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What does NIL deal mean, that Gable Steveson has signed with WWE?

American Gold medalist Gable Steveson is now a WWE Superstar
American Gold medalist Gable Steveson is now a WWE Superstar
Sudhanshu Dixit

Gable Steveson, the talented wrestler from Minnesota who bagged a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics earlier this year, is now a WWE Superstar. After months of speculation, the 21-year-old athlete finally chose WWE as his next career destination.

Gable Steveson has a lot of respect and love for the pro wrestling business. He has been a vivid WWE fan since his childhood, which is one of the driving forces behind his signing with the company.

Steveson, 21, had been open to a number of career options following his gold medal victory. Alongside WWE, many NFL teams were also interested in signing Gable to their organization. However, the highly-acclaimed wrestler turned down all those offers to fulfill his dream of becoming a WWE Superstar.

What is the NIL Deal that Gable Steveson has signed with WWE?

Vince McMahon likes to bring mainstream stars of other sports into the WWE. Over the years, many successful Olympians gambled on their careers by entering the world of professional wrestling. While some of them found huge success, others failed to make an impact.

Kurt Angle and Mark Henry are two of those athletes who competed at the stage of the Olympics before switching over to WWE. Gable Steveson is now ready to follow in their footsteps.

It wouldn't have been so easy for WWE to sign Gable Steveson without the recent changes in NCAA rules. The company signed Steveson to an exclusive multi-year NIL (names, images, likeness rights) contract, which would now allow Gable to gain from endorsements such as merchandise sales, paid appearances, etc.

He can now capitalize on his newfound fame and appealing personality for his financial benefits. Previously, in-demand college athletes couldn't sign such deals without losing their college eligibility. But with the new modifications in the NCAA rule book, applicable from July 1, 2021, things have become better for these young men.

Gable's willingness to return to college for at least one more year is what made him sign this NIL deal. He did want to become a WWE Superstar but was not yet ready to leave college wrestling.

This exclusive agreement will help Gable to continue wrestling in college while still being a part of WWE. As the reigning NCAA wrestling champion, the 21-year-old will also be able to defend his title for the University of Minnesota.

Do you think Gable Steveson would be successful in professional wrestling? Sound off in the comments below.


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Edited by Anirban Banerjee

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