Former Pittsburgh Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams is the latest pro football player to make the jump to professional wrestling.
After appearing on the April 27 episode of IMPACT Wrestling alongside former Cleveland Browns tight end Gary Barnidge, Williams has officially signed on to compete in a tag team match on July 2 at Slammiversary XV.
Slammiversary is IMPACT’s version of WrestleMania, so it’s no surprise that they would bring in a “celebrity” to compete. But I have to give it up to Williams — he seems to be taking the opportunity seriously:
— IMPACT WRESTLING (@IMPACTWRESTLING) June 9, 2017
It certainly doesn’t hurt that Williams is already a top-tier professional athlete. But he’s also a big fan of pro wrestling:
“I’m a huge, huge, huge fan of professional wrestling, and everything I’m going to do in the ring will be for the wrestlers who I have watched in the past, as well as those I still watch today. I respect the sport, the wrestlers and everything that comes with it,” Williams said in a press release sent out by IMPACT Wrestling. “You’re going to get everything I have inside the IMPACT Wrestling ring; I’m going to try to show off my athletic ability.”
There’s a long history of former football players who have found success inside the squared circle, including Goldberg, Brock Lesnar, and of course, The People’s Champion. In fact, Williams will team with another former football player, Quinn “Moose” Ojinnaka, to take on Chris Adonis and Eli Drake at the fifteenth annual event.
As for whether Williams will make a full-time leap to wrestling, only time will tell. He remains a free agent and has yet to decide on if he’ll officially retire from the NFL.
Do you like when athletes from other sports cross over into pro wrestling? Or do you think they’re taking opportunities away from real pro wrestlers? Share your thoughts below!