The WWE Table for 3 series is back on Peacock/WWE Network and the first episode of season six featured WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle talking with the championship team of Chad Gable & Otis.
The synopsis for this episode says:
“WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle and The Alpha Academy’s Chad Gable & Otis share their journeys from Olympic hopefuls to WWE Superstars.”
The connection between WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle and Alpha Academy’s Chad Gable & Otis is that they were all amateur wrestlers that ended up becoming WWE Superstars. Angle obviously went on to become one of the greatest WWE superstars ever while Chad and Otis are current superstars on the Raw brand. They are former Tag Team Champions that use the name Alpha Academy for their team. Let’s get to it.
WWE Table For 3: Angle Academy
They went right into the discussion with Kurt Angle talking about how in amateur wrestling, they told you not to watch pro wrestling like WWE since it’s “fake” and you’re real. Angle said he started watching it after he won in the Olympics, that’s when he watched it and fell in love with it. Otis talked about how when he went to youth wrestling, he was surprised there wasn’t a ring because he was used to wrestling on TV. Otis said during one of those early matches he punched a kid, parents were losing their minds and he was talking trash to the kid. Otis talked about how it was a huge misunderstanding while adding they didn’t let him wrestle for the next two weeks. Otis said he would wrestle guys heavier than him and older than him. Otis talked about Gerald Brisco recruiting him. Chad Gable talked about being influenced by WWE & WCW a lot, so when he was in high school amateur wrestling he convinced the coaches to give them entrance music, dim the lights and stuff like that. Angle said that Chad’s generation than what Kurt went through. Chad said he was a pro wrestling fan long before he had dreams of being in the Olympics. Chad said his goal was to be in WWE when he was a kid. Chad talked about how he thought it was out of reach for him because guys were always bigger than him, but amateur doors brought him where he was and there were scouts from WWE. Gable credited Daniel Bryan for opening doors for a lot of smaller guys, so the stars aligned for Chad to make it to WWE after the Olympics. Otis talked about how he had coaches telling stories about pro wrestling and when Otis won the state championship, his coach didn’t like when Otis did a Hulk Hogan-style pose because the coach didn’t like the showmanship of pro wrestling.
Angle asked Chad and Otis how they first met. Chad said that he first met Otis when they were training together for amateur wrestling in Colorado and they talked about going to WWE together one day. Otis spoke about how there was a man cave in the dorm area, so then a bunch of them were watching pro wrestling together. They had a group of guys that would watch with them, but others didn’t get into it. Gable said that they would practice, go to the man cave, turn the lights off and watch wrestling. Gable said he was a fan his entire life through high school and college. Gable talked about how they are there ten years later winning the Tag Team Titles together.
Angle asked what their amateur wrestling friends think of them now. Chad said he gets texts all the time saying “I can’t believe this” and remembering when they watched together. Otis said that Chad was kicking ass in NXT. Otis talked about how he thought he might take over his dad’s cleaning business, but he thought there was something more for him to do in wrestling. Otis said that when Chad was Tag Team Champions with Jason Jordan, it motivated Otis and who would have thought they would be together. Otis said if you told him that in 2010 you’d never believe that. Kurt was amazed by it saying they were training for the Olympics and then ended up being WWE Tag Team Champions together. Otis talked about how he would get yelled at for doing pro wrestling moves in amateur wrestling, so Angle laughed about that. Angle knows Chad made the Olympic team and he asked Otis how far made it. Otis said that he didn’t make it far enough. Otis joked about how a referee would tell him not to headbutt somebody when he would do it accidentally. Otis talked about going to Brazil for Junior Pan Am tournaments and talked about some moments in the ring. Gable said they still train together every day. Gable said that after Otis joined him on the main roster, Otis was looking for a place to live, Gable said there was a house for sale on his street and Otis ended up buying it a few days later. Gable was like: “What?” Now he has Otis living up the street, so they train in Chad’s garage. Otis said it’s a three-door garage with a lot of room and they push eachother. They talked about building the gym and Otis really liked it.
