WWE has a long and successful history of luring professional athletes away from the field and into the squared circle. From as far back as 1969, The likes of Ernie Ladd, Bill Goldberg and Roman Reigns have all made the switch from the cut-throat world of NFL but no one has made the same transition from the other kind of football – until now.

After a successful ten year career in the lower reaches of England's Football League – where he played in goal for teams including Crewe Alexandra, Port Vale and Burton Albion – Stuart Tomlinson made the switch to Orlando, Florida to join NXT, WWE's developmental territory, in a bid to hit the types of heights that are hard to reach on blustery nights in League Two at Vale Park.

Since his transfer to Vince McMahon's team was made public in 2014, Tomlinson – now operating under a typically brash ring name of Hugo Knox – has become a familiar face on feeds like BBC Sporf and The Sport Bible. Tomlinson's story has captured public imagination – most people don't get to live out one childhood dream, but he's already on his second.

Complex invaded the WWE Performance Center just days before the Royal Rumble to get the inside story on Hugo Knox and ask how different life looks when you're on the top rope instead of between the sticks.