Gable Steveson, Olympic wrestling gold medalist and former WWE wrestler, has signed a multiyear deal with the company.
Gable Steveson, Olympic wrestling gold medalist, has signed a multiyear deal with WWE. The contract is worth $1 million.
9 September 2021
ESPN’s Mike Coppinger
Gable Steveson, the gold medalist in heavyweight freestyle wrestling at the Tokyo Olympics last month, has signed a multiyear contract with WWE, according to Steveson.
The 21-year-old signed a NIL contract with WWE, allowing him to finish his final year at the University of Minnesota and defend his Division I national title at heavyweight. WWE will establish a remote training facility near campus for Steveson, where he will master the finer aspects of in-ring technique from WWE instructors.
He’ll also be able to train at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, where his brother, Bobby Steveson, does. Gable Steveson’s multiyear talent deal with WWE will begin when he graduates in May; he’ll be a full-time performer with the organization (but also appear on WWE programming during the school year).
Steveson, WWE’s first gold medalist since Kurt Angle, stated, “I’ve been on WWE since I was very little.” “For a long time, I was on people like Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman. So, having grown up watching them and being an entertainer on the wrestling mat, it seemed like the perfect decision.”
Steveson, who stands 6-foot-1 and weighs 265 pounds, had discussions with the UFC and was considering a future in the NFL after winning the Olympic gold medal in Tokyo, a last-second triumph against Geno Petriashvili that he celebrated with a back flip.
The UFC wanted Steveson to acquire experience in the regional MMA scene before possibly putting him onto Dana White’s Contender Series to fight for a contract, according to ESPN’s Marc Raimondi. The approach would have been identical to what the UFC accomplished with Greg Hardy, a former NFL All-Pro. “We never spoke about it, so I have no idea,” Steveson stated.
Nick Khan, WWE president and chief revenue officer, stated, “We all witnessed his athletic capabilities before to and during the Olympics.” “We also realized that Gable has as much charm as he does talent. We place a high value on both marketability and ability.”
“This is just the starting line; the finish line is still a long way off. So our investment is predicated on how much we like Gable today and how much we believe he can grow into.”
Top freestyle wrestlers have a long history of becoming main-event Superstars in WWE. Angle earned a gold medal in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta and went on to become a WWE champion and a headline performer for a long time. Lesnar, like Steveson, won the national title at the University of Minnesota, and he’s now signed with WWE, where he’s one of the company’s greatest stars.
Steveson considers former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar a “wonderful mentor” and sees a WrestleMania fight between the two in the not-too-distant future.
“Being able to learn how to absorb bumps and having the wrestling experience I have today, I believe I’ll be able to adjust to anything pretty quickly,” Steveson said. “I believe that the charm, confidence, and attitude that I bring to the wrestling mat will transfer very quickly to the WWE, and I believe that I can… go on film and have a fantastic part and know exactly what to do.”
Meanwhile, Steveson will concentrate on the collegiate wrestling mat, where he will attempt to defend his national title while finishing his studies. He grew up in Apple Valley, Minnesota, watching Paul “Triple H” Levesque, a member of D-Generation X, spit water in the air at WrestleMania. He’ll now study the trade of a WWE Superstar, and that same guy will play a key role in his growth.
“Gable wowed us long before he became a gold medalist for the United States,” said Levesque, who is also the WWE’s EVP of global talent strategy and development. “He has all of the characteristics of a generational athlete, including stature, speed, and drive, as well as the ability to capture an audience with his tremendous charm.”
“The introduction of NIL enables us to establish a more direct route from college to WWE, which benefits both athletes and the WWE world, as Gable will have an instant presence with us while pursuing his degree and defending his national title. In WWE, he has a bright future.”
“Your breakthrough moment may come sooner than you expect,” Steveson remarked.
And what about that crucial last move?
He said, “I believe I’ve got one in mind.” “… It’s amazing how long I’ve been watching them, and now I’m at the point where I’ll be coming out in front of WrestleManias and SummerSlams, and people will do my trademark look even when I’m old.”
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