Steveson to focus full-time on WWE after the NCAA Wrestling Championships conclude in March.
It was formally announced this past September that Gable Steveson signed a multi-year agreement with WWE that is allowing him to continue wrestling for the Minnesota Gophers. As a part of the 2021 WWE Draft, Steveson was selected by the Raw brand.
February 11th is Gable’s senior night and it’ll be the last time he wrestles a home match for the Gophers. He spoke with KSTP Sports about it and said there’s a possibility of him becoming emotional as he’s wrapping up his collegiate career before heading into his WWE run.
I don’t know. I really don’t get emotional so tomorrow [his final time wrestling a home match for the Minnesota Gophers], it might hit. You know, just because I’m getting my last matches, like really wrestling before I go into the WWE so, it might hit different. You never know so I mean when that time comes, I walk out for the senior night and I get my hand raised for the last time, it might hit, you never know. So when that time comes, I’ll let it come but if it doesn’t, then it’s not coming.
The NCAA Wrestling Championships are taking place from March 17th-19th in Detroit, Michigan. Gable confirmed that after that, he’ll be focusing full-time on WWE. He said he’ll probably be at WrestleMania 38.
That’s it. Yes, that’s it [Steveson responded when asked if the plan is for him to focus on WWE after the NCAA Championships].
It’s not slowing down. Right when March ends, I’m picking it up and I think I’m gonna — I’ll probably head to WrestleMania and do some — I don’t know what from there but you’ll see and then it just picks up again. It’s like it’s no break and so, I mean it’ll be a good body break for me to sit after the NCAA tournament because I’ve been practicing since what? October and probably since the Olympics. I took [some time] off and then came right back to it so, it’ll be good for me to sit and just getting in something new and you know, I’m just trying to push through these few weeks — I’m not trying to push through. I’m trying to really get after it and handle them mentally and physically in the best way possible and just move on to the next step right away.
He went on to share that he attends Monday Night Raws and sits backstage to take in the environment and learn how to conduct himself from his soon-to-be colleagues.
Gable said he’ll often study Brock Lesnar and Big E to see how they operate backstage. Steveson was present at WWE Day 1 and had a 30-minute conversation with Lesnar and asked him a series of questions about pro wrestling.
The balance is pretty good [between professional wrestling and amateur wrestling practice], you know? I do things here and there. There’s sometimes I’ll go to Monday Night Raws and I’ll show up and I’ll be in the back and just sit around and a lot of those times, I’m just soaking [it] in. I’ll look at what Brock [Lesnar] does throughout the whole time or I’ll look at, who else? Big E. I look at how they handle themselves and try to keep it so that when my time comes, I’m already hip to everything and I’m ready to go and so like, there’s a — when I go to them, you really never see me on the stage. If someone takes a picture of me backstage, you’ll see me backstage but, I’m really there just soaking in the energy and like, pinpointing everything they do and everything I see and there’s times — I follow Kurt Angle on Instagram, he’ll post a video and I’m looking [at] how he looks, how he talks, how he moves and so when it’s my time, I’m perfecting it already and so, that was a big thing for me but with the amateur, it’s — with the regular wrestling in college, I’m focused on that more right now but there’s been many times when I was going to — I went to WWE Day 1 and I went to many others and I literally just sit back there and I was sitting, talking to Lesnar for 30 minutes about, ‘Hey, what’s this? This? And this?’ And he’ll tell me and I’ll just say hi to Vince [McMahon] for a few minutes and I’m literally just trying to dissect so like, like I said, when that time comes, it’s a hit, I know what I’m doing right away.
Gable’s brother, Damon Kemp (Bobby Steveson) is currently a part of the NXT brand. Steveson has the option to head to the Performance Center in Orlando to train. He also has a training site being built for him in Minnesota and when it is finished, he wants to turn it into an academy so children can learn amateur wrestling, pro wrestling and MMA.
So I’m still working on things with that [in-ring training]. I have the opportunity to go down to the Performance Center and stay for a day and practice. My brother [Damon Kemp/Bobby Steveson] is down there too so I can go down there and say what’s up and stuff like that so, my site is still getting — my training site is still getting hit here and it’s about to be up for good. So when that time comes, I mean, I’m gonna try to create a wrestling academy, like the Gable Steveson Academy. Something where like kids can come in and practice our wrestling and then there can be a WWE ring, there can be a UFC ring and so we’re trying to turn it into a big little thing where it gives people opportunity to grow and be around me too and just see how I’ve made it to the spot I am [in] today.
Back in December, Steveson appeared on-camera at a Raw in Minneapolis. He was embraced by both MVP and current WWE Champion Bobby Lashley.
If the quotes in this article are used, please credit KSTP Sports with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.