“Crossover star” is a term we hear an awful lot in wrestling. Whether it be MMA fighters like Ronda Rousey, Olympians like Kurt Angle, or NFL players like Roman Reigns and Goldberg, several wrestlers have found fame plying their trade across other sports. IMPACT Wrestling star Moose is undoubtedly one of the most accomplished.
Former NFL star Quinn Ojinnaka has played for the Atlanta Falcons, the New England Patriots, and was signed with the St Louis Rams and the Indianapolis Colts – playing over 60 games in the National Football League and starting 20.
However, when asked by Inside The Ropes‘ Lead Writer Gary Cassidy about other famous NFL crossover stars Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar, and which one has adapted from the gridiron to the squared circle most successfully, the TNA World Champion revealed how neither man’s name should be on the list in the first place.
“Honestly, I wouldn’t even put Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns’ names on that list, because what’s your definition of ‘playing’ in the NFL?
“Because neither one of those two guys played in the NFL. Like, they were on an NFL team for a couple of weeks, but neither one of them played one game or even made opening day roster for an NFL team, so that doesn’t count. In my opinion, or in the opinion of people who actually played in the NFL, those two guys DIDN’T play in the NFL.”
Moose continued, saying both men are “phenomenal wrestlers” – but that they don’t go on the list when you talk about NFL players turned wrestlers.
“I’m not saying that they’re not great wrestlers because they both are Hall of Famers and phenomenal wrestlers, but I don’t think you put their names on that list when you talk about guys who actually played in the NFL. So, I mean, I guess Goldberg will be the top of the list, because he’s a guy who had a long career in the NFL and has accomplished a lot of things in professional wrestling.”
Goldberg has played 14 games across his NFL career, starting one, before retiring after he tore his lower abdomen off his pelvis. However, the IMPACT star also said he has to be “top five” when it comes to football players turned wrestlers.
“I don’t think I need to win any title for any kind of vindication of leaving the National Football League, or the NFL, or leaving the football. I think I’ve already proved that I’m probably one of THE best athletes to cross over from the football side to wrestling. I think there’s enough vindication for my decision for switching sports.
“I mean, if you ask fans to name their top five, I’ll be in that top five, either at one or one of those five they pick. For me, that’s enough vindication. As for right now, just continue to have fun and live this dream of mine.”
You can read the full interview here.
Thanks so much to Moose for taking the time, and to IMPACT UK & Ireland for facilitating the interview. Fans in the UK & Ireland can catch IMPACT! every Wednesday on FreeSports at 10pm.