For Every NFL Team, A Pro Wrestler That Embodies It

by Ken Carman

Listen to Ken on The Ken Carman Show with Anthony Lima, weekday mornings from 6-10 am on 92.3 The Fan

I’ve had to write about some serious sports stuff lately. With it so close to training camp, and with it being so hot outside, I wanted to try something different, but obviously something that will still spark debate among those who love two of the most American of staples: Professional Football, and Professional Wrestling.

So, here are 32 teams and the 32 (or more in some cases) professional wrestlers that best represent them.

NFC EAST

GIANTS: The McMahons

You’d think that I’d put the original giant that started it all, and write down Andre. The Giants are a great franchise, but still don’t deserve his greatness. No, two football families in the biggest city in the world, who are as close with Goodell as they are, need to be represented by the most powerful family in wrestling. Cold, calculated, unlikable business. It would be different if the Giants were still coached by Parcells, or even Coughlin, but McAdoo’s recent haircut makes him look like Tim Robbins in The Shawshank Redemption, and makes him the corporate puppet The McMahon’s eerrrrr, the Mara’s and Tisch’s desire.

Vince McMahon (Photo Credit: Michael N. Todaro/Getty Images)

REDSKINS: Goldust

The Redskins are a really bizarre franchise. Goldust is a bizarre individual. Somehow they win enough to keep it interesting. Goldust was even an Intercontinental champion before.

Goldust (Photo credit PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)

COWBOYS: Ted DiBiase

Everyone’s got a price. Everyone’s gonna pay. Jerry Jones even made Chris Christie his Virgil.

EAGLES: The Dudley Boyz

One of the roughest tag teams ever. Just like the city. Philly loved The Dudley Boyz in both the ECW and the WWE. They love their Eagles for the same reason.

NFC NORTH

LIONS: The Shockmaster

Barry Sanders. Calvin Johnson. Matthew Stafford is still severely doubted. All that hype, but all the Lions have done is fall flat on their face.

PACKERS: “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes

An American success story. A bunch of common folks who own a franchise in one of the two most powerful sports leagues in the world. They’ve been the gold standard of greatness for nearly 20 straight years, and people talk romantically about their most glorious years. Lombardi stalking the sidelines of Lambeau can only be compared to Dusty promising to make Ric Flair suffer at The Omni.

Dusty Rhodes (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images)

VIKINGS: Hacksaw Jim Duggan

HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

“Hacksaw” Jim Duggan (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for WWE)

BEARS: Koko B. Ware

They were really big in the 80’s.

NFC SOUTH

SAINTS: Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat

Best known for their high flying contests they’re still respected even though they haven’t competed in a few years.

Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat gets kicked (Photo by Bill Olive/Getty Images)

PANTHERS: Ric Flair

Flair was the king of the Carolinas, to point that his main events closed highways outside the Greensboro Coliseum. They got the look. They have the arrogance. Even when they’re down, they keep talking, and for as much as you hate them, you have to respect them (Cam Newton). They’ll always be talented and interesting.

Ric Flair looks on while awaiting the entrance of Hulk Hogan during the Hulkamania Tour at the Burswood Dome. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

FALCONS: Macho Man Randy Savage

Intensity out of nowhere with a tremendous chip on their shoulder.

BUCCANEERS: 1-2-3- Kid/X-Pac

Starting out as an underdog loser, they worked their way up to a champion, then they completely fell apart again. There’s even a really embarrassing tape of a former General Manager (discussing trades). Now they’re trying to put it all together again for a second act.

Former World Wrestling Federation Champion X-Pac (Photo by Alexander Sibaja/Getty Images)

NFC WEST

SEAHAWKS: Hollywood Hogan and the NWO

They never stop talking. Out of nowhere everyone that you know is a Seahawks fan. Just like when you went to middle school one day and everyone was wearing an NWO shirt. They’re good. In fact they can still be dominant, and as soon as you think their in-fighting is going to ruin everything, they find a way to put it all together again, because it was all a ruse in the first place.

RAMS: “The Mouth of The South” Jimmy Hart

I still only think of Jeff Fisher and his mustache when I think of the Rams. Dan Severn is too good a guy. Magnum TA was too popular. Jeff Fisher was a way better talker than coach, and if you slap a pair of sunglasses on him, it’s Jimmy Hart.

Jimmy Hart (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for WWE)

CARDINALS: Shawn Michaels

Everyone’s “sexy” pick for the Super Bowl (I know, I know).

WWE personality Shawn Michaels (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

49ers: The Rock

One of the pillars of the league, the NFL is better when the 49ers are good. Pro wrestling is better when The Rock is wrestling. Both The Rock and 49ers go away for years at a time, and are sorely missed when they’re gone.

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson (Photo by Aaron Davidson/Getty Images for HBO)

AFC EAST

PATRIOTS: 80’S Hogan

Even when they lose, they win. There’s back room politicking, and real bad dudes, but when that music plays, and Tom Brady comes out, everyone is on their feet. Draped in Old Glory, they’ve become America’s Team in the 21st Century. Everyone at one point or another has to root for them too because of common enemies.  Especially Cleveland because they have to beat The Iron Sheik (Steelers) every year in the playoffs (spoiler: The Steelers aren’t really The Iron Sheik).

