American freestyle wrestler Gable Steveson has parlayed his gold medal performance from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics into a contract with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). The 21-year-old star confirmed the news in a chat with ESPN.
“I’ve been on WWE since I was really young,” Steveson told the media outlet. “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.”
WWE later made the announcement about signing Steveson on their official social media.
Steveson inked a multi-year deal with the promotion but won’t make the transition to WWE right away. The agreement allows him to finish his senior year at the University of Minnesota and have a chance to defend the national championship he won this year. At the same time, he will learn the intricacies of WWE wrestling to get ready for his debut in the promotion in 2021.
After an impressive outing at the Olympics, Gable Steveson received interest from UFC and even thought about pursuing an NFL career. But in the end, WWE convinced him to enter the world of showbiz and follow the footsteps of other talented wrestlers-turned-WWE stars like Kurt Angle and Lesnar.
Steveson has a 35-6 freestyle career record and a 67-2 NCCA record that started with a 30-matches unbeaten run. Besides the Olympic gold, he also has two gold medals from Cadet World Championships, one gold medal from Junior World Championships, and one gold medal from Pan American Championships.