Earlier this year, WWE managed to swipe four major talents from across the Pacific, picking up AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, and the tag team of Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows from NJPW. At that point in time, WWE was in dire need of credible tag team talent, working with a roster essentially devoid of talent the WWE audience took seriously, outside of New Day.
Anderson and Gallows — The Club — were the solution to that problem; it was clear as day once they arrived. Now, jump skip five months since The Club debuted on WWE programming and they are challenging New Day at Clash of Champions this Sunday for the Raw Tag Team Championship.
And yet, who could possibly even care?
Five months ago, it was the matchup that needed to happen eventually. New Day had no credible rivals to be heard of and, therefore, no tag team a fan could possibly get excited about seeing New Day compete against and potentially lose the tag titles to in order to finally crown new champions. As great an act as New Day is, the tag titles had been on them for so long simply because there was no one else with enough credibility to the WWE fans to take that top slot.
Finally a ray of hope shined through; NJPW’s loss became a major gain for WWE. A new tag team was on its way that could serve as a proper rival to New Day and become that dominant team to serve as new champions. Anderson and Gallows most certainly have the talent to do so and the anticipation for their addition to the roster presented all the momentum you could ask for to build a new top tag team in the promotion.
Five months have passed and all those hopes, all that momentum, and all those opportunities are dead. What could have been the crowning of new champions, bringing an old school, badass tag team to dominate from atop the division, would now be a complete downgrade if the titles were switched at Clash of Champions.
Not only would it be a downgrade, it would be completely uninspiring and a burial of the tag team titles. WWE has run The Club so far into the ground, draining nearly every ounce of credibility Anderson and Gallows had, plus the potential to expand upon even further, it is almost astounding how badly Vince McMahon screwed the team and all those opportunities up.
WWE might as well take the option of New Day dropping the tag team titles to The Club off the table. The only options which would be worse on the Raw roster are New Day dropping the titles to Golden Truth or The Shining Stars — two tag teams who were born without credibility.
It is hard to say whether it is even worse or not to realize WWE started off with The Club pretty well. At the onset, The Club were being treated like your traditional, no-nonsense tag team; two beefy guys who just went out there to kick ass. And that is exactly how Anderson and Gallows work best.
The problems all started not with New Day, but when WWE decided to do a short program involving Styles’ feud with John Cena, teaming Cena with Enzo and Cass to take on Styles, Anderson, and Gallows. WWE seems to have this impression it is a good idea to have anyone feuding with Enzo and Cass to play their game. Their game, of course, being the gift of the gab. Enzo and Cass arguably outshine even New Day in sheer charisma and work on the microphones, making them one of the most popular acts in the promotion.
So after months of Styles, Anderson and Gallows being serious wrestlers, WWE tried to bring in a comedy element to the trio and make them engage on the level of Enzo and Cass. It would have been excusable, except as soon as that short program finished is when WWE pitted The Club against New Day. WWE decided to not just continue that mindset, but upped the ante.
New Day are about as wacky and goofy as it gets. That is their thing, and they have made it work excellently to become one of the most over acts in the promotion. In no way, shape, or form does that mean it can work for everyone though.
So of course WWE, in all its brilliance, decides The Club are going to play New Day’s game. And all of a sudden, the quirky promos The Club was cutting with Enzo and Cass then become an awful “comedy” program of Anderson and Gallows acting as doctors every week in their feud with New Day.
Week after week, The Club were presented as a tag team doing McMahon’s idea of comedy in order to make the New Day feud something, maybe, someone could consider entertaining. It was not, and it is not.
For two months now, WWE have successfully squandered The Club. What was once the best, immediate hope for WWE to elevate a new tag team to the top of the promotion has been ravaged almost beyond all recognition. The Club could have been the next big thing in the tag team division; a team the fans respected and wanted to see every week, leading to an eventual crowning as new champions to begin a dominant run. After WWE has had its way with Anderson and Gallows though, who could possibly desire seeing the titles around their waists now?