There's no denying that 2021 has been a rough year for the WWE. The wrestling organization has lost multiple key stars to its rival AEW, and has otherwise released a slew of talent in what's reportedly been an effort to stay financially stable after a rough 2020. With CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, and now Adam Cole all recent acquisitions for its biggest sports entertainment rival, the WWE has finally responded, so to speak, with its own exciting signing of an Olympic Gold Medalist. After his appearance at SummerSlam 2021, the WWE has officially signed world-class athlete Gable Steveson to an exclusive agreement.
The agreement between the WWE and Gable Steveson was not laid out in the official statement from The WWE, but ESPN (opens in new tab) reported Gable signed a multi-year NIL (name, image, likeness) deal. The 21-year-old Gable will become a full-time talent upon his graduation from the University of Minnesota, where he currently holds the NCAA title, but he will also make appearances prior to his graduation. One interesting bit is that Gable will also be allowed to defend his NCAA title while he is under contract with the WWE, leading one to think there are likely provisions involved for potential injuries.
Gable Steveson is the first gold medalist to sign a contract with the WWE since Kurt Angle, who took home the top prize for wrestling in the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. He's also a student of the University of Minnesota, like former NCAA champion and current WWE Superstar Brock Lesnar. Both Lesnar and Angle have had considerable success in their pro wrestling careers, and have built up massive fanbases even outside the WWE, so there's reason to feel optimistic about Steveson's future in the company.
The WWE wasn't the only organization with an eye on Gable Steveson, per reports. It's said the UFC also had an interest in the Olympic athlete. Steveson ultimately chose the WWE, however, and he will receive personal training on the ins and outs of professional wrestling at a remote facility away from the WWE, and closer to his college campus.
This will presumably ensure he'll be ready to roll upon becoming full-time talent, which seems positive for what WWE has planned for Gable Steveson. Brock Lesnar became WWE champion only five months after his debut on the main roster. Of course, many will point out that Brock Lesnar is quite an anomaly by many metrics in pro wrestling and professional sports, so maybe it's not too fair to immediately make comparisons between the two.
Gable Steveson might not be the next Brock Lesnar or Kurt Angle immediately, though it would be great for the WWE if he hit that point sooner rather than later. Monday Night Raw could certainly use some more talent in its singles division, and someone like Steveson has the notoriety and athleticism to bring a real boost to the show. Of course, he could also be sent someone like NXT or SmackDown as well, which would also benefit from his inclusion. Wherever he may end up, Steveson's journey should be a treat to watch for WWE fans in the coming years.
While waiting to hear more about Gable Steveson, read up on what Braun Strowman is up to after his release from WWE and where it's looking like he may end up soon.
Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.
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