When Kyle Vanden Bosch was growing up in Iowa, he had two primary sporting interests. One he turned into a career, becoming a Pro Bowl defensive end for the Tennessee Titans. The other…
Well, through Vanden Bosch’s success on the football field and through his charitable foundation, the veteran NFL defensive end has been able to dabble now in the other childhood interest — professional wrestling.
Vanden Bosch gets to host, in conjunction with TNA Wrestling, his second annual KVB Bash on tonight at the Wildhorse Saloon.
Recently, the 6-4, 278-pound lineman recalled fondly watching wrestling as a youngster and is looking forward to again being part of the bash that will benefit the Boys and Girls Club.
“When I was growing up, that was wrestling’s heyday,” Vanden Bosch said. “I can remember where I was sitting when Hulk Hogan body-slammed [Andre] the Giant, and I can remember when Mankind fell through the cage in the cage match. I can remember exactly where I was. It’s kind of little boys growing up — you watch football and you watch wrestling. It’s kind of cool to be a part of that.”
The Vanden Bosch event is the only Nashville appearance for TNA wrestlers this year,
according to TNA president Dixie Carter.
“This will be fans’ only chance to see TNA Wrestling live in Nashville, and it’s a chance to do something good for the community,” Carter said in a statement released on Vanden Bosch’s Web site, KVB93.com.
And might that little kid who grew up with football and wrestling have a long-term future in the ring somewhere down the line? While Vanden Bosch won’t say, he did acknowledge that Carter is urging him to go in that direction once his football career is finished.
“She keeps trying to twist my arm,” said Vanden Bosch, who does have the look, the build and the attitude for a wrestling career. “She says, ‘I don’t want you to hurry and be done with football. But when you’re done, we’d love to have you.’ But I don’t know if my wife would go for that.”
Last year, about 25 Titans teammates showed up at the inaugural event, and Vanden Bosch is hoping for more to attend tonight’s event.
“We had the first annual last year, and it was a huge success. It was not only a good event, run well and a lot of fun, there were great wrestlers,” Vanden Bosch said. “I think the football players that were there loved it, and most importantly, we raised a lot of money.”
Last year’s proceeds were used to build a media center at the Andrew Jackson Boys and Girls Club. This year, the KVB S.A.C.K. Foundation will try to duplicate that at the Preston Taylor Boys and Girls Club.
And even though wrestling is staged, Vanden Bosch and the Titans players will have to be careful not to put themselves in harm’s way.
“Seeing it in person, they’re tremendous athletes. You learn how to do things and not get hurt. You take risks. There are some pretty big guys doing high-risk maneuvers,” Vanden Bosch said. “There’s not a list of things I can and can’t do, but I’m going to be smart.”
Tickets, ranging from $20-$120, are on sale at the Wildhorse Saloon Box Office, www.ticketmaster.com and all Ticketmaster locations.