For nearly two decades, Kurt Angle lay claim to being the only Olympic gold medalist in WWE history. Oh, it’s true, it’s damn true. However, times are changing and the sports entertainment juggernaut has become more ambitious than ever when it comes to recruiting blue-chip athletes from all manner of sports. In 2021, WWE launched its NIL program, allowing them to pay college athletes in exchange for their name, image, and likeness rights, and their first signing was none other than Olympic gold medalist, Gable Steveson.
Unlike Angle, who burst onto the scene and quickly ascended to WWE success, Steveson has yet to make much of an impact in the world of pro wrestling. After being signed to a NIL deal, he was drafted to WWE Raw in October 2021 but didn’t make his first official appearance as a WWE star until WrestleMania 38 night one. The newly signed Olympic star confronted Chad Gable, delivered a suplex and then celebrated with various WWE babyfaces. His only other appearance since has been as part of Kurt Angle’s birthday party celebration on Smackdown in December of last year.
While Steveson’s WWE momentum seems to have stalled for the time being as he has returned to amateur freestyle wrestling, a new Olympic gold medalist is poised to begin her own Superstar adventure. Earlier today, ESPN announced, and WWE confirmed, that freestyle wrestling gold medalist Tamyra Mensah-Stock has officially signed with the company. Mensah-Stock won her medal in the 68 kg division at the 2021 Tokyo games, becoming the first black woman to win an Olympic wrestling gold medal.
“I love watching the athletes just in the ring, just doing what they do best,” she told ESPN. “I just see their personalities just shine through the television, and I see their strength. Just everything about them resembles me, and I’ve just wanted to be a part of that.”
Mensah-Stock also went out of her way to put over how she’s had an “itch” to be a WWE Superstar for a long time now. Jokingly, she also noted that as a WWE performer, she was no longer bound to making weight, which she was as an active amateur competitor.
Stay with Haus of Wrestling for all the latest on Tamyra Mensah-Stock’s WWE future