New England Patriots superstar Rob Gronkowski - who missed the Patriots last eight games and had to watch the Super Bowl from the sideline - made a surprise appearance at WrestleMania 33 Sunday and was involved in a match.
Gronkowski, who was at ringside to support his friend Mojo Rawley, was confronted by WWE star Jinder Mahal and responded by making his way into the ring and dropping Mahal with a shoulder barge.
Shannon Sharpe and Skip Bayless reacted to Gronk's WrestleMania moment on Undisputed, and agreed that it was a dangerous stunt for an injury-prone star.
What was Rob Gronkowski thinking?
“I seriously cannot believe that Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft signed off on Gronk doing that. Seriously?
Now I’m just a Tom Brady fan more than I’m a Patriot fan, but I was stunned and horrified as I watched the video of Gronk - coming off his third back surgery, missed eight games last year - getting amped up, getting into a three-point stance, tearing across the ring and running headlong into Jinder Mahal.
It looked like he took a shot because he gave a shot, and it’s a little risky. I’m not saying… what are the odds, 1-in-1,000 you would hurt your back again? But there’s some chance you would have hurt your back again.
So, I’m asking, what was he thinking?”
Does Gronk want to be a celebrity or an elite athlete?
"What is Rob Gronkowski now? It’s almost like the Tony Romo question. Who do you want to be at this stage? Do you want to be a celebrity? An entertainer, and part of WrestleMania? Or do you really want to be a dominating football player again for the New England Patriots?
I’m not sure he really wants to be that guy again, or you wouldn’t risk this, as silly as it seems, in a WrestleMania event with the world watching that."
This was a bad idea given Gronk's injury history
“I wouldn’t have done it, for the simple fact [that] I just had back surgery. As you mentioned he’s had several back surgeries. He’s also had knee surgeries, he’s had forearm surgery twice. Nine total surgeries.
I commend him for going through the proper channels. But me, coming off surgery, I wouldn’t have had the gumption to even ask.
My thing is: If I’m going to get injured, I’m going to get injured on the clock for the Broncos or the Ravens. He should be thinking ‘if I get hurt again, it’s going to be on the clock for the Patriots.’"
This didn't make any sense for Gronk
“And I get it. He could get hurt walking down the street, or he could get hurt training. Come on, guys. Let’s just be smart about this.
Gronk is a big, fun-loving oaf of a guy, and that works for him. Nothing wrong with it, that works for him.
But coming off of back surgery, I don’t see the sense that it made to do this. OK, he picks up [a check].”
Gronk has a chance to be a legendary tight end if he can stay healthy
“There’s no rationale for it, because he has an opportunity to go down as the most dominant tight end in NFL history. He could be special.
But you’re seeing, Skip, the injuries are starting to come with greater regularity. And like Tony Romo, they’re starting to keep him out for greater periods of time. How many times are they going to be able to go into his body again and he keeps bouncing back?”
Bill Belichick may one day decide he doesn’t need a brittle tight end any more
“I keep wondering when will Bill Belichick suddenly wake up and say ‘you know what? That guy has become more trouble than he’s worth. Higher risk than reward, because I can’t keep him healthy.’ And at what point will Bill Belichick decide that Rob Gronkowski is just too brittle to be a dependable tight end and go in a different direction.