Former NFL punter Pat McAfee has had a pretty busy life away from the football field. Now, the former Indianapolis Colts star is giving it a go in the wrestling business and WWE.
Per NFL.com, McAfee has signed a contract with WWE, to try out professional wrestling. It isn’t the first time a former NFL or football player has turned his attention to professional wrestling. Both Baron Corbin and Roman Reigns played in the league before they turned their attention to Vince McMahon’s playground.
“McAfee won’t be in the ring doing figure four leg locks, but he will be part of the WWE’s pre-show panel next month,” Ralph Warner writes.
“The two-time Pro Bowl punter has his own podcast, moonlighted as a stand-up comedian, and now he’s taking his talents to the squared circle.”
McAfee’s first assignment will be part of the NXT TakeOver: New Orleans Pre-Show stream on April 7. WrestleMania 34 takes place in the Mercedes Benz Superdome on April 8.
Since June 2012, NXT has served as the flagship television show of WWE’s developmental system while prior to this it existed as a seasonal show which was presented as a hybrid between reality television and WWE’s scripted live event shows, in which talent from WWE’s developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) participated in a competition to become WWE’s next “breakout star” with the help of mentors from WWE’s Raw and SmackDown brands.
Five seasons of this version of NXT were broadcast from February 23, 2010 to June 13, 2012, with the first four seasons seeing Wade Barrett, Kaval, Kaitlyn, and Johnny Curtis as winners. In the later stages of season five, the all-rookie competition was abandoned with no winner being officially named, although Derrick Bateman was the final remaining rookie on NXT Redemption after both Darren Young and Titus O’Neil were signed to the SmackDown brand. Following the end of the fifth season, WWE ended the seasonal competition format of the show and renamed its developmental territory FCW to NXT.
The All-Pro punter, who hung up his cleats in February 2017, has always had an interest in wrestling. Older WWE fans will notice his homage to Scott Hall a.k.a. Razor Ramon in this celebration from Week 13 of the 2016 season.
The 30-year-old McAfee played eight seasons for the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League (NFL). He was a placekicker and punter at West Virginia and was drafted by the Colts in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL Draft.