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Published: March 31, 2016 at 05:56 p.m.
Updated: March 31, 2016 at 06:19 p.m.

NFL and Wrestlemania 2016

WrestleMania XXXII emanates from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, this Sunday. And as tradition, we take a look at some current WWE superstars and try to figure out who their NFL counterpart would be. Yes, the phrase “as tradition” means that we do this every year. And yes, it must be the NFL offseason because we are publishing stories like this. But realize there are many like-minded folks who enjoy both football and the WWE. Andrew Siciliano isn’t one of those people. Watch, he’ll complain about WrestleMania tweets flooding his timeline on Sunday night. Seriously, that’s a bigger tradition than the Undertaker. Honestly, I’ve never understood the notion of people on Twitter who complain about other people tweeting about things they enjoy. If it’s that big of a deal, don’t follow me. (Not that he would condescend to follow the lowly guy who talks about fantasy football and Madden on TV. Nope.) But let’s get to the action, shall we? But let’s get to the action, shall we?

18 Photos Total

  • This one is rather obvious. Brady and Gisele are the power couple of the NFL. Similarly to the way Brady entered the 2015 season as the title holder, HHH enters WrestleMania as the WWE champion after he won the title at the Royal Rumble. Brady was unable to defend his championship this season, which was kind of a huge bummer. And I don't mind telling you that I will be pulling for Trips in the main event on Sunday. But here's the question. Does this scenario make Julian Edelman the Seth Rollins of the NFL? Edelman didn't sell out, he bought in. 18

    Associated Press

    Tom Brady and Gisele are HHH and Stephanie McMahon

    This one is rather obvious. Brady and Gisele are the power couple of the NFL. Similarly to the way Brady entered the 2015 season as the title holder, HHH enters WrestleMania as the WWE champion after he won the title at the Royal Rumble. Brady was unable to defend his championship this season, which was kind of a huge bummer. And I don't mind telling you that I will be pulling for Trips in the main event on Sunday. But here's the question. Does this scenario make Julian Edelman the Seth Rollins of the NFL? Edelman didn't sell out, he bought in.

  • O.K., hear me out on this one. Newton is one of the most talented performers in the NFL. But it seems like no matter how amazing he is; some people aren't going to cheer for him. Newton had an MVP seasons, and people are still like, "evs" and boo him anyway. Kind of like Roman Reigns, right? I feel like both superstars would be better served just to say, "screw it" and embrace their inner heel (bad guy). Which I feel is going to be the case this Sunday. (I'll have my predictions on Sunday via Twitter.) 17

    Associated Press

    Cam Newton is Roman Reigns

    O.K., hear me out on this one. Newton is one of the most talented performers in the NFL. But it seems like no matter how amazing he is; some people aren't going to cheer for him. Newton had an MVP seasons, and people are still like, "evs" and boo him anyway. Kind of like Roman Reigns, right? I feel like both superstars would be better served just to say, "screw it" and embrace their inner heel (bad guy). Which I feel is going to be the case this Sunday. (I'll have my predictions on Sunday via Twitter.)

  • He is an unhinged superstar and probably the most entertaining person on the entire show. The other guy is Dean Ambrose. I kid, I kid. Both dudes are very entertaining and I feel life would be better if both were champions. And really, the Gronk cruise is really just the Ambrose Asylum on water, right? 16

    Associated Press/WWE

    Rob Gronkowski is Dean Ambrose

    He is an unhinged superstar and probably the most entertaining person on the entire show. The other guy is Dean Ambrose. I kid, I kid. Both dudes are very entertaining and I feel life would be better if both were champions. And really, the Gronk cruise is really just the Ambrose Asylum on water, right?

  • I wanted to find somebody in the NFL who could match Lesnar's physicality. The only person I could find was a unheard of former University of Minnesota grappler who briefly spent time with the Vikings. And for the record, I have no idea who would be Paul Heyman. The easy answer might be Bill Belichick. But Heyman is the greatest orator in WWE history. That's not Belichick. Maybe Bruce Arians? But he doesn't have the championship pedigree as an advocate. I'm stumped. Oh, and I know the guy who you think might be Lesnar, but I have a better match at the very end. 15

    Associated Press

    Former Vikings DE Brock Lesnar is Brock Lesnar

    I wanted to find somebody in the NFL who could match Lesnar's physicality. The only person I could find was a unheard of former University of Minnesota grappler who briefly spent time with the Vikings. And for the record, I have no idea who would be Paul Heyman. The easy answer might be Bill Belichick. But Heyman is the greatest orator in WWE history. That's not Belichick. Maybe Bruce Arians? But he doesn't have the championship pedigree as an advocate. I'm stumped. Oh, and I know the guy who you think might be Lesnar, but I have a better match at the very end.

