5 times WWE Superstars challenged top athletes to a match
Although they ply their trade on different grounds, there were times when worlds collided, and WWE Superstars went head-to-head with stars from other sports.
Over the past few years, athletes such as Floyd Mayweather and Tyson Fury have accepted the challenges of WWE Superstars like The Big Show and Braun Strowman. They battled inside a WWE ring with the two WWE Superstars suffering defeats.
Five other top athletes were also challenged to wrestling matches by WWE Superstars. Although they are true fighters in their respective sports, they haven’t yet accepted these challenges to do battle in the squared circle.
Despite having no wrestling experience, it would be interesting to see top athletes such as Cristiano Ronaldo and LeBron James take on their counterparts in the wrestling business.
Here are five times WWE Superstars challenged top athletes to a match.
#1. WWE Superstar Kevin Owens challenged Cristiano Ronaldo
Juventus player Cristiano Ronaldo is considered one of the best soccer players in history. However, WWE Superstar Kevin Owens allegedly had no idea who Ronaldo was when he decided to challenge him.
WWE Superstars Sami Zayn, Natalya, and Kevin Owens were interviewed in 2017 about their knowledge of soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo when K.O. admitted he did not know who the man was. Owens stated that he had seen the Portuguese star in internet memes and urged him to put a shirt on and get in the ring.
“Nobody cares about your six-pack or your eight-pack or your ten-pack. Put a shirt on, get in the ring, and let’s see what you can do in there.”
Zayn believes Ronaldo has all the qualities to become a WWE competitor. He even said that the Serie A top scorer is a “cross of a (John) Cena and a Roman (Reigns)”.
While Natalya agrees, she sees Ronaldo playing a heel character if he makes the jump to WWE. She even compared him to WWE Chairman Vince McMahon.
“Sometimes he gets jeered but… Mr McMahon. You think about that strut that Mr. McMahon has walking down that ramp and you just know something is gonna happen.”
Would you like to see Cristiano Ronaldo compete in WWE?
#4. WWE Superstar Sheamus challenged Wayne Rooney
Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney is no stranger to WWE, having attended a show in November 2015, which saw him slap Wade Barrett across the face. However, it was not Barrett who challenged him to a match but Sheamus.
Nearly a year following Rooney’s appearance on Monday Night RAW, Sheamus challenged the former England international as WWE returned to England for the Wrestlemania Revenge tour.
“You may be good at Manchester United and you may be good in front of goal, but you have got no chance in the WWE ring. Don’t worry about King Barrett (Wade), he is a little soft. If you want someone hard and a real fight, take on the Celtic Warrior. I will be ready and waiting in that ring in Manchester,” Sheamus said in an interview with Soccer AM.
Wayne Rooney is one of the toughest players to ever set foot on a soccer pitch. He announced his retirement last January after English side Derby County appointed him as permanent coach. Although it seems unlikely that he will make a jump to WWE, a fight between Sheamus and him is a dream to hold on to.
#3. WWE Superstar Drew McIntyre challenged Andy Murray
Andy Murray is a tennis legend, although he is still active. He has also been a WWE fan since childhood.
Nearly two years ago, Murray spoke about his childhood wrestling antics with his brother on Amazon Prime, which caught the attention of his compatriot WWE Superstar Drew McIntyre. The Scottish Warrior was quick to comment in a tweet, issuing a challenge to the tennis player.
“My brother and I did the exact same thing growing up in Scotland but if Andy Murray wants to come to my court, I can show him it’s a whole different game.”
The idea of a match between the two Scots seemed to excite the fans, as The Scottish Sun reported. One fan even suggested the two should face each other in an iron man match.
Although Murray and McIntyre were once the top guys in their businesses, they have both suffered a dip in form and are now fighting to get back to the top of their respective fields.
While it is unlikely that the tennis player and WWE Superstar will cross paths soon, a fight down the road would be exciting to watch.
Do you think Andy Murray stands a chance against Drew McIntyre in a wrestling match?
#2. WWE Superstar Sam Gradwell challenged Conor McGregor
Sam Gradwell is one exciting talent on the WWE NXT UK roster. Although he is yet to win any gold in WWE, he believes he has what it takes to defeat former UFC Lightweight Champion Conor McGregor.
McGregor is a guy that Triple H would love to see in a WWE ring. The Chief Operating Officer extended an open invitation to the UFC star last February following an exchange of tweets between McGregor and WWE Superstar Finn Balor. However, it seems that Balor is not the only wrestler who would like to get his hands on the Irish mixed martial artist.
Gradwell was asked to cut a promo on McGregor and challenge him to a match during a recent interview with GIVEMESPORT. The NXT UK Superstar gladly accepted and did not hold back.
“You alright Conor? Here we go, my lord, bloody hell. This is NXT UK Thunderstorm Sam Gradwell. You might be the ‘Notorious’ Conor McGregor, but I am a thunderstorm. I’m not here to be a pretty little, whisky drinking, leopard print-wearing, flouncing firecracker. I’m here to rattle your jowls and wobble your jaw. In a bit, you yogurt.”
Should Sam Gradwell be the first WWE Superstar to face Conor McGregor?
#1. WWE Superstar The Miz challenged LeBron James
Nearly a decade ago, WWE Superstar The Miz challenged NBA legend LeBron James to a match but never had his wish fulfilled.
The Miz seemed upset with the fact James left Cleveland Cavaliers to join Miami Heat in 2010. Ahead of WrestleMania 28, the WWE Superstar decided to challenge the basketball player to a match at The Grandest Stage of Them All
“LeBron James. I am from Cleveland, Ohio. LeBron said he was going to bring an NBA Championship to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Cleveland suck at most sports, but finally we had this basketball savior, and what does he do? Backstabs us and goes to Miami Heat! Miami is where Wrestlemania will be, so I’d like to face him,” The Miz told Metro.
While the match never took place, James eventually returned to Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014 before leaving again in 2018 to join his current team, Los Angeles Lakers.
LeBron James, who is considered one of the greatest basketball players in history, is also a die-hard WWE fan. He stated he always wanted to become WWE Heavyweight World Champion when he gifted his Miami Heat teammates WWE Championship belts in 2014.
Do you think LeBron James should face The Miz in a wrestling match?