Rob Gronkowski's record-breaking reign as WWE 24/7 Champion came to an end on this week's Monday Night Raw, and it doesn't look like he'll be back on WWE programming for quite some time. The All-Pro tight end announced back in mid-April that he would be returning to the NFL and was promptly traded from the New England Patriots to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. According to Wrestling Inc., Gronkowski activated a release clause in his WWE contract (which he signed in March) shortly after he made the choice to return to football.
The clause doesn't allow him to wrestle for any other promotion for an undisclosed period of time, though the standard NFL contract would likely keep him from getting involved in a match anyway.
Surprisingly, WWE didn't strip Gronk of the 24/7 title when he initially made his announcement.
"Congratulations to Rob Gronkowski, the current WWE 24/7 Champion, on his return to football," the statement read. "Per the rules of the 24/7 title, Gronk must defend his championship at all times in any location. He could be celebrating a touchdown pass from #TomBrady...anytime, anywhere."
Gronk even teased the possibility of defending the championship throughout the 2020 NFL season.
"We need a lot of security," he said during his first media conference call. "We need security everywhere. Every tunnel, every entrance. Everywhere in the stadium because I'm the 24/7 WWE title belt champion right now, of the world. Everyone is coming for me. My friends are coming for me and it's special right now to have it during this quarantine time because no one can find me. No one gets me. So I'm the champ for a while."0comments
On Monday a video showed Gronk dancing for a TikTok video, only for R-Truth (dressed as a gardener) to roll him up for the pin.
WWE reportedly had plans for Gronk to make his in-ring debut at the SummerSlam pay-per-view in Boston. Aside from an appearance on SmackDown, Gronkowski's only official involvement in the company came at WrestleMania 36 when he served as the host of the show. He now holds the record for longest single reign as 24/7 Champion at 68 days (57 by WWE's official count). Truth still dominates the rest of the record books as he enters his 36th reign as champion
Disclosure: ComicBook is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.