After weeks of speculation, Tennessee Titans cornerback and return specialist Adam “Pacman” Jones is the newest member of Total Nonstop Action (TNA) Wrestling.
The former West Virginia University student, who signed an exclusive contract with the pro wrestling company, will make his firs in-ring appearance Thursday (Aug. 9) on TNA’s iMPACT! television show.
Terms of the contract were not revealed.
“I am a big fan of wrestling, so I wanted to give it a try,” Jones told AllHipHop.com in a statement. “I respect wrestling and I’m not coming in like it’s just a show. I want to prove that I am the greatest team-sport athlete.”
The TNA signing comes amid Jones’ recent suspension for the 2007 NFL season for various encounters with the law and arrests since he was drafted in 2005.
The Titans member initially appealed the NFL suspension, but ultimately withdrew the appeal on June 12.
Jones will reveal his plans for the season during the TNA’s Hard Justice pay-per-view on Sunday (Aug. 12).
Despite his troubles off the field, TNA president Dixie Carter believes Jones is a “gifted athlete” who will be able to “take his suspension and turn it into a positive, something good.”
“We are well aware of the controversy that might surround this signing, but it is our goal to help Pacman during his time away from football,” she said. “Pacman wants to change his life, so we will do everything in our power to surround him with a positive work environment and people who will help him achieve his goal.”
Jones isn’t only active Tennessee Titans member to wrestle for TNA.
In June, Pro Bowl defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch was in the corner of former Titans’ Pro Bowl tight end Frank Wycheck, who teamed with wrestler Jerry Lynn for a tag-team match against James Storm and Ron Killings.
In addition to Bosch and Wycheck, Jones joins other NFL players turned pro wrestlers such as Bill Goldberg, Steve McMichael, Wahoo McDaniel and Ernie ‘The Cat’ Ladd.
Like Carter, Bosch sees the potential for Jones to dispel the negative image he has been given in recent months.
“This could be an opportunity for Pacman to show what kind of person he is, not the way he’s been portrayed,” Bosch said.
“Over the next couple of months, I think the world is going to see a different side of Pacman, one it hasn’t seen before,” added TNA co-founder and former World Champion Jeff Jarrett, one of several TNA wrestlers who will train Jones. “You will really see his personality come out, not just his athletic ability. He’s very coachable in the ring and his athletic talent is amazing. He can watch something one time and pick it up. He’s just gifted. He’s the best all-around athlete I have ever seen.”
During his time in TNA, Jones will be among the company’s top stars which include Kurt Angle, Sting, Scott Steiner, Kevin Nash, Christian Cage, A.J. Styles, Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe and the Latin American Exchange (LAX).
TNA Thursday Night iMPACT! airs at 9 p.m. ET/PT every Thursday on Spike TV.