Professional football and professional wrestling has had a long association through the years. And no NFL team can claim a more successful group of wrestlers with ties to them than the Chicago Bears. Here are a few of the more noteworthy Bears to the squared circle connections.
- NFL Hall Of Famer Bronko Nagurski is a 2 time NWA World Heavyweight Champion.
- WWE Hall Of Famer and 10 time AWA World Champion Verne Gagne was a 16th round draft pick by George Halas and the Bears in 1947.
- Ernie Ladd, who is a multiple time champ in wrestling and WWE Hall Of Famer, was a draft pick of the Bears in 1961. Ladd was also drafted by the rival AFL and he went on to play for 3 teams in that league.
- Kickboxer, wrestler and actor Bob Sapp was a 3rd round draft pick of the Bears in 1997.
- Defensive lineman Steve "Mongo" McMichael played 191 games for the Bears, is a former member of the Four Horsemen in WCW and a former United States Champ.
- In 1986 at Wrestlemania II, held just outside Chicago at the Rosemont Horizon, both William Perry and Jimbo Covert appeared in a 20 man battle royal.
- Brian Urlacher made a few appearances for TNA.
Earlier this week on WWE's Monday Night RAW, another former Bears player took the first step to becoming a sports entertainer, when former Bears running back Kahlil Bell was named one of 40 finalists for the pro wrestling reality show Tough Enough.
Bell will compete in a mini camp starting today Wednesday, June 10, running through Friday, June 12. The 40 contestants will be whittled down to 13, who will then compete for a 1 year WWE contract worth $250,000. You can watch Bell and the other 39 finalists pursue their dream on the WWE Network's WWE Tough Enough Competition Special, which will air on Tuesday, June 16, at 8/7 C.