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Top 10 Football Players to Wrestle


Some of the best football players to play on the gridiron have tried their luck in the squared circle. This is a list of the best football players to get in the ring. The order is determined by the quality of their football career, not their wrestling career. If you are interested in learning more about football, I suggest checking out the About.com Guide to Football, which is run by Tim McDonald.

1. Lawrence Taylor

LT is arguably the greatest defensive player in NFL history. This Hall of Famer has been to 10 Pro Bowls and won two Super Bowls with the NY Giants. He is the only football player to have been in the main event at a WrestleMania event. In his only wrestling match, he beat Bam Bam Bigelow at WrestleMania XI.

2. Reggie White

The Minister of Defense is a member of the NFL Hall of Fame. After starting his career in the USFL, he went on to play in the NFL for the Philadelphia Eagles, Green Bay Packers, and Carolina Panthers. He has been to 13 Pro Bowls and won 1 Super Bowl. His only pro match was at WCW Slamboree 1997. He lost to former football player Steve McMichael. He was only 43 years old when he passed away in 2004.

3. Leo Nomellini

In 1950, Leo Nomellini became the first draft pick taken in San Francisco 49ers history.  It turned out to be a very good one as he made the All-NFL team several times in his career for his play on both the offensive and defensve sides of the ball.  He made the Pro Bowl 10 times and was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1969.  In the offseasons, he spent his time as a wrestler.  He was trained by Verne Gagne and won the Minneapolis version of the NWA Tag Team Titles with him on two occasions.  He won several regional tag team titles with several partners over the years.  His most prestigious title was the AWA Tag Team Championship which he won with Wilbur Snyder in 1961.  He passed away in 2000 at the age of 76 after suffering a stroke.

4. Bronko Nagurski

Bronko is the only person on this list to be in the NFL Hall of Fame and a former NWA World Champion. At the University of Minnesota, he was an All-American at both fullback and tackle. As a fullback for the Bears, opponents feared his drop pass. After a contract squabble, he entered the ring. In 1939, he beat Lou Thesz to become the NWA World Heavyweight Champion. He passed away in 1990 at the age of 81.

5. Kevin Greene

Kevin was voted to the Pro Bowl five times. He was a linebacker for the Rams, Steelers, Panthers and 49ers. His first appeared in a wrestling ring at the side of Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage during a Clash of Champions event a few days before he was to play in the Super Bowl. The Steelers did not know he was there until they saw him on TV. In his first pro match, his tag team partner Steve McMichael turned on him to join The Four Horsemen. Kevin would get some revenge on Steve when he beat him in a 1-on-1 match the following year.

6. Alex Karras

Alex Karras played defensive tackle for the Detroit Lions from 1958 - 1970. Despite being suspended for the 1963 season due to a gambling issue, he still was selected to the NFL All Decade Team. Prior to joining the NFL, he had been a professional wrestler. He returned to that career during his suspension from the league. After his football and wrestling careers ended, he turned his attention to acting. His most successful role on television was portraying the character of George Papadapolis on the '80s sitcom Webster. However, he is probably best remembered for playing the part of Mongo in Blazing Saddles. He passed away in 2012 at the age of 77.

7. Wahoo McDaniel

Wahoo McDaniel was a star in the AFL. As a member of the Jets, he once made 23 tackles in a game against the Broncos. The crowd at Shea Stadium used to love to scream "Wahoo" when he made a tackle. He also played for the Oilers, Broncos and Dolphins. As a wrestler, he was noted for never losing an Indian Strap Match. He won many titles during his professional wrestling career including what is now known as the WWE United States Championship on five different occasions. In 1995, he was inducted into the WCW Hall of Fame. Seven years later, he passed away at the age of 63.

8. Harvey Martin

Harvey Martin was a defensive lineman for the Cowboys during the Tom Landry era. He made the Pro Bowl four times and was a member of two Super Bowl Championship teams. His lone wrestling appearance was in the WrestleMania 2 battle royal that featured football players and wrestlers. Andre the Giant won that match. In 2001, he passed away at the age of 51.

9. Ernie Ladd

In the 1960's, Ernie was a top defensive lineman in the AFL. He was voted to 4 Pro Bowls. After leaving football, he went on to have a great wrestling career and in 1995 was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. After his career in the ring ended, he did commentary for the company. In 2007, he passed away at the age of 68 years old.

10. Bill Fralic

Bill Fralic was a star offensive lineman of the Atlanta Falcons. He made 4 straight Pro Bowls from 1986-1989. He participated in the aforementioned WrestleMania 2 battle royal.

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