Despite WWE’s best attempts at pushing him as the next big Olympic wrestling great, some people are already sounding alarm bells over Gable Steveson’s superstar status.
On July 30th, NXT hosted its most recent special show, The Great American Bash. By most accounts the show was a positive one, with one notable exception being the Gable Steveson’s debut match against Baron Corbin.
Despite WWE’s best attempts at promoting Steveson and encouraging fans to see him as something akin to Kurt Angle, the audience live in attendance in Cedar Park, Texas didn’t play along.
Steveson was booed by most of the audience despite being pushed as a babyface and many fans cheered for Corbin instead. This negative reaction worsened when the match ended in a double count-out after just over six minutes of action.
Booker T questions comparisons between Gable Steveson and Kurt Angle
Since first impressions matter so much in the professional wrestling business, some people have already started asking whether Steveson can still succeed in wrestling, especially as he deals with inevitable comparisons to Kurt Angle.
One person that appears to share fans’ uncertain opinions on Steveson is Booker T, who was on commentary at the event and later shared his thought and experiences on his Hall of Fame podcast.
Well, he ain’t no Kurt Angle [laughs]. Kurt Angle came in, and he was willing to really fall in and dive into learning this business. Not that Gable Steveson isn’t, but I really think Gable Steveson has some unfinished business still left in the amateurs, I think he got unfinished business in the Olympics.
“That right there, that’s a legacy in itself. For him to be a two-time Olympic gold medalist, come on. That’s the Wheaties box. He’s never got to do nothing ever again in his life. So I understand.”
Booker T also noted that he understood some fans’ reactions towards Steveson, especially as the man appears to be torn between pursuing professional wrestling and returning to the amateur world.