If you’ve ever spent 10 minutes listening to former Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee talk, you likely spent those 10 minutes laughing hysterically at how easily McAfee cracks jokes and steers a conversation during his colorful interviews. As it turns out, WWE and Executive VP of Talent Triple H were also listening, and they signed McAfee to a multi-year contract. The deal was first announced by Pro Wrestling Sheet in December, but McAfee made it official Thursday morning.
McAfee released a video on his Twitter and Instagram accounts announcing the news. While WWE plans to use him in the media arm of the company, McAfee has said numerous times that he won’t rule out a chance to wrestle in a live match. After all, the former Pro Bowl punter is undefeated as a professional wrestler.
“My dream my entire life has been to be in the WWE,” McAfee said in an announcement filled with old footage of a younger McAfee growing up in Plum, Pennsylvania recreating WWE moves on a trampoline.
There’s no other personality more suited for WWE than the former Barstool Sports talent, and he’s planning to bring that same passion to his next career.
Over eight NFL seasons playing for the Colts, McAfee appeared in 127 regular season games and launched 575 punts into the sky that averaged 46.4 yards per boot. After being selected in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL Draft, the former First-Team All-American of the West Virginia Mountaineers went to two Pro Bowls in 2014 and 2016 and was named First-Team All-Pro in 2014 alongside his teammate and future Hall of Fame kicker Adam Vinatieri.
After leading the NFL in punting and hitting a career-long 74-yard bomb in 2016, McAfee retired from football at 29 years old. Shortly after that, McAfee was already hinting at joining professional wrestling.
“Growing up, every Monday night was an escape for me. I grew up during the Attitude Era, the Monday Night Wars, and that type of thing followed and carried me through my entire life. I’d pin somebody deep [with a punt], I’d do the Scott Hall, Razor Ramon, “I’m the Bad Guy” [celebration].”
— Pat McAfee
McAfee was born to be a WWE superstar. After completing a 35-yard pass on a fake punt against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the outspoken punter broke out the Vince McMahon strut to celebrate. He’s appeared as a pre-show host of WWE NXT Takeovers several times and even got involved in a match after Adam Cole made fun of his jean shorts.
His energy and joy for competition can’t be matched. From his time with Barstool Sports to hosting The Pat McAfee Show 2.0 podcast, the 31-year-old was bred to hold a microphone. If his WWE broadcasting career is anything like this NFL game he called last season on FOX, members of the WWE Universe are in for a treat.
Building on legendary WWE announcers like Gordon Solie, Gene Okerlund, Gorilla Monsoon, Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler, there’s a lot of hill for McAfee to climb if he’ll be remembered as one of pro wrestling’s legends. With his personality and creative calls, though, he could be looking at a long career in WWE.