Rob Gronkowski Signs Deal With WWE, Joins Elite List Of NFL Players To Compete In The Wrestling Ring

Wayne Duggan
March 11, 2020

Three-time Super Bowl champion Rob Gronkowski has signed a deal with World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:WWE), according to TheWrap. An insider with knowledge of the matter said Gronk will make his WWE debut on the March 20 episode of “SmackDown,” which airs on Fox.

Gronkowski is already on the payroll at Fox Corp (NASDAQ:FOX) (NASDAQ:FOXA), serving as an NFL analyst since October.

Not Gronk's First TIme

Gronkowski will be making his debut as a WWE talent, but it won’t be the first time he has appeared on WWE programming. Gronk previously appeared at WrestleMania 33, backing up former NFL player Mojo Rawley, who has been a WWE performer since 2012.

WWE has a long history of utilizing former NFL players.

Former Super Bowl champion William ’The Refrigerator’ Perry and a handful of other NFL players participated in a battle royal match at WrestleMania II in 1986.

Two-time Super Bowl champion and former NFL MVP Lawrence Taylor main-evented a WrestleMania XI.

Even current WWE Universal Champion Bill Goldberg briefly played in 14 NFL games with the Atlanta Falcons from 1992 to 1994.

Gronkowski’s Cannabis Deal

Gronkowski retired from the NFL in March 2019, claiming at the time that the pain and injuries he had suffered throughout his career had negatively impacted his mental health. Since his retirement, Grinkowski has partnered with Abacus Health Products, Inc. (OTC:ABAHF)(CSE:ABCS) to serve as a spokesperson for their CBD products.

"These products have helped me safely manage pain better than anything else I've tried," Gronkowski told Benzinga in September. "...for the first time in more than a decade, I am pain-free."

In addition to his “SmackDown” debut, Gronkowski is reportedly appearing at WrestleMania 36 in Tampa on April 5.

Benzinga’s Take

Gronkowski is exactly the type of mainstream star power WWE needs to boost WWE Network subscribers and get media coverage of its upcoming WrestleMania event. WWE shares have tanked 37.8% since the company announced the unexpected departures of longtime co-presidents George Barrios and Michelle Wilson back on Jan. 30.

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