Ali shadow boxed in North Korea as wrestler plotted to stab Hawk with chopsticks

Muhammad Ali ran up the steps of a memorial in North Korea and shadow boxed while the world’s top wrestlers were threatened at gunpoint by guards.

And if all that doesn't sound bizarre enough it was all done backdrop of a murder plot with one wrestler trying to kill ring legend Hawk – with Chris Benoit acting as the peacemaker.

Wrestlers from the US and Japan got together for the "Collision in Korea" , a two-day event in 1995, in the secretive communist country with the aim of helping peace and greater liberalism.

Ali was the major star with a massive following in North Korea and Rik Flair was the biggest wrestling draw for the fans in the competition which Antonio Inoki, with his political ties, had put together.

In the style of Rocky, Ali ran up the steps of a secret tomb on a visit with the official party and shadow boxed before the event got underway – a new documentary into the weird event has revealed

It was a spectacular success in North Korea with somewhere between 150 and 200,000 watching. On TV around the world it was brought together by New Japan Pro-Wrestling and World Championship Wrestling.

Behind the scenes though, it was a traumatic experience for the wrestlers.

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And it was made worse by claims from former WCW wrestler 2 Cold Scorpio that Chris Benoit stopped him from killing Hawk, on the Dark Side of the Ring, a documentary by Vice TV.

Scorpio said it was Benoit, who killed his wife and son in a murder-suicide in 2007, stepped in to stop him from trying to murder his rival.

They were on a bus when Scorpio said he called Hawk a “pu**y” which led to a fight where the two were eventually separated.

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Scorpio remained angry he said: "Now, I’m thinking, street smarts. I’ll get him, I’ll hurt him.

"So, we had to go to that special state dinner, that’s where they had the stainless steal chopsticks.

"So I take one of the stainless steel chopsticks, eat with it, drop one, pick it up, slip it into my pocket.

"Grab another one, did the same thing, dropped it, slid it into my pocket.

"Me and Chris (Benoit) had to share a room. We’re back in the room and Chris is sitting there looking at me, he’s watching me.”

Scorpio said he pulled out the stainless steel chopsticks and said he was going to stab Hawk before he was convinced not to do it by Benoit.

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Scorpio added: "Chris says, 'don’t do it man. You don’t wanna do that man. If you kill Hawk here, you’ll just be here for the rest of your life'."

Touching down in Korea and the wrestlers and their entourage already realised they were in for a terrifying ordeal with Eric Bischoff recalling an official saying he was only the seventh American visitor who had not been shot or captured.

“You’re lucky to be alive – now play along or you won’t be,” he added.

The visitors were closely watched the whole time and a seemingly innocuous game of pool almost led to the tension spilling over with guards reacting furiously when Norton hit a ball off the table.

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They smashed up the remaining balls and Scott Norton had to be calmed down in a standoff that could have ended badly for the wrestler.

Norton was again in trouble when he phoned up his wife from his hotel room and, strictly against the rules, told her that he didn’t like North Korea.

The line went dead, and he was marched out of his room by guards and taken to an official who reminded him that he had to praise the country.

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