Standing 6’4”, weighing 220lbs, and owning the nickname of ‘Captain America,’ 35-year-old Todd Clever seems tailor-made for pro wrestling. Late last year, and again this year, a call went out (or rather, a tweet) to all rugby players interested in adventure and a chance to see the world as a part of WWE.
Are you a current or ex-pro rugby player? Are you looking for a new career and aged 23-28?
The WWE are looking for the next big star. It could be you. Contact email@example.com.
(Please note those who expressed previous interest have been contacted if successful) pic.twitter.com/QcuNRnAnII
— Rugby Vacancies (@rugbyvacancies) January 23, 2018
Many players answered the call, but one, Clever, kept it low key. That’s because, as CNN is reporting, Clever and WWE had been in contact long before the social media announcement, the rugby star stressing that he loves to try new things, and wants no regrets in life.
As a team leader in the full-contact game of rugby, Clever is highly decorated, captaining the USA national team, and playing in three World Cups. Now, after touring WWE’s Performance Center, he appears to be craving pro wrestling success, and a deal feels imminent.
WWE has a long history of converting athletes from other sports, be they retired like Clever, or cut from their former teams, like Dwayne Johnson who played in the CFL for the Calgary Stampeders, before being recruited by WWE and becoming the Rock. Currently, WWE can boast several former crossover athletes such as Tino Sabbetelli of NXT, and Chad Gable of Raw. Raw’s Brock Lesnar, of course, is a three-sport athlete, including wrestling, MMA and (American) football.
One major star who has left the sport of rugby behind for a career in pro wrestling is New Japan’s Bad Luck Fale. Bullet Club’s ‘underboss’ played in the rugby union for both New Zealand and Japan before carving out an impressive new career path for himself, peaking last year when he took on Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at Wrestling Dontaku 2017.
For Clever, it’s still a bit of a waiting game. No contract has been signed officially, but it would not come as any surprise if the rugby captain turned up on NXT TV before we knew what hit us.
What other pro athletes would you like to see cross over to wrestling? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter here.
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