WWE’s been positioning Gable Steveson for stardom even before they could legally sign the amateur wrestler from Minnesota.
He was the marquee name in the first class of their NIL program last summer, and reports indicated the NCAA champion & Olympic gold medalist would be fast-tracked to the main roster after he ended his college career. Steveson appeared at WrestleMania 38, working an angle with Chad Gable, and was rumored to be getting a big push on Raw shortly thereafter.
Then there were reports Steveson could return to the University of Minnesota for a fifth year under a pandemic eligibility extension. But according to the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, that’s not the only reason he hasn’t been mentioned on WWE television at all recently.
Dave Meltzer writes:
“Everything is cold on Gable Steveson. His brother [NXT wrestler Damon Kemp] is doing great and they wanted to debut [Steveson] some time ago, but it hasn’t happened because reviews on his training progress haven’t been good. They were going to fast track him after he finished his last season in March, but he hasn’t even been around or talked about.”
For his part, Steveson posted to Instagram a couple weeks ago about a training session at wrestler Ken “Mr. Kennedy” Anderson’s school in Minnesota, hashtagging the post “#raw”.
While he clearly has the athletic ability to be a star in whatever combat sports venture he chooses, not much about Steveson’s early WWE appearances gave the impression he was television-ready a performer as people like Gable, Brock Lesnar & Kurt Angle were after their amateur careers ended. The Observer’s report doesn’t specify which aspects of training “haven’t been good.”
We’ll see what Steveson and WWE’s next moves tell us about his future.