In a noteworthy event harking back to the mid-80s, famed actor Laurence Tureaud, popularly known as Mr. T, partnered with the legendary Hulk Hogan to compete in the main event of the inaugural WWE WrestleMania. As destiny had it, they clinched victory in the celebrated wrestling event in 1985.
Mr. T recently appeared on the famous "Compadres" podcast. He offered insights into his experiences with WWE, then known as WWF, including some intriguing insights into the initial reactions from the incumbent wrestling superstars.
Tureaud, best known for his iconic role in the "A-Team" series, revealed that the jealousy of a section of the wrestlers was palpable when he first arrived on the scene. "At first, some wrestlers were a little jealous," he said.
Before his leap into WWE, he had been the wrestling champion in Chicago, Illinois, for two consecutive years and was no stranger to the wrestling landscape.
Mr. T Illuminates Wrestling Business
Tureaud further highlighted how the jealous wrestlers needed help understanding the business side of wrestling.
The savvy entrepreneur Vince McMahon had primarily brought him into the wrestling ring to uplift the platform. Tureaud was seen as a luminary who would shine a spotlight on wrestling and boost its popularity. However, he recalled that the wrestlers did not readily perceive this objective, and they harbored feelings of envy.
Despite the initial resentment, Tureaud impressed the wrestling community with his ability to perform credibly in the wrestling ring, eventually gaining respect from his peers. "They quickly realized that I could hold my own," he stated, reflecting on the early days.
Of course, not everyone at the time harbored these feelings of jealousy. Tureaud admired some of the wrestlers, such as "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, who he hailed as "the most awesome wrestler there is." He drew parallels between their spirited rivalry and that of renowned boxers Muhammad Ali and "Smokin'" Joe Frazier.
Piper squared off against Tureaud at WrestleMania I, and the two met again in a boxing match at WrestleMania II the following year. Over the years, Mr. T has made several appearances in professional wrestling, not only in WWF but also in WCW.
Nevertheless, his impactful performances at the first two WrestleMania events continue to define his legacy in the wrestling world. His journey, from the initial resentment to being a respected performer, inspires aspiring wrestlers and is an integral part of WWE history.