The true and actual GOAT.

Our list of 2024 WWE Hall of Fame inductees grows further still, now with Muhammad Ali joining a prestigious group. Announced today on social media by Mr. Paul Levesque himself, the literal and actual greatest boxer to ever live will receive his flowers at this year's ceremony. Ali joins Paul Heyman, joshi legend Bull Nakano, and the U.S. Express so far in the lineup.

And if you aren't old enough or don't know your WrestleMania history, this may just seem like a celebratory nod. However, Muhammad Ali being a 2024 WWE Hall of Fame member is rooted in the man's longstanding connections to professional wrestling. Attending multiple WrestleManias, Ali also took center stage at the very first event.

Let's look at the career of one of the most important men in all of sports.

Muhammad Ali joins 2024 WWE Hall of Fame

Born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr, the man who would be Muhammad Ali is a story of knowing one's self worth, overcoming adversity, and the true spirit of the american dream. A black man in professional sports at a time when civil rights was on the tip of every tongue, Ali's success first began as an olympian. At the age of 18 he won the gold medal in the light heavyweight division at the 1960 Summer Olympics. By 1964 he would not only take up his name steeped in his new Islamic faith, but also become a world heavyweight champion.

This success would be taken away from Muhammad Ali briefly, as he refused to be drafted to the Vietnam war. He was labelled a draft dodger and stripped of his titles. During this time he didn't compete and took up a different mantle as a civil rights advocate. It's honestly all the more impressive that Ali is considered the best ever, given that some of his prime years of fighting were taken from him during this era.

<em>2024 WWE Hall of Famer inductee Muhammad Ali at Wrestlemania 1. Credit: WWE</em>
2024 WWE Hall of Famer inductee Muhammad Ali at Wrestlemania 1. Credit: WWE

It wouldn't be until 1976 that Muhammad Ali would enter the atmosphere of professional wrestling. He showed up at a World Wide Wrestling Federation show in Philadelphia that year, confronting then-heel Gorilla Monsoon. That same year, his legendarily awful exhibition match with Antonio Inoki took place.

However, Muhammad Ali gets his true earmark as a WWE Hall of Fame inductee thanks to his participation at the first WrestleMania. It was here that he took up the mantle as special guest referee in the main event.

You can catch the entire 2024 WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony featuring Muhammad Ali, Paul Heyman, and more on WrestleMania weekend.

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