John Cena and The Rock were standout college football players who made the jump to pro wrestling ©GettyImages.

Top 5: Pro sports stars turned wrestlers (1)

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If you're really big and really athletic, you will generally be able to have some success in sports.

If you're really big and really athletic, and you have some charisma, and are willing to learn how to do the sharpshooter, Boston crab, and diving elbow, you might be able to make the transitions from sports to sports entertainment.

With former pro bowl linebacker Shawne Merriman embarking on a career with the WWE, its time to look back at some of the other superstars who played in the big leagues before taking their talents to the squared circle.

Many WWE wrestlers, and wrestlers for a multitude of promotions have made  the transition from the gridiron or hardwood to the wrestling ring, and with apologies to the combined 19 WWE title reigns between the guys in the picture, this list is of guys who spent some significant time in the pros. 

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John Cena
The Rock

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