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Noted Ring Name: Chad Gable From: Minneapolis, Minnesota Born: March 8, 1986 WWE Debut: August 2nd, 2016 Mini Bio: Chad Gable exudes the competitiveness, intensity and confidence of an Olympic athlete for good reason: He was one. Hailing from Minnesota, a state rich in wrestling history, Gable has been a master of the mat since his youth. A former state champion in high school, he reached the pinnacle of amateur grappling in 2012, claiming victory in the U.S. Olympic Trials and earning the right to compete at the London Olympics that summer. Once the Summer Games passed, Gable turned his focus to sports-entertainment, signing on to train at the WWE Performance Center. It wasn’t long before Gable’s prodigious skill inside the ring propelled him to Superstardom in NXT, where the savant of suplexes found his greatest success teaming with fellow amateur standout Jason Jordan. Known as American Alpha, the duo ignited NXT’s Tag Team division and won over the NXT Universe before being drafted to SmackDown Live in 2016. Full Biography:Read Here Stats & Accomplishments:Read Here
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Article: Slam! Sports – American Alpha Making The Most Of WWE Opportunity
Chad Gable and Jason Jordan, collectively known in World Wrestling Entertainment as American Alpha, have lived something of a charmed life since forming a fabulous duo less than two years ago in WWE’s development promotion, NXT.
Since aligning, the real-life former amateur wrestlers have run roughshod over much of the competition, become the first team in history to win both the NXT tag titles and the tag titles as members of WWE’s main roster, in their cases the Smackdown tag titles, in the same year.
Of course, winning is nothing new to either member of the alliance. Gable, whose real name is Charles Betts, after all, is a former high school wrestling champion who competed for the United States at the 2012 Olympics, while Jordan, whose real name is Nathan Everhart, became a three-time national qualifier for NCAA at the Division I level and was ranked as high No. 2 in the nation after compiling a 35-0 record in his senior year.
“It’s definitely made the physical transition a lot easier,” the 28-year-old Illinois native Jordan said when asked about the similarities between pro and amateur wrestling during a conference call with international media ahead of WrestleMania 33. “We both have a good understanding of our body awareness and I guess our background has helped us thrive a little bit because the way we wrestle in the ring, it’s just a lot of suplexes, a lot of throws, so amateur wrestling has physically prepared us immensely.”
But long before they were winning titles in either amateur or pro wrestling, both experienced career foreshadowing as fans of WWE.
“I was the youngest of four boys, so my brothers were already watching wrestling for as long as I can remember,” Jordan said when asked about his earliest wrestling memories. “I loved the Ultimate Warrior growing up, Mr. Perfect. Probably my biggest memories, or at least my first was because wrestling was such a big deal between me and my brothers, was seeing Bret Hart versus Owen Hart, brother versus brother match. It was something that definitely stood out to me for my memories of wrestling. It’s just funny how starting enjoying professional wrestling at such a young age, that’s actually what got me into amateur wrestling and it kind of came full circle because all the years of amateur wrestling wound up starting off my professional wrestling career here in WWE. It’s always been a part of my life. It’s definitely helped mold me into where I am today.”
For 31-year-old Minneapolis, Minn., native Gable, it was while visiting the home of his parents’ friends as a youngster that he would be bitten by the wrestling bug.
“I just remember my parents had this very close group of friends they would always get together with who they had known their whole lives and they’d get together with once every two or three months and hang out. We’d always go their one friend’s house and this guy had boxes and boxes of these old WrestleMania and WWF tapes in the basement. I loved going there more than my parents did hanging out with their friends because I could go downstairs and watch wrestling. I would always pick a new tape and watch it. These guys like Macho Man, and like Jay said, Warrior, just captivated me. You can imagine a five-year-old or a six-year-old watching this stuff and I was just hooked from Day 1.”
Gable’s perfection of the art of wrestling took him to the top of the amateur mountain, the Olympics, while Jordan, a multi-sport star, settled on wrestling. The individuality of wrestling was what Jordan said he most enjoyed about wrestling, compared to baseball, another sport he dominated.
“What really drew me in was the aspect of all the eggs are in one basket,” he said. “It’s all you and that’s it. If you screw up, it’s your fault, you can’t put the blame on anybody else. And I really enjoyed knowing that if I worked the hardest and I deserved, then I knew that the things that I achieved would be all one big payoff. I think originally, I had the opportunity to play both when I was in college, but wrestling’s a grueling sport. Something about that, with how tough it is, knowing that there aren’t too many people who can make it at such an elite level, there’s an appeal of that for me. That’s why I chose wrestling over baseball.”
