Five Buckeye Football Players Past and Present That Could Be Professional Wrestling Legends

By Kevin Harrish on June 14, 2019 at 2:15 pm
BB Landers is a professional wrestling star in the making.

A few current Buckeyes got one hell of an internship opportunity this week, getting a behind-the-scenes look at the WWE.

According to the WWE, the program was to make players aware of the "opportunities available to them once they transition from their primary sport," which got us thinking ... What Buckeyes – former and current – could make a successful switch from the gridiron to the ring?

As a noted subjective list maker, I took a stab at it. Here are my top five.

5. Robert Landers

In my humblest of opinions, there is nobody on the current roster more fit for professional wrestling than Robert Landers.

Sure, from a pure "menacing human" standpoint there are probably better options with guys like Chase Young and Zach Harrison on the roster, but you can't tell me BB doesn't have a WWE persona already.

I mean...

America needs BB Landers in professional wrestling, but remember, he's not fat, he's "just a little thick around the edges."

4. Craig Fada and Joe Burger (Tag Team)

The two walk-ons turned scholarship special teams stars could have a successful WWE career on their own, but why the hell would you split them up?

They were as close to a tag team as you can be at Ohio State, and they'll be a tag team in professional wrestling if they ever give it a shot.

They've got the size, certainly the personalities and certainly the blue-collar mentality to be an absolute hit in the ring.

Now they'd just need a name, unless they're gonna stick with "BurgerFada," coined by Urban Meyer.

3. Darron Lee

This may seem less obvious than anyone else on this list, but the more I thought about it the more Darron Lee seemed like the absolute perfect candidate.

The guy is one of the most ferocious trash-talkers in the game and isn't afraid to say anything to anyone at any time. He's got passion, the athleticism, the on-field (or rather, in-the-ring) antics, and even a signature celebration:

Darron Lee Celebration

He'd probably have to battle this guy for the rights to his The Manimal nickname, but I'd uh... put my money on Lee.

2. John Simon

This one couldn't be more obvious.

John Simon basically lives in the gym. The guy's been working out since kindergarten – and lifting weights since fourth grade. His family Christmas tradition includes a 5 a.m. workout, he hit a pre-wedding workout with his groomsmen, and he even found multiple ways to break into Ohio State's weight room to get in extra lifts.

From Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal:

As Marotti was walking around the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, he heard noises coming from the 8,000-square foot weight room.

“I’m walking around and I open the door and this dude in there and players in there lifting weights,” Mariotti said. “I’m like, ‘what are you doing?’ He’s like, ‘I’m lifting weights.’ I go, ‘how’d you get in here?’ He goes, ‘I just pulled this door.’ I go, ‘what do you mean?’

“Basically, he broke in. Again, I wasn’t [officially] there yet, so, that was my first time I met John. He actually broke into the weight room.”

Linsley was one of the players in there with Simon at the time.

“John actually showed me how to break in to the weight room,” Linsley said. “He was actually mad at me because I got caught breaking in. Mickey had to put a bolt on the door. John then found another way, a back way, so he could get his Saturday-Sunday lift on.”

He's terrifying, and perfect for the WWE.

Maybe his nickname could just be what Urban Meyer repeatedly called him at the podium: "Grown-Ass Man."

1. James Laurinaitis

Look, let's not overthink this.

James Laurinaitis is already professional wrestling royalty. The son of Road Warrior Animal, his place on this list just makes too much sense. All he needs to do is claim the throne, of which he's already the heir.

I mean...

The Little Animal

The only decision remaining is whether he'll go by "Little Animal" or go his own way. 

Realistically, there are a ton of former and current Buckeyes who could find their way onto this list, so maybe we should just start an entire professional wrestling league.

Now we'll just need some villains. Taylor Lewan and Kyle Kalis should fit the bill.

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