By Alex Susskind @ASusskind on June 17, 2014
Whether or not professional wrestling counts as a sport has been debated for decades. Several high-profile athletes have stepped into the ring -- most recently Shawne Merriman. Here are 10 former athletes who would make good characters in the WWE.
Charles Barkley has developed a reputation as being a bit on the arrogant side over the course of his career at the desk on TNT and on the court. Barkley has never been at a loss for words. Perhaps the Hall-of-Famer could get over in a role as a whiny and arrogant heel, such as a Randy Orton-type character.
Brett Favre was one of the greatest and most reliable QBs in NFL history. Favre owns the longest consecutive starts streak in league history, However, the future Hall-of-Famer was at times cocky and arrogant in his on-field decision making and had the whole situation with Jenn Sterger. Favre was a sports hero who did whatever he pleased, which is why he could probably pull off a narcissistic idol type character -- a la Kurt Angle.
Keith Hernandez was the captain of the New York Mets in the 1980s when they won the 1986 World Series. Hernandez has a dark past including drug use and clashes with his former manager in St. Louis. He currently uses his tell-it-like-it-is attitude to provide color-commentary for Mets games. Perhaps he has what it takes to be a heel commentator such as JBL.
Ray Lewis was the face of the Balitmore Ravens and led them to two Super Bowl victories in his 17 seasons with the team. Lewis is mostly remembered for his murder trial and his over-the-top intensity on the field. Perhaps he could get over as a creepy Undertaker or Bray Wyatt-type character who uses his intensity and sketchy background to intimidate opponents.
Ruben Rivera played for a few different teams over several seasons in Major League Baseball. However, nobody cares about his career, and he is remembered only for stealing Derek Jeter's equipment to sell as sports memorabilia. Oh, and he's related to Mo. Rivera's stupidity and incompetence which could make him an excellent clueless and dim-witted jobber such as a Gilberg-type character.
Bill Romanowski developed a reputation for being a mean-spirited bully on the field. He also admitted to steroid use. Perhaps Romanowski could use his sketchy past and dirty reputation in a role as a Brock Lesnar-type character.
Hall-of-Fame goaltender Patrick Roy developed a reputation over the course of his career as a hard-nosed aggressive player. In back-to-back seasons, he managed to fight the goaltender of the rival Red Wings. Perhaps Roy could get over as a Ken Shamrock-type character based on his aggression and dominance over opponents. On a side note, he kind of looks like Dean Ambrose in this picture.
Shaquille O'Neal was one of the most dominant and likable basketball players in the NBA during his 19-year career. O'Neal was as well known for his personality and work off the court as he was for his on court play. Given his kid friendly persona and penchant for doing positive things, O'Neal would most be able to get over as a John Cena or Daniel Bryan-type face.
Sammy Sosa was one of the most prolific home run hitters of the steroid-era. He is remembered mainly for his alleged PED usage and the corked bat incident. He could play the role of a Sin Cara-type character.
Tim Tebow was a star QB in college with the Florida Gators, but his pro career didn't quite workout. Tebow was known for being a medicare QB in the pros and his habit of praying on the field (Tebowing). Tebow could team with the inspirational and annoying Bo Dallas. You just gotta Tebow-lieve.
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