  • Their mobility is a perfect match. The Undertaker is at the stage of his career where he's going to rely on the other person to carry the match for him. Much in the same way the Broncos defense had to carry Manning this season. 14

    Associated Press

    Peyton Manning is the Undertaker

    Their mobility is a perfect match. The Undertaker is at the stage of his career where he's going to rely on the other person to carry the match for him. Much in the same way the Broncos defense had to carry Manning this season.

  • Well he did try to deliver the RKO to Clay Matthews during the Pro Bowl, so that is pretty obvious, right? 13

    Associated Press

    Richard Sherman is Randy Orton

    Well he did try to deliver the RKO to Clay Matthews during the Pro Bowl, so that is pretty obvious, right?

  • Showoff Dolph Ziggler that is. It is too bad he's too good. But I really think this one works. Ziggler is the highlight reel (not to be confused with the Jericho segment) of RAW who puts in amazing work. 12

    Associated Press

    Odell Beckham Junior is Dolph Ziggler

    Showoff Dolph Ziggler that is. It is too bad he's too good. But I really think this one works. Ziggler is the highlight reel (not to be confused with the Jericho segment) of RAW who puts in amazing work.

  • But if OBJ is Ziggler, than it just stands to reason that Norman would be Owens, right? Fight Norman Fight. 11

    Associated Press/WWE

    Josh Norman is Kevin Owens

    But if OBJ is Ziggler, than it just stands to reason that Norman would be Owens, right? Fight Norman Fight.

  • Mostly because of the beards. Actually, only because of the beards. But seriously, throw a sheep's a mask and some overalls on Weddle and he's ready to be a member of the Wyatt Family. 10

    Associated Press/WWE

    Eric Weddle is Bray Wyatt

    Mostly because of the beards. Actually, only because of the beards. But seriously, throw a sheep's a mask and some overalls on Weddle and he's ready to be a member of the Wyatt Family.

  • Palmer was an afterthought a few years ago following his retirement from the Raiders. But he's suddenly very relevant again with the Cardinals. Ryder got over huge with the internet a few years back but languished on the mid-card before he eventually got some footing down in NXT. Now the dude has returned to the Intercontinental title scene and has made it back to WrestleMania. Plus, both are sort of gingers, too. 9

    Associated Press

    Carson Palmer is Zack Ryder

    Palmer was an afterthought a few years ago following his retirement from the Raiders. But he's suddenly very relevant again with the Cardinals. Ryder got over huge with the internet a few years back but languished on the mid-card before he eventually got some footing down in NXT. Now the dude has returned to the Intercontinental title scene and has made it back to WrestleMania. Plus, both are sort of gingers, too.

  • Shhhh! Only the wrestling fans will know how mean this. Outwardly, we'll just pretend this is a huge compliment. Yeah, so this totally works. 8

    Associated Press/WWE

    Darren McFadden is Sin Cara

    Shhhh! Only the wrestling fans will know how mean this. Outwardly, we'll just pretend this is a huge compliment. Yeah, so this totally works.

  • One of my favorite stables in the WWE right now, the New Day has been on fire for the past year. Similarly this Steelers trio is far from booty (especially for my fantasy team). Though it should be noted I asked DeAngelo before I printed this if he was a fan of the New Day, and he said that he loved their antics. And I love DeAngelo's antics, too, so this works. 7

    Associated Press/WWE

    Antonio Brown, Le'Veon Bell and DeAngelo Williams are the New Day

    One of my favorite stables in the WWE right now, the New Day has been on fire for the past year. Similarly this Steelers trio is far from booty (especially for my fantasy team). Though it should be noted I asked DeAngelo before I printed this if he was a fan of the New Day, and he said that he loved their antics. And I love DeAngelo's antics, too, so this works.

  • This might be my favorite one. Dalton is Heath Slater because of the red hair (super lazy, I know). Luck is Curtis Axel because they are both legacies in their respective industries. Manziel is the former party boy, Adam Rose. Not sure if Johnny hates bunnies, but whatever. And seriously, Philip Rivers' earnestness makes him the perfect Bo Dallas. Dude, think about it. Both Rivers and Dallas feel like they are faces, but really, they are heels. 6

    Associated Press/WWE

    Andy Dalton, Andrew Luck, Johnny Manziel and Philip Rivers are the Social Outcasts

    This might be my favorite one. Dalton is Heath Slater because of the red hair (super lazy, I know). Luck is Curtis Axel because they are both legacies in their respective industries. Manziel is the former party boy, Adam Rose. Not sure if Johnny hates bunnies, but whatever. And seriously, Philip Rivers' earnestness makes him the perfect Bo Dallas. Dude, think about it. Both Rivers and Dallas feel like they are faces, but really, they are heels.

