Former professional footballer Tim Wiese has undergone a dramatic transformation since leaving the soccer field to venture into the world of WWE. The once-recognizable goalkeeper, who boasts over 300 appearances in football, made an unexpected return to the sport in 2017. Despite officially retiring in 2014, the former German international came out of retirement for a unique one-off match with German eighth-division side SSV Dillingen in the Kreisliga Schwaben-Nord.
Having represented his national side six times during his career, the 46-year-old Tim Wiese is now relishing an unconventional retirement. Embracing a completely different path, he has transitioned into the world of professional wrestling, where he appears virtually unrecognizable from his days as a footballer.
Tim Wiese’s Storied Goalkeeping Career and the Realities of Retirement
Former Werder Bremen goalkeeper Tim Wiese, boasting close to 300 Bundesliga appearances, had a distinguished career spanning well over a decade in Germany’s premier division. His journey included stints with clubs such as Kaiserlautern, Werder Bremen, and Hoffenheim.
Wiese, now 46, earned a place in the Germany squad for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, although he didn’t secure a spot in the starting eleven. The team ultimately faced defeat against eventual champions Spain in the semi-finals.
Making his international debut in 2008, Wiese’s final appearance for the national side occurred in a 2-1 loss to France in an international friendly. Throughout his professional career, the seasoned goalkeeper clinched victories in the DFB-Pokal and the DFL-Ligapokal.
However, Wiese acknowledged the inevitable passage of time, announcing his retirement in 2014 after expressing the belief that his prime playing years were behind him. This decision followed the mutual agreement with Hoffenheim to terminate his contract.
In reflecting on his career transition, Wiese stated, “I am not a dreamer but a realist, and I assume that I have my best years behind me and I will no longer play as a professional.” The goalkeeper’s candid self-assessment marked the conclusion of a chapter in his sporting journey.
Following in the footsteps of former Port Vale goalkeeper Stuart Tomlinson, the ex-Hoffenheim goalkeeper Tim Wiese made an unconventional career choice by venturing into the world of professional wrestling.
Receiving an official request from WWE in 2014, Wiese shared his openness to the opportunity, stating, “It’s for a commitment from me to become a pro wrestler. I’ll listen to everything on its own merits. Why should I say no? Wrestling is very popular, especially in the United States. I will discuss the offer in the next few weeks with my agent. I am not scared.”
Wiese embraced his new life as a professional wrestler, and it kicked off on a triumphant note. In 2016, the former international goalkeeper secured victory in his debut WWE match. Partnering with Cesaro and Sheamus, they defeated the team of The Shining Stars and Bo Dallas, with Wiese claiming the pinfall after executing his finishing move, a body splash.
The transition from goalkeeper to wrestler marked a significant shift for Wiese, who underwent training at the WWE Performance Center and a specially designed facility in his homeland before stepping into the ring for his first competition.
The 34-year-old Tim Wiese’s foray into the scripted realm of wrestling began when he made a special appearance as a timekeeper at a Frankfurt live event. This caught the attention of WWE icon and Executive Vice President of Talent, Live Events, and Creative, Triple H, who extended an invitation for Wiese to train with the company.
In anticipation of Wiese’s debut, Triple H spoke highly of the former goalkeeper, stating, “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.”
From WWE Transformation to Brief Football Comeback
Following his retirement in 2014, Tim Wiese underwent a remarkable physical transformation, adding 40kg (88lb) of muscle in preparation for his highly-anticipated debut in WWE. The former Germany international, who had appeared much slimmer during his playing days, became nearly unrecognizable during his spell under the WWE banner.
In an interview with The Guardian, Wiese discussed his unique body transformation, revealing, “When I stopped playing, at my biggest I weighed 132kg, and I had to have about six to seven thousand calories a day. Every woman enjoys a muscular big type by her side, instead of some weakling. But now I’ve cut that down to about three thousand calories and am down to about 120kg. I want to lose another three or four kilograms so I’m more explosive and more aggressive in the ring, so that I’m unbeatable.”
Despite his efforts, Wiese’s wrestling career did not unfold as expected. By 2017, he had departed from WWE and made a surprising return to football. At the age of 35, he played for Dillingen in a match against TSV Haunsheim, resulting in a 2-1 defeat. Fans, eager to witness the former wrestler in action, boosted the match attendance to over 2,000, a significant increase from the team’s average of 60 fans per game.
Expressing his desire to reenter the world of football, Wiese stated, “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.”
However, Wiese never played another game after that and opted not to return to the wrestling ring, marking the end of a unique chapter in his post-football pursuits.