An absent WWE star was back in action ahead of SmackDown.
In a dark match before the January 5th episode of SmackDown, Gable Steveson took on and defeated Cedric Alexander. This was the first time that the Olympic Gold Medalist had wrestled at a main roster TV taping since signing with WWE, although he has previously been spotted at SmackDown.
Dark matches are often used as a way to get young stars more in-ring experience while integrating them into the main roster. Traditionally, NXT stars competing in these matches are often moved to the main roster.
Gable Steveson arrived in WWE with huge fanfare given his long list of achievements in amateur wrestling. While the company was hoping it had unearthed another Kurt Angle, the reality has been a little different.
The Olympic Gold Medalist signed with WWE in 2021, but it wasn’t until July 30th, 2023 that he made his in-ring debut. On the big night, Steveson wrestled Baron Corbin at NXT’s Great American Bash and was booed throughout the match which ended in a double countout. Steveson hasn’t appeared on television since.
Gable Steveson Set For Uphill Battle In WWE
Speaking back in December, Baron Corbin gave his thoughts on Gable Steveson and his struggles in WWE. Corbin explained that due to Steveson’s impressive amateur pedigree people expected him to impress immediately, but those expectations were unrealistic.
Since his appearance at the Great American Bash Steveson has wrestled on NXT live events.