For many professional athletes, managing life after sports can be problematic. We often hear of once-cash-laden athletes struggling with their “retirements.” Despite their notoriety, their high earnings, and their access to well-connected wealthy people, they seem to have difficulty pulling a Stone Cold Steve Austin on the real world; that is, they struggle to open a can of whoop-ass on life after sports.
All indications are that Allen Iverson is having just such a struggle.
Iverson is rumored to be experiencing marital problems. According to Forbes.com, he’s almost broke. Worse, he doesn’t seem to have a way out; it’s not like Allen Iverson is going to work at Chili’s. I can’t help but think that maybe Allen Iverson was never meant to live in the “real world.”
So, I have an idea: He needs to make a comeback.
And he should make his comeback by becoming a professional wrestler.
Ludicrous! you say.
It’d never work! you exclaim.
You’re an idiot! you shout.
Maybe. But hear me out.
During his high school years, Iverson allegedly hit someone over the head with a steel chair during a mob-like altercation. He could easily spin this into a top-notch professional wrestling resume and fulfill his destiny by joining WWE Developmental in Florida. The WWE is starved for a high-flying cruiserweight, and Iverson would answer this need. It’s been years since my daily life revolved around the happenings of the WCW* and the WWF (up yours, World Wildlife Fund!), but this could be just the thing to rope me back in.
Okay, but Allen Iverson is too old to be a professional wrestler, right?
Wrong! Did you know that Allen Iverson is only 36 years old? The Undertaker is 47!
Of course, that doesn’t mean A.I. is main event material just yet. Iverson needs to actually go through the developmental program. Nobody would want his WWE career overhyped and short-lived. It would be difficult to tolerate another Dennis Rodman/Hollywood Hogan vs. Karl Malone/Diamond Dallas Page type of disappointment. The build-up for that tag-team match in 1998 was fantastic, but the match itself was poorly executed.
The commitment for Developmental would be minimal: two nights a week for three months. So, he wouldn’t have to worry much about practice.
The best part: if the WWE were able to keep his development secret, he would burst almost immediately into WWE superstar status. It would go down as one of the greatest moments in sports entertainment history.
Imagine: the lights are out. Nobody knows what’s going on. Unrecognizable (probably rap) entrance music fills the crowded arena. A hooded figure makes his way to the ring in the darkness. Then, as the music hits the hardest a flurry of pyrotechnics explodes, and when the smoke clears, Allen Iverson stands in the middle of the ring. Pandemonium ensues.
In 2000, the NBA forced Iverson to change the offensive lyrics of his rap single “40 Bars.” So, as a giant foam middle finger to the NBA, he could adopt his former rap name, Jewelz, as his ring name. He could put John Cena’s anthem to shame by teaming up with Jadakiss or Freeway for his entrance music. He could enter the ring wearing a wife-beater, sagging basketball shorts with his boxers showing, a Jesus piece swinging from his neck, and flip-flops and socks on his feet.
His submission hold would be called “The Ankle Breaker” in which he would grapple with his opponent’s foot. This move’s technique would resemble the practice of attempting to steal somebody else’s shoes. Once the opponent taps out, Iverson would proceed to rip the boots off his opponent and throw them into the crowd—similar to how some NBA players throw their shoes to fans after games.
His finishing move could be called the “Killer Cross-Over.”** He would set up his opponents for the “Killer Cross-Over” by “Icing” them first, which of course would be him flashing said Jesus piece at them (not presenting them with a Smirnoff Ice). The opponent would be temporarily blinded, so Iverson could go for the KCO to finish the match.
The plot lines are endless. Those marital problems? Why not settle the issue of the ring… in the ring?
Jewelz vs. Tawanna Turner in the 1st ever Divorce Settlement Match! Winner takes all… even the kids!
Every household in America would drop money on that pay-per-view.
Or, he could team up with another hip-hop-centric wrestler who doesn’t respect authority. (This could be an X-Pac type of wrestler). Together, they could contend for a tag-team title. Of course, Iverson would never refer to it as “tag-team,” because that’s something that only happens in the bedroom. So, the WWE might be forced to refer to it as a “2-on-2” championship.
Eventually, Iverson would turn heel by betraying his partner. This would start a rivalry that would mirror 90’s rap beefs. The two would release diss tracks on one another. To stay consistent with rap beefs, Jewelz would constantly accuse his former “2-on-2” partner of being homosexual and state claims about how his former partner’s women possess lascivious desires for Jewelz, and vice versa. Jewelz’s partner would dispel these absurd accusations by boasting about his sexual prowess and counter-accusing Jewelz of sexual ambiguity.
Similar to other rap beefs, obviously, but this beef would have one differentiating characteristic: it would end with a physical confrontation between the two rappers in a no-holds-barred cage match!***
At the peak of Iverson’s WWE stardom, he’d be able to springboard into other endeavors—movies, merchandise, rap albums, reality television. The money would pour in, and the championship belts would stack up. All of his problems would be solved.
It’s a no-brainer for everyone!
Allen Iverson needs money. To get it, he needs WWE stardom. (Although he doesn’t know that last part yet.)
And the WWE needs Iverson. If there is any hope of the WWE retaking its stranglehold on American culture, this is its metaphorical shot of HGH.
Allen Iverson was born to be a professional wrestler. Not only because he was built for the spotlight, and because he’s never one to shy away from a controversy, but because – and here’s the thing I haven’t even mentioned – Allen Iverson is athletic enough to pull off some damn good rasslin’, thus making the whole thing damn near mythical.
Now, the hard part:
Anybody got Allen Iverson’s phone number?
*RIP WCW :(
**Eventually, Tim Hardaway would try to sue Iverson for using this term.
***I’m starting to get excited!
For more from Luke…
Consider supporting FlipCollective and its writers by purchasing Machine Wash Warm, the FlipCollective e-magazine. Featuring all-new works by your favorite FlipCollective writers, it comes in an easily-downloadable .pdf and includes an accompanying audio recording of the magazine.
And the best part: it only costs $1.