Gable Steveson, an Olympic gold medalist and two-time NCAA Division I National Champion, officially signed with WWE last September as the first member of its NIL (dubbed Next In Line) program. He was then drafted to the Monday Night Raw roster and began training despite still being a student-athlete at the University of Minnesota for one more year. Steveson won his second national championship this past weekend and signified his retirement from collegiate wrestling, then indicated to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour that his WWE debut is quickly approaching.
"It'll start the day WrestleMania hits or after that," Steveson said (h/t Wrestling Inc.). "I mean, I don't know like, my exact start date is in the middle of April. So they're letting me finish school. They're letting me do my thing, and then Monday Night Raws will either come really soon or shortly after that. But I'm planning on getting on TV and getting in the ring on TV really, really soon. Probably the next, after WrestleMania."
He also confirmed that he'll be present at WrestleMania 38 and that he'll skip any time down in NXT — "As of right not I'm not, I believe [I'll be skipping NXT]. I think NXT is a great program. My brother is on NXT so I love to watch it and tune in, and he's doing a great job down there too. So I think the plan for me was to go to Monday Night Raw and start out there just produce myself and just be myself on TV right there."
Steveson enters the WWE with an athletic resume comparable to Kurt Angle, something he has said publicly that he doesn't mind. Both men won two National Championships and an Olympic Gold Medal as heavyweights.
"It's fine. I don't mind the pressure," Steveson said on After The Bell last year regarding that comparison. "People compare me to Kurt Angle and Brock Lesnar, it's actually really cool. Kurt Angle is a legend. They're both Hall of Famers at the end of the day. To be compared to those guys is something crazy. It's good and bad. Kurt won a gold medal and I won a gold medal. The difference is, he had a broken neck and I won it in the last one second. My gold medal doesn't exist because if I don't have a broken neck, it's gone.
"The chip is always going to be there because people surround that pressure that I like around me to be a WWE superstar and live up to that hype," he added. "That Kurt Angle hype is really good and it drives me to be better than he is. If I don't reach that point, I know I tried and did my best. At the end of the day, my goal is to be the best version of Gable, not Kurt Angle, not Brock Lesnar. Even with their support and their look, I want to be the person I want to be."0comments