Rob Gronkowski is not just moving over to the WWE. He’s becoming a lead personality for the promotion.
Gronkowski announced on Wednesday that he is going to be hosting WrestleMania this year, which is going to be held over two nights for the first time ever — April 4 and April 5.
It’s official! I’m hosting @WrestleMania this year…and it’s gonna be too big for just one night. For the 1st time, #WrestleMania will be a 2-NIGHTevent: Saturday, April 4 AND Sunday, April 5 on @WWENetwork! Tell you more this Friday night on #SmackDown at 8 ET on @FOXTV.
— Rob Gronkowski (@RobGronkowski) March 18, 2020
WrestleMania36 will take place from the WWE Performance Center in Orlando with only essential personnel on hand. There will be a closed set during production.
WrestleMania is the biggest event on the wrestling calendar every year, so the organization was loathe to cancel it. And having Gronk involved might bring in additional sports fans to watch it.
Gronk previously helped Mojo Rawley win the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 33 in 2017, so this is a WrestleMania return for him.
Rob Gronkowski’s entry into the WWE world is taking place next week.
The former NFL tight end will be appearing on WWE Friday Night SmackDown next week, his friend Mojo Rawley said on this week’s program.
— WWE (@WWE) March 14, 2020
Word first emerged on Tuesday saying that Gronk was close to a deal with WWE. The report came as no surprise; Gronk was favored to go into pro wrestling upon his NFL retirement. Gronk is a longtime WWE fan and helped his buddy Rawley win a match at WrestleMania in 2017.
The 30-year-old former New England Patriot is a natural for WWE and should excel as a performer in that realm.
Rob Gronkowski has long shown an interest in professional wrestling, and it looks like that will be part of his next move in retirement.
Pro Wrestling Sheet’s Ryan Satin reported on WWE Backstage Tuesday that Gronk is close to finalizing a deal with WWE.
“According to multiple sources, Rob Gronkowski is deep in talks with WWE and close to finalizing a deal,” Satin said. “The capacity in which he would be used is unclear at this time. He could make an appearance as early as March 20 on Friday Night Smackdown in New Orleans.”
— WWE on FOX (@WWEonFOX) March 11, 2020
Gronk helped Mojo Rawley win the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 33 in 2017 and is a wrestling fan. He also was photographed hanging out with Triple H during the Super Bowl.
This career path was natural for the former New England Patriots tight end. There were rumors since last year about Gronk going into wrestling. He already is signed with FOX as a football analyst, and now that FOX also has a deal with WWE, Gronk becoming a part of the promotion makes sense.
Rob Gronkowski received a big honor from the NFL late last season when he was named to the “NFL 100 All-Time Team” in celebration of the league’s 100th anniversary, and the way the former tight end received the news may be the best part of the story.
During an appearance on the “Pardon My Take” podcast on Monday, Gronk revealed that he actually thought he was being messed with when he got the call from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell informing him he made the NFL 100 list. Gronkowski said he debated answering the call, which was from an unknown number in New York, before picking up on the second attempt. The person on the other line introduced himself as Goodell, but Gronk thought he was pranked and decided to return the favor.
We’ll let him explain the rest.
— Pardon My Take (@PardonMyTake) March 2, 2020
As if Gronk messing with Goodell wasn’t entertaining enough, the former Patriots star says the commissioner never even mentioned the awkward exchange when Gronkowski called him back. It’s possible Goodell thought someone other than Gronk had answered the phone, or perhaps the initial call went exactly how the commissioner expected it to given the antics we have grown used to seeing from Gronkowski.
As Big Cat said, there could not be a more appropriate way for Gronk to be informed he has received a fantastic honor.
The Arizona Cardinals have had numerous draft misses over the years, and one of them was Rob Gronkowski, a player many teams missed out on.
Gronk grew up in Williamsville, New York and played his college ball at Arizona. He had 75 catches for 1,197 yards and 16 touchdowns in two seasons for the Wildcats and missed his junior season because of back surgery, which caused him to drop in the draft.
During an appearance on Doug & Wolf on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station Tuesday, Gronk shared that he wanted to play for the Cardinals and was disappointed that they didn’t seem interested in him.
“I loved being in the state of Arizona … I was praying that they would take me because I wanted to go there,” Gronkowski told the Doug & Wolf Show. “I felt like they needed a tight end and they brought me in for a little visit … I took a visit there and everything, I could tell they had no interest in me. I could tell, the people that brought me in, they were just bringing me in to bring me in.”
That was Arizona’s loss.
The Cardinals drafted DT Dan Williams No. 26 overall that year and then took linebacker Daryl Washington at No. 47. Meanwhile, the Patriots took future Pro Bowler Devin McCourty at No. 27 and traded up to draft Gronk, a future Hall of Famer, at No. 42.
The Cardinals probably wish they could have had those picks back.
Bill Belichick, girlfriend Linda Holliday make appearance at Rob Gronkowski’s Super Bowl beach party
Rob Gronkowski is in Miami for Super Bowl weekend, hosting a beach party on the eve of the big game. That isn’t really a surprise. What is a surprise is one of the attendees.
Gronkowski clearly keeps in touch with his former coach, because Bill Belichick, along with his girlfriend Linda Holliday, made a surprise appearance at Gronkowski’s beach party on Saturday afternoon.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but Bill Belichick at Gronk’s beach party is at least 150k pic.twitter.com/CwNwkJbGO4
— Charlotte Wilder (@TheWilderThings) February 1, 2020
This is the first Super Bowl weekend Belichick has had off in four years. There is absolutely no question that he hates that. On the other hand, he’s free to attend the Gronk beach party, so who’s really winning here? The only question at this point is how wild things get once the Patriots coach gets partying.
Belichick has been a bit chilly to Gronk’s post-retirement publicity stunts and announcements in the past. Now that the coach doesn’t have any games to obsessively gameplan for the next several months, he can kick back, relax, and indulge a bit.
Rob Gronkowski frequently looked last season like a guy who didn’t want to be there. The now-retired tight end admits that was the case.
Gronk was interviewed on Barstool Radio Thursday and said there were times he didn’t want to be on the field.
“I 100 percent lost a step (last year),” Gronk said, via WEEI’s Ryan Hannable. “I actually lost like three steps some games. I didn’t even want to be out there on the field. I was like, ‘Yo, I feel like complete a–. Coach, put Dwayne (Allen) in, I don’t even care.’ I was at that point.”
Gronk is only 30, and the Patriots desperately needed offensive weapons this season, which led to numerous comeback rumors. Gronk even capitalized on those rumors.
But he acknowledged the thought of making an NFL return never seriously crossed his mind.
Did you get the urge at any point this season to play in a game?
Rob Gronkowski on @BarstoolRadio: “No, not at all.”
— Ryan Hannable (@RyanHannable) January 30, 2020
In his final season, Gronk has 47 catches for 682 yards and three touchdowns. He averaged his fewest yards per game (52.5) since his rookie season. He often looked slow, displayed bad body language, and came across as a guy who did not want to be out there.
The thought of him returning to the Patriots seemed to make sense on the surface, and was buttressed by rumors, but maybe never was realistic based on how Gronk felt.