Lost in the mania this week of Tom Brady going to Tampa Bay, is that Rob Gronkowski almost went to Tampa Bay as well. I assure you, it’s true.
While we refreshed away for the latest TB12 news, Gronk signed a multi-year deal with the WWE with his announced debut scheduled for this past Friday night on their Fox show, Smackdown.
Gronk signed on with the company to be an in-ring performer, which serves two masters. The first is that Gronk has long had a close relationship with WWE, dating back before his involvement in WrestleMania 31 in Santa Clara when he first jumped the barricade and helped pal Mojo Rawley win a battle royal.
The aforementioned “Rawley” (real name Dean Muhtadi) who prior to his career in the WWE, played on the defensive line at Maryland and stuck around the Packers and Cardinals back in 2008-09 before injuries ended his NFL dreams. Gronk and Rawley have been best pals for years, in fact I saw Rawley in the corridor of Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta for Super Bowl LIII.
Second, Smackdown airs on Fox, who employs Gronkowski as an NFL analysis. We all wondered what ol’87 would do when he retired, this seems about right.
Now what does this have to do with Gronk going to the Buccaneers like his former quarterback? I never said he was going to be a Buc, I said he was going to Tampa Bay. Tampa Bay up until last week was the site of this year’s WrestleMania, the 36thinstallment of Vince McMahon’s crown jewel event. Gronk’s big debut with the company was to act as the “host” of WrestleMania. A position previously held by the likes of Hulk Hogan, John Cena and The Rock.
Sadly, as is true with all other events these days, there has been some tweaks to wrestling’s grandest stage and the kibosh was put to WrestleMania in front of the pirate ship at Raymond James Stadium. However Vince McMahon believes that “the show must go on” thus the nearly 7-hour event will be split over 2-nights, on the first weekend of April, and emanate from their Orlando training center in front of zero fans.
The “showcase of the immortals” that saw more than 93,000 people fill the Pontiac Silverdome to see Hulk Hogan body slam Andre The Giant and roughly 100,000 people pack AT&T Stadium in 2016, will take place in front of nobody.
To recap: Rob Gronkowski, is hosting (whatever that means) a 2-night WrestleMania, in a gym, in front of exactly zero people. Buy your Gronk-Mania merch here: https://shop.wwe.com/rob-gronkowski/
Isn’t 2020 something?