Sports
51.1k readers

Athletes Who Became Wrestlers

Updated September 10, 2019 51.1k views26 items

Let's get ready to rumble! When excelling at one sport wasn't enough, these professional athletes became wrestlers. Several famous NFL players, bodybuilders, and MMA fighters later became wrestlers. Some of these players won Olympic medals before becoming wrestlers, while others became wrestlers after being cut from NFL teams. Two famous NBA stars even competed against each other in the ring.

Who is the most famous athlete who became a wrestler? Dennis Rodman tops our list. During a suspension from the NBA, Dennis Rodman participated in several WCW wrestling events. His intro song was "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" by The Jimi Hendrix Experience. In 1998, Karl Malone teamed up with Diamond Dallas Page to take on Dennis Rodman and Hulk Hogan in a WCW "Bash at the Beach" event.

Before becoming known as "The Rock," Dwayne Johnson was a National Championship college football player with the University of Miami. In 1995, Ken Shamrock won the UFC Superfight Championship. In 1997, he left the UFC for the WWF, but he returned to competing in MMA in 2000. Kurt Angle won a gold medal in heavyweight freestyle wrestling at the 1996 Olympics. He signed a contract with the WWF in 1998.

Do you think that wrestling is a good back-up plan for many professional athletes? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
...more
  • In 1995, Ken Shamrock won the UFC Superfight Championship. In 1997, he left the UFC for the WWF, but he returned to competing in MMA in 2000.
    • Age: 56
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Birthplace: Macon, Georgia, United States of America

    More Ken Shamrock 

    #137 of 448 The Greatest Pro Wrestlers of All Time#135 of 175 The Greatest WWE Superstars of All Time#54 of 69 The Best WWE Superstars of the '90s

  • Photo: Simon / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0
    Before becoming known as "The Rock," Dwayne Johnson was a National Championship college football player with the University of Miami.
    • Age: 48
    • Nationality: Canada, United States of America
    • Birthplace: Hayward, California, United States of America
    • Teams: Miami Hurricanes football, Calgary Stampeders

    More Dwayne Johnson 

    17 Times Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Was The Best#7 of 90 Who Is The Coolest Actor In The World Right Now?#264 of 1,017 The Best Actors In Film History

  • Photo: Juventas / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
    Dan Severn started competing in the UFC in 1994. He competed in the WWF in 1998.
    • Age: 62
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Birthplace: Coldwater, Michigan, United States of America

    More Dan Severn 

    #53 of 146 The Greatest MMA Legends of All Time#20 of 44 The Best UFC Fighters Who Walked Away From The Octagon#93 of 108 The Best Pro Wrestling Champions

  • Bill Goldberg played for the Los Angeles Rams, Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers before joining the WCW in 1997.
    • Age: 54
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Birthplace: Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States of America

    More Bill Goldberg 

    #843 of 904 Celebrity Death Pool 2021#1237 of 1,355 The Greatest Minds of All Time#30 of 188 WWE's Greatest Superstars of the 21st Century