Another Olympic gold medalist wrestler has signed with WWE. In 2020, Tamyra Mensah-Stock won the gold medal in Tokyo, becoming the first Black U.S. woman to win one in freestyle wrestling.
After dealing with COVID and a back injury in 2021, Mensah-Stock still came away with the bronze medal at the World Championships. Last year, she won her second world title. She announced her retirement from amateur wrestling to focus on WWE.
"“So I did another world championships, I wiped the floor with everybody, and I was like, ‘Man, this is not fun anymore. I need a change.’ Something in the back of my head that’s just been itching at me, a dream of mine for I don’t know how long. I just wanted to be in the WWE.”"
The Olympian got into amateur wrestling because of her twin sister, Tarkiya. She had previously been involved in track and field at her high school before Tarkiya convinced her to join the wrestling team that she herself was part of.
Following a car accident that killed their father, Mensah-Stock nearly gave up wrestling altogether. He left one of her meets and was killed afterwards. She blamed wrestling for taking him away from their family. She lost others she was close to including an uncle, grandfather, and college teammate.
In an interview with Olympics.com, she spoke of her decision to keep going.
"“I wanted to stop so many times because I felt like all this pain wasn’t worth it. They’re looking down on me and going, ‘You better not quit — I believed in you. Keep my dream in you alive, please.’”"
Mensah-Stock has also revealed an alter ego: a zombie. She likes being a hunter and is an avid fan of zombie movies. “I definitely find pleasure in getting beat up and beating up people.” Perhaps the alter ego she developed in amateur wrestling will translate into her new career in the squared circle.
Kurt Angle and Gable Steveson are former Olympic gold medalists who signed with WWE.Tracy Hancock also participated in 2020 Olympics, but didn’t medal. He’s been wrestling on Level Up under the name Tavion Heights. Chad Gable is also an Olympian and competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
The 30-year-old Mensah-Stock has begun training at WWE’s Performance Center. Her goal is to make it to the main roster within a year. “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 is the first woman to leave the amateur wrestling world for WWE. She could make history just by making it to the main roster.