBO broadcast. Paul Simon performed “The Boxer” and announced the passing of Ali during a concert. What this all amounts to is that Ali was a man of enormous stature, one who was profoundly dynamic and altogether enthralling to watch.
Rest in peace, Champ.