From Rugby To The WWE To Arena Football

In post COVID life things change in an instant and in order to be a professional athlete, you have to change with the times. Being Versatile is job 1 for an athlete and Gabriel is taking VERSATILITY to a whole new level.

After spending the last two years at Lindenwood University, a student-athlete from the men’s rugby team, Gabriel War, has hung up the boots and is training for his debut in the World Wrestling Entertainment industry. And today the Orlando Predators signed him to a 2023 contract to play in the National Arena League.

Gabriel Wai, the 6’6”, 260lbs, front/second-rower (rugby positions) has delivered a force through the men’s rugby team clocking in heavy shifts against tactically aggressive opponents in the conference. 

Wai contemplated a future with rugby but found more potential and desire in pursuing a career with the WWE.

The WWE is an American integrated entertainment industry that showcases professional wrestling.

When WWE reached out to Tai, he was drawn to the possibilities the industry would bring for his future.

In the last weeks of January, Wai was flown out to Florida for a week-long tryout where he received the third call and was selected in the first round to join the WWE. Similar to that of a first-round NFL draft pick.

His tryout was against top-of-the-line athletes such as former professional football players who have played with Tom Brady and former Colts players.  Heading into the tryout, Wei felt out of place but was excited to see his potential play out.

The tryout consisted of an action performance and a combination of two-heavy in-ring sessions. It was the ultimate test on if the wrestlers would sink or swim. The final day brought forth a one-minute promo against big wrestlers from the WWE, in which Wei was paired with fiver-time World Champion, Roman Reigns. 

“For a little while, acting was my passion—which I think is something not a lot of people know about, “Wai said. “Getting into the WWE brings out old passions with [fortunate] opportunities that can absolutely launch me into the acting world.”

After experiencing the tryout, Wai felt more confident and looks to bring out his “goofy” side into his character. Wai believes being a Community Advisor has helped him get back to being more outgoing and social than he has been recently.