Hello. These are strange times we’re living in. And despite the fact that some aspects of life are beginning to go back to “normal,” many are still in quarantine to stay as safe as possible. That includes yours truly. And things get boring when you’re quarantining, especially with no live sports on TV. So, my mind often wonders, and a lot of my random thoughts concern the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. “Quarantine Questions” is a new series that allows us to think about these musings out loud. If you missed the first edition, click here.
Quarantine Question #2: What’ll happen with Rob Gronkowski’s WWE 24/7 Championship?
Rob Gronkowski was only retired from the NFL for one year before coming back and getting traded to the Bucs. But what a year he had. The future Hall of Famer fit a lot of fun into that one year, from bothering Steve Harvey on New Year’s Eve to appearing on FOX’s “The Masked Singer” as “White Tiger.”
But one of his final activities before his NFL return was being the host of WWE’s WrestleMania 36, which was held on the first weekend of April in the company’s empty performance center in Orlando, Florida. As the host, Gronk was his normal goofy self until, on night one of the event, he attempted to win the 24/7 Championship (after a forearm to the R-Truth’s chest). Only, as he went for the pin, his real-life (and on-screen) friend, Mojo Rawley, stole the pin and won the title.
On night two of WrestleMania, Gronkowski jumped off of a stage onto a pile of randoms—and Rawley. The impact was enough for him to cover the champion, get the three count, and escape with the belt.
I’m a fan of pro wrestling. So, this all makes sense to me. But if you’re not into it, let me provide some explanation. The WWE 24/7 Championship was introduced by the legendary Mick Foley about a year ago and has more or less been fodder for some comedy segments ever since, with the titleholder essentially having to “defend” at all times. Whether you’re at a wedding, in a hotel room with your wife, on the golf course or asleep in the middle of a flight, the championship is on the line.
OK, I’ll stop here and admit the “sports entertainment” side of pro wrestling can get pretty dumb. But it can still be fun.
Anyway, as of right now, Gronkowski is still the champion. But he’s also back in the NFL. Shortly after his return and trade to Tampa Bay, the WWE said he will still have to defend his belt:
Congratulations to @RobGronkowski, the current WWE 24/7 Champion, on his return to football.— WWE (@WWE) April 21, 2020
Per the rules of the 24/7 Title, Gronk must defend his championship at all times in any location. He could be celebrating a touchdown pass from @TomBrady... anytime, anywhere.
So, that inevitably means some shenanigans are coming some time soon. My question is: what’s the plan here? Gronkowski is obviously under contract with the Bucs, so nothing over-the-top is going to happen as far as a stunt to get the championship off of him, but some kind of segment is probably in the works so WWE can get the belt back on someone who is a regular on its programming.
But how far will it go? If the time comes when the Bucs can get back together for meetings or practice, would the team be willing to work with WWE on a quick segment? Considering head coach Bruce Arians joked (or was it a joke?) last week about defeating his tight end for the championship, it’s possible. Gronk seemed to like the idea too, as he said on his “Gronk’d UP” podcast (h/t Jenna Laine):
“Imagine coming out of the meeting room, and I’m like, looking to my left in the hallway coming out of the tight end meeting room, looking to the right to make sure no one else is out of the meetings yet,” Gronkowski said. “I think I’m in the clear. I start walking down the hallway because the other players are in the meetings. And all of a sudden, Coach Arians just comes out of nowhere with a flying elbow, takes me out and pins me, and becomes the 24/7 champ... “That would be legendary. That would be an honor to lose to him.”
I’d laugh forever if this actually happened. Given his personality, seeing Arians want to participate in something like that wouldn’t be much of a shocker. But the team playing hot potato with the belt isn’t likely—nor is Gronk holding it long enough to lose it to another NFL player this fall—as WWE would surely have to sign off on every little detail. It’ll likely be someone from the company defeating Gronk.
This past Sunday, the perpetually confused R-Truth, a 35-time 24/7 champion, announced his intentions of getting his “baby” back... by calling out the wrong Buccaneer:
I suppose Truth’s humor isn’t for everyone, but I’d say the majority of people think he’s pretty dang funny. He’s used disguises, surprises and just about any other tactic possible to win this championship 35 times, so it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility to see a segment with him hiding somewhere to wait for his moment to beat Gronk—whether it’s at the tight end’s house, somewhere around Tampa or even at the team’s facility when it opens back up. Regardless of who or when, something involving Gronk and the WWE is bound to happen soon.
But I’ve let my mind wander plenty. Whatever happens with Gronk’s 24/7 Championship, it’s sure to create a memorable moment. I’m looking forward to seeing it, whenever the time comes. For now, though, my rambling here is done.
Thoughts, Bucs/pro graps fans?