Adam 'Pacman' Jones' appearance at TNA wrestling angers some Bengals fans

CINCINNATI -- Adam "Pacman" Jones better not miss a tackle on Sunday. He better not put anyone in a headlock either.

The playful demands come after the controversial defensive back for the Cincinnati Bengals stepped through the ropes to participate in a Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) event at Cincinnati Gardens on Seymour Avenue.

Jones, who has been with the Bengals since 2010, attended the event with teammate DeQuin Evans.

Sitting in the front row, the pair watched as a brawl broke out between wrestlers Kurt Angle and Bobby Roode. After it was broken up, Christopher Daniels and Kazarian of the tag-team duo Bad Influence began to taunt Jones and Evans.

Following some back-and-forth between the two groups, the wrestlers shoved Jones and Evans, prompting them to jump over the restraining barrier and become part of the show. The duo managed to thwart the attack by the NFL-sized wrestlers and then body-slammed them to the mat.

In Deion Sanders like style, Jones and Evans followed up their informal victory by posing for their hometown fans.


Jones' appearance was promoted by TNA owner Dixie Carter, who cryptically alluded to Jones' appearance by saying a "former world titleholder" would make an appearance at Thursday's event.


He was part of a title-winning TNA tag team in 2007 known as Team Pacman with Ron Killings, who now goes by the name R-Truth in WWE. The duo won the belt despite the fact Jones wasn't allowed to wrestle.

Even though Jones was suspended from the NFL at the time due to off-field issues, the Tennessee Titans said his football contract could preclude him from actually wrestling with the company. Ultimately, the two sides negotiated a non-wrestling role for Jones.

That's the role some Cincinnati Bengals wished Jones would have taken Thursday. While some where happy to see one of their favorite players make a cameo on the show, others weren't thrilled with the idea of seeing one of the team's top defensive backs "getting physical" in a wrestling match.

While the matches are scripted, injuries do happen, especially to 5-foot-11, 180-pound defensive backs with a history of fragility.

On Oct. 26, 2010, Jones sustained a career-threatening neck injury in the Bengals' 39-32 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Jones missed the remainder of that season and didn't return to game action until Oct. 30, 2011.

Some of the fans who voiced their disapproval via social media said Jones should be cut or sued by the Bengals for breach of contract. He signed a three-year deal on March 21 to remain with the Bengals after a 2012 campaign that earned him recognition by Pro Football Focus as the 11th best cornerback in the NFL.

The threat of losing Jones comes on the heels of the Bengals and Andy Dalton playing one of their worst all-around games of the year in their matchup with the Dolphins on Halloween.

In addition to watching their budding quarterback throw a season-high three interceptions and get sacked in the end zone in overtime to lose the game, the Bengals received the additional scare of losing All-Pro defensive tackle Geno Atkins to a season-ending knee injury.

Before losing Atkins, the team was already without the services of longtime defensive lineman Robert Geathers, who was put on the Injured Reserve list after enduring an elbow injury in a Week 2 win over the Steelers.

They Bengals thought they had signed a roster replacement for Atkins Monday only to find that former Raider and Canadian citizen Christo Bilukidi didn't have a valid work permit. The deal was subsequently voided by the NFL.

An injury to Jones would completely devastate the Bengals' secondary, which is trying to fill the roles of cornerback Leon Hall and safety Taylor Mays who are sidelined for the season.

Injuries have also robbed the Bengals of the services of standout linebacker Rey Maualuga and defensive tackle Devon Still for their Sunday showdown with their heated rival, the Baltimore Ravens. Maualuga's backup, linebacker Michael Boley, is also doubtful due to a hamstring injury, according to the Week 10 injury report on


Thankfully for Bengals fans, Jones wasn't hurt in the match. In fact, he seemed to be in good spirits after the performance.

Jones tweeted updates from the event, which included highlighting his arrival at the event, showing his performance in the ring and appearing back stage with representatives from TNA.

The following morning, a seemingly chipper Jones began the day with the simple note "Hello world."

In the end, who knows? Maybe some of his grappling moves will roll over into his on-field performance.

Just to be safe, though: Does anyone know if body-slamming a wide receiver merits a 15-yard penalty?

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