Olympic gold medalist Gable Steveson is on his way to WrestleMania 38, and he’ll debut on WWE’s Raw brand next month. The rumor mill makes it sound like Steveson is in line for a big push as soon as he shows up on television.
One issue that must be considered any time a new wrestler debuts on the main roster is how WWE will change the performer’s name. WWE has come up with some real whammies over the last year, including Doudrop, Gunther, and Butch.
During his interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, Steveson was directly asked about a possible name change. Here’s his exchange with the host:
Helwani: “I’m assuming they’ll use your name, right? They’re not gonna change your name or anything like this?”
Steveson: “I’ll be just Gable. Gable Steveson.”
Helwani: “Now what do we do about Chad Gable? We need to have a talk with him, right?”
Steveson: “We’re gonna have to have a talk with him...”
Helwani: “It’s gonna be awkward. You can’t have two Gables?”
Steveson: “You can’t. You can’t, but right now we do. And so there might have to be a little switcharoo. I don’t know, but I love Chad too, he’s a cool dude.”
Right away, I think Helwani makes a mistake by assuming WWE won’t change Steveson’s name. It doesn’t really matter that WWE has already used the name “Gable Steveson” all over their programming, including during last October’s draft. We just saw with Pete Dunne that WWE has no issue telling the audience that we may know a wrestler under one name, but now he’ll be addressed with a different name going forward.
Then again, Steveson obviously knows more about how this situation will play out than I do, and he sounds pretty confident that he will use his real name in WWE. If WWE allows Steveson to wrestle under his real name, then Chad Gable might have to change his ring name once again, as discussed in the above conversation.
WWE turned Chad Gable into Shorty G over two years ago. Not surprisingly, Chad was buried during that entire run. He’s finally breathed new life into his WWE career as part of Alpha Academy along with his partner, Otis. Gable now gets promo time, longer matches, a catchphrase, championship gold, and a match with Randy Orton at WrestleMania. That’s not too shabby for a guy who was a jobber not that long ago.
How will WWE resolve this name problem? Is Gable Steveson getting a new name? Will he join Alpha Academy upon his debut and share the Gable name with Chad? Is it fallacy to assume two Gables can’t exist in WWE?
Let us know how you think the Gable name change drama will play out, Cagesiders.