Mark RaimondiESPN staff writer3 minutes to read
Tamyra Mensah-Stock, who made history at the Tokyo Olympics, hung up her amateur wrestling shoes — only to pick up a pair of professional wrestling shoes and join the WWE.
WWE officials told ESPN on Tuesday that the show has signed gold medalist Mensah-Stock to a contract. Mensah-Stock was the 68kg Olympic champion at the 2021 Tokyo Games, becoming the first black woman to win gold in freestyle wrestling.
Mensah-Stock, 30, has been publicly speaking about going to WWE after winning gold in 2021 but has remained in amateur wrestling, winning the 2022 World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia, for her second world title.
In 2021, Mensah-Stock finished third in the World Championship and held on because of that finish.
“I didn’t want to end my career on this note,” said Mensah Stock. “So I went to another world championship, mopped the floor with everyone, and said, ‘Man, this isn’t fun anymore. I need to change. “Something in the back of my head was just bothering me, a dream of mine because I don’t know how long. I just wanted to be in WWE.”
The Texas resident will be starting WWE’s developmental program. Mensah-Stoke reported Monday to the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, she told ESPN. Her goal is to make the main WWE roster within one year.
“I just love watching the athletes in the ring doing what they do best,” said Mensah Stock. “I just see their personalities shine through on TV, and I see their strength. Everything about them is me, and I just wanted to be a part of that.”
Mensah-Stock said she briefly considered competing in mixed martial arts, but wasn’t sure what weight class she would be a natural in and didn’t necessarily think she would fit in.
“I don’t like the idea of giving in and breaking an arm or being aggressive like that,” she said. “I really don’t want to gain weight anymore, let’s just be honest.”
Another Tokyo gold medalist, Gable Stevenson, has been signed to WWE since 2021 and has been in development. He recently returned to amateur wrestling and is expected to try to make the Olympic team again for the 2024 Paris Games.