Ric Flair Dustin Pedroia wrestling belt Pro athletes can't get enough of pro wrestling belts for some reason. Here's the great Ric Flair posing with Dustin Pedroia before a game in 2011. Credit: Getty Images

Rest assured: this is the only time in history that NBA MVP candidate LeBron James, NFL MVP candidate LeSean McCoy and Patriots tight end Matthew Mulligan will be mentioned in the same story, let alone the same search-engine friendly headline.

In the past week, LeBron was sent a WWE championship belt from The Rock, simply because he wanted one (nice friends) and LeSean McCoy posed with a "rushing title"belt after the Eagles beat the Cowboys last Sunday night. Then Thursday, a video surfaced online of Hulk Hogan professing his undying love for the New England Patriots and, oddly enough, reserve tight end Matthew "Black Jack" Mulligan. According to WEEI sports radio's Joe Zarbano, Hogan mentioned Mulligan because the plain Jane, Gronkowski fill-in bought a title belt from Hogan's shop.

 

Not sure that this is a wise move by the six-figure dollar man in pads. He could have easily gone to the WWE web site and purchased a championship belt for a cool $200. Instead he got all nostalgic on us and went right to the yellow-and-red source, shopHulkHogan.com, which might as well be called grapplinginflation.com.

While there are no longer signed title belts available at Hogan's site (likely thanks to Mulligan), there are autographed Hogan wrestling trunks, going for a bargain at $1,500. One would guess that if Mulligan wore those ring-worn, yellow undies in the Patriots locker room with "Real American" blaringhe'd win over Bill Belichick for life. But instead, it looks as though Mulligan has gone the played-out Discount Daa-ble check route, first utilized by Rasheed Wallace and the title-winning Detroit Pistons some 10 years ago.

Follow Metro Boston sports editor and columnist Matt Burke on Twitter: @BurkeMetroBOS

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