James Laurinaitis grew up having some massive boots to fill, if he wanted to. Or, actually, shoulder pads, if you really want to split hairs. You see, James’ father is Joe Laurinaitis, better known as Road Warrior Animal, one half of legendary tag team The Road Warriors (or, the Legion of Doom). Considering his family ties to professional wrestling, you’d expect young James to go into the same line of work, especially given his athletic talents and size. Right? Wrong. James, for those of you who don’t follow football, went from starring in multiple sports in high school, to starring for The Ohio State University. From there, he was drafted into the National Football Leauge, and while references to his famous dad followed him, the family business was not a pressing thing.
And, then, just like that, James Laurinaitis retired from professional football earlier this month.
So…should he try his luck as a WWE performer?
I have to believe, given his connections, should he want a try-out, it would be there. WWE, past and present, is chock full of former amateur athletes, with football players being one group that is well represented. Now, unless he’s got some wickedly chronic and debilitating injuries, or he’s got a lengthy and severe history of concussions, I don’t know that a WWE trial wouldn’t be a bad idea.
The biggest challenge for him might just be whether he could be his own man in the ring. Or, if he’d forever be saddled with the weight of being Animal’s son. I mean, look at the numerous second generation stars (or in some cases, third), and it can be a blessing as much as a curse. Some guys, you’d barely know they were a 2nd gen star. Some, you can’t hide it. For every Rocky Maivia-turned-The Rock, you have guys who just don’t hold a candle to their dads-guys like Curtis Axel and Ted DiBiase Jr.
So, where might Laurinaitis land? That’s the big question. He would have the benefit of NXT, of course. But, would he be up for it? In his retirement, he said that his body basically told him it was time. That could mean basic aches and pains, or that could be much worse. Considering how durable and reliable he was for all but one season of his NFL career, I doubt he’s hanging it up over minor aches and pains. So…would he like to finally follow in his father’s footsteps? Would his body allow him to? And would he be anywhere near as good as his dad? Will we ever find out? Would you want to see James Laurinaitis strap on the shoulder pads-with spikes this time-and dominate a WWE ring like he used to dominate an NFL field?
WNZ readers, what do you think?