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WWE news: reviewing Rob Gronkowski’s debut on SmackDown

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community news, WWE news: reviewing Rob Gronkowskis debut on SmackDown

SI.com’s Week in Wrestling is published every week and provides beneath-the-surface coverage of the business of pro wrestling.

Gronk’s SmackDown Debut Fails to Impress

After watching the opening segment of Friday’s SmackDown, one takeaway was abundantly clear: Rob Gronkowski is destined to be the next celebrity to fail in WWE.

Gronkowski created unforgettable moments in the NFL with the Patriots, both with his play and off the field with his personality. But none of that was evident Friday on SmackDown.

Writing off anyone, particularly someone with Gronkowski’s charisma, after only one night is certainly shortsighted. Gronk has a few more chances to show he belongs before the audience makes up its mind on him, though it feels like WWE dropped a lot of money on an enhanced version of Mojo Rawley. And Mojo, despite his talent, has yet to connect with the WWE audience since he was brought up to the main roster in July 2016.

On paper, the signing makes sense. Gronkowski shined in his appearance at WrestleMania 33, coming out of the crowd to shoulder tackle Jinder Mahal.

Gronkowski’s success in pro football lends athletic legitimacy to his WWE presentation, and he has television experience as an NFL analyst for WWE partner Fox. But there are no guarantees in entertainment.

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