Former WWE SmackDown Tag Team Champion Chad Gable was on a recent episode of WWE After The Bell where he discussed his early success in WWE as a part of American Alpha alongside Jason Jordan. Gable told a story about when their chemistry began and started growing.
“I think as far as the promos and character stuff go, we did a promo once, Jason Jordan and I, when they first kind of started pairing us together and playing with the dynamic. And we did one promo where I kind of played almost like his little brother and I was kind of bothering him, picking on him and being a little goof, but he kind of like, gave into it,” Gable recalled. “And it felt so right, and you could just feel people were with it and they were laughing.
“And I gave the the final ‘Ready, Willing, and Gable’ line at the end of this one out of nowhere, and all of a sudden, everybody just lit up. And the way I did it and the way Jason responded was just perfect, and I looked and we got it done, and I’m like, ‘this is it. This is going to work. This partnership is right!’ It felt right to me.”
Gable praised Jordan, noting that they are from similar backgrounds in amateur wrestling and are both very competitive. He said it was that competitiveness that brought the best out of each other and helped forge their friendship.
“He’s the man; he’s my brother,” Gable remarked. “He was struggling to find his way, as a lot of people do. Everybody knows the guy is the most insane athlete. He looks like a million bucks. He went through the same thing I did initially, where I feel like he had some trouble allowing himself to be vulnerable and opening up in the kind of way that we need with what we do.
“So here’s what I think happened was, they paired us together to see if it would work, what the dynamic would be like, and we are both very competitive in the same sense of we came from amateur wrestling, similar backgrounds. And I think he was almost, initially, if you ask me, a little bit bothered by the fact that they think, ‘oh, this new guy, they’re going to put this new guy with me and all of a sudden, they think it’s going to work.’ And it forced him to raise his level, raise his game up a little bit and open up, and then it forced me to say, ‘well, I’m not just going to like stand here and let him all the sudden get way better than he was just because I’m paired with him.’ So, I raise my level, and we were competitive with each other to the point of, man, this is working.
“Our friendship was built out of that competitiveness, and before you know it, we were best friends after six months because we recognized that. We recognize that our mindsets are the same. We came from the same background. We have the same drive, and so, the competitiveness kind of went away when we realized we can do this. It’s going to work. We can force it to work; we can make it work. Before you know it, we were just clicking, and everything we did, we were on the same page. We would finish each other’s thoughts. It was definitely meant to be, 100%.”
Gable recalled when American Alpha got called up to the main roster and the excitement they felt during that time. He felt that they could have done a better job at settling in and navigating the main roster better than they had.
“When Jason and I got called up, we were ready,” Gable said. “We were so excited to go and tell the our story on the main roster, and let people experience American Alpha, and I really wish that we had a better chance, initially, to tell our story and tell a little bit more about our relationship and just the way that we interact with each other rather than just– and these are things we had to navigate and kind of realize that you don’t always get these chances to do things your way on the main roster. And I think, initially, out of the gate, we probably could have settled in better and navigated the the whole landscape a little bit better from the get-go and had a better start out of the gate.”
Gable said he was excited to start his singles run after it was revealed that Jordan was Kurt Angle’s “son”. He admitted that it was time for them to break up since they did not achieve the level of success as a tag team that they had envisioned.
“So, I was very excited for that,” Gable stated. “The whole Kurt Angle thing happened, and I was sitting in a hotel room that night watching just like everybody else. And trust me, I was like, ‘okay?’ Just like everybody else, it was news to me. It was very wild, but then it’s kind of like, okay, I always wanted to do singles stuff as well.
“And I mean, to be completely honest, the tag team stuff with Jason, we wanted to be remembered as the greatest tag team. Everybody does, but it wasn’t going well to be completely honest. We just weren’t having the success we wanted. So this, to me, was a chance to say, ‘okay, well now I can finally try my hand at singles and show people that I can do this on my own as well.'”
Gable also reflected on his tag team with Shelton Benjamin. He talked about how Benjamin responded positively to the tag team pairing after coming back to WWE, and he remembered the level that the tag team division was at during the time.
“Shelton was great. I don’t know how he felt getting thrown in with me initially, right when he re-signed and got back,” Gable admitted. “I never really asked him. I don’t know how you would feel getting with the new guy that you’ve never met, but he got on board pretty quickly and seemed to be really into it. He was always throwing ideas, bouncing ideas off me, and helped me a lot just with advice, things like that, as a veteran would, and we had some fun. We started doing some promos as heels.
“That was the first time I really got a chance to play a heel role, and we had a little freedom there. And one of the only long promos I’ve done on TV in the ring in front of the actual audience was with Shelton, and we had some fun. We were doing the thing where, ‘why are they in the match?’ and playing with different tag teams. And luckily, at that time, also, we were in this awesome tag team scene on SmackDown.
“We had New Day, we had The Usos, Rusev Day, and the whole thing was going on and it was just this awesome combination of teams on SmackDown that were just tearing the house down. And we were killing it on all the live events, and we had some awesome PPV matches. So, Shelton and I, it was short-lived but we had some pretty good chemistry and gelled pretty well together.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit WWE After The Bell with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.