Tokyo wrestling gold medalist Gable Steveson made his WrestleMania debut by suplexing another Olympian.
Steveson, who signed with WWE after winning 125kg gold in Tokyo, joined the circuit officially after completing his college career with a repeat NCAA heavyweight title with Minnesota last month.
On Sunday night, Steveson entered the ring at the most prestigious wrestling show of all. He was soon confronted by WWE veteran Chad Gable, also known as Chas Betts, a 2012 U.S. Olympic Greco-Roman wrestler.
Betts knocked a celebratory drink cup out of Steveson’s hand. Steveson took off his shirt, then snatched a microphone from Betts’ hand and eventually suplexed him over his head.
“Dream come true,” Steveson said later in a WWE interview at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. “Hard to describe the emotions that you get, coming from amateur wrestling, collegiate wrestling, Olympic style, 70,000 people, you didn’t get that. You get that with WWE, though.”
Steveson, named after 1972 wrestling gold medalist Dan Gable, was known as an entertainer in his amateur days.
After defeating opponents in the 275-pound division, he often did a back flip in celebration. As he did in his surprise run to gold in Tokyo, beating world champion Geno Petriashvili of Georgia with a takedown in the final second.
Steveson trained with WWE legend Brock Lesnar three years ago and said going into the Olympics that the WWE may be in his future.
Other Olympians to have WWE careers included, most recently, 1996 wrestling gold medalist Kurt Angle and two-time Olympic weightlifter Mark Henry.
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