Former WWE Star Mojo Rawley Details His Move From The NFL To Wrestling

Much like current "WWE NXT" Tag Team Champion Baron Corbin, Mojo Rawley made the transition to WWE following a brief stint with the Arizona Cardinals football team. In Rawley's case, though, the tail-end of his NFL career centered around a calf injury that left him sidelined for 18 months. Though he initially aimed to return to the football field, potentially as a member of the Oakland Raiders or New York Jets, Rawley was eventually approached with an opportunity to venture into a different sports arena – professional wrestling.

"... I had this opportunity to check out what was going on with WWE because the Gronkowski brothers, they were always some of my best friends and their dad was college roommates with Mike Rotunda, who just actually got announced to enter the Hall of Fame. They made a phone call, we talked to Mike, he set up a little interview try-out kind of thing, and that was it," Rawley told the "Power Alphas Podcast." "I got the offer [with WWE]. I left football to come to wrestling. Obviously, I spent my entire career trying to make it in football, and I finally got to that level, and I would have been compensated as such ... but I sat down, really evaluated things, long-term aspirations, and I was like 'You know what? I want to do this. I think this is going to be cool. I think this is something I could be good at. It's the first thing I ever wanted to do.'"

After deciding to put the NFL in his rearview mirror, Rawley officially inked a contract with WWE in the summer of 2012. In May 2013, Rawley made his television debut on "WWE NXT" as a part of a battle royal to determine the number one contender for the "NXT" Championship. Over the next eight years, Rawley primarily floated around WWE's tag team division (alongside Zack Ryder), as well as the 24/7 Championship scene. He was later released from the company in April 2021.

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit "Power Alphas Podcast" with a h/t to Rllegends for the transcription.