WWE newcomer Gable Steveson, an Olympic gold medalist, experienced a chilly welcome from the WWE Universe during his much-anticipated debut match against Baron Corbin last Sunday. Rather than cheering the rookie, audiences sided with the usually villainous Corbin, resulting in a double count-out draw that left many scratching their heads.
Following this match, WWE veteran Mark Henry offered his insight on the situation during a recent episode of "Busted Open." He stated that Steveson requires suitable mentorship, and it's within his power to win over fans.
He believes the newcomer shouldn't rely solely on the backstage staff to do that work for him.
Henry Critiques WWE's Strategy
Henry highlighted, "I think they are waiting on the office to do it, they're waiting on the writers to do it." He pointed out the writers and management aren't the ones facing the audience, and it's not as simple as telling the fans to like someone because they're a high-value asset.
He candidly compared the potential reaction to such a move to an embarrassing faux pas in a solemn setting, saying, "It's gonna go off like somebody taking a dump in church." Mark Henry then returned to his initial argument that Steveson needs a mentor, someone who's walked his path, to guide him through his journey, both on and off-camera.
He suggested a fellow Olympic medalist, Kurt Angle, to assume this role. In Henry's perspective, Angle could emphasize to the WWE Universe that while Steveson might seem similar to Angle, he's different, potentially even better.
He explained, "You almost have to bring Kurt Angle back to be his manager and say, 'He's not me. He's better than me.' " Henry believes Angle could effectively convey that Steveson is more than his athletic prowess, someone who is nonchalant about whether the fans acknowledge his amateur wrestling credentials or not.
Steveson's WWE debut had been eagerly awaited since he signed with the organization in 2021. He was part of that year's WWE Draft, where he was selected to join "Raw," but his first wrestling match didn't happen until Sunday's Great American Bash.