There’s something beautifully immature about future National Football League Hall of Fame player Rob Gronkowski. He’s the Alpha male frat boy with the chiselled body of a Greek god who has Peter Pan syndrome. A physical beast who’s never had to do anything other that catch a pigskin and smash opponents with his 200 centimetre frame to ensure his livelihood. His character traits infantile, yet incredibly endearing, Gronk, a New York state native who crushes beers as much as he crushes defensive backs, was and still is one of the NFL’s most loved players, even in retirement. The former New England Patriots tight end, who ended his career with three Super Bowl rings and four All-Pro selections, is apparently minutes away from inking a deal with the WWE , and I couldn’t be happier, giddy like a schoolboy who just found out his favourite superhero is about to get a reboot movie starring his favourite actor. The WWE has lost some shine since its heyday when stars like “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson were household names in the 2000s, building off its widely successful “Attitude Era” that kicked off in the late 90s. Their personalities amplified, character traits supercharged with testosterone, you couldn’t wait for what they were going to do next because it would undoubtedly be unabashedly explosive. They were brash, crude, anti-establishment and taught us valuable lessons about how the bad boy could also fit within the heroic archetype of masculinity. Gronkowski embodies this ideal as the schoolyard bully with a heart of gold, his off-field exploits the stuff of legends: beer bongs, keg stands, boozy boat parties, dance-off nightclub appearances, rarely with shirt on, he is the ultimate weekend warrior who also happens to be a multimillion dollar sports superstar. It’s like he was manufactured in a super lab by football scientists, but escaped at the last second and found his way to Daytona Beach for Spring Break. On the field he took hits for his teammates and threw his body on the line for the greater good. His playing style was as dangerous as it was unorthodox: catch the ball and then seek out the end zone like a cruise missile blindly shot off into the dark. This invariably put Gronkowski on the injured list as much as the starting sheet: back vertebral disc hernias, forearm fractures, concussions, torn ACL, torn MCL, a chest lung bruise. His laundry list of ailments only endeared him to fans more so, the battered and bruised super soldier who would retreat to the foxhole to rub some dirt on a wound before heading back out into the fire. I know what you’re thinking, how immature, how childish. So what, if there is any place for the Gronk to flex his muscles and flash that mischievous grin, it’s in the WWE where all these attributes are championed. In the NFL I’m assuming there was an entire team of handlers who followed him around like helicopter parents throughout his career: “No Rob, you can’t drink that.” “No Rob, you can’t sign your signature there.” “No Rob, you can’t take your pants off here.” The rules are different in the WWE, he can let his crop top hair down even more, and let his personality flourish without the watchful eye of Roger Goodell and company worried about alienating entire market segments with his playboy antics. If and when this masterful deal goes down, he will join a growing list of celebrities who have taken their talents to the ring. One of sports entertainment’s most notable crossover slash hybrid stars has always been Brock Lesner, a former collegiate wrestler who left the WWE at the pinnacle of his stardom to try his hand in the NFL in 2004. View this post on Instagram @gronkbeach presented by @monsterenergy! Thank you to everyone who helped put this event on, to our sponsors, and especially to all the fans who partied with us all day long! Should we do it again?! A post shared by Rob Gronkowski (@gronk) on Mar 11, 2020 at 12:30pm PDT His career on the gridiron was short-lived, so he bounced around in Japanese pro wrestling before finding his way into the Ultimate Fighting Championship where his Octagon results left much to the imagination. Lesnar has since settled back into the WWE after a brief second stint in the UFC, but his stardom has been somewhat drained of vitality over the years. His Achilles’ heel has always been his one-dimensional character traits – he is the ultimate super villain you can’t help but hate to love, and love to hate. Where Lesnar fell short is where Gronkowski can possibly thrive – he is as likeable as he is multi-dimensional, much like John Cena, who has morphed from hero to villain and back again over the years. Gronk could be the good guy gone bad, or a bad guy trying to be good. Hopefully showrunner and head honcho Vince McMahon will let Gronk be Gronk, and not try to water down his onstage persona. Part of me thinks Gronkowski’s star power will let him decide how far he will push his own debaucherous boundaries, but McMahon has a way of grinding stars down over the years to fit into certain cookie-cutter moulds. There is also the question of how Gronkowski’s body will hold up to the grind of a WWE schedule. Make no mistake, wrestling is fake, but there is undeniable wear and tear these sports entertainment employees endure on top of a gruelling schedule much like the NFL. Gronkowski’s medical history reads like a multi-vehicle car accident, however he is also not bound by the strict drug testing policies of the NFL any more and is free to use, and promote CBD oil and the various healing properties of medical marijuana. Only time will tell if the WWE decides to make Gronk a mainstay in their scripts, but one thing is for sure, the party boy aficionado has the Midas touch. Will his next adventure be a golden opportunity, ushering in a new “Attitude Era” for the WWE, or will we get sporadic cameos, glimmers of “Gronkomania” in a sports entertainment world thirsting for new blood?