Wrestling / American Alpha

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Towel says it all.
American Alpha was a professional wrestling tag team consisting of amateur-turned-professional wrestlers Jason Jordan (born Nathan Everhart on September 28, 1988 in Tinley Park, Illinois) and Chad Gable (born Charles "Chas" Betts on March 8, 1986 in Minneapolis, Minnesota), both working for WWE under its developmental brand NXT before being drafted to SmackDown Live.

Jordan had signed with WWE's developmental system in July 2011, and found moderate success as one-half of the penultimate FCW Florida Tag Team Champions with CJ Parker before the titles were deactivated upon the switch from FCW to NXT. However, he struggled to gain any momentum under the revamped system for several years. Gable signed with WWE in November 2013, but would not debut on the NXT television program until January 2015, at which point he began being used as a jobber to the established stars of NXT while looking impressive in defeat with his mat technique. Four months later, fortunes would change.

In May, fresh off walking out on his unsuccessful tag team with Tye Dillinger, Jordan was looking for a new tag team partner when Gable decided to show up and try to convince him that they could work well as a team. Jordan brushed him off and went through a series of other partners for the next two months, only to finally accept Gable after exhausting all other options. Instantly, they found chemistry. Their impressive athletic talent and wrestling aptitude came through from their debut match and only continued growing from there, and though they began their run together as nominal heels, the crowd warmed up to them enough that they began to be used as faces after their showing at October's NXT TakeOver: Respect, where they made it to the semi-finals of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament before losing in a resilient effort to the much larger heel team of Baron Corbin and Rhyno.

They continued climbing up the ranks of NXT's tag team division, and by January 2016 began using the team name of American Alpha, defeating several former NXT championship teams such as Blake and Murphy, The Vaudevillains, and The Ascension. In the match that kicked off WrestleMania weekend, Gable and Jordan opened NXT TakeOver: Dallas by beating The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder) to capture their first NXT Tag Team Championship, before losing the titles back to the Revival 68 days later at NXT TakeOver: The End. As a result of the 2016 WWE Draft on July 19, the team was drafted to the SmackDown brand, where they defeated The Wyatt Family (Luke Harper and Randy Orton), in a match that also included Heath Slater and Rhyno and The Usos, to capture the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship on December 27, 2016. They dropped the titles to the Usos on March 21, 2017.

On July 17, 2017, Jason Jordan was revealed to be the illegitimate son of Kurt Angle, thereby disbanding American Alpha. The two continued to support each other, though.

For more on American Alpha's careers, visit The Other Wiki here. Also, see more on Jordan here, and more on Gable here.


"Ready, Troping, and Gable":

