One of WWE’s latest trainees, Gable Steveson, has revealed the influence Brock Lesnar had on his decision to sign with the company.
WWE announced that they had signed the Olympic Gold Medallist to their first-ever ‘NIL’ (Name, Image, Likeness) deal on September 9th. As part of the exclusive agreement, the reigning NCAA wrestling champion will be able to defend that title for the University of Minnesota while also joining the WWE roster.
Like Steveson, Lesnar was an NCAA Heavyweight Champion while at the same university before moving into the world of professional wrestling. Speaking on ‘The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani‘, Steveson said he had spoken to the ‘Beast Incarnate’, who he has known since high school, about the path he had taken to WWE and beyond. He also said Lesnar was a “big help” with his decision.
“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. 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.”
Steveson’s brother Bobby has also been recruited by WWE, and began training at the Performance Centre earlier this year. Steveson said that it’s been a positive experience for the former University of Minnesota heavyweight amateur wrestler.
“He likes it a lot down there. Bobby is not a really big talker or actor type, he’s kind of introverted. So, he has to bring out another side of him, and I think he’s got it in him. We’ll see how he does at the NXT level. It’s just a matter of is he gonna work hard, and I think he’s got all the tools to be the next star too.”
A match between Gable Steveson and Brock Lesnar has reportedly already been “teased” within WWE as something that would be a ‘passing of the torch’ moment at a WrestleMania.
Steveson was able to walk down a WWE aisle for the first time at this year’s SummerSlam when WWE honoured him alongside fellow Gold Medallist Tamyra Mensah-Stock for their achievements at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
H/T to 411mania.com for the above transcription