Since the start of 2021, University of Minnesota wrestler Gable Steveson has won the NCAA Heavyweight National Championship, won the Olympic Gold Medal in freestyle wrestling and signed a multi-year deal with the WWE that will allow him to finish out his next year of school and train to become a pro wrestler before officially joining the Monday Night Raw roster (which he has technically already been drafted to). Given his status as a gold medalist, Steveson immediately drew comparisons to pro wrestling's other Olympic hero, WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle.
Steveson was asked about that comparison, as well as the one people make between him and Brock Lesnar (both for national champions in wrestling and both went to Minnesota), while on After The Bell this week.
"It's fine. I don't mind the pressure," Steveson said (h/t Fightful). "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."
In a previous interview with Ariel Helwani, Steveson talked about the role "The Beast" played in helping him join WWE.
"Besides talking to guys like Lesnar and Triple H and such, I haven't actually talked to another collegiate wrestler in WWE....[Brock] was a good part [of the decision] because the Brock Lesnar path, like we talked about, he started with WWE and went to the NFL and made it to the final stages of being on the team, then went to UFC," Steveson said. "So, I mean the Brock Lesnar route is helpful for me, and I want to pave my own way and have my own destiny. He was a big help in this, and it was cool that he gave me some guidance."