There’s a big change at the biggest weight class for the 2023 United States Senior Men’s Freestyle team. 2020(1) Olympic Gold Medalist, Gable Steveson, has informed USA Wrestling that he will not compete at the upcoming World Championships ten days from now.
Final X runner-up Mason Parris will take his place.
Steveson left his shoes in the center of the mat after winning his second NCAA title for the University of Minnesota in 2022. At the time, he was focusing on getting a WWE career off the ground. Steveson returned to the mat in April, at the US Open, where he had little trouble in running through a talented field for the title and a spot in Final X.
In Newark, Steveson looked as good as ever dispatching Parris in two-straight matches, 5-2 and 5-0. Steveson has also made comments that have fueled speculation that he’ll return to collegiate wrestling, as well. He just needed approval from the WWE. Now, Steveson is out of the 2023 World Championships.
The United States gets to display its excellent depth at the 125 kg weight class with Parris. In 2019, Parris pinned Iranian Amir Zare to win a Junior world championship. Zare has gone on to win a world title at the Senior level and owns three Senior World/Olympic medals.
Parris, knowing this was a possibility, recently went to Hungary and grabbed a gold medal at the Ranking Series event.
Earlier this year, Parris wrapped up his collegiate career at the University of Michigan and was awarded the Hodge Trophy after winning an elusive national title. Parris’ Hodge Trophy hopes were bolstered by a 33-0 record that featured 21 bonus-point wins; including 11 falls. Each of the final three wrestlers that Parris defeated in Tulsa were age-group world medalists.
With Parris’ addition, the 2023 men’s freestyle squad now has six first-time world team members.