Following a lackluster debut for Gable Steveson in NXT, Dave Meltzer thinks WWE made a mistake with the Olympic Gold Medalist.
At the WWE NXT Great American Bash PLE last Sunday, Gable Steveson competed in his first televised NXT match against veteran Baron Corbin.
While many people likely went into the match thinking that Gable Steveson will pick up a win in his first televised match, that didn’t happen. The match only went 6:34 and ended in a double countout because Steveson and Corbin were fighting on the floor while the referee counted them out.
In addition to the weak ending to the match, WWE fans were booing Steveson throughout the match and letting him know they weren’t impressed.
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter wrote about how WWE made a mistake with how they used Steveson.
“The debut of Steveson did not go well. Steveson was booed, not intensely at first, when he came out. So it wasn’t that he performed badly and was booed. The booing was there from the start. There was a “Let’s go Corbin” chant. The fans cheered Corbin, the guy put in the position as Steveson’s first opponent because he’s an established star and because nobody cheers him.”
“Obviously it was a mistake to debut him here, and Shawn Michaels said it was his call before the match. There could be a number of different reasons for this. It could be that fans see him as getting preferential treatment because he was an Olympic gold medalist, as compared to others they believe have worked longer and harder and didn’t make the card. It could be a rape allegation against him, with charges later dropped, when he was in college.”
“Athletically, it wasn’t as if the match was filled with missed spots or anything. He technically was better than most in their first match and the post-match pull-apart was actually quite good. The ending, a double countout, was booed heavily. I guess fans would have cheered had he lost, but they’ve got so much money invested in Steveson so obviously didn’t want to beat him. But they didn’t want him winning either. So they picked the worst of the three options.”
You can hear the chants against Steveson in the clip below. Some of the chants included “Baron Corbin” and “You’re Not Angle” at Steveson since he’s an Olympic Gold Medalist like Kurt Angle. They also chanted “bulls**t” for the double countout finish.
oh man the NXT Great American Bash 2023 crowd were not buying Gable Steveson pic.twitter.com/oSjzzPIpV3
— forever botchamania (@Maffewgregg) July 31, 2023
Gable Steveson Not Featured On NXT TV
There was no follow up for Gable Steveson on NXT television this past Tuesday. Baron Corbin beat Andre Chase in a match, but Steveson wasn’t on the show at all.