Chad Gable Pushed to Turn Heel After WWE WrestleMania 40

Gable has turned to the dark side in pursuit of the WWE Intercontinental Title.

While singles gold still eludes him, Chad Gable is having a career year in 2024. The former Olympian began to truly find his footing on WWE Monday Night Raw in Summer 2023 thanks to his fan-favorite Alpha Academy alliance with Otis, Maxxine Dupri, and Akira Tozawa. Gable cemented himself as one of the WWE midcard's biggest babyfaces, providing a strong good guy foil to then-WWE Intercontinental Champion Gunther. When his bid to challenge Gunther for that title again at WWE WrestleMania 40 fell short, Gable kept his head up and helped train new challenger Sami Zayn. Zayn went on to win the WWE Intercontinental Title and gave Gable the first shot at it following WWE WrestleMania 40. Gable lost both the match and his temper, as he turned heel on Zayn after the bell.

Chad Gable Pushed For WWE Heel Turn

(Photo: WWE)

Chad Gable shooshed his babyface persona himself.

"The whole idea to turn heel was kind of my idea," Gable told The Gorilla Position. "I felt like I flatlined as a babyface somewhere around WrestleMania. I came up short against Gunther a few times. Came up short against Sami. At a certain point, something has to change, or people are not going to buy into you any further."

Gable had been a cherished babyface for a couple of years, yet his latest turn to the dark side was met with open arms by wrestling fans. Much of that is thanks to Gable's parallels to WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle, as both men are Olympic wrestlers turned WWE superstars that donned star-spangled personas and embraced their goofy sides. That said, Angle was known to have a vicious mean streak when operating as a villain, as his mid-2000s run in TNA (dubbed by fans as "Perc Angle") is still talked about to this day.

"I had the idea, 'Let's do it,' it just so happened we were going to be in Montreal, Sami's hometown, the week after Mania when I was having that match. I was like, 'there could not be a better place to do this thing,'" Gable spoke on executing the turn in what would be his biggest road game of his career. "We made it happen and the stars aligned. I feel like it's worked out in our favor. Since then, Otis is this perfect sympathetic guy that you can't help buy feel bad for. We have everything in our favor working for us."

Gable lost his most recent bid at the WWE Intercontinental Championship this past weekend at WWE Clash at the Castle. Throughout the contest, Gable held light distractions on the referee in order to give stablemates Otis and Maxxine Dupri opportunity to attack Zayn, but neither obliged. The final moments of the contest saw Gable accidentally swipe at Maxxine's knee, leading Otis to carry her to the back and abandon Gable in the process. It remains to be seen as to if this moment is the beginning of a hard split of Alpha Academy, but it is worth noting that Gable is rumored to be linking up with The Creed Brothers to form a new faction soon.

WWE Monday Night Raw airs tonight at 8 PM ET on USA Network.