Gable Steveson gets his hand raised after a victory against Nebraska (Photo/Mark Beshey, The Guillotine)
In terms of overall success in his wrestling career, University of Minnesota heavyweight Gable Steveson is truly a larger-than-life individual. As he has reached the halfway point of his career as the Golden Gopher big man, Steveson -- two-time Big Ten champ, 2019 NCAA heavyweight All-American = shared his views on some significant topics -- including a possible pro wrestling career -- with the Minnesota Daily this past week.
Unexpected summer: A year ago, wrestlers -- and fans of the oldest and greatest sport -- would be eagerly anticipating the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo ... with many anticipating that Minnesota's big man Steveson taking to the mat for the Team USA freestyle team. However, thanks to a one-year delay for the 2020 Olympics caused by the coronavirus pandemic pushing the Opening Ceremonies back to summer 2021 ... which leads to ...
Weight-y matters: Despite Steveson's change of plans earlier this year (cancellation of the 2020 NCAA Division I Championships, postponement of the 2020 Olympics to this time next year), the big man has maintained his workout schedule. Here's how Paul Hodowanic of the Minnesota Daily described the situation: "After spending most of his heavyweight career around 245 pounds, Steveson has jumped up to 265 this offseason. It's the heaviest Steveson has been in his life."
"Steveson attributes the weight gain to increased lifting and better dieting," in the words of Hodowanic. "Gophers' head coach Brandon Eggum has seen Steveson's emphasis on both those areas grow since Steveson arrived at the University."
As of now, Steveson plans to continue his current weightlifting routine and see where that takes him, according to Hodowanic.
Steveson sets sights on the WWE: While Steveson still has has two more years of eligibility at Minnesota, he's already identified what he wants to do once it's over: become a WWE wrestler.
"That's my main goal, and that's my end goal. As years go on it becomes more realistic, and I can set it happening right when I'm done with college," Steveson told the Minnesota Daily. "It's just a matter of me performing and making sure I get to that point."
Steveson grew up watching professional wrestling as a huge fan of Brock Lesnar, who started his pro career not long after concluding his collegiate career with a heavyweight title for Minnesota at the 2000 NCAAA Championships.
Coach Eggum thinks Steveson has the right mindset for the role, and his accomplishments at Minnesota should only help his chances.
"He loves being a showman, which is a big part of the WWE," Eggum said. "Anytime the WWE has something to build off of, like credential-wise, any of those things that are real like Gable has been able to do ... they can really run with."
Long before Brock Lesnar, University of Minnesota wrestling has a long, successful tradition of turning out NCAA heavyweight mat champs, some who go on to become pro wrestling champions. Going back to the 1940s, Minnesota could claim Leonard "Butch" Levy and Verne Gagne who found some fame and fortune in the squared circle. In more recent years -- in the same era as Brock Lesnar, there was Shelton Benjamin was an impressive figure the pro wrestling ring.
Stay tuned ...
Want to know more about Gable Steveson's potential future career ... and where it fits in the history of Minnesota wrestling?