Olympian college student Steveson signs WWE deal
Gable Steveson, who won a gold medal in heavyweight freestyle wrestling at the Tokyo Olympics, has signed a multi-year deal with WWE while still in college.
The WWE says the exclusive agreement is their first-ever name, image, and likeness or NIL deal with a college wrestler.
The NCAA champion will join the ranks of the WWE, but will still wrestle for the University of Minnesota during his senior year to defend his title.
Steveson's Olympic gold opens up career opportunities
Steveson is the first Olympic gold medalist to sign up with the biggest wrestling company in the world since Kurt Angle joined after his win at the 1996 Atlanta Games. Angle proceeded to have a successful WWE career.
Steveson said the WWE had been good to him, describing Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar as positive influences in his life since he was in high school. Steveson said that he grew up watching WWE, and so it felt like the right choice to join the company as a performer on the wrestling mat.
The 21-year-old became the first American to win the heavyweight freestyle Olympic event since 1992. His win greatly expanded his career prospects to include offers to sign up with WWE or UFC, or even join the NFL.
Wrestling runs in the Steveson family
Steveson follows the footsteps of his older brother Bobby, also a Minnesota wresting star, who recently joined WWE. Bobby Steveson is undergoing training at WWE facilities in Orlando, Florida, where his brother can also train if he wishes to.
While still in school, the wrestling champion will reportedly train at a remote facility near his university campus, where he will be under the tutelage of WWE coaches. After he graduates in May, his contract with WWE will commence, and he will be a full-time wrestler for the company.