WWE SmackDown 5 Takeaways: The Era of Carmella to Continue?

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2. In Case You Forgot How Good Chad Gable is

We’ve been wondering where American Alpha has been hiding over the past couple of months, because they haven’t done anything since losing their chance at the tag team titles to The Usos. The consensus was that Jason Jordan and Chad Gable were being re-packaged as heels after failing to connect with the audience as milquetoast babyfaces. They debuted as heels on NXT, so they would have been able to succeed as cocky villains who like to show off their prowess in the ring.

Instead, Gable and Jordan appear to be remaining on the babyface side, and it isn’t totally clear if American Alpha is still intact as a tag team. Gable answered Kevin Owens’s United States Championship “open challenge”, explaining that he has moved to Dayton, Ohio and was thus eligible to wrestle Owens.

Gable lost, as we fully expected, but he reminded us all just how great he is in the ring. Few wrestlers on this planet have quicker counters, and it gives Gable’s matches this realistic fluidity that takes them to the next level. The match was relatively quick, but Gable “got his stuff in” against Owens with a moonsault and a beautiful counter into a Northern Lights Suplex.

It will be interesting to see if Gable and Jordan do split, because both of them could crack it on their own as singles competitors. The comparisons to Kurt Angle are apt in Gable’s case, and it goes beyond just his Olympic pedigree; Gable can also excel as a goofball character, as he showed in NXT. Either way, it’s good to see American Alpha back, and I hope the creative team has a much better understanding of how to utilize two of the best wrestlers on the roster.