WWE Rumors: WWE looking to recruit British rugby players?
What better way to prepare for the world of wrestling than by running at full speed into other human beings?
What’s the story?
In November 2016 English rugby league legend Eorl Crabtree retired from the sport after 15 years with Super League franchise the Huddersfield Giants. Crabtree was seen in the crowd of the recent WWE United Kingdom Championship tournament in Blackpool, and whilst some may see this as merely a ‘face in the crowd’ there may well be more to it than meets the eye.
Crabtree is the nephew of legendary wrestler Big Daddy, real name Shirley Crabtree, and Eorl stated in a recent interview with British tabloid The Sun that WWE were eager for him to move into the professional wrestling world. Crabtree said ’they are now looking at rugby players. We are big, athletic, not scared of contact and know some of the wrestling techniques as standard’.
Crabtree went on to say that injuries and age would rule him out of the move, but cameo appearances can not be ruled out.
In case you didn’t know
Triple H himself has stated in a recent interview that WWE is interested in great athletes regardless of their background, but the focus on rugby players in the United Kingdom makes a lot of sense. Rugby (both league and union) is as physical as sport gets, and as Eorl Crabtree says a lot of the basics of the sport could help ease the transition for players into professional wrestling.
Crabtree’s family history makes him a predictable target for WWE, who were said to be keen on the former Huddersfield second-row forward. Being 6’5” and 250 lbs certainly helps, but over a decade of hard-hitting rugby takes its toll on the body and Crabtree isn’t going to be turning up in NXT any time soon.
The heart of the matter
Whilst rugby players may be a great target for WWE, it would be important for the company to target players at the beginning of their careers as opposed to post-retirement. Rugby is such a physical sport that once the decision is made to retire an individual is unlikely to want to put their body through the gruelling hell of the professional wrestling world, and as such WWE may be well served looking at those rugby players who may not be quite good enough to make it in Super League, the English Premiership or the Pro12.
The WWE scouting net is thrown far and wide into all walks of life, and whilst no rugby players have been snapped up as of yet it would be no surprise to see someone make the jump over to the WWE Performance Center in the future.
We can’t think of a sport better suited to prepare an individual for professional wrestling than rugby. Eorl Crabtree may not make the move, but sooner or later someone surely will.