By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
The World Wrestling Entertainment has turned into a billion dollar corporation.
Morkeith Brown attempted to become a wrestler after the Philadelphia Soul season ended, and signed a developmental contract with the WWE last August.
“They saw me play football, and they liked what they saw,” he said. “They targeted me, because I am built and have little body fat. After signing the contract, I went down to the Performance Center in Orlando, Fla.”
Shortly after arriving, his wrestling career took a backseat, as he discovered that he had an injury. The WWE physicians found that he had a torn his rotator cuff.
“I didn’t know that I had it,” Brown recalled. “It was something that we discovered through my physical. That caused my wrestling hopes to be put on hold for the time being, as I got healthy.”
Brown turned down a contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to sign with the WWE.
He is not the only football player that the WWE has attempted to turn into a professional wrestler. Former Arena Football player Thaddeus Bullard played in the league from 2003 through 2007, before becoming WWE Superstar Titus O’Neil.
“I’m not familiar with his journey,” Brown acknowledged. “When I was in Orlando, I was focused on what I had to do, but the rotator cuff injured limited me. I was not able to do much, as I was only down there for about a month.”
He isn’t giving up on being the next Arena Football player to become a wrestler. In fact, there’s a huge pipeline of football players that turned into wrestlers in the past few decades, including Lex Luger, “Hackshaw” Jim Duggan, Paul Orndorff, Ron Simmons, Van Vader, “Dr. Death” Steve Williams, Bill Goldberg, Ahmad Johnson, John Heidenreich, Monty Brown, John “Bradshaw” Layfield, “The Rock” Dwayne Johnson, and Brock Lesnar are just a few that made the switch from the gridiron to the squared circle.
“We will see how things go after this season,” Brown said. “I have been in contact with the WWE, and we communicate through email at least every week. I would like to get another shot, and I hope to sign with them once again after this season. It’s all contract based, so if that doesn’t work out, then I could stay here.”
With hopes of re-signing with the WWE, he wishes that he could actually develop a character this time around. This is something that he wasn’t able to do the first time around when he only made a short appearance at the Performance Center.
“I worked with Norman Smiley, and the other trainers down there,” Brown recalled. “In the time I was there, I didn’t find out what my role was going to be. I hope, if I get another chance, I could develop my in-ring character. I didn’t even get to perform bumps in the ring due to my injury. I went to the Money in the Back Pay-Per-View when it was here last July, and I enjoyed it. When the wrestlers come out for their matches, the energy is incredible. It’s just like coming out for a football game.”
When he left for the WWE, he was placed on league suspension from the Soul. Once he came back from his short-lived wrestling stint, Philadelphia picked up his option for his second season.
Brown is currently injured, and could be back with the team in the coming weeks. He was placed on injured reserve last Wednesday, and he is expected to meet with a doctor to determine the time that he’s away from the game.
This season, he has 4.5 tackles after recording 17 tackles and 0.5 sacks during his rookie campaign.
The 6-foot-5, 255-pounder is no stranger to playing in Philadelphia. He came to Temple University in 2007 after spending 14 months in Afghanistan after high school in 2005 and 2006. Then, he made it onto the Owls football team in 2008.
“Philadelphia is my second home,” Brown said. “I love playing here, and whether I’m playing for the Owls, or the Soul, the fans have been incredible. I came back here to bring the championship back to Philadelphia.”
The Soul are looking to make their third straight appearance in the ArenaBowl, the Arena Football League’s Championship game. Philadelphia is looking to bring it’s first Championship back to the City of Brotherly Love since July 27th, 2008 when the team defeated the San Jose SaberCats, 59-56, in New Orleans, for the first Championship in team history.
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