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Rob Gronkowski confirmed for next week's WWE SmackDown

Rob Gronkowski is officially set to appear on SmackDown next week.

On tonight's SmackDown, WWE hyped that they were going to address rumors of Gronkowski joining the company. Mojo Rawley made an appearance at the commentary desk with Michael Cole and Triple H and said he's talked to Gronkowski and -- while nothing is officially signed yet -- the rumors are true and Gronkowski will be on SmackDown next Friday.

Rawley said Gronkowski would talk about everything that's on his mind. "Gronk will be here. Mojo will be here. And we're gonna be hyped," Rawley said.

It was first announced on WWE Backstage this Tuesday that Gronkowski is close to finalizing a deal with WWE.

Dave Meltzer reported in this week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter that "a deal is already in place as they wouldn’t have announced such a thing or a date if it wasn’t." Meltzer also wrote that Gronkowski "is expected to do a couple of WWE matches on the deal."

Even with his NFL career being impacted by injury issues, Gronkowski is regarded as an all-time great. He spent his entire nine-year career with the New England Patriots, made five Pro Bowls, and was a first-team All Pro four times.

Gronkowski, who became a mainstream star during his time in the NFL, retired after the 2018-2019 season and joined Fox Sports as an analyst last October.

In 2017, Gronkowski made an appearance at WrestleMania 33 and helped Rawley -- who he is friends with -- win the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.

Triple H posted a tweet in February thanking Gronkowski for inviting him to his Super Bowl weekend beach party. He also suggested that Gronkowski should come to this year's SummerSlam in Boston: "Thanks for the invite to the Beach Party @RobGronkowski... maybe you should come to our party in Boston ... heard it’s the biggest of the summer.  @StephMcMahon"