The former New England Patriots star Rob Gronkowski is close to signing a deal with WWE, according to a report from Fox Sport’s WWE Backstage show.
The 30-year-old, considered one of the best tight ends in history, retired last year after winning his third Super Bowl with the Patriots. He is a huge fan of professional wrestling and appeared at WrestleMania 33 in 2017, where he was involved in a storyline with wrestler Mojo Rawley, who is a friend.
In August, Gronkowski said he would consider wrestling in the future, but would see it as a one-time event rather than a full-time career.
“With wrestling, I don’t feel like I would be a full-time wrestler, but there is one thing I’m down for,” Gronkowski said. “And that’s to do one crazy match. Practice it for a little bit, go out there – like in a Royal Rumble – go out there, I got my friend in WWE [Rawley], practice it and do a full-on WWE match. I’m not saying when, maybe five years. I got the rest of my life to do that. I’ve always dreamed about doing that, just one time, going in there and going full-out. That may be a possibility, one time, down the road.”
Rawley has spoken of his enthusiasm for a tag-team appearance with his friend, while WWE executives Triple H and Stephanie McMahon attended Gronkowski’s Super Bowl party in February. Triple H tweeted a photo from the party suggesting Gronkowski may appear at WWE’s SummerSlam in Boston. “Thanks for the invite to the Beach Party @RobGronkowski … maybe you should come to our party in Boston … heard it’s the biggest of the summer,” he wrote.
Since his retirement, Gronkowski has worked on Fox’s NFL Sunday broadcasts, and Fox televises some WWE shows. Gronkowski, listed at 6ft 6in and 268lb during his playing career, has the physicality and athleticism for pro wrestling, while his larger than life personality, which disguises a shrewd business mind, would appear to suit WWE. However, pro wrestling is notoriously tough on the body, and Gronkowski’s career was affected by injury. Before his retirement he spoke about the toll football had taken on his physical and mental health.
“To tell you the truth, just try and imagine getting hit all the time and trying to be where you want to be every day in life. It’s tough, it’s difficult,” he said before last year’s Super Bowl. “To take hits to the thigh, take hits to your head. Abusing your body isn’t what your brain wants. When your body is abused, it can bring down your mood.”