After a highly successful showing at the Tokyo Olympics, the U.S. wrestling team remains in strong position to win multiple medals in Paris despite the absence of all three reigning gold medalists. Meanwhile on the international side, one of the sport's most successful athletes ever hopes to return for one more Olympics, and a new star may be on the verge of a takeover.

Below are some of the biggest storylines from the world of wrestling that will have an impact on the upcoming 2024 Olympic Games.

Steveson, Mensah-Stock join WWE

Of the three U.S. wrestlers to win gold in Tokyo, two of them — Gable Steveson and Tamyra Mensah-Stock — have signed contracts with WWE. Steveson joined WWE shortly after the last Olympics, while Mensah-Stock won a 2022 world title before inking her deal in May 2023.

Although both athletes originally planned to retire from competitive wrestling, one later changed their mind. In April 2023, Steveson announced that he was coming out of retirement to make a run at the Paris Olympics. After winning a U.S. Open title, Steveson ultimately earned a spot on the 2023 World Championships team but withdrew from the competition shortly ahead of time.

Mason Parris, a 2023 NCAA champion, won a bronze medal in men's freestyle 125kg after taking Steveson's place at the World Championships. With Steveson also absent from Olympic Trials, Parris won his best-of-three series and clinched a spot in Paris with the 2024 U.S. Olympic wrestling team.

David Taylor to miss Paris after Olympic Trials upset

As for the other reigning U.S. Olympic champion, David Taylor, he remained the gold medal favorite in men's freestyle 86kg up until he was beaten by Aaron Brooks, a four-time NCAA champion from Penn State University, at Olympic Trials.

Since 2017, every world or Olympic title at 86kg has been won by either Taylor or Iran's Hassan Yazdani. Ever since Taylor defeated Yazdani to win gold in Tokyo, the two wrestlers have faced off in the finals at three consecutive world championships. Yazdani got the better of Taylor in 2021, but the last two rematches have gone in favor of Taylor.

With Brooks taking Taylor's spot on the team, that streak will come to an end in Paris. Kyle Snyder (Rio 2016) and Gable Steveson (Tokyo 2020) both won Olympic gold immediately after winning NCAA titles, and Brooks will try to become the latest wrestler to successfully make that transition.

Amit Elor shows star potential for Team USA

Tamyra Mensah-Stock's retirement has opened the door for new U.S. talent to emerge in the women's freestyle 68kg division. One athlete who looks ready to take advantage of that opportunity is Amit Elor.

Elor, 20, has won back-to-back world titles at 72kg, which is a non-Olympic weight class. In order to compete at the Paris Games, she dropped down to 68kg. So far it's worked out for Elor, who continued her dominance at the Pan American qualification tournament and then U.S. Olympic Trials. In Paris, she'll become the youngest U.S. female wrestler to ever compete at the Olympics.

Elor's success at both the junior and senior levels signals a bright future. She's won a total of eight world titles across different age groups, and at the last two senior world championships, she outscored her opponents by a combined score of 60-6.

Snyder, Sadulaev rivalry interrupted by new challenger, eligibility concerns

Prior to the last Olympics, the world's most anticipated matchup was arguably a showdown between American Kyle Snyder and Russian Abdulrashid Sadulaev. The pair had combined to win every world title in men's freestyle 97kg since 2015, and they had several captivating matches at the world championships in the years leading up to the Tokyo Games.

That rivalry was set to be reignited at the 2023 World Championships, but something unexpected happened: Akhmed Tazhudinov, a Russian-born wrestler competing for Bahrain, dominated both athletes on his way to the world title. Tazhudinov beat Snyder by technical fall (11-0) in the quarterfinals, then built up a 9-2 lead over Sadulaev in the semifinals before Sadulaev withdrew due to injury. In the process, the 21-year-old Tazhudinov may have usurped both wrestlers as the favorite for gold in Paris.

Furthermore, Sadulaev's Olympic status is in doubt after he was ruled ineligible to compete at a European qualifying tournament in April. Russian athletes are allowed to compete as Individual Neutral Athletes in Paris, provided they meet certain criteria set by the International Olympic Committee. According to United World Wrestling, an eligibility panel ruled that Sadulaev failed to meet that criteria after the panel "found new information about his support of the Ukraine-Russia war." It doesn't rule Sadulaev out of the Olympics, but it makes an appearance there much less likely.

Gray returns from childbirth, but Blades gets Olympic spot

Adeline Gray, the most decorated woman in U.S. wrestling history, took some time away from the sport during this Olympic cycle to start a family. After giving birth to twins in July 2022, it was six months before she could return to training, and during that time she was still recovering from an abdominal tear sustained during the pregnancy.

Gray's comeback reached its apex when she made the U.S. team for the 2023 World Championships and earned a bronze medal, the ninth world medal of her storied career and first as a mother.

But at Olympic Trials in April 2024, Gray was beaten by 20-year-old Kennedy Blades in the best-of-three championship series for women's freestyle 76kg. As Gray takes some time with her family to decide what's next for her, Blades will head to Paris as an Olympic medal contender.

Mijain Lopez returns for a shot at history

No wrestler has ever won five Olympic gold medals. No athlete has ever won gold medals in the same individual event at five consecutive Olympic Games. Cuban legend Mijain Lopez, now 41, has a chance to make history in both categories this summer.

Lopez is the four-time reigning Olympic champion of Greco-Roman's super heavyweight division. In May 2023, he announced his intention to return to the mat for the Paris Olympics. Lopez has since resumed training, and if he is selected for the Cuban Olympic team — not a given, considering the success of countryman Oscar Pino in the same weight class — it could set up a showdown with his longtime nemsis, Turkiye's Riza Kayaalp, in Paris. Lopez has defeated Kayaalp head-to-head at each of the last three Olympic Games.