  • Alliterative Name: American Alpha, as well as Jason Jordan himself. When he's in a good mood, Jordan outright tells people to call him JJ.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Gable's pursuit of Jordan as a tag team partner, and his insistence on Jordan saying his catchphrase, carried more than a few undertones early on.
  • Captain Ersatz: This team appears to be a two-man love letter to Kurt Angle, with Gable representing the younger Angle from the Attitude Era—the dorky arrogant guy who's also somehow endearing or funny and yet still dangerous because he can out-grapple anyone at will—and Jordan representing the matured Angle of the Ruthless Aggression Era—the intense badass wrestling machine who's come to own just how good he is and is capable of going on nigh-unstoppable tears. Bonus points for both men also carrying similarities to a certain team of former Angle protégés, covered three tropes below.
  • Catch-Phrase: "Ready, willing, and Gable."
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: A former amateur wrestler, Jordan can throw full grown men around like paperweights.
  • Composite Character:
    • Both are seemingly composites of Kurt Angle and one of his former understudies, making it all the more fitting that their first taste of true success in WWE has come with teaming together:
      • As a black athletic prototypical wrestler, Jordan hearkens back to Shelton Benjamin, but his moveset and intensity is more reminiscent of prime Angle. He also has the legitimate amateur wrestling background to match both men as well. And in kayfabe, Jordan is revealed to be Angle's illegitimate son, making all this similarities even more striking.
      • Like early Angle, Gable is a short, highly skilled amateur wrestler and Olympic competitor who wrestles in a singlet, and backstage is arrogant but with an air of goofiness about him. As the white and more technical teammate in this duo, he can also be considered one of Charlie Haas for many of the same reasons.
      • These similarities were Lampshaded in one promo where Jordan almost called the two of them "The World's Greatest Tag Team" before Gable cut him off and asked him to stop, presumably out of respect for the original team. Even without the lampshade, not only have fans noticed this to the point of chanting their names to the candence of Angle's former WWE theme song, but Angle himself has stated in interviews during and after his TNA farewell tour that he'd like to return to WWE specifically to help mentor and elevate them. And now he gets the chance, at least with Jordan — now that Jordan is working as his son on WWE Raw.
    • Outside the Angle-related comparisons, Gable's masterful mat technique, charming balance of nerdiness and badassery, and ability to be dangerous despite his diminutive size has also drawn comparisons to Bryan Danielson especially in his WWE run, while Jordan's strength, intensity, athletic prowess, and suplexing aptitude can evoke memories of Scott Steiner before the Pump, without the profanity. The team has even done their own version of the Steinerizer (an elevated diving bulldog), called Tech Fall.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Yes, Gable and Jordan worked as heels early on. Their theme song is called "Elite", hinting at athletic arrogance fitting a heel gimmick. However, fans loved them too much to boo them, and so they became cemented as faces through their gutsy performance in defeat against Baron Corbin and Rhyno in the semi-finals of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The 245-pound (in billed weight) Jordan has a beautiful dropkick and incredible quickness in the ring.
  • Lovable Jock: Essentially their gimmick as faces, particularly during their NXT run (characterization for tag teams tends to be more well-formed on NXT). They're very athletic and very confident in their athletic ability, but they also wrestle a skilled, clean match and come off as all-around nice guys.
  • Manly Tears: The emotional resonance of the moment Jason Jordan and Chad Gable became NXT Tag Team Champions in Dallas was palpable from 3, as both (especially Jordan) found themselves on the verge of breaking down. Their amateur wrestling careers had ended in disappointment (Everhart never managing to win the NCAA national championship and Betts being bounced 3-0 in the post-qualification round at the 2012 Olympics); and Jordan, despite his athletic raw talent, had spent years toiling away in WWE's farm system with only two weeks as a Florida tag champion to show for it prior to his team with Gable. To finally find themselves crowned as champions on a major stage with every fan in the arena supporting them, you can imagine why they were overwhelmed.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Gable stands at only 5'7, but grapples and tosses around larger foes with ease. It's routinely noted, in fact, how unusually strong he is for being one of the smallest guys on the roster.
  • Reality Ensues: After Tye Dillinger refused to tag him in not once, but three times during a match, Jordan got pissed off and left Dillinger to get hammered by the Lucha Dragons. See below — no, see this whole page for the result.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Having ditched former tag partner Tye Dillinger, Jordan began a story line where he teamed with various WWE Superstars in an attempt to find a better tag partner. He eventually found one in Gable.
  • Salt and Pepper: Jordan has a more hot-headed personality, while Gable is more efficient, joyful, and relaxed.
  • Shout-Out: Gable's name is one to Dan Gable, the longtime head coach of the legendary Iowa Hawkeyes collegiate amateur wrestling team. Dan approves of this; he's done a short video with the "Ready, Willing and Gable" towel, and the two Gables have both been scheduled for an appearance together at an Iowa wrestling event in July 2017.
  • Stalker With a Crush: Some have seen Gable's aforementioned pursuit of Jordan as this.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Teaming with Chad turned out to be the breakthrough JJ needed, as they instantly started winning and dominating opponents, with Jordan breaking out more of his amateur wrestling background. Completed at TakeOver: Dallas, where they beat The Revival for the tag team championship titles.
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