(These logos are the work of David Rappoccio. You can find him on Twitter at @drawplaydave.)
We decided to combine two of the biggest entities in sports –WWE, and the NFL — into some mashup logo gold. Several esteemed members of the Uproxx With Spandex community have banded together to serve this noble cause of choosing what wrestler matches each NFL team. It was tough. So many wrestlers fit a small selection of teams, and several teams just don’t really have a good fit anywhere in the lineup. It was an arduous process, and at a few points Brandon Stroud, our top wrestling expert, stabbed several people in the back, and Bill DiFilippo, who assisted with this list, tore our offices apart over who should represent Pittsburgh. Furniture needs to be replaced, blood needs cleaned, but we got our list.
The result is a mix of popular and hipster choices, of historical wrestlers and modern ones. There are far too many famous wrestlers to apply to just 32 teams, so if your favorite was left off, apologies. Let us know about it in the comments.
New England Patriots – John Cena
There are a lot of choices for the Pats. Any wrestler who is incredibly successful to an obnoxious degree. But it has to be Cena. Cena just wins. He’s got that swarmy pretty boy smile, just like Brady. Plus he’s from Massachusetts. We are all just so sick of John Cena and we all just want him to go away.
Miami Dolphins – The Rock
The Rock actually legitimately played football for the Miami Hurricanes. He won a National Championship there. Here he is getting a sack. There was no other choice.
Buffalo Bills – Tatanka
You’d think we’d have chosen the slightly uncomfortable American Indian portrayal of Tatanka for the Redskins, but you’d be wrong. Tatanka, as anyone who has seen Dances with Wolves knows, literally means “Buffalo.” How could it even be justified to pick a guy whose name is Buffalo as anything other than Buffalo?
New York Jets – Owen Hart
Let’s forget the tragedy for a second and remember how he was viewed as a wrestler. Owen was the annoying little brother to Bret “The Hitman” Hart, and he never thought he got the attention he deserved. That’s pretty much the definition of the Jets. The Jets have been seen as the “little brother” to the Giants for a long time, and they hate it. They try so hard to be the true kings of New York, but no one will ever take it seriously, because the Giants own it.
Houston Texans – Stone Cold Steve Austin
Texas has a lot of options for wrestler representation, but it would be wrong to not have Stone Cold on this list, so here he is. If you don’t like it, well *gives you middle finger while chugging a beer*
Jacksonville Jaguars – The Iron Sheik
Have you ever wondered what the Sheik would look like if instead of building his body and becoming a mega star wrestler, he buckled down, went to school, kept his hair and became an extremely wealthy and shrewd businessman? He would look like Jaguars owner Shahid Khan.
Tennessee Titans – King Barrett
King Barrett has done okay once in a while, but mostly he’s just sad. Nobody cares about him. Nobody cares about the Titans.
Indianapolis Colts – Blue Meanie
The Colts use Blue as a primary color, have been very mean to the rest of the AFC South, and the QB has a terrible beard. Blue Meanie works pretty well, especially if we want to talk terrible beards.
Pittsburgh Steelers – Triple H
Triple H is very successful and nobody likes him.
Baltimore Ravens – Raven
I mean, obviously.
Cleveland Browns – “Iron” Mike Sharpe
Poor Mike Sharp. He was relevant once in the ’80s, then became the lovable loser. (Also, RIP Mike Sharpe, who passed away after we’d decided he would go with the Browns. This probably says something about that franchise.)
Cincinnati Bengals – Sheamus
Have you seen Andy Dalton’s hair? Have you seen Sheamus’ hair? Come on.
San Diego Chargers – The Undertaker
The Undertaker had to be on this list somewhere, but his gimmick doesn’t really match any team. He’s a dead man. I guess so are the Chargers now with the L.A. move. But the Chargers logo is an electric bolt, and The Undertaker shoots electricity, so that’s a good enough excuse to get him on this list.
Denver Broncos – Ric Flair
Ric Flair is an old guy on his last legs of a historic and wonderful career. He’s a living legend. The wrestling world won’t be the same without him, kind of like former Broncos QB Peyton Manning. Flair made another amazing comeback in 2017 after spending 10 days on life support, and we all now former NFL quarterbacks have a difficult time staying retired. We’re not saying Peyton Manning’s NFL comeback is imminent, but we’re not not saying that, either.
Kansas City Chiefs – Chief Jay Strongbow
A Chief for a Chief. Plus, Strongbow was played by an Italian guy, which fits in well with the thousands of white Chiefs fans who dress up in Native American garb for games.
Oakland Raiders – Sting
If you stuck Sting in the Black Hole at an Oakland Raiders game, you wouldn’t even know he was a wrestler. He straight-up looks exactly like a Raiders fan. His long reign of popularity and success reminds us of the Raiders of old, before they turned into the west coast Browns.
