10 NFL Players and Their WWE Counterparts
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As a lifelong fan of both the NFL and World Wrestling Entertainment, it's safe to that it's hard to draw any parallels between the two.
After all, one is a sport and the other is, well, sports entertainment.
But they both have several players or "superstars" that transcend the field or the ring and they both have those that get their names in the news for the wrong reasons.
I know I'm not the only person out there that can talk football and pro wrestling knowledgeably, but those people do seem to be hard to find.
Hopefully, some of them come across this article and enjoy the read as we take a look at some of the top players in the NFL and find each one's WWE doppelganger.
Eli Manning And.....
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Eli Manning is coming off a fabulous 2011 season in which he threw for nearly 5,000 yards with 29 touchdown passes. Add to that his terrific postseason run that included nine more touchdowns with only one interception. A case could be made that Manning was the MVP of the league last year.
He capped that off with his second Super Bowl win, which by the way, is more than his much more heralded brother has won.
Manning himself joked that despite the win in the big game, he's the third most talked about quarterback in his own city. The crowd laughed at the Fox News studio where the interview took place, but it's also true.
Yes, Manning had help from his teammates, but they don't win either Super Bowl without his play in important games.
Hopefully Eli starts getting the credit he deserves in 2012.
Photo courtesy of ringthedamnbell.wordpress.com
Yes, The Miz has been on a terrible slump lately and has been off television as he is filming The Marine 3: Homeland. When he returns, you can bet he'll receive a push as the company will have to promote their film.
And while he's hated and disrespected by the majority of WWE crowds, and not just because he plays a bad guy, The Miz is a former WWE champion, a feat that seemed far fetched for awhile.
I was a huge detractor of this guy too as he came off as a pesky, annoying little "Real World reject", as many people referred to him.
But The Miz did evolve as a performer and along with his big title win, he even defeated John Cena in the main even of WrestleMania, something not many superstars can lay claim too.
You really have to give the devil his due.
Jared Allen And......
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Jared Allen began his career with the Kansas City Chiefs, where he compiled 43 sacks in four years.
After a 2008 trade to the Minnesota Vikings, Allen remained a dominant player.
In four years with the Vikings, Allen already has 62 sacks, giving him 105 for his career which is already good for 20th all time.
Allen is sure to continue terrorizing opposing offenses as he has clearly become one of the league's premier defensive players.
Photo courtesy of wwephotos.org
A mainstay with the WWE since 1997, Kane has always been a force.
While it may have been a mistake to unmask the 'Big Red Machine', few can argue that, much like Allen, Kane has dominated his opposition even after the change.
Kane has held multiple titles in the WWE and is a former WWE, World Heavyweight and ECW champion.
Ben Roethlisberger And....
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Not all of these guys are going to make this list for totally positive reasons.
Ben Roethlisberger has had a stellar career as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers, but he has had his share of off field issues.
Along with a near-fatal motorcycle accident, 'Big Ben' has faced sexual assault allegations on two separate occasions.
While criminal charges were never filed against him, Roethlisberger was still suspended by the league for six games before the 2010 season.
Still, Roethlisberger is still a two-time Super Bowl winner and is considered one of the NFL's best quarterbacks.
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Long considered one of the company's top performers, Randy Orton was recently suspended again, this time for a violation of the Talent Wellness Program.
This all came about on May 30, 2012 and has really left Orton's standing in WWE in question.
It puts the company in a precarious position, especially considering their "three strike rule". Technically, if Orton were to fail another drug test, the company, by their own terms, would be obligated to terminate him.
But much like Roethlisberger, Orton is a wildly successful performer, holding the WWE and World Heavyweight titles a combined 10 times.
Would the company have it in them to fire one of their best?
Terrell Owens And....
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Terrell Owens will go down as one of the most prolific wide receivers that ever played the game, like it or not.
Owens' talent has never been in question. His attitude, however, has.
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Much like Owens, CM Punk marches to the beat of his own drum.
Constantly defying authority and saying whatever he feels like, Punk has become well known for being outspoken.
Still, there's no denying Punk's status as one of the best wrestlers in the business today.
The difference between him and Owens is that Punk has a job and T.O. is hoping to even get a chance to have one.
Clay Matthews And...
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Packed full of energy and a motor that never stops, Clay Matthews has become one of the league's elite defenders.
In just three years with the Packers, the former USC Trojan has registered 29.5 sacks to go along with 161 tackles and four interceptions.
This is a guy who will be doing his thing and doing it well for many years to come.
Photo courtesy of EW.com
During his run as a main roster competitor, Triple H always left it in the ring.
His energy and passion for the industry helped him to become A 13 time world champion.
Now that 'The Game' has taken more of a role in the corporate office side of things, he will likely bring that same approach to that position.
And rest assured, Triple H is a figure that we as wrestling fans will be seeing for many years to come.
Chad Ochocinco And....
I'm sure there are many Chad Ochocinco supporters out there, but I am not one of them.
