Former NFL Star Shawne Merriman ‘Joining The WWE Family’

Shawne MerrimanShawne Merriman is joining a long list of football players turned professional wrestlers.

WWE commentators John Layfield and Michael Cole announced Tuesday that Merriman is “joining the WWE family.” The 29-year-old spent eight years in the NFL, split between the San Diego Chargers and Buffalo Bills, as a defensive end and outside linebacker.

Merriman, nicknamed “Lights Out” in the NFL, tried out for the WWE in November, but he was not offered a contract at the time. He appeared on the WWE Network’s WrestleMania preshow Sunday.

Current WWE superstar Roman Reigns — real name Joe Anoa’i — played college football at Georgia Tech before catching on with the Minnesota Vikings and Jacksonville Jaguars as a defensive end. The Rock, Lex Luger, Bill Goldberg, Ron Simmons, Ernie Ladd and Wahoo McDaniel are among former WWE stars who previously played professional football.