Dallas Cowboys – Macho Man Randy Savage
There are about a billion wrestlers who could be applied to the Cowboys. The Cowboys are flashy, obnoxious, overrated, extremely popular, historically successful and hated by everyone. They are also very Texas. But, ultimately, it’s the style mixed with a history of success that sticks Macho Man here. Macho won a lot, and so have the Cowboys. Macho did it with loud style that dared everyone else to get out of his way, and that’s pretty much how Jerry Jones likes it. Plus, look at that hat. That’s a Dallas hat.
New York Giants – Andre the Giant
This should be pretty obvious. The biggest man for the biggest city. Andre could have been legally forced to apply for building permit wherever he walked due to his size.
Philadelphia Eagles – X-Pac
The Eagles are tough. Historically, they’ve been competitive and flashy, brutal and for the longest time were marred by the fact that they never won a Super Bowl. But what are the fans famous for? Booing. They boo everyone. Philly is a town famous for its jeers. X-Pac at one point created the term “X-Pac Heat,” which is essentially code for just pure hate for the wrestler. Eagles fans, despite the success, have been remarkably mean to a lot of their own performers. Just ask Donovan McNabb.
Washington Redskins – Hulk Hogan
Atlanta Falcons – Randy Orton
Randy Orton looks like he should be way more interesting than he actually is. Orton is boring and bland, even when he’s good. Have you ever seen an interview with Falcons QB Matt Ryan? He looks like he goes to sleep at 8:30. He’s also a very good player. But no one cares, because Ryan is dull, and by extension so are the Falcons.
Carolina Panthers – Roman Reigns
WWE is forcing Roman into our faces whether we like it or not, kind of like how Cam dances whether we like it or not. Roman is the new big deal in wrestling, and so is Carolina in the NFL, so it’s a natural match.
New Orleans Saints – Rey Mysterio
Rey Mysterio could run around the streets during Mardi Gras with that mask on and no one would think he’s out of place. Plus, he’s super short with a very creative offensive style. Drew Brees is also short and very good at offense.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Tugboat
Why aren’t there any good pirate wrestlers? Seems like there should be. Tugboat is the closest thing we could get, because he kind of looks like a big fat swashbuckler. Also, Fred Ottman, who portrayed Tugboat, went on and became Typhoon, which is a hurricane, which hits Florida all the time. So, yeah.
Green Bay Packers – Bob Backlund
The Packers are a historically successful franchise with a goody-goody reputation and a long reign of prosperity. These things define Bob Backlund, a boring, Leave It to Beaver wrestler who wore a bow tie. Ignore the time when he came back as an old coot.
Minnesota Vikings – Brock Lesnar
Like how The Rock played for Miami, Brock actually played for the Vikings.
Chicago Bears – Big Show
The Monsters of the Midway fit Big Show pretty well. Big Show was a long-time important player for WWE and Chicago will always be an important place for the NFL. Plus, he fought a Bear once.
Detroit Lions – The Shockmaster
Wait, what? The Shockmaster? Why? This is why. Shockmaster’s debut was an infamous accident where he fell over trying to introduce himself. The Lions have one of the most infamous moments of failure in the NFL, too, going 0-16 in 2008. But wait, says you, the know-it-all wrestling fan, isn’t the Shockmaster portrayed by Fred Ottman, the same guy who played Tugboat and Typhoon? You used him already! You are right. We did. But there is a special bond between the Bucs and the Lions. They are the only two teams to ever go winless in a season.
Arizona Cardinals – Cesaro
Cesearo is a really good wrestler who has never gotten the attention deserved to him and is frequently forgotten about. So are the Cardinals. The Cardinals were one of the best teams in the NFC for years, but nobody really noticed and instead kept talking about the other contenders. Maybe no one will until they win.
San Francisco 49ers – CM Punk
CM Punk is a hipster who doesn’t drink and tries too hard to be Mr. Quirky Fancy Pants. Sounds pretty San Francisco to me. Also, CM Punk sounds like the name of a terrible startup company with a useless new app.
Seattle Seahawks – Daniel Bryan
Daniel Bryan is a gigantic Seahawks fan and he has the kind of beard that makes him look like a microbrewing hipster, just like half of Seattle.
Los Angeles Rams – Batista
Why Batista? Because the Rams have gone Hollywood and have been embraced by LA. So has Dave Bautista, who made us all love him as Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy and is now getting more movie roles.
And there you have it. Obviously this list has a lot of room for interpretation, so if you think you have a better idea for any team, please write it in the comments and tell us how awful we are for being so dumb.