Chad Gable’s Masterful Rise to Prominence in WWE
The career of Chad Gable has often shown fans that there was something special about him. From his amateur wrestling roots to his uncanny ability to convey how he feels and what he feels on the microphone has made the parallels to former WWE Champion Kurt Angle unmistakable.
For all the similarities the two have, it is Gable who has had a to grow right before fans’ eyes virtually from the beginning. As an Olympian on the 2012 Summer Olympics, Gable competed and represented the United States at the time. Before that, he was a state champion in Minnesota in High School.
“Above and beyond that, my vision for the Alpha Academy is to churn out guys like myself and Otis to be individual champions. We’re not just limited to tag team and I’m not just limited to tag teams. I’m very proud of my record as a tag team champion and being a triple crown tag team champion, but I don’t want people to assume that I’m simply a tag team wrestler.
They’ve also gotten to see moments like my run in King of the Ring and matches with guys like AJ Styles. Just throughout my career, you can see that I’m very capable as a singles wrestler. I have big goals as a singles wrestler. We want to take over the world as the Alpha Academy.” – Chad Gable GiveMeSport via Fightful
Upon his departure from the amateur ranks in 2012, Chad Betts (his given name) would sign a contract with the WWE joining the company’s NXT promotion. Very little was shared about Gable upon his entry into NXT. However, with a strong amateur background behind him, it seemed that he would be thrust into an opportunity almost immediately with the brand. Betts would use the ‘Gable’ name as a sign of respect and show tribute to fellow United States Olympian Dan Gable.
After competing at house shows and eventually debuting on NXT TV, Gable would find his first taste of success working alongside longtime NXT talent Jason Jordan. For those unaware, Jordan was seeking a new tag team partner, and it was Gable who would introduce himself to Jordan, interrupting him during a backstage interview. At this time, he would reveal a towel that stated he was: ‘Ready, Willing and Gable.’ The somewhat silly introduction may have warmed themselves to many dads who felt their jokes were now being featured on NXT; it only scratched the surface of what he could do.
Together with Jason Jordan, the duo would make up American Alpha. A team that was reminiscent of the World’s Greatest Tag Team of the past. After a year together in NXT, the duo would be drafted to SmackDown where they captured the Smackdown Tag Team Championships. However, once Jason Jordan was drafted to Raw, it would mark the end of American Alpha, leaving Gable on SmackDown.
For as on point as Gable was on the mic, a singles run was not to be. However, he would later team with Shelton Benjamin and then Robert Roode. He would even capture the Raw Tag Team Titles with Bobby Roode. Teaming with veterans with the likes of Benjamin and Roode would only help Gable. The savvy nature of both of these veterans were helped to elevate Gable, his role, and the crispness of his matches.
I think that’s the key for me so, I’m very comfortable right now. I feel like I’m doing some of my best work right now in a tag team with Chad [Gable] so, that’s basically all I can say about that.” – Bobby Roode
For all the good that Chad Gable was a part of, he was also guilty of falling victim, so some questionable booking, to say the least. So while the early career of Chad Gable highlighted his technical skill, it was the name ‘Shorty G’ that didn’t do him any favors. The name and attire used had him wearing basketball shorts and revealing this was truly how he was. Funny enough, the character seems to still exist in some form with Grayson Waller in NXT 2.0, it never seemed like the right fit for Gable. It wasn’t until he once again had the chance to resume a character that carried with him an heir of arrogance and overconfidence that the heel quality and ability of Chad Gable had a chance to shine.
Gable would ‘open’ his own school of sorts. He would open the Alpha Academy. In doing so, he would commit time to recruit the former Money in the Bank briefcase winner, Otis. The two would initially be presented as faces with Otis by his side. However, that would quickly change as Chad Gable directed Otis to attack Rey Mysterio. The attack immediately led to a heel turn. Otis would cut his hair and follow the lead of his brash mentor Chad Gable.
Gable and Otis would be drafted to Raw and, in the process, become a threat in the Raw tag team division. As 2021 became 2022, the reinvigorated Gable and Otis tandem would become the new Raw Tag Team Champions defeating RK-Bro.
As the new champions, Gable and Otis had a chance to showcase their personalities. Fans would witness not only a technical and finely tuned wrestling side, but a duo that could convey emotion on the microphone. They would see a stoic Otis stand back as Gable would do things that would make Kurt Angle proud.
The common comparison made throughout Chad Gable’s career has been with former WWE Champion and Hall of Famer Kurt Angle. The comparisons go beyond the Olympic background and finesse in the ring. Fans have also begun to listen to Gable and how he is able to say and do things that are reminiscent of something Angle would do. Gable has taken a phrase like “thank you” to turn it into his own thing by saying “Ahhh-thank you” and of course the “SHOOSH” as his way of shushing the audience to annoy them. They even sell it on WWE merchandise now.
For once in all your lives, try and show some intelligence and buy this immediately before they sell out.
— Chad Gable (@WWEGable) February 28, 2022
While Gable’s nearly nine-year career is unlike Angle’s, and while the comparison is somewhat unfair to make because their careers have ultimately played out differently, it should be seen as a complement to have Gable compared to the Hall of Famer. That said, in the words of Kurt Angle himself, he can see Chad Gable’s value, in fact, the real deal to speak.
“Chad has been underutilized, and I believe it’s his size, even though he’s as strong as an ox. He does a deadlift German with 300-pounders and it’s impressive. To do something like that, that’s a talent you want to utilize. He’s the real deal. He might not look that big, but his strength, technique, and ability show in those matches. If you put reigns on the kid, he’s not going to succeed, but if you let him go and let him do his thing, he’s going to be a huge star.”
“Someday, they’re going to utilize him correctly. People get injured, main event wrestlers especially because they are putting in the most work. Eventually, he’s going to get called up into a spot and he’s going to blow their minds and they’ll keep him in that spot. It’s going to happen eventually.” – Kurt Angle on Chad Gable
So while to some at 36-years of age (happy birthday to him two days ago), Gable’s window for a singles title run may be closing, it is in many regards far from over. He has worked with some of the best of the best throughout his career, and while often in a tag team, that doesn’t mean he couldn’t achieve success as a singles competitor. Some will argue size as a reason may be a reason, and although Bryan Danielson is only listed as being two inches taller, it hasn’t prevented fans from believing in him.
For now, let’s enjoy the run of the former 4-time (if we include his NXT Tag Team Championship reign) tag team champion. This current run may be the one that sets everything else he’s done apart and move him into a different place on the brand. After all, he’s always been ready and willing.
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