Professional wrestling and professional football often attract similar types of athletes. Size, strength, and athleticism are all hallmarks of many participants two sports, so it is no surprise that many professional wrestlers got their start in athletic competition by playing football.
With that in mind, it should also surprise no one that the top professional wrestling organization in the world, World Wrestling Entertainment, is looking to the NFL to find its next stars. No, they are not actively looking to poach star NFL players off their teams to come work in the WWE, but this report from Fox Sports' Alex Marvez talks about a meeting and potential partnership between the WWE and the NFL Players' Association that would pave the way for out-of-work football players to transition into the world of wrestling.
Marvez spoke with the WWE's Jim Ross on the radio this week, who said the following:
Everybody doesn't make the 53-man roster ... Some guys are going to be looking for work, and we’ve got some job openings.
Offering jobs in wrestling to NFL players who can't stick with an NFL team is an interesting strategy on the part of the WWE, to be sure. The first question is what type of NFL player would be targeted most heavily: a bigger-name player who is nearing the end of his football career and can't find a job, or a younger player who isn't able to stick with a team through the final round of cuts in training camp? The former might bring some name recognition and cross-over fans from the NFL, but the younger player would almost certainly provide a better-quality wrestling product in the ring.
In any case, this got me thinking: which current Green Bay Packers would make the best wrestlers? Keep in mind that personality, appearance, and an individual brand are equally important as aspects of a wrestler's identity and success as size, strength, and athletic ability.
My personal top choice is Matthews, who has all of the qualities you would want in a pro wrestler. He has the physique, the intensity, and the ability and willingness to talk trash. He also has a unique physical feature (his hair) as well as the name recognition and endorsement deals across the country that would make him instantly recognizable and popular.
Neal certainly does not have the personal brand that Matthews does, but his strength and athleticism would make him an intriguing candidate.
Here's where the nasty streak comes into play. I could see Bishop being a great heel, bring a total "bad boy" attitude to a wrestling ring and being the guy that wrestling fans would love to hate. In fact, isn't that nasty attitude a big reason why Packers fans love Bishop in the middle of the defense, laying big hits on running backs?
He already has a nickname that would make for a great wrestling moniker: "The Freezer". He also has the showmanship that a pro wrestler needs to really endear himself to his fans. And who wouldn't love to see a guy Raji's size flying off the ropes into a full-fledged body slam?
He's solidly built at 6'1" and 252 pounds, and he already has a magnificent wrestling name. In some cases, that and a little training would be all a wrestler really needs.
Let us know in the poll which current Packer you think would make the best pro wrestler.