Former cricket star and TV personality Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff has revealed he almost joined WWE after being offered a fast-tracked spot at WrestleMania!
Speaking on Eddie Hearn’s No Passion, No Point podcast, he explained what took him from the cricket square to the squared circle.
The 2005 Ashes hero had one particular motivation for wanting to swap whites for spandex: “I wanted to wrestle the Undertaker”. When pressed about this passion, Freddie detailed how his journey nearly led him into the bright lights of WWE:
“What happened was, I needed a job. I used to love wrestling as a kid. I love the Undertaker. Wanna fight this lad in Manchester. I presented [it] to Sky – they loved it, put me in touch with WWE, next thing I know I’m on a plane, I’m off to Tampa to wrestling school. I bulked up and trained. Two days I was there, just getting battered, broke two ribs, did a few pieces to camera. Thought nothing [more] of it.”
There was even a chance Freddie could have gone to the grandest stage of them all, with WWE promising him appearances on some of the biggest pay-per-views:
“Then I got a letter or an email from WWE saying: will you join us? They said ‘come to wrestling school, we’ll fast-track you, in 18 months you’ll be doing WrestleManias, Royal Rumbles’, and I’m thinking: I didn’t go for this but with [the] money involved, I’m quite tempted. (SIC)”
Flintoff would later enter a squared circle of a different kind – this time the boxing ring. However, it seems that that wasn’t part of his grand plan, “I was never going to box”. He did use his experience from his sojourn to Florida to help him when it came to pugilism. “What I did was adapt the treatment [of WWE training] to boxing when training with Barry McGuigan”.
What could have been wrestling’s gain ended up belonging to boxing instead: Flintoff’s one and only bout was against American Richard Dawson, which he won on points.
Cricket star, boxer, TV personality and so very nearly WWE Superstar.
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