Arguably the greatest tight end in NFL history is onto his second career. Rob Gronkowski is slated to become a professional wrestler.
— WWE on FOX (@WWEonFOX) March 11, 2020
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to fans of Gronk or WWE. The future Hall of Famer’s love for wrestling has been known for a long time. When he retired from the NFL, many wondered if WWE would be his next destination.
That’s in large part due to an appearance Gronkowski made at Wrestlemania 33. He aided former NFL athlete Dean Muhtadi — aka Mojo Rawley — in his Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal victory.
During that appearance, Gronkowski got into the ring with former WWE champion Jinder Mahal. The feud would continue the next night on Monday Night Raw when Gronk would beat down Mahal with the help of Rawley.
Gronkowski has not appeared in WWE since, but he’s made it known that he would love to be back. In 2019, he spoke at length about the possibility with Brent Brookhouse of CBS Sports.
“With wrestling, I don’t feel like I would be a full-time wrestler, but there is one thing I’m down for. And that’s to do one crazy match,” Gronkowski said. “Practice it for a little bit, go out there, like in a Royal Rumble, go out there, I got my friend in WWE [Mojo 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.”
With Wrestlemania 36 less than a month away, it seems like now might be the time for that “one crazy match.”
What can fans expect to see at Wrestlemania 36
According to Satin, Gronk could make his WWE debut as early as the March 20 edition of Friday Night Smackdown on Fox. That would give WWE two weeks before Wrestlemania 36 to build a match.
The scenario that makes the most sense is having Gronkowski compete in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. That was the match he made his inaugural appearance in, so it would be fitting for him to participate as a competitor the next time.
That would fit Gronk’s desire to compete in a crazy Royal Rumble style match. It also wouldn’t require much training beforehand given that they could mask his poor skills in the ring with the 29 other competitors.
The scenario also makes a ton of sense for WWE. The battle royal always takes place on the pre-show, something WWE has had issues getting fans to watch. Putting a big name like Gronkowski on the card should attract more eyes towards the event. This, in theory, should lead to more WWE Network subscriptions to see the whole PPV.
It would be a huge win-win for Gronkowski and the company. The issue though is that it wouldn’t make much sense from a marketing perspective. Sure it would catch more eyes, but what would be the point of acquiring a huge name like Gronk and then giving him away for free?
WWE loves to put on a show and take advantage of their star power as much as they can. It makes more sense to put Gronk against a big-name star who currently doesn’t have a match on the Wrestlemania card.
Two stars stand out as possibilities: Braun Strowman and King Corbin. Both superstars currently lack a Wrestlemania match and both are huge stars in the company.
Strowman just lost his Intercontinental Championship on Sunday. It would make sense for him to be angry and potentially take out Gronkowski’s close friend Mojo Rawley, leading to a heated rivalry between the two.
A win over Braun would make Gronkowski look incredibly strong. It could potentially set him up for a long run as a main-event talent should he want to do something like that.
The problem though is that Strowman can’t afford to lose here or WWE risks harming his credibility. It would also be hard to prep Gronkowski for a one-on-one match.
The match that makes the most sense is the potential one against King Corbin. The King of the Ring winner has had little to do since his high profile feud with Roman Reigns ended.
King Corbin has taken loss after loss and is hated by the WWE universe. Him losing to Gronkowski wouldn’t be the damaging blow that Strowman losing would be. Also, having Gronk beat one of the top heels in the company would be something the crowd could support.
This also creates an opportunity for Corbin to use his partners, such as the Revival, to gain an upper hand. That would allow Gronkowski to seek backup in the form of Mojo Rawley. The multi-man action would take eyes away from the untrained Gronkowski’s in-ring ability.
WWE has a number of ways they can handle Gronkowski’s likely short run with the company. Whatever they do, expect it to be aimed more at making a splash than about putting together a strong feud.