Muhammad Ali was one of the greatest boxers, and greatest personalities, who ever lived. So, it shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone that over his life, Ali had some very close ties to the world of professional wrestling, an industry built on great fighters with larger-than-life personalities. From the wrestlers that influenced his unique style of promos, to the modern Superstars that have borrowed from his work, there are many places in wrestling where Ali’s legacy on the business can be found, and these are just a few of the most prominent examples.
6. Gorgeous George
Ali often spoke about the legendary Gorgeous George and how he influenced the style and personality that Ali brought to his promos and fights. For those who are unaware, Gorgeous George was one of the most famous wrestlers in the world during the 40’s and 50’s, playing an incredibly flamboyant character who was tough as nails inside the ring. In fact, Gorgeous George basically created the template for the more entertainment-based spectacle that wrestling would become, and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2010 for his incredible influence on the industry as a whole. Ali talked about meeting George when he was 19, and deciding to pattern his promos after the wrestler, who would brag about his greatness so much that people would pay in the hopes of getting to see someone finally take him down.