2020 Gronk Watch: Gronkmania

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sodenj5

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This feels like such a natural career progression for him. I feel like Gronk has always been a WWE wrestler inside that just so happens to be able to catch the ball really well.

Pats fans might be bummed that this probably officially closes the door on his NFL career, but I think it’s pretty cool. No doubt they’re going to push to put Gronk over and make him the next face of the WWE.
 

BlackJack

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Pats fans might be bummed that this probably officially closes the door on his NFL career
This pats fan will be very happy if it happens. Love Gronk the player, very over Gronk the brand. It was always very unlikely that he’d come back to the NFL, it’ll be nice for the speculation to end.
 

BigSoxFan

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Is he going to be a legit guy or side show? Doesn’t the WWE have even worse safety standards than the NFL?
 

sodenj5

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This pats fan will be very happy if it happens. Love Gronk the player, very over Gronk the brand. It was always very unlikely that he’d come back to the NFL, it’ll be nice for the speculation to end.
Wasn’t the speculation always on this end though?

Gronk was pretty consistent saying he was happy being retired and had no plans to return. He teased a few promos saying he had a big announcement, but he never really wavered in his stance on retirement.
 

BaseballJones

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If I'm him, I insist on Goldberg style booking--I squash everyone. Don't take many bumps, look awesome.
I'd like to see him put on a few more pounds. He's obviously huge. But 6'6", 250 (he's definitely lost weight since his playing days, when he was 268).....bah...he should be 6'6", 285.

Gronk should be fun in WWE. Though he's obviously a big goofball, he can have a mean streak as we all remember...

 

Ralphwiggum

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I don't follow wrestling at all, but don't those guys ruin their bodies just as much (or worse) than NFL players? Or will he get some special deal where he doesn't have to actually take any punishment?
 

Mystic Merlin

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I don't follow wrestling at all, but don't those guys ruin their bodies just as much (or worse) than NFL players? Or will he get some special deal where he doesn't have to actually take any punishment?
I’d be shocked if Gronk was anything more than a recurring, but not featured, character.
 

BaseballJones

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I don't follow wrestling at all, but don't those guys ruin their bodies just as much (or worse) than NFL players? Or will he get some special deal where he doesn't have to actually take any punishment?
WWE is brutal on the body. It's scripted and "fake" but...not necessarily FAKE. That is, they don't really punch each other, except sometimes they actually do by accident. When they body slam each other, there's a safe way to do it, but sometimes they don't get it right and it's a "botch", and it hurts like hell. They tear muscles, break bones, all that kind of stuff all the time. And they do it night after night after night.

Unless you're John Cena or Undertaker or Goldberg or Brock Lesnar...these guys have deals where they only do it once in a while and so it really limits the abuse their bodies take. I cannot imagine Gronk being a regular WWE wrestler; he HAS to be making a Goldberg-type deal where he doesn't get beat up. Remember, he's an elite athlete, he's huge and strong, but he's not a wrestler. These guys spend YEARS training to do these moves right, not only to make them look great but also to be safe for themselves and other wrestlers. Gronk has like no experience at all doing this. His first few matches will almost certainly feature very very basic moves like punches, kicks, chops, elbows, clotheslines, shoulder blocks...maybe he would do a spear like Goldberg because that's basically a form football tackle and he ought to be able to do that pretty easily. I bet they give him a finisher called the "Gronk Spike" where he throws a guy to the mat in a violent way (some form of bodyslam or power slam or whatever he can do).
 

BlackJack

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Wasn’t the speculation always on this end though?

Gronk was pretty consistent saying he was happy being retired and had no plans to return. He teased a few promos saying he had a big announcement, but he never really wavered in his stance on retirement.
Yes but the 'will he come back' nonsense is exhausting and never seems to really go away. Hopefully if he signs with WWE it will go away for real.
 

Hoya81

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I don't follow wrestling at all, but don't those guys ruin their bodies just as much (or worse) than NFL players? Or will he get some special deal where he doesn't have to actually take any punishment?
It’s a very difficult business. The list above includes things like car accidents etc, but a significant portion are overdoses of painkillers or heart problems linked to suspected steroid use.
 

jose melendez

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The easiest think for him to do is tag with his friend Mojo Rawley--who could use a career boost. Rawley takes the beatings and makes the hot tag to Gronk who comes in, cleans house and picks up the win.
 

Ralphwiggum

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It’s a very difficult business. The list above includes things like car accidents etc, but a significant portion are overdoses of painkillers or heart problems linked to suspected steroid use.
Yeah, this is what I was thinking of. Again I assume whatever deal Gronk gets he's not going to be punishing himself like these guys. If he is going to be actually wrestling and putting his health at risk I don't understand why he wouldn't just return to football.

Edit: as an aside, I was not aware of the Von Erich story before clicking that link. Tragic.
 

Kliq

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The wrestling business is 1000% healthier than it used to be. Athletes can still get hurt, tear muscles, and the wear and tear is still a major problem, but steroids, painkillers, and reckless substance abuse outside of the ring are way less of an issue than in generations past. Concussions are still an issue, but like most sports leagues, WWE is way better at treating them than they used to be.

