(Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Are you a WWE fan but embarrassed to tell your friends? Don’t be! Sure, it’s not “real” in the sense that the matches are fixed (most of the time), but the athleticism exhibited by today’s in-ring stars such as Brock Lesnar, John Cena and Roman Reigns is undeniable. It’s even fair to say these stars could easily measure up to in terms of strength — or even surpass — NFL stars such as Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and A.J. Hawk.

So, perhaps it should come as no surprise that Brees, Rodgers and Hawk respect WWE superstars, and in the case of Hulk Hogan, even idolize them. These three gushed out their love for the Hulkster on Monday night’s  ‘Raw’ when they joined a slew of other celebrities in wishing Hogan a happy 61st (!) birthday.

Brees appears first, and manages to pull off a pretty great Hogan impression, adding a gravelly “Brother!” to the end of his well wishes.

Rodgers does the same, but it comes off a little more endearlingly.

“We’ve both been big Hulkamaniacs for years… BROTHER!” Rodgers said, sounding just as nervous and excited to be addressing his hero as a 13-year-old girl would be in front of Justin Bieber.

“You are the king of wrestling,” Hawk continues. “We’ve watched you our whole lives and now I show your clips on YouTube to my little kids growing up. Aaron has witnessed this at my house. You are the man, we love you.” Rodgers had a huge dopey grin on his face while Hawk talked, further endearing himself to his fans, and making it at least kind of cool to be a WWE fan.

Of course, the fact that Rodgers was so excited to address Hogan isn’t surprising. Rodgers has been touting his WWE fandom for a while. His on-field celebration shows him gesturing with two hands around his waist to signify a pro wrestling championship belt.


(Via Gifsoup)

The meme became so popular that in 2011, when Rodgers led the Packers to a Super Bowl win, a fan sent him an actual WWE championship belt to celebrate with.


(Al Bello/Getty Images)

Afterward, even David Letterman got in on the action, handing Rodgers the John Cena-designed WWE “spinner” Championship belt to go with the World Heavyweight belt he showed off at the Super Bowl.

Wear those belts with pride, Rodgers! We’ll all keep watching.