Manchester United star Wayne Rooney challenged 250 pound WWE fighter Wade Barret to a FIGHT in front of thousands of wrestling fans.

The England captain was in the front row at the WWE Raw show at Manchester Arena when he threw down the gauntlet during a light-hearted ‘trash talk’ during the US wrestling extravaganza, reports the Manchester Evening News .

All eyes were on Rooney as he was brought into the action shortly before a fight involving Irish superstar Sheamus and Antonio Cesaro.

Preston-born Wade Barrett, who was announced as being ‘from Manchester’, took the mic and started goading Rooney.

He said: “In this ring are two men who can be easily be described as as championship material.

“Which is, of course, more than can be said of Wayne Rooney and Manchester United.”

Barrett – who is 6ft 7ins – told the crowd thought about inviting Rooney, who was with his son, on stage but added: “I would hate for your little boy to have to watch his own father fail. He gets to experience that every single time you step on a football pitch.”

Stood up on the ringside – next to former teammate Darren fletcher – Rooney lapped it up and mouthed bac k ‘Come on then’ to him.

Liverpool University-educated Barrett, 35, whose real name Stuart Bennett, started out as a pro boxer before trying out for WWE and is now one of the sport’s best known stars

Rooney is no stranger to faux fighting, going viral with a ‘boxing’ celebration after a video emerged of the United star getting knocked out by former team-mate Phil Bardsley.

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It isn’t the first time wrestling fan Wayne has exchanged words with Preston North End fan Barrett, who called out the Red icon over Twitter in February accusing him of ‘diving’.

Wayne responded using his own Twitter account, joking: “I’ll get Stone Cold Steve Austin out of retirement for you. Haha.”

Also at the Arena were ex-United and Sunderland defender Phil Beardsley, with wife and Real Housewives of Cheshire star Tanya, and her fellow cast member Magali Gorré.

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