Former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is close to finalizing a deal with WWE, according to a report by FS1’s WWE Backstage program.
Gronkowski is “deep in talks” with the pro-wrestling promotion, according to the report, though how he’ll be used on-screen is unknown. The report noted Gronkowski could pop up on WWE SmackDown as early as March 20.
A request for comment sent to WWE was not immediately returned Tuesday night.
Gronkowski, 30, has worked with WWE before. He took part in the Andre the Giant Battle Royal at WrestleMania 33 in 2017, jumping the barricade to help wrestler Mojo Rawley (a real-life friend of Gronkowski) win the match.
Last August, Gronkowski said at a sponsor’s news conference that he’d be interested in doing one big WWE match in “maybe five years,” but could not see himself as a full-time wrestler.
“With wrestling, I don’t feel like I would be a full-time wrestler, but there is one thing I’m down for,” Gronkowski said. “And that’s to do one crazy match. Practice it for a little bit, go out there, like in a Royal Rumble, go out there, I got my friend in WWE [Rawley], practice it and do a full-on WWE match. I’m not saying when. Maybe five years. I got the rest of my life to do that. I’ve always dreamed about doing that, just one time, going in there and going full out. That may be a possibility, one time, down the road.”
Rawley told ESPN back in October that the idea of Gronkowski being in WWE this year was not far-fetched.
“Hey man, we’ve got SummerSlam in Boston [this coming August],” Rawley said. “Maybe we’ll do a tag match. I’ve been doing my own thing, but for him maybe I’ll do a tag match.”
WWE executives Paul “Triple H” Levesque and Stephanie McMahon (as well as Rawley) were at Gronkowski’s Super Bowl beach party in February. It was then that Levesque alluded to SummerSlam being in Boston in a Twitter post.
— Triple H (@TripleH) February 1, 2020
Gronkowski, who won three Super Bowls with the Patriots, retired from the NFL last March after nine seasons, saying the pain and injuries he suffered throughout his career had worn on him mentally.
He was selected to five Pro Bowls, was a four-time All-Pro first-team selection and was named to the NFL’s 100th Anniversary All-Time Team.