The connections between the NFL and WWE

Sep 16, 2022 - by Steve Gerweck

Sometimes in sports and in life, you just get those strange connections that seem to crop up everywhere. I guess it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, as there is a lot of common ground in the worlds of WWE and NFL – both require men who are very strong and burly, and in a way, both are performances, and they are equally loved in the US and beyond.

Of course there is more that separates the sports than what brings them together. The fact that the NFL is not choreographed means that there is a lot more available in terms of gambling markets, for instance. We don’t know exactly what is going to happen and there is no chance of it leaking, leading to a lot of people looking for free NFL against the spread picks and other betting markets to try and make some profit. There is some gambling on wrestling but not a great deal.

We’ve seen so many connections between the sports that it is worth noting them. In fact, there are some odd quirks of history, as both of these sports organizations were created within a few years of each other.

Wrestlers who played in the NFL

There are some wrestlers who actually went so far as to play in the NFL. This isn’t the norm, of course, since it takes incredible skill to do both, even if Logan Paul thinks he can just come along and take on one of the best with ease!

There are, however, some who have managed to play in the NFL and have been wrestlers too.

· “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan is a very famous wrestler but actually played for the Atlanta Falcons as well. After a string of injuries left him in big trouble in terms of his career in football, he switched to the WWF, as it was back in the 1980s, to put his build and skills to use.

· Mojo Rawley. Rawley is another story of somebody who was injured in the NFL and moved across. He played over 200 fixtures and had a career with the Chicago Bears before he moved over to wrestling.

· Bill Goldberg did some incredible things as a wrestler but also played for the Green Bay Packers.

NFL player guest appearances

WrestleMania is one of the best examples of this. There are many NFL players who have come along and got involved in the WWE, throwing their support behind certain wrestlers, for instance.

WrestleMania 2 was a very strange event, and took place in three different cities. Vince McMahon had really gone to town on the planning. The guest appearances were pretty insane and helped add to the drama and just…weirdness.

As well as celebrities such as Joe Frazier, Ozzy Osbourne and the mascots from Burger King and Wendy’s (really!) there were a load of NFL players who turned up and had some fun on the stage. Six NFL players would join in with a fight!

Bill Fralic of the Atlanta Falcons impressed a lot on the night and looked to be a natural in the ring.

Lawrence Taylor at WrestleMania XI

Lawrence Taylor played with the New York Giants for his whole time in the NFL and is known as an all-time great. He was super respected and feared by the opposition – a true Hall of Famer. Since he left the football field, he went on to try his hand at a lot of different things, including acting.

In WrestleMania XI, he also put on quite the show. After some teasing, he eventually took Bigelow and helped Taylor to create an amazingly memorable show. He was truly going for it. Like he did playing football, Taylor left it all out there, and even won the match with a forearm off the ropes. Lawrence was visibly exhausted.

Recently, on an episode of Ric Flair’s podcast, Taylor talked about the experience and said there are still people who come up to him and recognize him just from wrestling, even though he was only in one match and his career in the NFL was so incredible.


There is a huge crossover in these sports. Somehow, they have become intrinsically linked, with many football stars going into wrestling, and some big names within both. It seems that people have a demand for the drama and physicality that both of the sports bring. We’re in full support of this relationship continuing into the future, as it brings us some incredible entertainment.

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