Gable Steveson, the U.S. Olympic wrestler who staged an exciting and unexpected comeback to win the Gold in Tokyo last month, signed a multi-year NIL deal with WWE.
Steveson signed a NIL deal with the WWE that will allow him to finish college at the University of Minnesota and defend his Division I heavyweight national championship title, ESPN reported on Thursday.
The WWE will set up a remote training facility near the university where Steveson will train in the arts of WWE wrestling. The 21-year-old wrestler will also have access to the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida — where his brother, Bobby, is training.
Once he graduates, Steveson will be a full-time employee of the WWE. He will also appear in some promotions while finishing college. He will also be the WWE’s first gold medal winner since Kurt Angle.
“I’ve been on WWE since I was really young,” the 6-foot-1, 265-pound Steveson said. “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.”
“We all saw his physical ability prior to and at the Olympics,” WWE President and Chief Revenue Officer Nick Khan said. “What we also saw was that Gable has as much charisma as he does ability. Marketability and ability are both of great importance to us.”
Several other sports, including the NFL and the MMA, considered offering Steveson deals, as well. The wrestler says that he is such a huge fan of WWE programing that it seemed like a natural fit. And he already has an idea for a signature WWE finishing move.
“I think I got one in mind,” Steveson said. “It’s crazy how long I’ve been following them, and now I’ve reached that point where I’m going to be walking out in front of WrestleManias and SummerSlams, and people are going to do my signature look when I’m an old man, too.”
Steveson wowed the nation last month when he won the gold in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with a last-second, 2-point takedown just .4 seconds before the buzzer.
Gable Steveson had an incredible comeback in the final seconds to win gold at 125kg with what was basically a buzzer-beater.pic.twitter.com/7XXGBQ3cT6
— The Big Lead (@TheBigLead) August 6, 2021
Steveson was not favored to win the bout, but after his amazing takedown, the young Olympian did a backflip to celebrate the win.
— Team USA (@TeamUSA) August 6, 2021
Gable Dan Steveson is named after Olympic champion Dan Gable, a wrestler who won the gold in 1972, and Steveson has become the first American to take gold in heavyweight wrestling since Bruce Baumgartner in 1992.
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