Athletes celebrate in different ways. Eli Manning toasted the Giants' Super Bowl victory at Disneyworld. Victor Cruz and Mario Manningham were guests of honor at the Grammy Awards. For Brandon Jacobs, the celebration extended to the wrestling ring. The Giants running back was invited by his friend James Storm to sit at ringside but soon became part of the action. Jacobs isn't the first professional athlete to get involved in the wacky world of professional wrestling. Here are some others who couldn't resist the lore of the squared circle.
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It's not very often Shaquille O'Neal finds a foe he can look in the eye, but that was the case in July 2009, when the TNT analyst crossed paths with 7-foot, 440 pound The Big Show. Rumors are heavy that O'Neal and Big Show will face off at Wrestlemania 28 on April 1 but WWE representatives have yet to confirm.
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The Mailman delivered the pain during his one pro wrestling match, losing to the team of Dennis Rodman and Hollywood Hulk Hogan at the WCW's Bash at the Beach in 1998.
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In one of the most publicized appearances in WWE history, Iron Mike Tyson served as guest enforcer for the WrestleMania XIV main event between "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels. Tyson counted the 1-2-3 on Michaels and then gave "The Heartbreak Kid" a knockout punch after he confronted him for making the pinfall. "Iron" Mike will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame next month.
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The former Reds and Phillies legend isn't just any athlete who made an occasional appearance in the wrestling ring - he's a part of the celebrity wing of the WWE Hall of Fame. Rose made his first appearance in 1998, serving as guest ring announcer for the Kane-Undertaker match at WrestleMania XIV. In what soon became a tradition, Rose received a tombstone piledriver from Kane. He has appeared several more times and met the same fate. Perhaps it's because Kane is jealous that Rose and his teammates first lay claim to the "The Big Red Machine" nickname.
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Steve McMichael and Reggie White
After first entering the wrestling ring in 1995 to support fellow NFL star Lawrence Taylor, McMichael decided to make it a career and joined WCW as a commentator. After getting formal training at the WCW Power Plant, Mongo debuted in the summer of 1996 and stayed on as a wrestler until early 1999. One of his most high profile matches took place in May 1997, when he beat Reggie White at Slamboree. For White, who also appeared in LT's corner during WrestleMania in 1995, his match against McMichael was enough as the "Minister of Defense" never appeared in the squared circle again.
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William "Refrigerator" Perry
One of the first major appearances by pro athletes in the wrestling ring took place during the battle royal WrestleMania II. Among the NFL players participating in the match were William "Refrigerator" Perry (pictured with Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart), Bill Fralic, Russ Francis, Jimbo Covert, Ernie Holmes and Harvey Martin. In the end, none of the gridiron greats could stop 500-pound Andre the Giant, who won this groundbreaking event.
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As Ali's boxing career was winding down, he faced Japanese wrestling legend Antonio Inoki in June 1976. The match, which took place in Tokyo, went 15 rounds and was largely a flop because Ali was only able to land six punches due to the constricting rules. The bout ended in a 3-3 draw and Ali would wind of with two blood clots in his legs as a result of the fight.
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The Steelers quarterback took over guest hosting duties for a Oct. 2009 episode of WWE's Monday Night Raw but didn't come alone...
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Like most quarterbacks, Roethlisberger brought his offensive line to watch his back
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After getting suspended by the NBA for kicking a cameraman during the 1996-97 season, Rodman decided to get involved in his longtime hobby of professional wrestling. The Worm teamed with Hollywood Hogan as part of the WWE, culminating with a match against Karl Malone and Diamond Dallas Page in July 1998.
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Mayweather entered the other four-sided ring in Feb. 2008, getting into a altercation with The Big Show and breaking his nose. The two faced off at WrestleMania XXIV Mayweather winning due to the assistance of brass knuckles.
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Johnny Damon took over guest hosting duties when WWE traveled to Tampa for a Dec. 2009 episode of Monday Night Raw.
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NASCAR driver Carl Edwards shows off his athletic ability during a Feb. 2010 episode of WWE's Monday Night Raw.
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Former Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor gestures while addressing professional wrestler Bam Bam Bigelow and WWE CEO Vince McMahon during a Feb. 1995 press conference. LT defeated the 390-pound Bigelow in the main event of WrestleMania XI.
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Greene had a couple short stints in WCW in late 1997 and 1998, teaming with and then battling former Bears DT Steve McMichael.
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Joey Logano and Kyle Busch
NASCAR drivers Joey Logano and Kyle Busch confront tag team champions Chris Jericho and The Big Show during a Oct. 2009 episode of Monday Night Raw. The two drivers were guest-hosting the show.
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Cuban may not be an athlete, but he showed no fear when confronting Sheamus during a Dec. 2009 episode of Monday Night Raw from Dallas.
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When the NFL suspended Adam "Pacman" Jones for poor behavior, he did what any suspended football player would do - he became a part-time wrestler. Jones spent less than three months as part of the TNA roster but was unable to wrestle due to his football contract. He spent most of his time in a non-physical role as the leader of "Team Pacman."
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Boxer Ricky Hatton celebrates in the ring with Triple H and Shawn Michaels during a Nov. 2009 episode of Monday Night Raw from Sheffield, England.
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