Gronk will have a deal probably like Cain Velazquez, were he might work one match a year or something like that. I don't see him actually wrestling all that much; and he will be used more for his personality than anything.
 

Mueller's Twin Grannies

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This feels like such a natural career progression for him. I feel like Gronk has always been a WWE wrestler inside that just so happens to be able to catch the ball really well.

Pats fans might be bummed that this probably officially closes the door on his NFL career, but I think it’s pretty cool. No doubt they’re going to push to put Gronk over and make him the next face of the WWE.
Actually, a lot of doubt. Matter of fact, I'd put the chance of him being the next face of WWE at about 0.000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001% and that's only if the next plane to Saudi Arabia crashes or everyone is taken hostage and executed by the KSA government.

A lot of people who aren't familiar with professional wrestling training like to assume/think it's not that hard to do, but is is REALLY hard to do. Running the ropes is, in and of itself, brutal on the body because they are generally tightly wound steel cables covered by a fairly thin layer of softer material. It's not uncommon for guys to get bruises, horrible looking bruises, along their rib cages just from bouncing off the ropes a couple times. Then there's the bump-taking aspect (for those not familiar, "bumps" is what they call the formulated, practiced falls that they take... but not every bump goes according to plan and a lot of guys get dinged up or worse if they land the wrong way even a little. And even if you're taking a flat-back bump properly every time, the mat is not exactly a pillow-top mattress. It's usually pallets of wood stacked up, the canvas is not that thick, and there are no "springs" or give to the mat other than what's there naturally. Taking a flat-back bump is, according to those who have studied the physics of it, akin to being in a 20mph collision or something right around there. It won't do a lot of damage if you do it once, but many times over weeks, months, and years? It wears out even the best, destroys backs, knees, hips, etc. And if you don't tuck your head right, you're going to bounce it HARD off the mat and probably knock yourself loopy if not get fully concussed. And even if you do all that right on your own, you're still trusting your body to someone else when they pick you up for a move, throw a worked punch or kick, etc. It doesn't take much to miss just enough to cause serious injury. And if Gronk is going to be full-time (which he won't), he'll be working, basically, 48-50 weeks a year, at least 4 times a week, and still have to find the time to eat and train properly.

Plus Gronk is a name and names that come to WWE don't get major pushes unless their name is Ronda Rousey (and even she only worked sporadically for a year and broke her hand in her final match to date before going off to try (unsuccessfully to this point) to get pregnant with husband Travis Brown). Cain Valazquez got a match with Brock Lesnar right off the bat, but was jobbed out and then had to go under the knife for an injury. Tito Ortiz might be in training and he COULD get a bit of a monster push if he's full-time and has enough in the tank and physically to work at or near the top for a year or so, but otherwise WWE has already lined up a bunch of guys that they've sunk a lot of time and money into building up as the faces of the brand moving into the 2020s, including Roman Reigns (legit cousin of The Rock, former football player), Drew McIntyre, Seth Rollins, Adam Cole, and a few others. And Brock Lesnar, for now, is still king in WWE and will be so long as he decides to keep doing it because he's the most legitimate "combat athlete" they have under contract and is actually really good at the whole professional wrestling thing (but even he is a part-timer at best).

Gronk likely comes in and works a couple of programs for mostly entertainment purposes. He might get a secondary title at one point, but I don't think there's much of a chance WWE puts either of their two main belts on him because he's not going to be a long-term attraction and isn't a nostalgia act from the past (like Bill Goldberg, who just came back again and was booked to win one of the top titles, which he'll be defending in one of the big matches at this year's WrestleMania against the aforementioned Roman Reigns). Gronk is real-life good friends with a guy who works under the name Mojo Rawley and they did something during a pre-show match at 'Mania a few years ago, so I can see them being paired up to give Mojo a little rub and to give Gronk someone to lean on if he forgets a line or cue, but even Mojo is low on the totem pole there and it's unlikely anything they do ever goes beyond what is referred to as the upper midcard - in other words an attraction that people will pay to see, but not something that figures into the big storylines long-term.

I could be wrong about that, but given his injury history, age, and general lack of experience in the wrestling world beyond that one appearance and the stuff he's done on his own ("backyard wrestling"), I can't see any of the powerbrokers in WWE wanting to anoint him as the next big thing. He'll have a run of a year or so, maybe work a half-dozen times or more, and then fade away. In all likelihood, he's probably going to help elevate Mojo Rawley up the card a bit in the process and build a star for WWE to focus on moving forward (Mojo has something, but he's still a work in progress in a lot of ways). He'll be a goofy babyface (fan favorite/good guy) and probably do a lot of comedy stuff, but I'd be willing to bet he does little, if any, heavy lifting in any one match or storyline. He's going to give name brand value to WWE, which is struggling for attendance right now and not drawing a lot of new fans (and driving away many long-time ones) due to a major downturn in presentation as Vince McMahon and his hangers-on try to make it more and more of a combat sports variety show and less of what professional wrestling used to be. He'll be a brand ambassador too, someone with cred that they can send to an up-front or other events, because he'll draw media attention. But they won't risk him getting seriously injured on their watch if they can avoid it.

