Rob Gronkowski is a lifelong pro wrestling fan whose enthusiasm shined through on WWE television alongside his buddy Mojo Rawley. The Super Bowl champ made a number of appearances during the “COVID Era” including SmackDown and hosting WrestleMania 36.
It’s at the two-night event that Gronk even won the 24/7 championship. His efforts nabbed the Patriot turned Buc a Slammy Award for “Celebrity of the Year.” Rawley, real name Dean Muhtadi, felt the star was a standout.
“Rob doesn’t really get nervous ever. It’s something I really admire about the guy. It’s one of the things I learned the most from him,” Muhtadi said. “ He rarely gets nervous or stressed out. He really doesn’t have bad days. Of course, there are some things that annoy him, but he is always in a good mood and positive. You think of it on the football field if he drops a pass or has a bad day for him, it glances off his back. It’s fine. It doesn’t get in his head, and he stays mentally strong. That’s why he has had the career that he has had.”
The now-former WWE performer knew Gronk wouldn’t get rattled. Though he had other concerns. “If anything I was worried about me and him goofing around too much,” Muhtadi added. “That people might not take him seriously or the locker room might not like it, but that wasn’t the case.”
According to Mojo, there were a lot of plans. That was until Gronk decided to come out of NFL retirement and take his talents to Tampa.
“We were setting up some PPV matches,” Muhtadi. “The initial plan was for me and him to do a tag team match at SummerSlam in Boston. We were excited about that because it would lead to something 10 times more exciting than that. Pretty much the world shut down and Brady signed with the Bucs, so it was an alley-oop for him to go back to football after he was feeling 100 percent.
“He had about 10 million on the table last season, so he turned that down initially. But once you are 100 percent and have this exciting opportunity he couldn’t pass it twice. It was cool. We got to have a little bit of fun. It was probably as limited as it could have been given the constraints and circumstances that presented itself.”
Even though Gronk went back to acquiring more Super Bowl rings, Muhtadi does not rule out a return to the ring. It’s something they’ve talked about for a long time.
“When I started with WWE, before my first day, we were all practicing wrestling moves on each other. That was the thing on the weekends,” Muhtadi recalled. “When we would go out I’d take my shirt off and make the whole group, 15 people, go down the line and chop me as hard as we could just to prepare me for wrestling. That is why I continued to do it on TV so much and throughout my career.
“Every time we get together we’re partying and doing wrestling moves. I was at his retirement party. Then coming into WWE he got the itch. He got the bug. He wants to get in the ring. He was always talking about doing a match. He wants to do it right. He wants to do the training and be there for months and put in the time so he does it the right way wherever that might be. We’re going to do a match at some point. Whether it’s WWE, AEW, New Japan who knows. It’s coming at some point. I guess we have to see where we are at that time.”
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