WWE Fans Are Furious About Chad Gable, But I Have Mixed Feelings

Sami Zayn hugs a dejected Chad Gable after their match on WWE Raw.
(Image credit: WWE)

Did you watch Raw last night? Well, the show’s main event was a six-person gauntlet match with the winner facing Gunther at WrestleMania 40 for The Intercontinental Championship. Most fans, myself included, assumed Chad Gable would win and get his long-awaited rematch with The Ring General. Support has been steadily building for the former Olympian, and now seemed like the moment for him to finally break out as a singles competitor. But then the match happened and Gable lost to Sami Zayn, leading thousands to hit up social media and express their frustrations.

This isn’t a case of a few people screaming loudly and it being taken as a universal opinion either. If you follow even a handful of wrestling fans on X, formerly known as Twitter, you almost certainly ran into a stream of WTF messages. They ranged from shock and disbelief to outright anger to people taking screenshots of Gable's shoulder being up before the three count. Many were extremely respectful toward Sami Zayn and talked about how they’re happy for him but expressed some level of confusion as to why WWE didn’t choose Gable. Here’s a sample tweet, which has more than 7500 likes…

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Now, it’s easy to see where people are coming from. First, Chad Gable rules. He’s easily one of the best in-ring workers WWE has, and he’s well above average on the microphone too. Second, he’s paid his dues for more than a decade waiting for his big moment. Vince McMahon repeatedly gave him trash storylines, and he just kept grinding with a smile on his face. Third, of all the people Gunther has done a program with since winning The IC Title almost two years ago, except maybe Sheamus who has an uncertain future, Gable’s was the most positively received. These dudes cooked on both the microphone and in the ring, and fans have been eagerly waiting for the writers to revisit it.

Throw in some terrific video packages Gable has been dropping, as well as the fact that many fans want to see Sami Zayn in The World Heavyweight Championship picture, and it really seemed like the leader of The Alpha Academy was going to cruise to victory. Those expectations were heightened when he came out last, but for whatever reason, it was not to be. My initial reaction, like everyone else’s, was bewilderment, but the more I’ve thought about it, the more complicated my feelings have gotten.

On the one hand, I truly feel that Chad Gable deserved this moment. Win, lose or draw, having a high profile match at WrestleMania is a tremendous honor. Most wrestlers go their entire careers without making The Showcase Of The Immortals, and outside of being in the main event, fighting for a championship is about as good as you can do. This would have been a great way for Gable to cement himself as a singles competitor, and it would have given him a chance to show what he can do in front of all the casuals who aren’t watching him cook on a weekly basis. So, that sucks, and I’m mad about it. I’m also grieving for the likely match of the night we’re not getting.

On the other hand, I think there’s a good chance Gunther is going to retain his title at WrestleMania. I think whenever he finally drops the belt, he’s going to immediately progress to the main event card, but there’s so much going on over there right now. He’s not getting involved in Cody Rhodes and Roman Reigns’ program, especially with The Rock playing a central role. That’s already overbooked as it is. Then, whether Seth Rollins or Drew McIntyre wins, The World Heavyweight Championship seems like it’s going to run through CM Punk afterwards. So, if what I really want is for Chad Gable to be the one to dethrone Gunther, maybe him not being the winner is ultimately a good thing? A loss here for Sami Zayn wouldn’t really affect him, but another loss for Gable would likely mean he’s done challenging Gunther for a long time.

Truly, I don’t know how to feel. I’m not sure if Chad Gable lost because Triple H thinks it’s the right thing for his character long-term, or if he was simply shuffled aside because Sami Zayn is a bigger name who needed something to do at WrestleMania 40. I don't know if they're going to lean into the his shoulders weren't on the mat conspiracy theory fans are on about and Gable might not be done yet. All I know is this dude is fantastic, and the backlash is proving a very sizable percentage of the fanbase is ready to root for him in some big spots moving forward. 

Mack Rawden
Editor In Chief

Mack Rawden is the Editor-In-Chief of CinemaBlend. He first started working at the publication as a writer back in 2007 and has held various jobs at the site in the time since including Managing Editor, Pop Culture Editor and Staff Writer. He now splits his time between working on CinemaBlend’s user experience, helping to plan the site’s editorial direction and writing passionate articles about niche entertainment topics he’s into. He graduated from Indiana University with a degree in English (go Hoosiers!) and has been interviewed and quoted in a variety of publications including Digiday. Enthusiastic about Clue, case-of-the-week mysteries, a great wrestling promo and cookies at Disney World. Less enthusiastic about the pricing structure of cable, loud noises and Tuesdays.