Shaquille O’Neal was ringside when Hulk Hogan defeated Ric Flair in 1994 for the WWE title and even presented the title to the wrestling legend.
Shaquille O’Neal has made a name for himself as being perhaps the most active NBA legend outside of the league. His drive to sustain a considerable level of wealth after retirement led him to indulge in countless number of endorsements; everything from ‘Icy Hot’ to ‘Papa John’s’ was on the table for the Lakers legend and he’s still going today.
When it comes to his involvement in culture, Shaquille O’Neal has done plenty. Perhaps some of his most memorable moments outside of the NBA came from when he made guest appearances on WWE and AEW. Over the past decade, he’s played up a rivalry with former World Heavyweight champ, Big Show, and participated in Royal Rumble as well.
However, it should be interesting to look back at where Shaq’s relationship began and to do this, we need to take it all the way to 1994.
Shaquille O’Neal and Hulk Hogan on the former’s first WWE appearance.
Prior to the start of the 1994-95 NBA season, Shaquille O’Neal found himself shooting a promotional video alongside Hulk Hogan in preparation for his bout against Ric Flair, the defending WWE champion. The Magic center even sported ‘Hulkamania’s’ iconic red and yellow colored outfit.
Shaq & Hulk Hogan!
You can’t name a better duo! pic.twitter.com/aiEPokDwjS
— 👑 Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson 📍 (@ScoopB) September 18, 2021
Hogan ended up beating Flair and Shaq was ringside for the entirety of the match. Following the victory, O’Neal himself handed him the title belt.
Shaquille O’Neal would go on to take a long hiatus from WWE and would return to the ring in the early 2010s to ignite his long-standing feud against ‘The Big Show’. He would even go on to reunite with Hulk Hogan backstage during a ‘Raw’ segment.