Say no to WWE, Gronk.

It has been well over a month since the New England Patriots fell to the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII.

But what was almost as shocking as the result on the field were comments made after them. Rob Gronkowski, New England’s tight end and top offensive weapon, mentioned he would take time to consider his football future.

“I’m definitely going to look at my future,” he said after the game. “We’ll sit down in the next couple of weeks and see where I’m at.”

Since then, numerous rumors have emerged regarding Gronk. He might retire, due to the concussion he sustained in the AFC championship game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Or perhaps he’d hang up his spikes because of the numerous injuries suffered over the years, including a surgically-repaired back. Or maybe, just maybe, he’s just not having fun playing for Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and his ‘No days off’ lifestyle.’

After all, Gronk’s own motto could easily be “Yo soy fiesta.”

But the most eye-catching rumor to many is the reports that Gronk would bolt football altogether to become a wrestler — pardon me, a superstar — in World Wrestling Entertainment.

To steal a line from WWE superstar The Miz, “Really? Really?”

It’s no secret to the wrestling world that Gronk is a huge WWE fan. He’s great friends with WWE superstar Mojo Rawley (real name Dean Muhtadi, who spent time on the practice squads of the Green Bay Packers and Arizona Cardinals before finding a career in the squared circle). Gronkowski had an excellent appearance two years ago at Wrestlemania — the WWE version of the Super Bowl — when he made a shoulder tackle on resident bad guy Jinder Mahal after he was provoked by Mahal outside the ring. It was a great moment for all who watched, especially Patriots fans who also enjoy the WWE.

It’s not an absurd thought that a football player can be successful in professional wrestling. Numerous former members of the gridiron have made the transition to the squared circle, including “Big Cat” Ernie Ladd, Ed “Wahoo” McDaniel, Bronko Nagurski and College Football Hall of Famer Ron Simmons. Wrestlemania XI was headlined with a match between Bam Bam Bigelow and New York Giants legend Lawrence Taylor, who held his own and won the match. That said, it’s regarded as one of the worst Wrestlemanias of all time.

But let’s get something straight. As a 30-year fan of professional wrestling, Gronk has no chance of being a successful wrestler.

First, you have to be BOTH a world class athlete and an actor. Gronk has no issues in the first category. The second category could be more of an issue. In delivering a wrestling promo, you have to get your point across to an opponent and also be believable in doing so. The best wrestlers in the history of the business had the gift of gab. Simply watch videos of promos done by Ric Flair, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin to get an idea of what I mean.

Gronk doesn’t have that ability.

OK, now let’s get back to the physicality part of the job. Is that shoulder tackle going to be his finishing move? Because that would be awesome … if it’s 1987. Ask “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan how far a shoulder tackle gets you. In today’s wrestling world, you need to be able to hang in the ring move-for-move. Whether it’s a muscle-bound grappler like John Cena, or a quicker, more agile opponent like Seth Rollins, you need to be able to wrestle both types. With ample practice, Gronk may be able to do that.

That’s as long as his back — and for that matter, his knee among other bones he’s previously broken — hold up. As a professional wrestler, you are required to take hundreds of bumps per year. That means his chances of getting injured aren’t far removed from when he’s taking the field every Sunday for the Patriots.

To borrow the catch phrase from WWE chairman Vince McMahon, Gronk has “no chance in hell” of being able to last in WWE.

Gronk is, without a shadow of a doubt, the best tight end in football. When he’s healthy, no one can stop him. He’s had four seasons with 1,000 or more receiving yards. He’s hit the 10-touchdown reception mark five times in his career. He is a five-time Pro Bowler and a four-time NFL All-Pro.

And he should stick to what he does best.

While he may not last long enough in the game to break many of the all-time marks at the tight end position, he’s only a year — maybe two — from cementing his place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Let’s not forget, he still has (arguably) the greatest quarterback of all time throwing him the ball in Tom Brady. Sure, the Pats had multiple defections of late, including wide receiver and playoff hero Danny Amendola (Miami Dolphins), as well as Brady’s personal protector in left tackle Nate Solder (New York Giants). But he’s been around long enough to know that Belichick usually has a plan up his sleeve, and it’s usually successful.

Does he really want to jinx that success — and future endorsement opportunities — for short-term fun in the WWE?

If this is just a cute way of getting the Patriots to pay him more money, great. He deserves all the money he gets, and everyone knows it. Hopefully, Belichick and the Patriots look past their fiscally conservative ways in this one situation and do the right thing.

But for the sake of both Patriots fans and wrestling fans, let’s hope he never sets foot in a ring.

Dave Dyer — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Dave_Dyer


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