Hulk Hogan (Photo Credit: Paul Kane/Getty Images)

BILLS: The Ultimate Warrior

They were really, really good in the 90’s, but there was always someone better. That and Bills tailgaters get so loaded that you can’t tell the difference between them and one of The Ultimate Warrior’s promos.

Ultimate Warrior (Photo By The Denver Post via Getty Images)

DOLPHINS: Razor Ramon

I thought about this for the Ravens because he was so great in two different roles (even though he was really the same guy), but Razor was a bad guy in Miami and so is Ndamukong Suh.

JETS: Brooklyn Brawler

Roughnecks who are born losers, but we like them because they’re funny. That he’s from Brooklyn makes it just too perfect.

AFC SOUTH

TITANS: The Honky Tonk Man

Those uniforms are terrible (yes, pots and kettles and whatnot) just like his 70’s jumpsuit, but people always kinda liked The Honky Tonk Man.

The Honky Tonk Man speaks about KoKo B. Ware. (Photo by Bob Levey/WireImage)

COLTS: Roman Reigns

I hate the Colts. They deserve absolutely none of the success they’ve enjoyed in the last 20 years. Bob Irsay was a spiteful drunk who took his aggression out on a community and was really the one who got the ball rolling on the Browns leaving. His son didn’t fall far from the tree. They’ve lucked themselves into one all-time great quarterback, and have done their best to sabotage another QB who was cut from the same cloth. Actually no, they’re so bad an organization historically that they sucked into getting those quarterbacks. The organization is a complete disgrace, and I truly hope they fail until Jim Irsay sells the team. They hang banners for making the playoffs. The only redeeming part about the Colts are their fans. Wrestling fans feel the exact same way about Roman Reigns.

JAGUARS: The British Bulldog

Yeah, you get it.

TEXANS: Terry Funk

Take everything I said about the Colts and reverse it. They have drafted well for the most part. They are hard workers. They don’t have the natural skill that the Colts have had at QB, but they’re crazy, and they compete. That and I still think of Bum Phillips when I think of Houston. Tough old Texans who are still chasing gold. Just like Terry.

Terry Funk (Photo by George Napolitano/FilmMagic)

RAIDERS: Jake The Snake Roberts

Not a play on words with the late great Kenny Stabler, but a nomadic franchise that has sabotaged itself with it’s personal demons. I shouldn’t love them. I cannot trust them even when they tell me to, but I love them. They’re just too cool, and dangerous not to.

Wrestler Jake “The Snake” Roberts (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)

BRONCOS: Bret “The Hitman” Hart

*Read this really quick because you’re going to be mad at the end of it*…

I picked Hitman because while they’re great technicians and multiple time champions, they bore me to tears. Something just isn’t right when they’re on top, but everyone loves him/them. I do respect the organization though, just like I do the Hart family.

Bret “The Hitman” Hart (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

CHIEFS: Big Show

They lumber up and down the field. They win a lot, but they do it ugly. No one will ever put them in the pantheon of the all time greats even if they’re a Hall of Famer.

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

CHARGERS: Brock Lesnar with Paul Heyman

Even their own fans hate them. Their only real allegiance is money, and that’s it.

Brock Lesnar (Photo Credit: JP Yim/Getty Images)

AFC NORTH

STEELERS: HHH

The ownership is in bed with Goodell, they’re always a headliner and they always will be. The worst thing about it is that they’re really good, and I have to admit it even if I don’t want to. The Real HHH is as old as dirt, and James Harrison is a decade older than that and still scares me more than any Browns player since 1999.

Triple H (Photo Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

RAVENS: The Undertaker

Always competitive. Even when they were buried alive, they find a way to fight their way back. They always beat HHH when he’s heavily favored. In WCW, The Undertaker was Mean Mark Callous. Sadly, we got Mean Mark. Baltimore got The Undertaker.

I also considered Jimmy Snuka for the Ravens because…well…you know…

The Undertaker (Photo Credit: Gaye Gerard/Getty Images)

BENGALS: Giant Gonzalez

You might not know who Giant Gonzalez is. Giant Gonzalez was a 7’7 monster who was supposed to be a mean Andre The Giant. Except he sucked. They even had him face off against The Undertaker in Wrestlemania IX. It was a match that I thought Gonzalez had killed the Undertaker, and my dad had to tell me that wrestling was fake to calm me down because I was in such hysterics. Just then The Undertaker came running back out from behind the curtain to attack Giant Gonzalez. Then Gonzalez fell to mediocrity. That match kind of reminds you of the Steelers playoff game two years ago. That also sums up the Bengals in the 2000’s.

BROWNS: Barry Horowitz

He pats himself on the back because he’s the smartest man in the room. Barry never wins, but we like him anyway because he’s nice, and he tries, even if it always blows up in his face.

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