Chad Gable surprised everybody when he reached the King of the Ring finals, where he narrowly fell to the overwhelming favorite Baron Corbin on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw.
Many obviously expected a bigger star like Kevin Owens, Ali or Andrade to represent the SmackDown side of the bracket. But Gable pulled off upset after upset and embarked on a true feel-good story and run before losing to Corbin.
Well, the good news for Gable is that the King of the Ring tournament isn't going to signal the end of his push. According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t Ringside News), Vince McMahon "likes and appreciates" Gable, and the WWE chairman "considers this a push."
Gable's push started out when he defeated Shelton Benjamin in the opening round of the King of the Ring tournament. He then defeated Andrade in the quarter-finals and was set to meet Elias, who had defeated Ali, in the semi-finals. However, Elias had to be removed after suffering an ankle injury, and Shane McMahon replaced him.
Few expected Gable to take down the SmackDown Live commissioner, but with Kevin Owens acting as the special guest referee, he was able to pull off the monumental upset. That marked perhaps the biggest singles competition victory in Gable's career, and he's only trending up from here despite the loss to Corbin.
Gable has spent most of his WWE career in the tag team division; he and Jason Jordan held both the NXT and SmackDown Tag Team Championships. Gable and Bobby Roode also endured a brief reign with the Raw Tag Team titles as well. Now, Gable gets to show the world what he can do in singles competition.
What's Next For Gable?
We can expect plenty of changes on SmackDown as it prepares for a move to Friday nights under Fox Sports. With Eric Bischoff taking over as the new Executive Director, you know he's going to look to push new superstars as well. WWE needs to continue building up its mid-card on SmackDown, and Gable seems capable of clashing with some of the brand's other top talents. Perhaps a program with Shinsuke Nakamura and his Intercontinental Championship awaits Gable in the future.