Could Parker Boudreaux be leaving UCF for a pro wrestling career in 2021?
Unlike other UCF Knights who declared recently for the NFL Draft, Boudreaux may have an option outside of football, as he has long been rumored to be a prospect for professional wrestling. That speculation picked up on Friday when Paul Heyman who works for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), tweeted the following:
Is Heyman suggesting that Boudreaux could be in WWE in 2021?
Boudreaux responded on his Instagram with “Just wait on it,” with the hashtag #PaulHeymanGuy.
Boudreaux has been linked to wrestling for a while now. He has been called “the second coming of Brock Lesnar,” having been compared on his look to the former WWE & UFC heavyweight champion. Boudreaux even has on his Twitter and Instagram page the term “The Next Big Thing,” which is what Heyman called Lesnar when he made his debut with WWE in 2002. Heyman has been an on-air manager, or as he calles himself, “The advocate,” for Lesnar during his wrestling career.
Speculation around Boudreaux to wrestling spiked in April when legendary broadcaster Jim Ross, who is credited during his time as Head of Talent Relations for WWE with signing Lesnar as well as the likes of former Miami Hurricane football player and current movie star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, John Cena, and Batista, tweeted about his interest in signing Boudreaux to join the All Elite Wrestling (AEW) company, which Ross currently works for.
Big money is earned, not awarded. @ParkerBoudreauxloojs great and has been in my radar for 2-3 years.— Jim Ross (@JRsBBQ) April 5, 2020
You do know that there’s “big money” in @AEWrestling too. https://t.co/TteJneLXXc
So clearly both the WWE and AEW are interested in Boudreaux and will make offers, if not already, for him to join. But the question is, what does Boudreaux want to do?
W O R K @BROCKLESNAR pic.twitter.com/VlxeTBGkwL— Parker Boudreaux (@ParkerBoudreaux) January 14, 2019
Boudreaux just finished his redshirt junior season at UCF but we did not see him on the field after starting all 13 games in 2019 at right guard. He is currently on the Knights’ roster and could return for 2021. Parker could also decide to test the NFL and pursue a pro football career like Lesnar did back in 2004, when he left WWE to try out with the Minnesota Vikings before going into UFC.
Keep in mind that Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan also owns AEW, with his son Tony Kahn being the AEW president and promoter of the company. It is possible that the Khan family gives Parker an opportunity to do both with the Jaguars and AEW as part of a potential pitch, as AEW is more flexible with their athletes doing other sports, like Jake Hager, who fights at Bellator along with wrestling for the company.
The WWE, on the other hand, would likely want a full commitment from Boudreaux, as he would likely sign a developmental deal similar to a another former UCF football player, Cal Bloom.
Bloom signed a developmental deal with WWE in 2019 and made his pro wrestling TV debut on WWE SmackDown on Fox back in April , as he took on WWE superstar Sheamus.
COMPLETE DOMINANCE by @WWESheamus! #SmackDown @TheCalbloomWWE pic.twitter.com/HyAIuXMkQ8— WWE (@WWE) April 11, 2020
In the wrestling industry, the term “work” means to deceive or manipulate an audience in order to elicit a desired response. There is also the term “work shoot,” when a wrestler seemingly goes “off-script”, often revealing elements of out-of-universe reality, but actually does so as a fully planned part of the show.
Parker Boudreaux: "I can't say much about this; but I'll be joining a professional wrestling company." #UCF— Brian Murphy (@Spokes_Murphy) January 5, 2021
(turn on english translation) https://t.co/QIkQNJ5r0c
Boudreaux spoke with Lucha Libre Online on Tuesday and said “ I can’t say much about this; but I’ll be joining a professional wresting company.”
It is unclear if Boudreaux joining a wrestling company a “work” or a “work shoot,” but it is a situation worth following. One thing that is clear is Boudreaux has options, but we may have to wait a while to see how it plays out.