Baseball and professional wrestling are my two favorite things in the world. They’ve both been a part of the American identity since the late 1800s. They both were among the most popular programming with the advent of television. They both saw huge steroid-enhanced boom periods in the late 1990s. With all of those similarities, though, there has been very little overlap between the two.
There have been countless football players performing in pro wrestling — the NFL battle royal at WrestleMania 2, Lawrence Taylor vs Bam Bam Bigelow, “Mongo” McMichael, Kevin Greene … not to mention every great pro wrestler who started their careers after not being able to make it in pro football. On the basketball side, Dennis Rodman, Karl Malone, and Shaq have all had matches on PPV. Heck, you even had The Goon cross-checking people out of the ring.
Of course, there are a whole lot of examples of wrestlers throwing out first pitches of varying degrees of good-ness, and WWE Superstars in the wild accosting mascots. There are also plenty of examples of MLB players demonstrating their pro wrestling superfandom. But when baseball and wrestling actually collide in the ring (or the wrestling arena), that’s when magic happens. Or the opposite of magic!
So, in honor of the World Series starting on Tuesday, here are, for better or worse, some of the times that baseball and wrestling have intersected. Mostly for worse.