Sure, he had some good seasons in Cincinnati, but in 2011, he was almost non-existent as a member of the New England Patriots, catching just 15 passes.
However, Ochocinco's attitude suggests he's a much better player than that.
Maybe he'll prove me wrong after being traded to the Miami Dolphins, but he's always been much more flash than substance in my opinion.
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Sin Cara came to the WWE as a highly hyped signing from Mexico.
Working the lucha libre style in Mexico, Sin Cara, who competed there as Mistico, is one of the most popular Mexican wrestlers of all time.
However, his WWE career hasn't gone nearly as well.
He failed a drug test in the summer of 2011 and sat out 30 days after being suspended. He then suffered a serious injury that November at the Survivor Series, rupturing his patella tendon.
Sin Cara has recently returned to action, but does the guy know a wrestling hold? I'm sure he does, but I'd sure like to see one rather than all this jumping and flying around.
Again, way more flash than substance for me.
Calvin Johnson And.....
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Calvin Johnson has quickly and maybe even quietly, blossomed into one of the top players in the NFL.
He is coming off a massive year in which he caught 96 balls for 1,681 yards and 16 touchdowns. He can't be covered one on one.
Following his best season in the NFL, 'Megatron' will be the cover athlete of Madden '13.
Johnson is primed for another great year on a very good Detroit Lions team. Is there a better athlete in pro football?
Numerous Pro Bowls are certainly in Johnson's future but a league MVP award and a Super Bowl victory might not be far off, either.
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He may not do it as quietly as Johnson, but Dolph Ziggler consistently puts on a solid performance.
For my money, he's the best pure athlete on the WWE roster right now and he routinely puts on the best match of the night.
The former amateur wrestler from Kent State University seems to have a very bright future.
He should end up holding multiple WWE or World Heavyweight titles.
Ray Lewis And....
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The heart and soul of the Baltimore Ravens defense has long been Ray Lewis. He's just about always one of the best defensive players in the league on a year to year basis.
With over 2,000 career tackles, 40.5 sacks and 31 interceptions, Lewis is a first ballot Hall of Famer.
How much time does he have left? The clock is definitely ticking, but Lewis has left an indelible mark on the NFL and will be remembered as one of the best defensive players in it's history.
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With a WWE career starting in 1990, it's not far-fetched to refer to The Undertaker as the "main guy" in the WWE.
He has literally done it all over the course of his career and he's beaten just about every big name you can come up with.
His most impressive feat is, of course, his now 20-0 win-loss record at WrestleMania, the year's biggest event.
Whenever he retires from the ring, which will be sooner rather than later, he will go directly into the WWE Hall of Fame.
Tom Brady And....
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Tom Brady is easily one of the best players in the NFL and he is also one of it's poster boys.
A three-time Super Bowl winner and two-time NFL MVP, success seems to follow Brady as the New England Patriots are a perennial Super Bowl contender every season.
Aside from that, Brady is famously married to supermodel Gisele Bundchen.
Between his on-field success as well as the spotlight that shines on him wherever he goes, Tom Brady is one of the most recognized athletes not only in the NFL, but in any sport.
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The Rock is without question one of the most successful superstars in WWE history.
His success and unlimited charisma helped launch a career in Hollywood as The Rock has had starring roles in films such as 'The Rundown', 'Fast Five', 'Gameplan' and 'G.I. Joe'.
But only a superstar like The Rock can come back to the WWE at any time and still have the crowd in the palm of his hand.
The Rock wrestled John Cena this past April at WrestleMania 28 and helped it become the most watched WrestleMania event in the company's history.
Whether it be in a WWE ring or on the set of a blockbuster movie, The Rock is one of the biggest names in sports and entertainment today.
Tim Tebow And....
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Tim Tebow is without any doubt, one of the most polarizing figures in professional sports today.
Tebow was easily the most talked about player in the NFL in 2011and despite winning a playoff game for the Denver Broncos, he was traded to the New York Jets once the team acquired Peyton Manning.
Tebow has succeeded at every level of football he's ever played, winning a high school state championship and two national titles at the University of Florida in college.
Still, he has a litany of doubters that seem to come out of the woodwork at times.
Is it his religious beliefs, which he doesn't shy away from? Or is it the fact that the media just won't stop talking about him that has so many people disliking Tebow?
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Big surprise. This is such an easy comparison.
John Cena is the unquestionable face of the WWE and he is certainly a "company guy".
But aside from all the dates he works, Cena is also the world's leader in granting wishes for Make-A-Wish Foundation. It seems like he's almost doing one daily. In fact, Cena recently granted his 300th wish.
Yet every time Cena has a match, you can hear the very audible, deep pitched, "Cena sucks" chants. It's not just once in awhile, it's every time the man comes out.
Why is this? Is it a generation of fans fighting WWE's PG rating? Is it the perceived notion that the man can't wrestle?
As a young kid watching wrestling in the 1980's, I'm not sure what I would have thought if I heard "Hogan sucks" chanted on every single show.
But to John Cena's credit, he handles the heckling well and even encourages the fans to speak their mind.