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WWE star, ex-teammate says 'pretty boy' Larry Fitzgerald couldn't hang in the ring; Fitz responds

Posted at 5:03 PM, Feb 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-24 12:00:01-05

Larry Fitzgerald made Arizona Cardinals fans ecstatic last week when he announced he will return to the team for his 15th NFL season.

But when the 34-year-old wide receiver finally decides to hang up his football cleats, would he consider mixing it up in a WWE ring?

"I don’t know. Larry’s kind of a pretty boy," said former Cardinals offensive lineman Tom Pestock -- now known as WWE superstar Baron Corbin -- before Tuesday's Smackdown Live event in Phoenix.

"I think when he’s done playing football, his days of contact will be over. But I still owe him a few whoopings, so maybe I can get him in there one of these times and throw him around a little bit."

Corbin says he already has experience roughing up the future Hall of Famer. A former three-time Golden Gloves champion who has mixed martial arts experience, Corbin said he and Fitz used to spar from time to time -- all in the spirit of friendly competition, of course. And if you believe Corbin, Fitz rarely got the best of him.

"In the weight room, he would test me. He would always tell me I didn’t know jiu-jitsu or something like that. I’d take him down and make him squeal a little bit," Corbin said with a smile.

But Fitzgerald begged to differ with Corbin's assessment. In a tweet on Friday, Fitzgerald -- who has been in South Korea attending the Winter Olympics -- decided to set the record straight.

"He is lucky I was in South Korea or it would’ve been a problem for him. He couldn't handle me when we played together and can't now!!" Fitz wrote.

Corbin's stint with the Cardinals ended seven years ago, but he and Fitzgerald remain good friends. In fact, Corbin reached out to Fitzgerald last week to see if he planned to attend Tuesday's Smackdown show before learning Fitz was in South Korea.

But with the 2019 WWE Royal Rumble set to take place in Phoenix in January, Corbin intends to make sure Fitzgerald is in attendance -- even if it's only as a spectator.

"He’s a guy that likes to travel the world and do really cool things, so now he’s out there experiencing (the Olympics)," Corbin said. "But we have the Rumble coming to Phoenix now, so I’m going to make sure his butt is in town to come to the show."