Back in November, we ran a cover feature on former Houston Texans offensive lineman Brennan Williams, a three-year NFL player whose dreams of a football career had gone up in smoke thanks, in large part, to medical misfortune. Williams's knees never cooperated quite enough, nor at the right time, for him to sustain an NFL career. Williams's NFL dream eventually ended in late October after a one-day stint with the New England Patriots.
As outlined in the story, Williams didn't wallow in despair, but instead made a hard left turn and decided to chase his ultimate dream of becoming a professional wrestler. Williams moved from New England back to Houston, where his NFL career had started in 2013, to train with WWE Hall of Famer and founder of the local Reality of Wrestling promotion, Booker Huffman (known to millions of wrestling fans as "Booker T").
When our story was written a few months ago, Williams was in the neophyte stages of his training, and at that point was merely trying to perfect simple things like a collar-and-elbow tie-up and bouncing off the ropes. He was also still tipping the scales at or around his football weight of more than 300 pounds.
Well, as you can see from the video below, Williams has come a long way in a few months. He made his wrestling debut over the weekend in Booker T's new World Gym Arena facility in Texas City, and the whole experience — Williams's arrival at the arena, the donning of his costume and makeup, and, of course, the match itself — was captured in this four-minute video…
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Yes, Brennan Williams's "character" in Reality of Wrestling goes by the name of "Marcellus Black" (I've already changed him from "Brennan Williams" to "Marcellus Black" in my cell phone just to perpetuate the gimmick) and he is the "Shogun of the ROW," "ROW" obviously being the abbreviation for "Reality of Wrestling." Not surprisingly, they debuted the face-painted Williams in appropriate fashion, as a massive monster that power-bombs and body-slams anything he gets his hands on. He looks to be in tremendous shape, at around 280 pounds, and he's taking to his cadre of "big man" power moves like a fish to water.
With his first real match under his belt, the next chapter of Brennan Williams's career began yesterday as he was part of a group tryout at WWE's Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. For Williams, this week is the NFL combine all over again. Fortunately, he's prepared with the same precision and attention to detail as he did when he came out of North Carolina as a third-round pick three years ago.
Over the next few days, we will see if the Shogun rises on the bigger stage.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 to 7 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.