Rob Gronkowski, former Patriots star, reportedly signs with WWE

The Wrap says he will debut on March 20, and also appear in April at WrestleMania 36.

Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
CNET freelancer Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Gael Fashingbauer Cooper

Rob Gronkowski, seen here at the 2020 Super Bowl, has left football behind, but he may have a new occupation.

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Former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is a three-time Super Bowl champion, but can he become a champion in WWE ? The Wrap reported on Tuesday that Gronk, who is now a football analyst for Fox Sports, has officially signed a wrestling deal, and will make his debut in just a week. A representative for WWE declined comment.

According to The Wrap, Gronkowski will debut with WWE on the March 20 episode of Fox's Smackdown, and will also appear at WrestleMania 36 in Tampa, Florida, on April 5. Gronkowski, 30, played his entire nine-year NFL career with the Patriots. He's long showed a natural tendency toward theater (check out his Gronk Spikes) and a fascination with the wrestling world, appearing on WrestleMania 33 in 2017.

WWE may not have offered comment, but fans on social media were already imagining Gronk in his new job. "I can't wait for his finisher to be called 'Gronk Smash,'" one tweet said.

Although numerous large events, including the South by Southwest festivals and conferences, and gaming event E3, have been canceled due to the coronavirus, at press time, WrestleMania 36 was still scheduled to take place.