Big E took a now-familiar route to WWE Superstardom.
Big E, then known as Ettore Ewen, began his athletic career as a defensive tackle at the University of Iowa. Big E played in 11 games for the Hawkeyes under Bill Belichick disciple Kirk Ferentz in 2006, recording 14 tackles.
A knee injury and lack of ideal size — he’s under 6-foot — ended Big E’s pro football dreams, so he turned to pro wrestling and power lifting — a move that has gone exceptionally well for the Tampa, Fla., native.
Big E signed a developmental contract with WWE in 2009 and made his debut on “Raw” in 2012. He has since won and lost the Intercontinental Championship, and he’s currently in a rivalry with “The Bulgarian Brute” Rusev. Big E will represent the United States when he wrestles Rusev at the WWE pay-per-view “Money In The Bank” event Sunday at TD Garden.
Listen below to hear NESN.com New England Patriots beat writer Doug Kyed and Big E discuss his journey from college football star to the strongest man on the WWE roster.
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