DeAngelo Williams hasn't officially retired from the NFL, and he hasn't closed the book on returning to a contender for the 2017 season, but for now his energy is squarely focused on making his professional wrestling debut.
After appearing on an episode of IMPACT Wrestling on April 27 alongside former Cleveland Browns tight end Gary Barnidge, Williams has officially signed on to compete in a tag team match. In videos released on social media by IMPACT Wrestling (formerly known as TNA), Williams appears to be taking this opportunity seriously as he undergoes the rigors of training in the ring.
- IMPACT WRESTLING (@IMPACTWRESTLING) June 9, 2017
"I'm a huge, huge, huge fan of professional wrestling, and everything I'm going to do in the ring will be for the wrestlers who I have watched in the past, as well as those I still watch today. I respect the sport, the wrestlers and everything that comes with it," Williams said in a press release sent out by IMPACT Wrestling. "You're going to get everything I have inside the IMPACT Wrestling ring; I'm going to try to show off my athletic ability."
Williams will team with Quinn "Moose" Ojinnaka, himself a former offensive lineman for the Atlanta Falcons, against Chris Adonis and Eli Drake as part of IMPACT Wrestling's July 2 "Slammiversary" pay-per-view in Orlando, Florida..
Over the past 15 years, the company has had numerous former NFL players participate to various degrees in its wrestling shows. That group includes Brian Urlacher, Adam Jones, Bart Scott and Brandon Jacobs.
Monty Brown, who played for the Buffalo Bills in the mid-90s, competed for both TNA and WWE (the latter as Marcus Cor Von). Active WWE stars with NFL experience include Roman Reigns (Joe Anoa'i), Mojo Rawley (Dean Muhtadi), Baron Corbin (Tom Pestock) and NXT's Tino Sabbatelli (Sabby Piscitelli).