Shawn Michaels On How He Pushed For Gable Steveson’s NXT Debut

Gable Steveson NXT

Gable Steveson has been waiting in the wings for a long time, and Shawn Michaels has discussed making sure he gets his first competitive action.

Despite signing for WWE on a Next In Line deal back in 2021, Gable Steveson’s appearances for the company have been sporadic. He was drafted to Monday Night Raw that same year but never made an appearance on the show, and has hit Chad Gable with a suplex at WrestleMania 38. None of this has led to him having a match for the company.

During the latest edition of NXT, Steveson answered an open challenge sent out by Baron Corbin for a match at The Great American Bash. On the media call for the event, Shawn Michaels has discussed how he pushed to make it happen.

He’s been here in the WWE for a while. He’s been down here training for a bit. I will be straight forward and honest. He had been here and I wanted to know, ‘Hey, I want to do something with this guy. I want to get him into the mix. Can I do that?’ There are sometimes, some people fall into different genres, different rules.

I don’t ask a lot of questions, to be perfectly honest, but he is someone that I felt like, ‘if we’re going to do something with him, let’s do it.’ Perhaps, it was something that slid off someone’s desk, so I brought it up, and I got the go ahead. Maybe a little abrupt, but I wanted to throw him into the deep end and let’s see how this is going to go.

Continuing on, Shawn Michaels spoke of the value of getting in the ring for Gable Steveson, and drew possible comparisons with another Olympic gold medalist.

There is only one way that people learn how to do this stuff, and that’s by getting in the ring and doing it nigh after night, week after week, month after month. He’s an incredibly talented, intelligent, young man, so let’s start getting him to work. Following in the footsteps of somebody like Kurt Angle, I want to get to there right away and see if I can become as good as Kurt was or perhaps surpass him. That was a trigger I wanted to know if I could pull, and I got the green light, so I’m doing it. We’re very excited about what we can bring to the table in NXT.

In talking about Steveson’s opponent, ‘The Heartbreak Kid’ made it clear that while he’s in there with a veteran, it won’t be an easy task.

He’s going to be out there with a veteran in Baron Corbin. Baron, absolutely, is not going to make it easy on him. He is, literally, a shark who smells blood. Gable has had a lot of big moments, so I don’t think the moment is going to be bigger than him. We will see how he adjusts because this isn’t what he’s done before. He doesn’t seem to be intimidated by the challenge.

With thanks to Fightful for the transcription.