Gable told Angle that he was a heavy influence on him. Gable said that he met Kurt at Mall of America when he was 13 years old and Kurt signed his VHS tape. Gable told Kurt he was going to wrestle in WWE one day and Kurt joked he probably didn’t believe Chad at the time. Gable said they eventually had a match and Angle said yeah it was one of his retirement matches. They showed highlights of the March 18, 2019 match between Angle and Gable from Raw.
Angle talked about how he was learning as he was going along. Angle said in pro wrestling, you have to show emotion while in amateur wrestling, you don’t show any emotion. Angle said that he was really aggressive, so they had to tell him to calm down. Angle talked about how he learned how to bump and sell because they were the most important things. Angle said it was a hard transition, but then he forgot what he learned and built himself up as a pro wrestler. Kurt added that when he became comfortable in pro wrestling, that’s when he added his moves to his repertoire. Kurt talked about how Vince McMahon came up with the character he came up with. Kurt spoke about how they might use him for the Saturday main event show with a bit of wrestling and that’s it. Otis talked about Kurt’s ability to show personality. Kurt said he didn’t even know he had the personality – it just came out of him. They showed a classic Angle clip doing a promo. Kurt said he was working with some great people like Vince McMahon and Brian Gewirtz – he said all of those great moments were Brian’s ideas. They showed some classic Angle clips with the cowboy hats with Steve Austin, “Sexy Kurt” singing with Sherri, and the milk truck incident. Angle talked about how in his first year, he was like a kid in a candy store, he loved it and couldn’t wait to see what he would do next. Angle: “I loved the business like nothing else in my life.” Angle said not even amateur wrestling, nothing else compares to it. Otis said that it’s addicting and you can’t sleep at 4 A.M. because you’re still living off that high.
Gable said that when he started at WWE at the Performance Center, the training aspect was nothing to him. Gable talked about how the hard part was the character stuff. Gable talked about how you had to talk about 70 of your peers, you have the worst anxiety and you wonder what to do. They showed clips of Gable at Florida Championship Wrestling in 2013 doing some promos. Here’s what he looked like:
Gable talked about how all the promo practice got you comfortable by playing different characters and the idea is to find something that is true enough to who you really are and elevating that a little bit. Gable said that he thinks they have found that now as the Alpha Academy. Angle asked if the “SHOOSH” character is a part of him and Chad laughed saying that is definitely a part of him. Otis talked about how he does that sometimes on their car rides. Gable said that you see that in anybody and Angle agreed. Gable said that you feel it, it feels natural and whether you’re a babyface or a heel you see it, so you believe in that person. Otis joked: “The girls always say look at that guy up there and he says what’s up.” They laughed.
Angle asked about what they thought about WWE’s future. Gable talked about WWE’s new Next In Line (NIL) program that will see them getting a lot of amateur athletes from different spots. Gable said that they will be hungry athletes who will be given a platform. Angle mentioned Gable Steveson saying he was one of the most talented heavyweights he’s ever seen and Chad said he’s incredible, so he’s excited to see what he does there.
They wrapped it up with Angle saying he had a blast with them today. Angle said he’s excited to see what the future holds for both of them. They thanked Kurt and shook his hand. Gable said from Mall of America meeting Kurt to having dinner with him. Angle joked that maybe he’ll come out of retirement with Otis, but that was just a joke as they laughed about it. That was the end of the show.
This episode had a runtime of 18:36 on WWE Network.
TJR Thoughts: It was a fun episode to watch just because it was cool seeing how Kurt reacted to Chad and Otis talking about how they grew up as WWE fans while being amateur wrestlers while Kurt was told not to watch that stuff when he was an amateur wrestler. Angle is about 20 years older than them, so there’s a generational difference there and it shows how much things have changed. I liked the Otis story about his first time going to wrestling and not seeing ropes, so he was confused. Then he got in trouble for punching a kid. That was funny.
Angle talking about how he didn’t know he had a personality for wrestling is interesting because a lot of people probably assume they can do it at a high level, but I guess you never really know until you’re out there doing it. Angle was such a natural in pro wrestling, so I’m not shocked to hear him say he grew to love it even more than amateur wrestling.
This was a good trio to have on Table for 3 due to their similar backgrounds and also because they came from different eras, so we got to explore differences in terms of coming up in the WWE system. I enjoyed it.
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