Chad Gable, who alongside Jason Jordan is one-half of the American Alpha tag-team, recently spoke with MensJournal.com about his debut on SmackDown Live earlier this week. Below are some of the highlights from the interview.
On already being popular in front of the SmackDown Live audience despite the fact that they just debuted:
"It’s kind of funny, we were really nervous about that, being exposed to this new audience. You hope you don’t come out through the curtain and hope you don’t hear crickets. We were standing back there and we heard the response and we were just so happy."
"The other thing is, when we got drafted, Daniel Bryan built us up and kind of made us sound like a big deal, which was really helpful. The response that night was so positive — it made us feel comfortable as opposed to the nervousness that was there before. I would like to think that more and more people are watching NXT and people have the WWE Network, so there’s more exposure there."
On his relationship with Jason Jordan behind-the-scenes:
"It’s kind of interesting how lucky we got. He was there (in NXT) a few years before me, grinding away. We didn’t really develop a relationship for a while. He was in more advanced classes than me, and then they came up with this idea to put us together. From moment one, it just clicked. We just got along, and we share the same values and ideas. I think some of it comes from us both sharing backgrounds as amateur wrestlers, being competitive. We just get it — we’re on the same page, no matter what it is.
"We try to describe it to people and it’s hard — we finish each other’s thoughts, when we’re on the road together, we’re on the same page — wanting to go work out, go eat, or go to the show. No matter what, we click. As a tag team, it doesn’t get much better than that."
On the transition from being a real athlete to a sports entertainer:
"I’ve been a fan my whole life of WWE and all kinds of pro wrestling. I’ve wanted to do it for a long time, but once I made it in into the Performance Center [WWE’s training facility in Orlando], and started training — the biggest difference for me, and for a lot of amateur wrestlers is that we’re taught that you can’t let the crowd affect you. Whereas, in WWE, the crowd is who you’re there performing for. Jason [Jordan, Gable’s tag team partner] and I had to learn to feed off their energy and give it back to them as well to elicit a response from them. They’re only going to give you as much as you’re willing to give them. We had to really let that come out and let ourselves have high energy as opposed to stay stone-faced like you would in an amateur wrestling match. It creates a better environment for everybody, and I think that’s one of our strengths."
On if he has any dream matches:
"As far as the roster goes, there are so many teams — Gallows & Anderson, the Usos — there are just endless teams we want to wrestle.
"With the current landscape, I think the tag-team division is going to blow up... We want to make tag-team wrestling the thing to watch again, and we are going be the ones to do it. Nobody else. We hope that lights a fire under some guys, and if it ruffles a few feathers, we’re okay with that. We want to raise the level of competition. If everyone starts to be competitive with each other and wants to one-up each other every single night, sparks are going to fly and it’s going to be magic before you know it."