There are Four Horsemen in the WWE Hall of Fame — and now there is one in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
On Thursday night, as a part of Super Bowl week, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced its Class of 2024, and it includes Steve “Mongo” McMichael, the fearsome defensive tackle who gained stardom as a part of the Chicago Bears. Others inducted are Dwight Freeney, Devin Hester, Andre Johnson, Julius Peppers, Patrick Willis. Randy Gradishar and McMichael were both inducted in the senior category, meaning they retired longer ago.
McMichael was one of the most colorful Bears in history, and in all, he played 15 years in NFL, 225 games, with 95 career sacks. McMichael was an NFL All-Pro four times. He was a part of the 1984 Super Bowl-winning Bears team under coach Mike Ditka.
McMichael always liked pro wrestling and served as an announcer and as a wrestler in World Championship Wrestling, including a stint in the Four Horsemen faction.
His then-wife, Debra McMichael, was the conduit for Mongo to get into the ring. In April 1996, Ric Flair started hitting on her at ringside, and her husband had to stand up for her. That led to McMichael and another former football player, Kevin Greene (who died in December 2020), against Flair and Arn Anderson. In a wild storyline, during the bout at The Great American Bash, McMichael was offered a briefcase of money, turned on Greene, and joined The Four Horsemen. Later, McMichael and the Horsemen would feud with the Dungeon of Doom, and, in a convoluted storyline, with Jeff Jarrett.
McMichael’s top run in WCW was as US champion, beating Jarrett on August 21, 1997, and losing to Curt Hennig at Fall Brawl.
In his autobiography, To Be The Man, Flair said that “Mongo was a marginal performer, but he had a million-dollar look to go along with his Super Bowl ring.”
When the Four Horsemen were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2012, McMichael was not a part of the induction group.
McMichael has been very public with his battles with ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. His wife, Misty Davenport, has said that the campaign to enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame has kept her husband motivated through the illness.
There are other pro football hall of fame inductees with connections to pro wrestling, including:
- Bronko Nagurski
- Art Donovan
- Marion Motley
- Leo Nomellini
- Lawrence Taylor
- Kevin Greene
- Alex Karras
- As well, Jimbo Covert was in the 20-man battle royal at WrestleMania II
TOP PHOTOS: Left, 1986 Topps Steve McMichael card; right, WCW Steve McMichael promo photo.