Chad Gable finally shed the widely-panned “Shorty G” name. Is this a sign that Gable is going to be a more prominent fixture going forward?
Theoretically, it should be. Chad Gable is one of the most athletically accomplished performers on a roster full of them. His amateur wrestling background—which includes competing at the 2012 Summer Olympics—has earned him comparisons to Kurt Angle. Still somehow, Gable has been seldom utilized since becoming a solo act.
Gable made his way to NXT, pestering the at-the-time floundering Jason Jordan to team with him. What resulted was one of the better duos—if not one of the best—in NXT history as the two became known as American Alpha.
The pair later went on to become NXT and SmackDown Tag Team Champions in 2016 better being split up the following year, due to Jordan’s storyline as then-Raw GM Kurt Angle’s son. Brief tag team runs with Shelton Benjamin and Bobby Roode followed but both tandems were split up within a year.
Gable’s initial run as a solo act showed promise as he went into last year’s King of the Ring tournament as an underdog and made it all the way to the finals against Baron Corbin. The upward direction took a sharp left turn as Gable not only lost but in the midst of his feud with Corbin, got saddled with “Shorty Gable” before getting the somehow worse name of “Shorty G”.
The humorless name made it difficult to have a positive outlook on Gable’s trajectory and combined with the frequent losses that followed the name change, no one could take him seriously. His recent defeat on SmackDown sparked the much-overdue change back to Chad Gable, which opens up more opportunities than the former amateur wrestler has had in the last year.
Could Chad Gable have a run on WWE SmackDown like Kurt Angle?
With the aforementioned comparisons to Kurt Angle in mind, Chad Gable could easily mirror Angle’s initial WWE run as the arrogant, disingenuous American hero. While it would sacrifice originality, WWE has a long track record of rehashing significantly worse concepts from the past with equal results. Gable has the background and the in-ring prowess to pull it off but would need to be featured sufficiently for the character to work.
A return to NXT seemed more likely ahead of the Draft since Gable ended up staying put on SmackDown but it shouldn’t entirely be ruled out of the equation. Ember Moon and Breezango are just a few recent examples of talents who went back to NXT and carved out better roles for themselves that they were unable to on Raw or SmackDown. In NXT, Gable would have much less concern about getting beaten by the prototypical big man and could thrive among the Cruiserweights or even fit somewhere in the North American title picture.
SmackDown mainstay, Daniel Bryan recently announced his current run will be his last as a full-time performer. Bryan has done a lot—over the last year especially—to help put the spotlight on younger and underutilized talent. A feud with Gable in Bryan’s home stretch would create guaranteed wrestling clinics and could very well serve as the final hurdle for Gable to establish a consistent and prominent role on Friday nights.
Gable has been among the most underrated wrestlers on the WWE roster in the past five years. Getting rid of “Shorty G” is a start but investing in Gable long-term is what’s truly needed for him to finally shed the “underrated” label.