Shawne Merriman achieved one goal, and now he may try to conquer another.
The former NFL linebacker/defensive end is in negotiations with World Wrestling Entertainment, the worldwide leader in sports entertainment.
During a conference call last week with Paul Triple H Levesque, I asked the WWE Executive Vice President (Talent/Live Events/Creative) about Merriman‘s status with the company. Some reports said he already signed with WWE.
“Shawne has done some analyst work for us, done some stuff for the [WWE] Network,” Levesque said.
Merriman worked the pre-show for WWE WrestleMania 30 in April in New Orleans, but he is not part of WWE full-time...yet.
Levesque continued: “We are having conversations with Shawne, and it’s really going to come down to time and what he wants to do.”
Merriman, 30, was a beast on the gridiron. He starred at Frederick Douglass High School in Upper Marlboro, Md. and the University of Maryland. He was chosen 12th overall by the San Diego Chargers in the 2005 NFL Draft. He was with the Chargers from 2005-10 and then the Buffalo Bills from 2010-12.
An NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and three-time Pro Bowl selection, Merriman led the league in sacks in 2006 with 17 in 12 games. Nicknamed ‘Lights Out,’ he is also noted for his aggressive sack dance.
Levesque said: “Shawne expressed to me he had two dreams growing up. One was to be an NFL superstar, and he did that, and the other was to be a WWE superstar. He’s done one, and now he’s heavily contemplating the other.
“We’re in discussions. So we’ll see what happens, see where it goes.”
It’s easy to see Merriman, a long-time fan, has that charisma needed to become a WWE superstar.
“He’s a great guy, an amazing athlete, very smart,” Levesque said, “and we’d love to have him.”
• WWE Monday Night RAW returns to Miami on July 21 at 7:30 p.m. EST at the AmericanAirlines Arena.
Raw will be broadcast live at 8 p.m. EST on the USA Network.
Tickets are on sale. Prices range from $23-$115.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 800-745-3000.
Tickets can also be purchased at the AmericanAirlines Arena Ticket Office Window on the north side of the arena between Gates 3 and 4. Box office hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday and four hours prior to show time on event days. Times may vary.
Tickets can be purchased at The Miami HEAT Store, too, at Miami International Airport. The store is on the second floor at Terminal D32.
• Tampa will host the WWE Battleground pay-per-view on Sunday, July 20 at 7:30 p.m. EST at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
The pay-per-view is live at 8 p.m. EST.
Tickets are on sale, ranging from $25-$427.
• Orlando houses the WWE SmackDown tapings on Tuesday, July 22 at 7 p.m. EST at the Amway Center.
Tickets are on sale via TicketMaster and the Amway Center Box Office.
Prices range from $22-$109.
SmackDown airs 8 p.m. EST Fridays on Syfy.
The WWE Live SummerSlam Heatwave Tour (no TV) will be at the Pensacola Bay Center on Friday, July 18. Bell time is 7:30 p.m.
The WWE Live SummerSlam Heatwave Tour (no TV) continues at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 19 from the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center at Florida State University in Tallahassee.
That’s WWE Hall of Famer Ron Simmons old stomping grounds. Simmons, a star collegiate football player, is also an FSU Hall of Famer.
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