Former Arizona football player Rob Gronkowski made headlines recently when he announced he had signed with the WWE and was going to be the host for the company’s Wrestlemania broadcast. Gronkowski did more than host the event, he won a championship.
Gronkowski won the promotion’s 24/7 Championship, which is not quite as prestigious as it sounds. The title is a gimmick that allows anyone, anywhere to pin the champion. It has been used primarily as a comedy title and has been held by an elderly retired wrestler, to Fox broadcaster Rob Stone, NASCAR driver Kyle Busch and NBA Player Enes Kanter.
Gronkowski won the title from family friend Mojo Rawley when he jumped from a small balcony used in the broadcast and landed on a crowd of wrestlers who were chasing Rawley. Rawley, whose real name is Dean Muhtadi, played football at the University of Maryland with Chris and Dan Gronkowski and credits their father with helping him get a foot in the door with the WWE.
It remains to be seen what Gronkowski’s role with the WWE will be. He did participate in Wrestlemania 33 when he came from the crowd and helped Rawley win a battle royal.
It is believed that Gronkowski is the first University of Arizona grad to win a title in the WWE, though there are some other ties to the school. Football player Earl Mitchell was doing an internship with the organization when he signed with the San Francisco 49ers this season. Former volleyball player Penina Snuka is the daughter of WWR Hall of Famer Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka and is the sister of current WWE Superstar Tamina Snuka. KVOA news anchor Sean Mooney, a UofA grad, is a former WWF broadcaster.