Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Show's over: Mayweather wins his WWE debut - Fox Sports - 31st March 2008

In one of the most hyped WWE events in decades, close to 70,000 fans filled the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida to witness Floyd Mayweather Jr. knock out "The Big Show" in a no-holds barred wrestling match at Wrestlemania XXIV.

Mayweather wore protective mitts and used his speed to run in circles with Big Show chasing. At some point Big Show began to pummel one of Mayweather's bodyguards. Mayweather would later jump on Big Show's back and applied a sleeperhold, which Big Show would eventually break and begin to batter Mayweather with chops, a sideslam and variety of other moves.

The handlers of Mayweather would pull their employer out of the ring and attempt to take him to the back, Big Show would follow in pursuit and attack Mayweather on the outside before throwing him back in the ring.

The Big Show would later attempt to finish Mayweather off with the chokeslam, bout the move was prevented by Mayweather's team members who would interfere in the match. While Big Show was distracted, Mayweather would attack him with a chair. He would give Big Show a low blow, sending the giant wrestler to his knees as he would land a few more chair shots before taking off one of the mitts and using a pair of brass knuckles to land a right hand that knocked Big Show out.

The ref would count him out at 11.41 of the contest.

The idea of pitting Mayweather, boxing's pound-for-pound champion, against Big Show, who stands at nearly seven-feet and weighs over 400-pounds, gave both Mayweather and the WWE a lot of crossover attention with boxing and wrestling fans. The bout, because of Mayweather's involvement, also received a lot of mainstream attention from major newspapers, magazines and television outlets around the world.

Mayweather still received a ton of criticism from boxing fans for taking part in a scripted fight. He would tell anyone who would listen, that we was being paid $20-million dollars to take part in the match. Most wrestling insiders said the actual number was between $2-5-million and the "$20-million dollar" fee number was part of the script.

On the undercard, in a billed "career ending match," the career of legendary wrestler Ric Flair came to an end after he was pinned by Shawn Michael.

Flair received a massive standing ovation from the crowd in what should his final match after a long career in that began in 1972.

Besides being one of most recognizable names in wrestling for the last 30-years, Flair won the heavyweight title a combined 16-times during his stints in the NWA, WCW and the WWE, though some sources say the number could be as high as 25.

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Ric Flair