Biggest pro football accomplishments: Played linebacker for the Cowboys for a short period of time in the late 1980s
Biggest pro wrestling accomplishments: Became the first African-American to ever win a WWE singles championship when he was named the WWE Intercontinental Champion in 1996
The key to his career change: He didn't last long with the Cowboys and started training with retired wrestlers Skandor Akbar, Scott Casey, and Ivan Putski.
Although becoming the first African-American to win a title belt was obviously a huge deal, Norris probably could have been even bigger things during his WWE career, if not for kidney problems that sidelined him in 1996. He was actually scheduled to take part in a WWE Championship fight the night after SummerSlam that year but had to skip it after doctors diagnosed him with kidney damage. And while he still enjoyed a lot more success after that—he had a memorable storyline with The Undertaker in 1997—he never ascended to the top of the company like some people thought he might do at the start of his wrestling career.