Football Players Turned Pro Wrestlers Featuring Brock Lesnar, The Rock, Bill Goldberg and More

Heading into NFL Super Bowl weekend, Arda Ocal of the Aftermath Blog posted a great feature on football players turned professional wrestlers.

Ocal writes:

It’s no secret that many football standouts have gone on to great success in pro wrestling, with some becoming wildly successful WWE superstars.

With the Super Bowl this Sunday I thought it would be cool to take a look at some of these crossover stars and compare their Football and pro wrestling careers, and see which career wins out.

The following are snippets from Orcal’s post that profile the football and wrestling careers of Brock Lesnar, The Rock and Bill Goldberg:


Also a Defensive Tackle, Goldberg played College ball with the University of Georgia Bulldogs, then spent time in the NFL with the LA Rams in 1990 and the Atlanta Falcons from 1992-1994. After being drafted by the expansion Carolina Panthers in 1995 (and never playing a game with them), an abdominal injury forced him to retire from football.

Goldberg joined WCW and debuted in September 1997, where he amassed a record of 173-0, winning the World Title from Hulk Hogan in the process. Goldberg would also achieve success in WWE, winning the World Heavyweight Championship once, defeating HHH.

Goldberg had an up and down career in football (mostly down), and achieved huge success in WCW/WWE. It’s an easy choice.



The third consecutive defensive tackle in this article, Johnson played 4 seasons with the University of Miami, where he achieved 29 solo tackles (78 total). He unsuccessfully tried his hand in Canada with the Calgary Stampeders of Canadian Football League.

The Rock is a 7 time WWE champion and one of the biggest attractions in WWE history. Yet despite all that, The Rock would achieve his greatest success in Hollywood, becoming an A List action movie star and even starring in some Disney movies.

WINNER: Hollywood

In 2007, well into his success, Johnson made a donation to the University of Miami Hurricanes football program; the largest sum of money they have ever received. The University renamed the locker room in his honor.


Brock Lesnar had a tremendous 3 year stint with WWE, winning the WWE title 3 times, winning the 2003 Royal Rumble and main eventing WrestleMania 19.

Following his WWE career, Lesnar tried his hand at football, trying out for the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings

He was unsuccessful and never played a regular season game in the NFL.
There is no doubt that Lesnar made a name for himself in WWE, the UFC was where he became an even bigger star, going 4-3 including winning the UFC Heavyweight championship before retiring from the sport.


Although the WWE travel schedule was too much for Lesnar (who enjoys his private life) to handle, rumors continue to circulate that Lesnar will one day have one more match with WWE.

Other names profiled in the Aftermath Blog entry are Steve McMichael, Wahoo McDaniel, Ron Simmons, Ernie Ladd and Angelo Mosco. Ocal also mentions numerous crossover examples on top of those profiled, from Lawrence Taylor and Kevin Greene to Bronko Nagurski and Reggie White.

CB’s Slant: This is hands down my favorite story of the week. Props to Aftermath for nailing this football / wrestling crossover piece, and as an added treat enjoy the below bonus clips featuring Reggie White vs. Steve McMichael from the good ol’ days of WCW:

What is your favorite football / pro wrestling crossover moment? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Source: Aftermath Blog