Despite his absence from WWE television since his debut match at the "WWE NXT" Great American Bash in July, Gable Steveson has been honing his skills in dark matches during "WWE SmackDown" tapings. His in-ring debut against Baron Corbin, which ended in a double count-out, marked Steveson's only televised appearance to date.
Recent reports from PWInsider Elite indicate that Steveson's involvement in these non-televised matches isn't linked to any immediate plans for his participation in the upcoming Royal Rumble on January 27. Sources within WWE have reportedly confirmed that Steveson is not slated for the iconic battle royale, instead focusing on gaining more experience with live audiences.
His recent victories, including a match against Cameron Grimes and performances against wrestlers like Cedric Alexander and Brooks Jensen at various WWE live events, demonstrate WWE's approach to steadily build his in-ring capabilities.
Outside the ring, Steveson's athletic career has seen significant developments. Sports Illustrated highlighted that the Olympic gold medalist and two-time NCAA heavyweight champion will not return to collegiate wrestling with the Minnesota Golden Gophers this season.
This decision aligns with a statement from Coach Brandon Eggum, who indicated via social media that WWE prefers Steveson to concentrate fully on his professional wrestling career.
Steveson's Career Pivot
The trajectory of Steveson's career took a turn when he withdrew from the 2023 Senior World Championships in September amidst uncertainty regarding his WWE status.
Although he was removed from the "NXT" roster, his continued appearances at house shows suggest an ongoing investment in his development. Wrestling Observer's Dave Meltzer described the situation as unusual, given Steveson's lack of a world championship title in amateur wrestling.
As it stands, there has been no official announcement regarding Steveson's return to WWE television, either on the main roster or in "NXT." His journey in WWE remains a subject of interest, as the company seemingly invests in his gradual progression from an amateur wrestling champion to a professional wrestling star.