On September 9, WWE officially announced the signing of Olympic gold medalist Gable Steveson.
The deal is a unique one was Steveson will be allowed to continue his collegiate career at Minnesota before transitioning full-time to WWE. His deal with WWE will officially begin in May when the college season ends.
Steveson confirmed to Ariel Helwani on Helwani's MMA Show that his deal is for three years.
"After this year, it's a three-year deal. This year is extra," he said. The three-year deal starts "right away" after his college season ends said Steveson.
When discussing how the deal came together, Steveson said, "Going back to school came before the Olympic Games. I wanted to go back and win a National Title. With WWE, it came really quick because they allowed me to come back and why wouldn't I wrestle one more year and go on stage with WWE? It was a win-win and I had to take the opportunity."
Steveson said talks with WWE became serious following the Olympics.
When asked if WWE suggested that Steveson skip his collegiate season and go straight to WWE, Steveson said, "That never came up. I told them that I wanted to go back and finish school. Their number one priority was, 'you can do that.' Vince, Nick Khan, and Triple H all said, 'Go win the National Title. Everything will still be in place for you. Get your degree and we'll see you after that.' Part of my deal is I can go on stage during my school time."
Steveson's deal is the first-ever NIL deal with the company, which will allow him to earn money through WWE endorsements while still competing in college.
Asked if Minnesota had an issue with the deal, Steveson replied, "It was a fairly easy task. Minnesota signed off fairly quick on it. Since it's sports entertainment, it's not like I'm doing the NFL. The way the NCAA rule worked, I was able to work it so I could make an on-stage appearance against whoever and wrestle a dual the next day. My first obligation is to compete at Minnesota. Who knows when I will make my start (in WWE), but I will be on stage."
While Steveson trains and competes at Minnesota, WWE will set up a facility for him to work on his wrestling career as well.
Steveson said, "There's going to be people coming from the Performance Center, coaches that will come train me, and a couple of bigger names. It'll be a fun time."
He said that he trained at the Performance Center a bit when he was there in April, learning how to run the ropes and take bumps. He also said that while he didn't talk to any other collegiate wrestlers turned WWE pros, he was in communication with his brother Bobby Steveson, who is signing to a WWE deal and work at the Performance Center, and that he got guidance from Brock Lesnar.
While it is unknown when Steveson will be formally introduced to the WWE Universe, he believes he'll head straight to the main roster.
"There's a very good chance that I go straight to the main roster and not go to NXT. I'm open for anything. With the way things are going, I think I'm going to jump straight to the main roster. I know there's a lot to learn and I'm ready to soak everything in like a sponge and be ready to go out there and put on a good show for the crowd," he said.
Steveson did attend WWE SummerSlam and was introduced to the crowd alongside fellow Olympic gold medalist Tamyra Mensah-Stock.
If you use any of the quotes above, please credit the original source with a h/t and link back to Fightful for the transcription.