I'm the former World Cup star who quit football for WWE after chat with Triple H | The Sun
26th February 2023

WITH nearly 300 Bundesliga appearances under your belt and a trip to a World Cup on your CV, you'd imagine you're at the top of your game.

But one German star embarked on a shock career change, seemingly at the peak of his powers, at the age of 32.

The goalkeeper spent a decade in Germany's top flight with Kaiserlautern, Werder Bremen and Hoffenheim – and regularly starred in the Champions League.

He even joined Manuel Neuer in the squad for the 2010 World Cup.

While he never made it into the starting XI in South Africa – as Germany KO'd England and reached the semi-finals, losing to eventual champions Spain – the 6ft 4in stopper was a giant between the sticks.

The No1 won the German version of the FA Cup and League Cup once apiece and finished as a Bundesliga runner-up twice.


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And yet in 2014, he made the bold decision to hang up his gloves and move into WWE.

The man in question? None other than Tim Wiese.

In September 2014, Wiese revealed he'd been offered a development contract by WWE to join their NXT division.

Fast forward less than two years, the German was invited to train at the WWE's development facility in Florida by legendary wrestler Triple H in June 2016.

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At the time, Wiese revealed: “I have been training hard for this, and I am excited for the opportunity.

“No matter what it takes, my goal is to be in that WWE ring this November. I want that match.”

Ex-world champ Triple H said: “Tim is tenacious.

“He continues to be very vocal in his desire to prove that he has what it takes,

"He has shown tremendous resilience and determination to create an opportunity for himself.

“This is his break to walk his talk. If all goes well in Florida, he will get his chance in the ring.”

By November, he'd teamed up with Sheamus and Cesaro to defeat The Shining Stars and Bo Dallas during a star-studded live event in Munich.

In the build-up to the fight, Swiss legend Cesaro revealed he'd been working with Wiese – dubbed "The Machine" in the wrestling world.

Cesaro claimed: "I wanted to see what he was made of and he was moving pretty good.

"It is a big change from football – the real football, if any Americans are reading – to wrestling but he definitely has the build for it.

"I gave him some tips but he will have to go through some adjustments – WWE is not just a job, it's a lifestyle, and it's not for everybody.

"He says he wants it so now he has the chance to prove it – it's all up to him."

However, by 2017, Wiese had left WWE – and dusted off his goalkeeping gloves for a shock return to football.

Aged 35, he starred between the posts for German eighth division side Dillingen – who averaged 60 fans per game.

For his debut – a 2-1 defeat at the hands of TSV Haunsheim – 2,000 supporters rocked up to watch the former international star.

At the time, he vowed to work his way back to the Bundesliga and admitted he regretted his decision to turn his back on football.

Wiese claimed: "I wonder why I gave up on all of this.

"Considering it was my first game I think it went well.

"Now I think of the future. No longer will I play in the sixth series.

"I think I'm still good enough for the Bundesliga."

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Wiese never played football again.

As for his WWE career? He never wrestled again, either.

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