Technically, Walter Thurmond III played six seasons in the NFL and for three teams.
However, if you ask him, he played three seasons. That is because injuries kept him off the field for the better part of half of his career.
Once his one and only season as a member of the Eagles secondary was done in 2015, which was statistically his best, he decided to hang up his cleats.
“It was a great opportunity,” Thurmond said of playing for the Eagles. “I loved the city. There’s so much history, so much art, so much culture. The organization is top-notch.”
It wasn’t just the injuries, which Thurmond said took their toll on him physically and mentally, that caused him to retire at age 28, but he also had interests outside of football that he felt it was time to pursue.
Thurmond used the time he spent recovering from his litany of football injuries to educate himself in the entertainment industry, specifically movies and television. What came of that was his own production company, called More Media, and investing in other ventures such as Fanstereo TV.
This weekend, he will dabble in another of his childhood passions: professional wrestling.
Thurmond will make an appearance Friday for the National Pro Wrestling League, for its show in Petaluma, Calif., when he will accompany wrestler Cory Machado to the ring.
According to Machado, it wasn’t hard to persuade Thurmond to take him up on his offer.
“Walt is excited to be a part of this,” Machado said.
“If you have to convince somebody to buy something or to do something,” he said, “it probably isn’t the right fit.”
Thurmond didn’t make any promises as to what he would do during his appearance, but he did say he had interests in pro wrestling that go way beyond the ring.
“There’s a couple of things that have crossed my mind in the wrestling space, so this is just the tip of the iceberg,” he said, “just an introduction for some of the things that I have in mind and in store for the wrestling endeavor.”
Among the things Thurmond has in mind is potentially running his own promotion.
“I’m a self-sufficient type of guy,” he said. “The eventual goal is to run my own promotion, even boxing. I’m a big fan of boxing, as well. The sky’s the limit as far as some of the things that I want to do in this entertainment space.”
Thurmond admitted to being a die-hard pro-wrestling fan ever since he was a child growing up in Los Angeles. Among his favorites to watch were “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Razor Ramon, and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.
“I always had an appreciation for it growing up,” Thurmond said. “People always criticize the fact that it’s fake. It is scripted, but the actual pain and what they’re going through is real.
“It’s a form of live theater,” he said. “People don’t really get to acknowledge that, especially me diving into this film and TV space, it doesn’t get the credit that it deserves. Those guys go out there every night, actually put their bodies on the line, but also entertain the masses in a form of theater.”
Despite his longtime love for professional wrestling, it wasn’t until Machado, who is just beginning his own in-ring career, reached out to him on Twitter that Thurmond decided to get involved with NPWL.
Everything came together rather quickly, Thurmond said, and he is still educating himself on what the wrestling industry is like behind the scenes.
Regardless, he said, he wants to bring something innovative to the table, and that could begin Friday night.
“What’s something that everybody wants, but is different?” Thurmond asked. “There’s dozens of wrestling leagues that are out there, there’s dozens of production companies that are out there, but what’s going to separate you from the next company?