Although wrestlers have the most obvious carryover to linemen, wrestling is an excellent cross-training option for skill positions. All of John Madden’s offensive linemen should have wrestling experience, he recently remarked NFL players become pro wrestlers.
If you’re a football fan and love the pro wrestling lifestyle, then this blog is for you! I’ll be taking a look at NFL players who became pro wrestlers, and what led them down this path.
From John Cena to Roman Reigns, these football players have had amazing careers in wrestling, and we’ll be exploring how they did it. So if you’re curious about what makes these football players so successful in wrestling, read on!
Top 10 NFL Players Who Became Pro Wrestlers – PRO TO PRO
Many football players have found success in professional wrestling and are Highest Paid NFL Kickers These include stars like Lawrence Taylor and Rob Gronkowski, who both made the transition from NFL player to professional wrestler with ease. Why? The physicality of football is the perfect preparation for wrestling in the professional circuit.
What started as a dream has turned into a successful career for these athletes – thanks, football! The physicality of football is the perfect preparation for grappling with opponents in the ring. The big difference between pro football and wrestling is the level of competition.
In football, players are usually pitted against opponents of a lower level, while professional wrestling is a much more demanding and competitive sport.
1. Merced Solis – NFL Players Become Pro Wrestlers
Merced Solis is an example of someone who made the switch from football to professional wrestling – and it wasn’t a difficult decision! After playing in the NFL for six seasons, Merced was ready for a new challenge.
He found that pro wrestling offered him all the excitement and aggression he was looking for – not to mention plenty of opportunities to display his stunning athleticism to live audiences around the world.
2. Alex Karras -NFL Players Become Pro Wrestlers
Alex Karras is a retired professional wrestler and actor who had an illustrious career in both the sports and film industries. He was drafted by the Detroit Lions but never played for them, instead spending his entire football career without ever putting on a pro uniform.
In 1971, he joined the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) where he went on to win two world championships. After retiring from wrestling in 1984, Karras acted in films and TV shows until he died in 2010.
3. Leati Joseph Anoa’i
Leati Joseph Anoa’i was a professional wrestler and actor. He is considered one of the biggest WWE superstars of all time and has held numerous world championships. In 2017, he made his acting debut in the biographical film ‘Fighting With My Family, for which he received critical acclaim.
4. Laverne Gagne
If you’re thinking of trying professional wrestling, Laverne Gagne’s story is a great place to start. A player in the NFL for 10 years, he decided to give pro wrestling a try and quickly became one of the sport’s biggest stars.
Still performing at an amazing age, his story shows that anything is possible if you set your mind to it and persevere through tough times.
5. Brock Lesnar
Brock Lesnar is an MMA and pro wrestling superstar who made the switch to professional football. He was drafted by the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings in 2003 but did not play due to his commitment to WWE, where he won five world titles.
Lesnar is currently involved in a feud with wrestler Randy Orton which has drawn the attention of fans of both sports.
6. Lawrence Taylor
Lawrence Taylor is one of the most successful professional football players of all time. He retired from the NFL in 2007, but he continues to wrestle around the world. Taylor was a dominant linebacker who transferred his skills perfectly to wrestling – where he became an extremely popular wrestler.
His fame reached new heights when he won two Super Bowls with the New York Giants and cemented his place as one of pro wrestling’s biggest stars.
7. Reggie White
Reggie White is one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time. He started his career in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and won 4 WWF World Heavyweight Championship titles during that time.
Later, he moved to other wrestling organizations and even played in NFL games! Reggie White is still active today and has shown no signs of stopping. His wrestling skills are truly amazing!
8. Kevin Greene
Kevin Greene is one of the most successful professional wrestlers of all time. He is well-known for his championship reigns in WWE, WCW, and ECW, as well as for being a football player earlier in his career.
9. Ernie Ladd
Ernie Ladd is a professional wrestler who has enjoyed immense success in both football and wrestling. After retiring from the NFL, he decided to make the switch to professional wrestling and began competing under the name of “The Mongol”.
He was an unstoppable force on the offensive line, winning several championships along the way. As one of professional wrestling’s most decorated athletes, Ernie Ladd has inspired many aspiring pro wrestlers with his gritty determination and unparalleled skills in both sports genres.
10. Brian Pillman
Brian Pillman is a football player who decided to make a change and become a professional wrestler. He initially trained as a football player and then transitioned into wrestling, where he won multiple world championships.
As one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time, Pillman has some great advice for any footballer who wants to try their hand at pro wrestling – it’s not as difficult as you might think!
Green Bay Packers and Arizona Cardinals were represented by Mojo Rawley. Goldberg was a member of the Atlanta Falcons before joining WCW. In the early 1980s, Ron Simmons was a member of the Cleveland Browns. In 1990, JBL joined the Los Angeles Raiders.
The list of 31 wrestlers who also played football includes a few reads. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was a standout college football player for the University of Miami, where he won a national title in 1991.
Roman Reigns is the first wrestler to be introduced, as he was undrafted in the 2007 NFL draft after winning the Universal Championship with the Minnesota Vikings. Unfortunately, after undergoing his physical test, Reigns was diagnosed with leukemia and released by the Vikings later that month.
There are football players who have found fame and success in the wrestling world. Some of these NFL players became pro wrestlers because they had natural wrestling ability, while others turned professional wrestling into a career after football ended.
Regardless of how these football players became professional wrestlers, their wrestling career has always been successful.