Three years into his run on WWE's main roster, Chad Gable is still waiting for his moment.
The Olympic wrestler has been with the WWE since 2013 and has built up a loyal fan base thanks to his impressive in-ring ability and his tag team runs with Jason Jordan, Shelton Benjamin and Bobby Roode. But the SmackDown Live star has dreams of climbing up the main roster ranks as a singles wrestler, and he may have found his shot as a participant in the returning King of the Ring Tournament.
Gable spoke with ComicBook.com ahead of his upcoming first-round match against Benjamin.
ComicBook.com: How do you feel about being involved in the tournament this year?
Gable: It's not like something I knew about ahead of time. So when I found out, it was kind of an honor, because as it's no secret, I haven't been heavily featured on SmackDown since I got traded over there in the draft. So for me more than anything, this is like, "Okay, now it's your chance kid," because I've been waiting for this opportunity to just really break out and show people, even though some people say they already know what I'm capable of, and that I'm great, or this and that. But now it's my chance to prove it and maybe show it to the people that don't know that yet or maybe aren't believers.
How do you feel about your run on the main roster so far?
We hit the ground running, me and Jason, when we got first called up, and we won the tag team titles. And even that was like a bit, I would say... not a very illustrious run, you know what I mean? Because once we won them, we almost have disappeared for a bit. And we were really looking forward to like maybe doing some more stuff with Randy [Orton] and Bray [Wyatt], and Luke Harper. But it was kind of just a one-off thing, and then we didn't really work with them too much anymore. But that would've been great for us. And unfortunately, it didn't happen. And then I did the thing with Shelton, and then Bobby, which that was so great. And we won the tag team titles again. It was just another case of... we just kind of disappeared after we won them, off TV.
And the good thing about that run, in my opinion though, was we had this incredible run of matches on live events all over the country against The Revival as some other teams. And at least creatively, like for me, that time period was very fulfilling, wrestling-wise. And I am just now excited that I'm finally getting this chance to be a single's wrestler, which is something I've wanted to do for a long time. And I think people have gotten a glimpse of it here and there. I've had matches against guys like AJ [Styles], and matches against guys like Rusev, and some stuff on 205 [Live] with Jack Gallagher that I'm very proud of. And like, I think people have seen just enough to get a glimpse that, "Hey, maybe this guy can do something as a singles guy." And now it's my chance to prove it. So I'm looking forward to it.
You had a lot of success on NXT. If given the choice, would you go back?
I mean, I'm open to anything. In this company especially, any opportunity that presents itself you would take advantage of. But I do want to hammer home the fact that I want to take advantage of this opportunity on SmackDown as a singles guy, because like I said, on the main roster up to this point, I don't think that I've had that chance yet. And so before I had to go saying, "Oh yeah, I want to go back to NXT," I want to like really give the Smackdown main roster thing a shot as a singles guy and prove that I can do it.
But that announcement, it's so crazy to think about, at least for a guy like me, especially because when I first got down there, they were still doing shows in Tampa at the old FCW arena, and there was 15 or 20 people in the crowd. And that's not exaggerating. You know what I mean? And I saw it blow up in a matter of a year where they were running the big building. And then when we did Barclays Center and that first show, the first big arena show. I mean obviously the story tells itself. Everybody knows what happened from there to become what it is now. It's not too often you see things explode like that in such a short period of time.
Does seeing a guy like Buddy Murphy go from not being on television to being in big matches with Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan give you hope that you'll get your chance to shine?
Yes. My background, it's amateur wrestling and the Olympics. You kind of have to have that mindset where you're comfortable with saying, "It's going to take time, but it's going to happen. It's going to take time." Because the Olympics didn't happen overnight, and it was a long process. I lost a lot of matches, a lot of tournaments. But you keep that mindset. It teaches you to do that. And then eventually, it comes to fruition. And when you see a guy like Buddy and now, yes, he's had back-to-back opportunities, two weeks. And he's a guy in my similar position. Just waiting, waiting for this to show what he can do. And to his credit, all the credit in the world to him, he took full advantage of both of those. Like he was killing it both nights.
During the whole Jason Jordan-Kurt Angle illegitimate son storyline, did you ever pitch ideas to get involved in some way?
Yeah, I had pitched a few different ideas, and especially when right when I got traded to Raw. The timing on all that was just so unfortunate because of just injury. Well, the injury most of all was unfortunate. But timing-wise, like I got traded to Raw, and he was just figuring out that he's going to have to get that work done. And then man, we could have done so much stuff together, because we had talked about when we found out they were gonna split us up, that all this means for us is down the road, we're going to get to work together, and it's going to be incredible.
Because him and I, we have such similar mindsets as far as just perfectionism and wanting to be the best, and tear the house down every night. So when two guys come together like that, you can imagine what happens. That stuff crossed my mind. They stuck with Kurt only because he's kind of, as far as for guys like Jason and I who come from an amateur background, he is the epitome of what we do.0comments
And I could go out there every day and say, "Yeah, I'm an Olympian. That's part of who I am. Blah, blah, blah." But there was a guy who did it first and had a gold medal above all. I don't try to copy him or be the second coming of him or anything like a lot of people say, because there is no other Kurt Angle. There's going to be no next Kurt Angle. He's kind of in a league of his own. So I'm in the process of defining myself and figuring out who that is.
Gable's King of the Ring opening round match will take place during SmackDown Live on Aug. 27. If he wins, he'll face Andrade in the quarterfinals.