During the latest episode of WWE After the Bell with Corey Graves, NXT Champion Dolph Ziggler spoke about Gable Steveson his amateur wrestling career and what to expect from the Olympic Gold Medalist while fans finishing his WWE debut. The Showoff said he’d love to see Steveson pick up wrestling just as quickly as fellow Olympic Gold Medalist turn WWE superstar Kurt Angle and why he’s excited to see what’s next for Steveson.
“Watching him at 2am in the Olympics, beat the former World Champion or gold medalist and not sweating or breathing heavily and then do a backflip? Ziggler said. “That’s mind blowing, that’s made me giddy because one, collegiate amateur Olympic wrestling doesn’t get much fanfare, not too many people are constantly talking about it. Seeing that combination and seeing the twinkle in that kid’s eye, he can have something special and be this unstoppable athlete. That’s crazy, that’s like the Kurt Angle combination.
“It’s one thing if you’re an Olympian but can you do what we do? Most people cannot. There’s that twinkle in his eye that makes me think he can but you have to start fresh, you will be a little bit humbled one way or another. I don’t know if he thinks like oh, I’ll just be Brock Lesnar, I’ll come in on a jet, punch somebody in the face, throw them through a wall and hop back on a jet and come home. I think it might be a little bit humbling coming from this unstoppable gold medalist with everything to gain going, I need to get down and dirty and gritty and be able to protect myself in the ring and watch my back in the locker room.
“He doesn’t have so much of the don’t trust anybody, you have great coaches around you, but I’m looking forward to watching him progress. I want to see him start training, I want to see him pick it up as fast as Kurt Angle notoriously did and got it so fast. That just makes me excited for the business and someone coming from wrestling. And then when he gets to WrestleMania or earns that spot and does all those matches, I look forward to kicking him in the face.”
Steveson didn’t take any time to announce who his dream matchup in WWE would be, naming Brock Lesnar as that star. The Gold Medalist also spoke about wanting to talk and carry himself just like SmackDown star and Universal Champion Roman Reigns.
Continuing to talk about his career, Dolph Ziggler spoke about his upbringing in professional wrestling and how he dealt with the transition from amateur to pro wrestling. Ziggler spoke about wanting to be the one guy who was willing to sell and that helped him stand out while trying to learn the ways of the business.
“I was a fan since I was five so this is what killed me,” Ziggler said. “I watched what happened from five years old on and then in amateur wrestling I’ve had my shoulder come out of place in a conference finals match with a minute to go and you’ve got to go ‘everythings fine’ and have your trainer pop it back in and not show your opponent that my arm just came out and I can’t use it for the next 90 seconds, hopefully I can still win. To Rip Rodgers training you to take a hammerlock behind your back and show all four sides of an arena how badly it hurts you. I went I’m going to embrace this, I didn’t understand it at first and I would catch myself.
“Someone does something to you and you’re just locked in and you go you have to loosen up, that takes time no matter what, but I got into that Rip Rodgers thing of someones got my arm, let me show all four sides of the arena what is happening because that was from the era of you don’t have the jumbotron and screens, you’re just watching a match and you might be in the cheap seats and you want to feel that emotion too. That was a problem for me the first couple months and I remember Briscoe coming and saying ‘they love you, they love your work ethic, they love everything you’re doing but you’re not coming out of your shell and feeling this moment. ‘ It was very in at the time to want to look like Randy Orton, he was the youngest champion, short black hair, black trunks, not showing emotion and just wreck people.
“Then you go ‘I’m 5’11, 195 pounds, I’m not wrecking anybody here but how can I stand out? I’ll dye my hair blonde, I’ll wear pink trunks, I don’t give a damn. Everyones trying to look tough? No one wants to sell? I am going to sell eight sides of this frickin’ arena and everybody is going to be talking about it.’ All of a sudden people want to work with you because you’re giving your body to them and of course there is a give and take of it. You still don’t want to get flopped around like a fish, have it mean something but I was very much in the Mr. Perfect of I’m probably going to lose, it’s probably going to be four minutes but I am going to stand out to where everyone wants to work me and I feel like I’ve stuck with that the whole way.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit WWE After the Bell with Corey Graves with ah/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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