DeAngelo Williams‘ pro wrestling debut was also his retirement match.
The free agent running back shared his experiences on performing on Impact Wrestling’s Slammiversary XV pay-per-view on Adam Schefter’s “Know Them From Adam” podcast Wednesday. Williams, 34, said getting inside the squared circle was to fulfill a wish from his late uncle, who died five years ago.
“Being able to live out my uncle’s dream was more important to me than anything I did in that ring,” he said.
While he received accolades for his performance, Williams is returning his focus to the NFL.
“I’m definitely playing football,” Williams said. “I guess you can say I’m just waiting on a phone call.”
Here are some highlights from the interview:
On his uncle’s love of pro wrestling:
“He got me into wrestling. And for his birthday, I took him to his first WrestleMania, it was in Houston. I’m thinking it was like 2008, 2009. We took him for his birthday. We went three or four years after that.
“He would ask me, ‘Hey, nephew, would you ever get in the ring and wrestle?’ And I was like, ‘No, I would never do that. I respect the sport too much for that. It’s great entertainment for me. And I just couldn’t do it.’ It looked easy, but I just couldn’t do it.
“Well he was like, ‘Well, nephew, it’d be great to see you wrestle. Like, that’s one of my dreams.’”
“I’m like, ‘Well, if I get that opportunity, I’ll wrestle for you.’”
On the Slammiversary XV opportunity:
“In my mind I’m thinking, this will be that one match for my uncle. I said I wanna wrestle. (Impact Wrestling color commentator Josh Matthews said) ‘Well, celebrity matches, they don’t really wrestle.’ I said, ‘I want to wrestle. This is bigger than me. I respect the sport too much to go in there and not perform like a wrestler.’ So I went up to Canada for three days and came back that was the product that you got — outside of the botched table jump.”
On the “botched table jump”:
“It wasn’t my face that hit the mat. I protected my face with my hands, my arms. You couldn’t see that part. What happened is in practice when I was coming off, I didn’t have the adrenaline going, I didn’t get that high. It was easy.
“When I was in the ring and the crowd was cheering and my adrenaline was pumping, I got super high and I was up there forever. I was like, ‘This is not how I practiced it.’ And when I came down, I overshot it a little bit and when i overshot it, the way that I landed, my back took the brunt of the force, but the table gave a little bit.
“It goes to show too that the tables are real. Like the bumps and the bruises and the injuries that wrestlers sustain are real. There’s nothing fake about that. You kind of play with some of the things, but for the most part, getting body slammed, there’s no faking that. There’s no faking coming off of a top rope, going through a table or getting powerbombed.”Source: denverpost