Chad Gable and Otis Share Advice For Gable Steveson Following WWE Debut (Exclusive)

Olympic Gold Medalist Gable Steveson made his long-awaited WWE in-ring debut last week at NXT The Great American Bash. Steveson first inked a deal with WWE back in Summer 2021 and was later was announced as part of the inaugural WWE Next in Line class, a program that takes collegiate athletes and gives them a direct pathway to the company should they want to pursue sports-entertainment after their studies. While his transition from the amateur mat to the squared circle has been slow, WWE has peppered Steveson in where possible over the years, giving him appearances on WWE WrestleMania and WWE SmackDown. His first consistent run has come in NXT which culminated in a largely divisive match.

Steveson was met with relentless boos from the Texas crowd, and that unexpected negative response seemingly affected his in-ring performance. Speaking to at the WWE SummerSlam press junket, fellow Olympian-turned-WWE superstar Chad Gable noted he thinks Steveson needs to allow himself to “be vulnerable.”

“If I could go back and tell anybody early on in their career that comes from like amateur sports or anywhere else that’s very competitive in nature, [I would say] allow yourself to be vulnerable,” Gable said. “Allow yourself to show people who you really are and not just feel like you got to be this like, ‘Oh, I’m a killer all the time.'”

Gable signed with WWE in 2013 after competing in the 2012 Olympic Games. He spent two years training at the WWE Performance Center before he made it to NXT TV.

“I think a lot of it is understanding what we do here in this company. We tell stories and we connect with people and we do that through our wrestling matches. We don’t just wrestle. It took me a long time to learn that too,” Gable continued. “Trust me, when I came in, I just wanted to have these awesome matches. Very quickly I realized that that’s not going to work here. We need to tell stories, make people feel emotion and connect to you. And once I realized that that’s when everything changed for me.”

Gable’s Alpha Academy tag partner, Otis, also went on somewhat of a similar journey, leaping from amateur wrestling to the more theatrical grappling.

“The kid’s obviously a damn stud. Olympic Champion. That part’s covered. I think you just got to let loose sometimes,” Otis said. “He’s a great kid, but still very tense. If it’s not coming natural, it’s going to take some work. The kid will get it. He’s got the looks.”

WWE SummerSlam goes down on Saturday, August 5th and streams live on Peacock.