WWE news, rumors: Major PPV changes, Styles praises Rousey, Gronk in WWE soon?

Prior to Super Bowl 52 between the Patriots and Eagles, reports began to surface noting that New England tight end Rob Gronkowski could be calling it a career in the NFL following the season. Following the Patriots' loss, Gronkowski fueled the retirement speculation when he refused to commit to returning for the 2018 NFL season. 

Speculation on his future immediately began, and of course one of the most popular post-NFL destinations people had in mind for Gronk was a jump to WWE. As a matter of fact, Gronkowski transitioning into the world of professional wrestling was something we've all talked about even before the potential for retirement were on the table, given his size and charisma which would fit his new career perfectly. 

Well, one of his best friends in current SmackDown superstar Mojo Rawley recently did very little to cool down Gronk-to-WWE discussions. 

Rawley hints at his buddy Gronk working with him

TMZ caught up with Rawley prior to Super Bowl 52 last weekend, and when asked about Gronkowski making the jump to his profession, the reigning Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal winner almost made it seem like a foregone conclusion this would be happening at some point. "It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when," Rawley told TMZ Sports. "I can't speak for him."

Gronkowski got the entire sports world talking when, back at WrestleMania 33 in Orlando, he assisted Rawley in winning the battle royal, taking out Jinder Mahal -- a future WWE champion -- in the process. It certainly looked as if the Patriots' tight end belonged in that ring, and now Rawley has a lot of people's hopes up that we could see it again soon -- just in more of a full-time basis. 

More WWE news, rumors

  • AJ Styles has mega praise for Ronda Rousey. TMZ also caught up with current WWE champion Styles, who had nothing but high praise for WWE's newest mega star in Rousey. When pegged about Rousey's transition into pro wrestling, not only did Styles compare her to one of the all-time greats in current Raw general manager Kurt Angle, he also alluded to her potentially being a Hall of Famer some day. "Let me tell you about someone who came in kind of like Ronda did, and learned like that -- Kurt Angle," Styles told TMZ. "I don't know if you remember Kurt coming in like that. He just went straight to the top. He was an Olympic champion but he still didn't have the name recognition that Ronda has. Ronda, though, she's an athlete, man. She can adapt, that's what she does. She'll learn quick. She'll be a sponge. She'll be up there with the Kurt Angle's and everyone else that's went on to the Hall of Fame." For all the negative comments we've seen about Rousey in WWE since she debuted at the Royal Rumble, these very positive ones from Styles really stand out. 
  • Dual-branded pay-per-views making a comeback? If you're a wrestling fan that hates the oversaturation with brand-specific PPV shows, then you might be in luck soon. Apparently, advertisements are being sent for the May 6 Backlash event, and part of these ads for tickets describes the show as featuring both Raw and SmackDown stars. As word began to spread regarding dual-branded shows making a comeback permanently after WrestleMania, veteran pro wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer gave his take on the matter, noting he believes that's the direction WWE wants to go. 
  • The Golden Lovers to take on Bullet Club. In New Japan Pro-Wrestling, we recently saw a reunion Japanese wrestling fans have been waiting a long time for. Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi, better known to many as the "Golden Lovers," embraced in the ring to the delight of fans following Omega's United States championship loss to Jay White and subsequent attack by fellow Bullet Club member Cody. From that point, everyone wondered when we'd see Omega team up with Ibushi to face off against his Bullet Club brethren -- and now we know. During the Honor Rising event, The Golden Lovers will team up to take on Cody and his partner Marty Scurll during Night 2 action on Feb. 24. Although, "The Villain" doesn't seem too pleased about this announcement. 
  • WWE SmackDown matches for Feb. 13: Tuesday night on SmackDown Live, Dolph Ziggler will make his return to the ring as he squares off with Baron Corbin for the right to be added to the WWE title match at Fastlane. WWE women's champion Charlotte Flair will continue her quest to take out the Riott Squad as she takes on Sarah Logan. In tag team action, The New Day will battle Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin, and finally, United States champion Bobby Roode has issued another open challenge for his title. 

Jack joined CBS Sports in 2018 as an Editor and Writer covering college football, combat sports and golf. He was raised to love the New York Yankees unconditionally since birth, and firmly believes a four-team... Full Bio

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