  • I like both of these superstars very much. Both are veterans who carry a certain level of respect in their industry. But damn, it's been a long while now since they have tasted championship gold. 5

    Associated Press

    Drew Brees is Chris Jericho

    I like both of these superstars very much. Both are veterans who carry a certain level of respect in their industry. But damn, it's been a long while now since they have tasted championship gold.

  • Obviously, there isn't a lot of physical similarity between the two men. But I wanted to match them here because both retired this year and I'm going to miss both their talents. The upshot for Bryan is that he did achieve his dream. He had the night of his life at WrestleMania XXX (where I was seated next to DeAngelo Williams and Gary Barnidge) when he captured the championship after he knocked off Randy Orton, Batista and HHH (him to set up the triple threat). Unfortunately for Mega, he never got a title reign in the NFL. Which is kind of shame. Well, until you realize that would mean that he Lions would be Super Bowl champions and this native of Schaumburg, IL wouldn't really care for that. 4

    Associated Press

    Calvin Johnson is Daniel Bryan

    Obviously, there isn't a lot of physical similarity between the two men. But I wanted to match them here because both retired this year and I'm going to miss both their talents. The upshot for Bryan is that he did achieve his dream. He had the night of his life at WrestleMania XXX (where I was seated next to DeAngelo Williams and Gary Barnidge) when he captured the championship after he knocked off Randy Orton, Batista and HHH (him to set up the triple threat). Unfortunately for Mega, he never got a title reign in the NFL. Which is kind of shame. Well, until you realize that would mean that he Lions would be Super Bowl champions and this native of Schaumburg, IL wouldn't really care for that.

  • If I could think of one player who would be the most likely to run around the NFL to tell everybody how awesome he is, it would be Rodgers. Who, like the Miz, has turned into a Hollywood icon with his commercials. Oh man, it just hit me. If Rodgers is the Miz, I'm going back a few years to make Clay Matthews Alex Riley. PERFECT! I bet if you looked in Matthews' closet right now, you would be able to find a letterman's jacket with the sleeves cut off. 3

    Associated Press

    Aaron Rodgers is the Miz

    If I could think of one player who would be the most likely to run around the NFL to tell everybody how awesome he is, it would be Rodgers. Who, like the Miz, has turned into a Hollywood icon with his commercials. Oh man, it just hit me. If Rodgers is the Miz, I'm going back a few years to make Clay Matthews Alex Riley. PERFECT! I bet if you looked in Matthews' closet right now, you would be able to find a letterman's jacket with the sleeves cut off.

  • Well if you go by Ryback's old catch phrase of "feed me more". But now Ryback is looking pretty jacked as is the recently slimed-down Lacy. 2

    Associated Press/WWE

    Eddie Lacy is Ryback

    Well if you go by Ryback's old catch phrase of "feed me more". But now Ryback is looking pretty jacked as is the recently slimed-down Lacy.

  • The sound of Watt's music won't bring jeers from the adults in the crowd, but there are many similarities to these two. For starters, there are the respective social media accounts, which are mostly workout videos and inspirational quotes. But mostly, it's the Hustle. Loyalty. Respect. And while I might hate John Cena the TV character who ruins my favorite TV shows, I do like the man who seems like a genuinely good dude. Much like Watt, who is a cool guy because he knows that jalapenos on a pizza are just wonderful.  

<p>All right, that will do it for me. Hit me with the stunners in the comment section or on Twitter. If you could help me think of who would be the best Jay Cutler, I would totally appreciate it.</p> 1

    Associated Press

    J.J. Watt is John Cena

    The sound of Watt's music won't bring jeers from the adults in the crowd, but there are many similarities to these two. For starters, there are the respective social media accounts, which are mostly workout videos and inspirational quotes. But mostly, it's the Hustle. Loyalty. Respect. And while I might hate John Cena the TV character who ruins my favorite TV shows, I do like the man who seems like a genuinely good dude. Much like Watt, who is a cool guy because he knows that jalapenos on a pizza are just wonderful.

    All right, that will do it for me. Hit me with the stunners in the comment section or on Twitter. If you could help me think of who would be the best Jay Cutler, I would totally appreciate it.