Adebayo Akinfenwa is genuinely the most likeable guy you will find in the world of football today. He’s hilarious, uplifting, endlessly positive and motivational.
While he has never reached the heights of the Premier League, Akinfenwa is still somewhat of a household name in Ireland and the UK.
The Beast has been knocking around a long time now since beginning his professional football career back in 2001.
Since then he has played for the likes of Swansea City, Northampton Town, Gillingham, Wimbledon and currently plies his trade with Wycombe Wanderers. He has also had spells in Lithuanian and Wales at the start of his career.
Akinfenwa and his current club Wycombe both find themselves in the Championship for the first time. So far it hasn’t gone well for either of them.
Wycombe currently find themselves in the relegation zone and haven’t scored a single goal. While Adebayo is out with a knee injury and hasn’t made an appearance this season.
It would be great to see him involved at some stage this season whenever he is ready to go. His reaction when Wycombe got promoted would melt even the coldest of hearts. It was clear that getting to the Championship is a dream come true for the big man.
It would even be a special way for him to bow out of the footballing world.
Akinfenwa is currently 38 years old which is old for an outfield player. Injuries are also starting to mount up and with his infectious personality he will have plenty of opportunities available to him when he does decide to hang up the boots.
Life After Football Options
He currently runs his own clothing line Beast Mode and is part of a newly launched podcast The Super 6 Podcast. The second-best football podcast behind our own which you can find on our website and social media platforms, cheap plug.
His charisma and laid-back nature could also land him some television work. That could be as a pundit, a hosting role on the likes of Soccer AM or even going down the route of reality television on shows like I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here.
However, a complete change of gears could also be on the cards.
Swapping The Pitch For The Ring?
Lat year Akinfenwa confirmed that he has had “conversations” with professional wrestling giants World Wrestling Entertainment. Now plenty of reports are saying that he has held further talks with WWE in recent weeks.
Akinfenwa is a self-confessed wrestling fan and seems to prove that this story is more than just rumour.
In the past he has said “I’ve had a couple of calls recently in regard to that, I’ll be following up on that soon, so it could go up or down depending on the outcome of that.”
He would also say “I can’t tell you a direct percentage in terms of that, but it’s something I’m really passionate about, so watch this space, people.”
If you know anything about how the WWE operates you will know Akinfenwa would be a cracking fit on paper.
The Beast has a reputation as a strong man and can apparently bench press around 200kg. He also stands at 6ft 1 and weights a reported 220 lbs cutting quite the imposing figure.
Personality is also vital in the wrestling world.
As we already touched on Akinfenwa has that by the boat loads. He is very articulate and entertaining which makes him stand out in a world full of dull footballers. Adebayo can be funny, intimidating and has physical charisma too.
Follow In Others Footsteps
Plenty of other athletes have made the transition into professional wrestling.
The likes of Ronda Rousey, Matt Riddle and countless other MMA stars are highly successful in the industry.
Even English athletes have made the move into professional wrestling.
Former Rugby League player Luke Menzies currently wrestles in WWE on the NXT brand under the name Ridge Holland. Fellow English footballer Grant Holt also went into the world of professional wrestling when he retired.
I don’t think we will see Akinfenwa as WWE Champion or anything like that. Training to become a professional wrestler takes years and years to do. You must sacrifice your time, money and body to even train at a fundamental level let alone the level you need to be successful in the WWE.
We have seen the likes of Tyson Fury recently pop in for a match in WWE. But that’s Tyson Fury. He’s a huge star and his lifelong combat training can help hide his short comings in the ring.
Boots Could Be Getting Hung Up Soon
While it could be something Akinfenwa could be able for it wouldn’t be something he could realistically do full time. Especially considering his age and recent injury history.
He probably wouldn’t be looking at it as a long-term career anyway and more of a cool quick project.
It would probably be a better idea to have him show up on the NXT UK brand. That could be popping up as a recognisable personality and he could get physical and even have a one-off match instead of having a full on run in the company.
A lot of it seems up in the air now but what we do know is both parties do seem very interested.
Akinfenwa is into his final season on his current Wycombe deal and will be 39 when that is up.
He will have plenty of irons in the fire when he does retire. But don’t be surprised if we see him enter a WWE ring in some capacity.
As he said in the past “I can’t tell you a direct percentage in terms of that, but it’s something I’m really passionate about, so watch this space, people.”
Watch this space indeed.