The SmackDown tag team division is currently void of a championship, but that’s going to change. Daniel Bryan hinted at some gold headed to the brand’s way recently. This is good news for the duos competing in the division, as fighting only for the sake of fighting would have inevitably grown stale.
There are issues here, however. It was something Today’s Powerbomb has written about before, but has further exacerbated since. This time, it is slightly different than the division being a disservice to American Alpha. Instead, the WWE attempting to make American Alpha look strong did a disservice to the entire division.
On the latest edition of SmackDown, American Alpha was set to do battle against two local jobbers when three other SmackDown tag teams made their way to the ring. While that may very well be the entire division at this point in the early process of SmackDown being an exclusive brand, what followed next was less than ideal.
The Vaudevillains, Hype Bros, and Ascension all made their way to ringside to watch the bout. After American Alpha easily dispatch the two local jobbers, the remaining teams on the outside came inside the squared circle, everyone began hitting each other as if they owed each other money, and at the end of the entire kerfuffle American Alpha whooped all of the teams involved.
Is it the very worst thing in the world that the WWE wants to make American Alpha look good? Absolutely not. But having them very literally look ultra superior to three other tag teams – specifically, at the same time – essentially destroys the credibility of the rest of the division.
That’s a division, mind you, that is in trouble as is. The WWE could ill-afford having it look weaker than a house built of straw. Apparently, that didn’t matter to the company at the moment, as is it now not only a given that American Alpha is the tag team on SmackDown, but the rest are all hogwash.
We should add a small caveat in there. One that could somewhat save the WWE’s narrow-minded booking on Tuesday night. If the company is bringing in more tag teams in the near immediate future, having three other teams look weak won’t be the worst thing in the history of mankind – especially since those three other duos haven’t exactly set the world on fire.
But if no other teams are coming? This would be similar to having a weak division in a sport, one team going undefeated, while the others all go without a win. How good will fans think the undefeated team is if everyone they played couldn’t win a single game elsewhere? Probably not very good.
In fact, such a thing can backfire. It has on Roman Reigns.
While American Alpha comes with far more goodwill than Reigns did, it wasn’t until the former Shield member began to squash humans all over the place that people began to scratch their noggins and boo the ever living heck out of him. Him squashing multiple guys at the same time on the regular rubbed the WWE Universe wrong.
There’s more to it than that for Roman, but having a super-wrestler or in this instance a super-tag team can lead to an unexpected backlash to talent the WWE was hoping fans would cheer.
Furthermore, the division is now officially weak. It is something we all “knew” before Tuesday night, but the WWE cemented it as that when American Alpha destroyed – what we assume is – the entire division. Now what good will the new SmackDown tag team belts going to be if there’s never a sense of urgency or if anyone appears as a threat to American Alpha?
Let’s hope the WWE slightly adjusts the booking here a bit. I’m all for American Alpha being pushed to the moon. But we, as fans, need to care about – or at least think they’re a threat – the teams they wallop on a weekly basis. Having them all fall in one fell swoop doesn’t help in that.