Veteran wrestling star Kurt Angle was the first Olympic winning grappler signed by the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). Angle won a gold medal in the 1996 Atlanta Games before becoming a prominent name in the WWE fixture for over a decade. Angle bid adieu to the wrestling world a few years ago but not before becoming the WWE champion on several occasions. He was also inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2017.
However, in an interesting turn of events, the sports entertainment company has added another Olympic gold medalist in their ranks— Gable Steveson. And, the story does not end here, as the 21-year-old Steveson is set to become the first-ever beneficiary of WWE’s NIL – Name, Image, and Likeness – deal. The NIL deal is a kind of compensation contract. According to the rule, an NCAA athlete can sign a NIL contract with any professional organization and capitalize on their status and personalities without endangering their college eligibility.
This deal will allow Steveson to defend his NCAA title for the University of Minnesota. Other than that, the 2020 Tokyo Games gold medallist will also get added to the WWE star-studded roster that includes the likes of Roman Reigns, Becky Lynch, Asuka, The New Day, Drew McIntyre and more.
The pro wrestling company confirmed Steveson’s arrival to the WWE Universe via a social media post from the official Twitter handle.
“WWE has announced the signing of Olympic gold medalist and reigning NCAA wrestling champion Gable Steveson to an exclusive agreement,” WWE wrote on Twitter. WWE also added a picture of Steveson on their Tweet with a message.
Steveson also shared the happy news with his followers from his official Instagram handle, saying that he has accomplished his childhood dream.
While WWE confirmed that they have signed Steveson for a multi-year deal, it is yet to be seen how the sports entertainment company will unveil him in front of wrestling fans.