Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter- “There have been also rumors regarding Rob Gronkowski. 28, Gronkowski has been a five-time first-team All-Pro tight end with the New England Patriots, including in the just concluded season where they just lost in the Super Bowl to the Philadelphia Eagles.”
The talk of Gronkowski to WWE started just before the game. There was a report from Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio that it wouldn’t shock him if Gronkowski retired after the Super Bowl. Then, after the game, when he was asked about the story, he said : “I don’t know how you heard that but I’m definitely going to look at my future for sure. I’m going to sit down the next couple weeks and see where I’m at.”
This comes at the same time that reports from wrestling indicate WWE is willing to offer a similar style deal to Gronkowski that they offered to Ronda Rousey. Given that would be making far less money than he would make in football, it’s hard to say, but he’s been hurt a lot in football and while wrestling full-time is very hard on the body as well, a part-time deal isn’t so bad. Gronkowski obviously likes wrestling, as he’s been at many WWE events when Rawley was there, including in developmental, and of course, was already part of one WrestleMania, which led to Rawley winning the Andre the Giant Battle Royal, and then they did nothing with him afterwards, so it was more a way to get Gronkowski and ESPN and mainstream sports coverage than to get one of their guys over to star level.
Mojo Rawley, who is one of Gronkowski’s best friends, led to more speculation in recent days when he told TMZ, “Are you kidding? It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when, come on now. That was clearly done as a promo, and he quickly backtracked saying, “I don’t know. I can’t speak for him. Whatever he wants to do””.
Pretty unsurprising news here. Gronk’s a lifelong wrestling fan and the WWE’s had their eye on him for YEARS, going as far as hiring and pushing his best friend (Mojo Rawley) simply for a connection to the New England Patriot. He made his first appearance for the company at WrestleMania last year, delivering a shoulder tackle to Jinder Mahal and helping Rawley win the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, which got great buzz, and now it seems he could be headed there full time. He didn’t rule out retirement after losing to the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl and Dave Meltzer (generally credible when it comes to pro wrestling; not as credible as he once was, but still very respected) seems to believe the line of questioning he faced as well as Mike Florio’s report had to do with an offer from the WWE.
Personally, I feel like I’m one of the few who doesn’t think Gronk and the WWE is a good fit at all. It seems like a no brainer to a lot of football/Pats fans, but he’s got a well documented history of injuries and concussions, and WWE’s not a place he could go to escape either of those things. If he signed a full time deal (300+ days/year on the road, 100+ shows/matches/year), which he absolutely would not do, his body would break down at a rate much higher than if he continued playing football. If he signed a part time deal, wrestling fans would turn on him immediately and never give him a shot. He’d be viewed as an “outsider celebrity” taking a spot away from someone grinding their ass off day in and day out. That’s just how wrestling is, the fans are toxic. Also, you all know him as a really charismatic and funny guy, so you’d imagine that could make up for a lack of experience in the eyes of a casual wrestling fan, but the WWE would never let him go off the cuff and be himself. Literally NOBODY is allowed to do that anymore, and I can’t imagine Gronk would be the best at receiving lines and remembering/delivering them. Pair all of that up with the fact that the WWE would never pay him what he’s currently making in the NFL, and I think he’ll make the smart move and either stay where he is or look into a different business venture. Then again, he is Rob Gronkowski, has all the money he needs already, and could want to fulfill a lifelong dream, so keep your eyes out for #87 in a 20×20. You never know what can happen.