Earlier this week, a piece was published by another wrestling news outlet regarding Gable Steveson’s WWE debut. The piece, written by an M. Gomez, is a shameless attempt to attack the crowd that was in attendance for The Great American Bash last weekend.
At the event, Gable made his in ring debut for WWE, facing off with Baron Corbin in singles competition. It is worth noting that Corbin has been rarely, if ever cheered by wrestling crowds as he has been a career heel so far, but was the clear babyface for the crowd despite him being a heel.
Steveson’s performance in the match was nothing too bad but wasn’t awe inspiring either. Throughout the course of the matchup, Gable would use some moves made popular by WWE Hall Of Famer Kurt Angle. The crowd, which was already firmly against Gable, began chanting that he wasn’t Kurt Angle.
The finish of the match featured the two men brawling on the outside, with the match being called as a draw for a double count out. Chants of “Bullshit” would rain down from the crowd, and the pair would have a brief pull apart brawl to end their segment of the Premium Live Event.
Circling back to the piece I referred to earlier, it was a piece written with the belief that Gable was being booed for being new and green to the professional wrestling business. The piece is one long rant on how wrestling fans are bad for booing a man on the first day of the job, with the article wrapping up with one more snarky comment aimed at the fans not giving Gable a chance on the first day of the job, noting that wrestling fans have never had a bad first day, which is unbelievably irrelevant to the topic.
What the author fails to grasp, is that Gable was not booed for being new to WWE and professional wrestling. It was clear from even his entrance that the crowd was more than aware of Gable’s past legally. For those unaware, Steveson was put on trial for the rape of a woman along with another member of his amateur wrestling team. Steveson would end up escaping being deemed guilty due to a legal loophole at the time where impaired victims were not deemed intoxicated if they willingly drank alcohol or consumed drugs. This law was repealed in Minnesota in 2021, so if the incident were to happen today it is almost guaranteed Gable would have done jail time for the rape.
Now, it is believable that many fans were unaware of this, but the author of the piece referenced in this article would at least have seen the outpouring of social media posts from prominent accounts on the platforms signal boosting the incident and reminding people of Gable’s past during The Great American Bash.
Wrestling fans may not always have it right when it comes to sexual misconduct in the industry, but in this case, the fans in Texas were not having any of what Gable had to offer in the ring. In truth, the booing from fans had very little to do with his in ring skills. While he was not perfect, objectively he did well in his debut match. The idea that the fans were being “rude” however, is a ridiculous sentiment when it comes to Gable’s history with the law.
It turns out, wrestling fans aren’t happy to see a rapist who got off on a legal loophole make his wrestling debut, regardless of how they perform. For many fans and wrestlers alike, sexual assault is an incredibly sensitive subject and while WWE undoubtedly do not care about it (just look at who runs the company), Gable will likely continue to get negative reactions from fans.
The problem with this incident and ones before it, are that WWE do not take issues of sexual misconduct seriously. There have been several accusations made in recent years on WWE talent. Joe Coffey was suspended during Speaking Out after being exposed for sexual misconduct, but you wouldn’t think it with his prominent position on NXT TV along with the rest of Gallus and Matt Riddle has been a consistent name on WWE programming despite accusations being lobbied his way of forcing oral sex on Candy Cartwright also being sent his way.
Gable is just the next in a long line of WWE superstars who are known sexual criminals that WWE turn a blind eye too.
In conclusion, wrestling fans do not, nor will they ever, owe Gable Steveson a damn thing.
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