The History of the NFL and IMPACT Wrestling
Throughout the years in IMPACT Wrestling, many NFL stars past and present have come through our doors and become involved in the action. On this Super Bowl Sunday we thought we’d take a look back at many of the most famous.
The two most notable NFL stars in IMPACT history were “The Alpha Male” Monty Brown and, of course, Moose. Both men made the full time transition from the gridiron to the squared circle and called IMPACT Wrestling their home.
Monty Brown dominated the early years of IMPACT after a successful football career that involved reaching the Super Bowl as part of the Buffalo Bills in 1994. Monty would then go on to play for the New England Patriots shifting his hunt from the football field to the IMPACT Zone and dominating the IMPACT heavyweight division.
Moose, of course a huge star on the IMPACT roster right now, has the unique distinction of having played for both the Patriots and the Rams – both sides contesting the Super Bowl today. Moose spoke to TMZ Sports about his football experiences and of course who he’s backing in the big game this week. A former IMPACT Grand Champion, Moose has certainly translated his success on the football field to wrestling to become an elite two sport athlete.
While Moose and “The Alpha Male” played long terms roles in IMPACT, plenty of NFL stars have popped by for cameo visits.
The Tennessee Titans made waves on July 10th, 2002 as they jumped the guardrail to attack Jeff Jarrett on NWA-TNA PPV #4. Infuriated at “The King of the Mountain” running his mouth, they jumped Jarrett and laid into him before the fight spilled from the crowd into the ringside area. That wasn’t the only time the Titans were involved in IMPACT however.
At Slammiversary 2007, Frank Wycheck – a participant in the infamous Music City Miracle and Titans legend – competed at the event held in Nashville. He teamed with X-Division pioneer Jerry Lynn to take on Ron “The Truth” Killings and “The Cowboy” James Storm. Accompanied by fellow Titan Kyle Vanden Bosch, Wycheck more than held his own – winning the match with Lynn’s signature move the Cradle Piledriver.
8 time Pro Bowl Chicago Bears legend Brian Urlacher stopped by The Asylum in 2003 as he had a confrontation with then Director of Authority Don Callis on NWA-TNA PPV #79. While Callis escaped Urlacher’s wrath, The Red Shirt Security and Jonny Fairplay weren’t so lucky – Urlacher ejected Fairplay from the ring with a huge press slam.
Undeniably one of the most controversial figures in all of sports, Adam “Pacman” Jones arrived in TNA at Hard Justice 2007. While Jones had a long career in the NFL with the likes of the Titans, the Dallas Cowboys, and the Cincinnati Bengals – he also achieved championship success in IMPACT. He teamed with Ron Killings to form Team Pacman, and defeated legends Kurt Angle and Sting for the IMPACT World Tag Team Championships at No Surrender 2007. While they would lose the championships a month later to AJ Styles and Tomko at Bound For Glory, “Pacman” no doubt left his mark on pro wrestling.
New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers running back Brandon Jacobs stopped by IMPACT in February of 2012 and learned exactly who Bully Ray is. The two time Super Bowl winner ran foul of the Bully of Hell’s Kitchen and taught him a valuable lesson – chokeslamming Bully Ray through a table!
New York Jets and former Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker Bart Scott was an honored guest as Jeff Jarrett and Karen Jarrett sought to renew their wedding vows in 2011. Scott got on Kurt Angle’s bad side and found himself lying flat on the mat in an Ankle Lock. That will teach you a valuable lesson to never cross an Olympic Gold Medalist.
DeAngelo Williams had a great career in the NFL playing for the Carolina Panthers and the Pittsburgh Steelers but few could have anticipated how well he’d take to professional wrestling. Williams teamed with Moose to face Eli Drake and Chris Adonis at Slammiversary 2017 and Williams was a natural. He blew the crowd in Orlando away that day with his sharp crisp athleticism and his ability to outwit Eli Drake, a world class athlete in his own right.