WWE has announced that Gable Steveson, gold medalist wrestler in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, has signed with the company and will be joining their roster once he graduates in May. The NCAA Division I National Champion has signed the first-ever NIL deal with WWE, which will allow him to remain in school at the University of Minnesota until graduation.
As first reported by @ESPN, WWE has announced the signing of Olympic gold medalist and reigning NCAA wrestling champion @GableSteveson to an exclusive agreement! https://t.co/KWRnei182f pic.twitter.com/4gowLEhzIT
— WWE (@WWE) September 9, 2021
Childhood dream accomplished.. I have officially signed with the @WWE!!! Thank you for the opportunity!! LETS WORK 💪🏽
— Gable Steveson (@GableSteveson) September 9, 2021
ESPN’s article regarding the signing gives a bit more insight on how WWE will move forward with Gable Steveson while he is in school.
Mike Coppinger of ESPN wrote, “The 21-year-old signed a NIL deal with WWE that will allow him to attend the University of Minnesota for his senior year and defend the Division I national championship at heavyweight. WWE will set up a remote training facility for Steveson near campus where he’ll learn the finer points of in-ring work with WWE coaches.”
It is a one-of-a-kind deal for any athlete in WWE history, as he will begin to learn before he even leaves school. Steveson gave the following comment to ESPN about why this was the place for him after deciding between WWE, UFC, and the NFL.
“I’ve been on WWE since I was really young,” Steveson said in the interview. “I was on guys like Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman for a very long time. So growing up watching them, me being an entertainer on the wrestling mat, it just felt like it was the right choice.”
Steveson made his first official appearance for the company at this year’s SummerSlam, where he and fellow gold medalist Tamyra Mensah-Stock were introduced in front of the live crowd. With Kurt Angle and Brock Lesnar as clear blueprints to what Steveson could be, it will be interesting to see where his potential can bring him in WWE.
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