Both credit their time in amateur wrestling, which has produced a long line of successful pro wrestlers along the way, for their success in WWE.
“Amateur wrestling is a great preparation for what we do in the ring,” Jordan said. “The agility, the speed, strength, a lot of leverage. There’s a certain level that you reach that you don’t necessary have to train specifically in that way. Right now, we’ve just been working hard in the gym and getting our strength up. It’s really helped us improve ourselves in the ring, on top of the skills that we already have from many years of amateur wrestling.”
Gable said his amateur experience helped shape him into not only the pro wrestler he is today, but the person he is as well.
“For about eight years, my schedule was twice a day every day, and then once on Saturdays,” he said, referring to his training. “We’re talking like two hours on the mat and then an hour and a half to two hours in the weight room or some kind of cross training, climbing a mountain or running sprints. Some pretty crazy stuff. It just became my routine and my life. Now I look back on it and realize how crazy all of this stuff I used to do was. But at the time, that’s just what you do as you’re persuing your goal. You’re just blind to it. You just do it and embrace it.
“Some of my favourite parts of the whole experience were going overseas and going to international tournaments and training camps. I’d spend sometimes up to six weeks overseas by myself just training and travelling around and getting with different teams in places like Turkey or Hungary or wherever. It was not just a sporting experience. I learned a lot about my life and about myself during that time period. It was a great time.”
Great is an excellent adjective to describe American Alpha since its formation in 2015, as well. Last year in Texas, they scored their first WWE title by winning the NXT tag titles at Takeover: Dallas. Less than a year later, they were on the main roster, drafted to Smackdown, and sporting the tag team titles.
“Those were both really special nights, kind of hard to put into words, especially the Smackdown tag team championships, beating somebody like Randy Orton for those titles makes it mean even that much more,” Gable said reflecting on the last year and referring to American Alpha’s title win over Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt. “Fortunately, Jason and I both had our families at ringside when we won the titles. You can imagine how special that was for us. We just want to keep driving and keep and keep accomplishing stuff like that. That was a big year for us overall.”
Since joining the main roster, American Alpha, with its two amateur wrestling stars, has been drawing comparisons to another former WWE tag team comprised of amateur wrestling stars, The World’s Greatest Tag Team, which featured Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin. While American Alpha appreciates the comparison, Jordan said they’re trying to carve out their own legacy.
“I think that a lot of people look at it just because we were amateur wrestlers, they were amateur wrestlers, same background, we kind of have a similar style, I guess,” Jordan said. “In no way would I look at it as a negative that we’re being compared to them. I just know, and I can only speak for myself, I don’t want to be World’s Greatest Tag Team 2.0 or version two. We want to be the first American Alpha and understand that there’s a distinct difference between the two. Not to put any negativity on being compared to them — I think that’s great — I just want to be our own tag team.”
With WrestleMania mere days away, American Alpha has yet to earn an official match on the card, though after losing their tag titles to the Usos at Smackdown last week, a rematch at Mania seems likely. Regardless, both men admit that the magnitude of the opportunity that lies ahead is not lost on them.
“For me, I think it hasn’t quite set in.” Jordan said. “I understand that it’s such a big stage and I understand the allure of WrestleMania and WrestleMania week. We had a little bit of a taste of that in NXT last year. But I think when we get in this grind of being on the road every single week, it’s kind of hard to look ahead too much. You’re always trying to make sure you’re not taking for granted the task that’s in front of you. I think once we get there, once we get to WrestleMania, when we walk into that building, that’s when it’s really going to set in for me … the culmination of all the hard work that we’ve put in, and like you said, starting off just watching wrestling with my brothers to this … that’s when it will all sink in.”
His partner agreed.
“I like to compare a lot of times to my Olympic experience,” Gable added. “I didn’t have much time to think and build up to that, it was just like training, training, training. Everyone was like, ‘Well are you worried about it, are you excited, nervous?’ And it was just like, ‘I don’t know, I’m training.’ But then when I got there, when I got to London and you could feel the buzz in the air around town and it was everywhere, that’s when it hit me. I think the same thing’s going to happen once we get to Orlando. WrestleMania takes over the whole town. It’s not just that one day and that one building. It’s a week-long ordeal and it’s everywhere in town. You can just feel it. It’s palpable. I think once we land there and get going in Orlando, it’s going to set in.”