Backstage Update On Gable Steveson's WWE Status, If He'll Work Royal Rumble

He may be working dark matches during tapings of "WWE SmackDown," but Gable Steveson has not been seen on WWE television since he made his in-ring debut at the "WWE NXT" Great American Bash special in July against Baron Corbin, a match which resulted in a double count-out. According to PWInsider Elite, Steveson working dark matches at "SmackDown" tapings is unrelated to any plans to have him in the Royal Rumble on January 27. 

The outlet was told he was not being considered for the eponymous battle royale match, and WWE wants him to get more reps in front of live crowds. Most recently, he worked against Cameron Grimes in a winning effort, and he also competed against Cedric Alexander and Brooks Jensen at WWE house shows.

Sports Illustrated reported at the beginning of January that the Olympic gold medalist and two-time NCAA heavyweight champion will not be wrestling for the Minnesota Golden Gophers this season. Coach Brandon Eggum said in a social media post that WWE would prefer that Steveson solely focus on his professional wrestling career. 

Steveson pulled out of the 2023 Senior World Championships in September prior to confusion about his status within WWE. He was removed from the "NXT" roster, but continued to perform on house shows. At the time, Wrestling Observer's Dave Meltzer called the situation weird, as Steveson had never won a world championship in amateur wrestling. As of this writing, Steveson has not been advertised for WWE television, either on the main roster or back on "NXT."