Speaking in a new interview, Pat McAfee has opened up about whether we will ever see him return to the ring.
While McAfee has recently become a popular addition to the Friday Night SmackDown announce team, he has also earned plaudits for his work inside the squared circle.
The former NFL star began appearing for WWE in 2018 on pay-per-view pre-show panels before entering into a feud with Adam Cole. As the rivalry with Cole escalated, things came to a head at NXT TakeOver XXX when the pair met in the ring. McAfee earned a great deal of praise for his performance in his first ever match, while he returned to action two months later aligning with Pete Dunne, Danny Burch, and Oney Lorcan as ‘The Kings Of NXT.’ The group went on to meet The Undisputed Era inside WarGames.
To date this remains McAfee’s most recent in-ring action as he stepped into the SmackDown announce booth in April 2021.
In conversation with Ariel Helwani, McAfee discussed whether he might be tempted to return to the ring, while revealing his respect for WWE’s full-time wrestlers.
“I don’t know. I was so sore, dude. My body hurt so bad. I fractured my left big toe when I did the moonsault through somebody on the table. It was literally as soon as I got in the ring. As soon as I got in the WarGames match, I had to get four tables from out under the ring, I was winded, they are very heavy. The first thing I did was a moonsault through somebody on the table. I had never done one. In theory, I thought I could do it. I had done it onto the crash pad I had in the ring in my office. I had never actually done it onto someone.”
“First minute in the match, I did a moonsault and I don’t turn my feet out so my toe just goes straight into the mat. Fracture my big toe. Then the flip off the top, the match with Adam Cole, I got kicked so hard in the middle of the face. My whole body was incredibly sore. The amount of respect I had for every man and woman who gets in the ring after my first match, I had massive respect for them, but it grew. I’m a delicate flower, but let’s assume I’m probably gonna get back in. Let’s assume. I gotta win at some point. I can’t be completely defeated, but my body was beat up. I was very sore.”
Prior to joining WWE Pat McAfee enjoyed a successful stint in the NFL for the Indianapolis Colts. After retiring in 2017 McAfee embarked upon a media career which saw him work as a commentator for FOX Sports, while launching his own podcast, The Pat McAfee Show.
H/t to Fightful for the transcription.