Mojo Rawley returns to wrestling
Former WWE superstar Dean Muhtadi, better known by his ring name Mojo Rawley is returning to the squared circle. The 36-year old former college football standout for Maryland announced in January that he’s looking to get back into professional wrestling after a bout with COVID-19.
Background on Muhtadi:
Prior to becoming a professional wrestler, Muhtadi played college football for Christopher Newport University as well as the University of Maryland from 2004 through 2008 where he had a successful career. Maryland sports fans can bet online with your favorite sportsbook by sportsbooks promo codes at BetMaryland.com.
After his time in college, Muhtadi entered the 2009 NFL Draft but would go undrafted before signing with the Green Bay Packers as an undrafted free agent. He would get cut by the Packers prior to the start of the 2009 regular season before signing with the Arizona Cardinals the following January. During training camp leading into the 2010 season, Muhtadi would suffer an injury that required being placed on injured reserve. Shortly afterwards, he would be released by the Cardinals.
In 2012, Muhtadi would sign with the WWE and join their developmental territory in Florida,
NTXT. It would be the beginning of a nine-year run for the Virginia native, as he would be with the company in some facet or another all the way into 2021.
Despite signing in 2012, Muhtadi now known as Mojo Rowley would not see television until May of 2013, it would be even longer, October of 2013 before the Mojo Rawley character that many grew to love was born. Rawley’s career in NXT and WWE would take off after the birth of his character in October of 2013 as he would go on to be one of the wrestlers booked to win the most. However, a year later, his hype train would be stopped due to a shoulder injury that caused him significant time.
He would however battle back against the adversity and would regain the admiration of WWE fans – in June of 2016, Rawley was called up to the WWE’s main roster as part of smackdown where he would team up with Zack Ryder as the The Hype Bros.
Rawley would spend the next five years part of WWE’s main roster. While he never would achieve high levels of success on the main roster, he was the WWE 24/7 Champion seven times as well as winning the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal prior to Wrestlemania 33. In April of 2015, Rawley was released from the WWE as part of a mass exodus of talent from the company.
Life after WWE:
While some wrestlers have struggled to find their calling post WWE, Muhtadi on the other hand thrived. While he did go through a bout of COVID-19 that stopped him from getting back in the ring, he was also quite successful. He would join TMZ as a co-host for their TMZ Sports shows as well as starting his as well as starting the Paragon Talent Group which represents sports entertainers and personalities “who are diverse, athletic, and multi-dimensional” according to the company’s official website.
What’s next for Rawley in the Squared Circle?
While Rawley wants to return to wrestling, it’s unclear where he’ll be wrestling. A return to WWE at this time looks unlikely. That being said other options remain for him in the form of All Elite Wrestling, Impact Wrestling, and New Japan Pro Wrestling among others. If he’s unable to sign with any of the major promotions, it is likely he will end up on the independent scene where he’ll be able to take bookings across the country, the independent promotions are still quite popular in pockets throughout both the United States and the world.
While he may need to start on the independent scene, a return to a major promotion may not be too far behind. Many times many former wrestlers on major promotions spend time with independent promotions to get back into ring shape and practice their craft before signing contracts with bigger promotions. It would be unsurprising if this is the route that Rawley ultimately goes after 19 months out of the squared circle.