After six years with the WWE, Jason Jordan finds himself entering his first ever singles match for a championship tonight at No Mercy. The 28-year-old superstar has spent most of his career as a tag team specialist, but Jordan is getting his first big push as a singles competitor after being revealed as the (storyline) son of WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle.
WWE clearly showed their faith in Jordan when they decided to reveal him as the son of Kurt Angle, a storyline decision that instantly gave him added credibility when it comes to becoming a top star. While Jordan has shown himself to have plenty of in-ring skill, can he repeat that same success now that he's branching out on his own?
Early struggles and finding a home in American Alpha
When Nathan Everhart signed with the WWE in 2011, he brought with him a rich athletic background as a three-sport athlete. It was in the WWE developmental system that he was given the name Jason Jordan.
Despite his athleticism, Jordan found it difficult to develop his own character. While he was a fast learner when it came to in-ring talent, it was that "it factor" and charisma that eluded him. After a string of losses and a short-lived pairing with Tye Dillinger, Jordan finally found a home when he was paired with fellow amateur wrestling standout Chad Gable to form American Alpha.
While Gable was newer to the WWE, his undeniable charisma and chemistry with Jordan made them at hit as a tag team. They captured the NXT Tag Team Championship and eventually the SmackDown Tag Team Championship after getting called up to the main roster. Unfortunately, injuries and haphazard booking prevented the team from hitting the stride that their ability indicated they were capable of. It was Gable who became injured while they were in NXT, but Jordan was the one to suffer an injury on the main roster.
Return from injury and singles career
In July of 2017, WWE had been hyping up a storyline where some controversial news about Raw General Manager Kurt Angle was going to be revealed. After weeks of build, it was suddenly revealed that Angle had discovered he had an illegitimate son he'd never known about. That son was Jason Jordan, who was then moved from SmackDown to Raw and split from his former tag partner Chad Gable.
From there, Jordan began to work his way up the ranks as a singles competitor. He made it clear that he didn't want preferential treatment for being the General Manager's son, and Jordan insisted he wanted to earn his spot rather than be given it. It took several weeks, but matches against elite performers such as John Cena, Roman Reigns, and Finn Balor allowed him to show promise as a singles performer despite being on the losing end in these matches.
Jordan continued to earn his spot by winning a Six-Pack Challenge last Monday on Raw to get the right to face The Miz for the Intercontinental Championship tonight at No Mercy. Win or lose, Jordan's current rise shows just how high WWE currently is on the youngster.
Is Jason Jordan top star material?
If you look at the stereotypical WWE mold, it seems obvious that the 6-foot-3-inch 245 lb competitor has the tools to be something special. He's got the look, something WWE has always tended to consider especially important, and Jordan backs it up in the ring with a mat-based arsenal typical of someone with an amateur wrestling background.
The comparisons to Kurt Angle have even existed since his days in NXT, long before their storyline connection had been revealed. After proving himself capable of holding his own inside the squared circle with names like John Cena and Roman Reigns, it seems clear that Jordan has the skill to become a top star within the WWE.
How does WWE put him on the right track?
Despite the cliched nature of saying "the sky's the limit" for a competitor, it seems all too fitting for Jason Jordan. He's already shown so much potential, but it will take something special for him to be capable of being a "top guy." In order to give him the right avenue to that option, WWE needs to be careful not to squander the opportunity they've been given. Considering their decision to make him the son (illegitimate or not) of Kurt Angle, that's as good of a place to start as any.
If you've been following Kurt Angle's career throughout his time in WWE and even during his stint in TNA (aka Impact Wrestling), you'll notice that Kurt was constantly adapting and evolving. Despite his undeniable skill even in his first few years, Angle never rested on his laurels. He went from being a simple mat technician to developing a varied power-based moveset.
Right now, Jordan is still in the process of finding his niche as a singles performer given his history as a tag team specialist. His in-ring performances are similar to Kurt Angle's early days, and he has the tools to develop even more provided he continues honing his craft like he did when he was down at the WWE Performance Center. Despite what Brock Lesnar might lead you to believe, it takes more than a thousand suplexes to put together a high-quality match. If Jordan continues improving down the road he's on, his in-ring talent will not be a barrier to his rise.
Character-wise, Jordan still seems to be a bit awkward about things. He's just now nestling in and finding how to be Kurt Angle's son, but that fun fact isn't something he can rest on for the rest of his career. It's a boost, but he'll have to show his own personality or that boost will quickly fade away.
On top of that, Jordan's mic work still needs some polishing. He's shown some flashes of ability but has yet to prove himself to be a top-level talker. If WWE wishes to push him as the true second coming of Kurt Angle, it'll take an engaging character and better microphone work. If there's one thing that can make or break his current push, it's definitely going to be how he performs on the mic (just ask Roman Reigns).
What's next for Jason Jordan?
Tonight, Jason Jordan goes up against The Miz for the Intercontinental Championship. Given The Miz's consistency in retaining his championship with the help of Maryse or The Miztourage, Jordan's chances are slim. Even if he comes up short tonight, Jordan will need to hold the title somewhere down the line in order to stay relevant.
Right now, Jordan's stock is rising and his performance at No Mercy will show the WWE how he handles big moments, regardless of whether or not he walks out as the new champion. If Jordan's performance over the last month on Raw is any indication, he should be just fine tonight against The Miz.
With WWE's tendency to change their booking decisions at the whims of those at the top, Vince McMahon included, the hands of fate may play a key role in Jordan's future. However, if he can continue to improve and carve out a memorable character that connects with the audience, Jordan can become a top star in every sense of the word.
Do you think Jason Jordan can be a top star in WWE? Let us know in the comments below!