When Roman Reigns collides with WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium in the main event of WrestleMania 31, it’ll be a pairing between former NFL players.
Reigns (whose real name is Leati Joseph “Joe” Anoaʻi) played defensive tackle at Georgia Tech on the same team as Detroit Lions superstar Calvin Johnson. After starting three seasons for Georgia Tech, Reigns was signed as an undrafted rookie by the Minnesota Vikings.
Following his release from the Vikings, Reigns signed with Jacksonville before finishing up his professional football career in the Canadian Football League in 2008. Reigns began his professional wrestling career two years later.
Meanwhile, Lesnar spent over three years as a professional wrestler including winning the WWE title in 2002. Soon after WrestleMania XX in 2004, Lesnar opted to leave the WWE and try his hand at the NFL.
Lesnar played for the Vikings as a defensive tackle during the 2004 preseason but was cut prior to the start of the regular season.
Neither Reigns or Lesnar made the grade as NFL players but come Sunday, they’ll display their current talents in front of the world.
Alas, if you choose to spend $9.99 on the WWE Network to watch WrestleMania on Sunday, you’ll be treated to a battle of the behemoths…and ex-Minnesota Vikings.