And even if they did have plans to push him to the upper echelons, there are plenty of guys in that locker room that simply will not let it happen, either by talking circles around him in promos and exposing him as not ready for prime time, or by outworking him and blowing him up (winded, red-faced, gasping for air, stumbling about) to show the folks backstage that they are more deserving because they have the conditioning, etc.

WWE is brutal on the body. It's scripted and "fake" but...not necessarily FAKE. That is, they don't really punch each other, except sometimes they actually do by accident. When they body slam each other, there's a safe way to do it, but sometimes they don't get it right and it's a "botch", and it hurts like hell. They tear muscles, break bones, all that kind of stuff all the time. And they do it night after night after night.

Unless you're John Cena or Undertaker or Goldberg or Brock Lesnar...these guys have deals where they only do it once in a while and so it really limits the abuse their bodies take. I cannot imagine Gronk being a regular WWE wrestler; he HAS to be making a Goldberg-type deal where he doesn't get beat up. Remember, he's an elite athlete, he's huge and strong, but he's not a wrestler. These guys spend YEARS training to do these moves right, not only to make them look great but also to be safe for themselves and other wrestlers. Gronk has like no experience at all doing this. His first few matches will almost certainly feature very very basic moves like punches, kicks, chops, elbows, clotheslines, shoulder blocks...maybe he would do a spear like Goldberg because that's basically a form football tackle and he ought to be able to do that pretty easily. I bet they give him a finisher called the "Gronk Spike" where he throws a guy to the mat in a violent way (some form of bodyslam or power slam or whatever he can do).
I had the same thought on the finish, but I don't see a lot of guys willing to take that. It'll probably be something similar to the Samoan Spike, where he just drives a thumb or something into the dude's windpipe and then pins him. But I do hope Yo So Fiesta and Throw Him Out the Club are names of signature spots he might do.

The easiest think for him to do is tag with his friend Mojo Rawley--who could use a career boost. Rawley takes the beatings and makes the hot tag to Gronk who comes in, cleans house and picks up the win.
Bingo. I can see them winning the tag titles, but Mojo is the one who will benefit most from this if it happens. If this has been in the works for awhile, it may even explain why Mojo's gimmick of being the fighting 24/7 Champion was dropped in favor of moving it onto Riddick Moss (who is doing something similar) so Mojo will be free and clear when Gronk comes in.

I expect him to show up at 'Mania again and maybe be a mystery tag partner or something.
 

E5 Yaz

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Doesn't he have to get voted off The Masked Singer before he can get into the ring?
 

heavyde050

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I'd like to see him put on a few more pounds. He's obviously huge. But 6'6", 250 (he's definitely lost weight since his playing days, when he was 268).....bah...he should be 6'6", 285.

Gronk should be fun in WWE. Though he's obviously a big goofball, he can have a mean streak as we all remember...

Yeah, that hit was dirty, but I still can't believe White wasn't called for holding or DPI. He was all over Gronk on that play. The difference in how Gronk was officiated was always tough (from a fan's perspective).
 

Mueller's Twin Grannies

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I've seen the springs under the mat. Not disagreeing with the danger etc, but the ring has serious give
Some rings might, but I don't think WWE rings do, but I've never looked closely when the rings have collapsed or imploded or whatever gimmicks they do with it some times. And if they do, they're big springs, not the ones in beds, and I'm not sure how much "give" springs like that have. I know that when you see guys take flat-backs, the ring doesn't really tend to dip in where they hit (not noticeably), but maybe it's just imperceptible?

Here's a video from 7 years ago from WWE that's a time lapse of the construction and deconstruction of a ring... I don't see any springs, but maybe something has changed in the intervening years?

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zjyk5eU6TPI
 

snowmanny

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Yes but the 'will he come back' nonsense is exhausting and never seems to really go away. Hopefully if he signs with WWE it will go away for real.
Between Gronk and Mookie and Brady it’s a miracle any of us has the energy to use a keyboard.
 

Marciano490

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To be fair, if any player is going to discuss career plans with a pooch, it’s gotta be Gronk.

Or Chandler Jones I guess.
 

GoDa

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Somehow it'd all end with an 8-8 season and mugshots of Gronk and Brady after they were pulled out of the VIP room of a Tampa strip club.
 
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Why? If he doesn't want to play except with Tom why wouldn't we take what we can get within reason?
Well, according to SOSH, we're also trading them White, Burkhead, and Edelman, so Gronk might be a bit much.

In reality world, not a single current Patriot is playing for Tampa next season.
 

Mueller's Twin Grannies

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Keeping up his winning ways, Gronk captured the WWE 24/7 Championship at WrestleMania and is still the reigning, defending, undisputed champion at press time.

For those unfamiliar, it's a joke title that can be won anywhere as long as a ref is present and may well be his ceiling in WWE.
 

tims4wins

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Man that doesn't give us a lot of time ahead of Thursday. 45 is probably too rich but that would be ideal. They also have 76.
 
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