One of the forever ongoing struggles of WWE programming is the lack of depth in its tag team division. Every single time it appears the company is close to fixing that issue, something happens that thins out the division. Whether that is through splitting duos, teams not living up to their end of the bargain, or the brand-split that put a huge damper on its depth, it is a cruel reality today’s WWE is currently facing.
There are no easy fixes. Going after independent tag teams that have name power (hello, Young Bucks) would be an ideal scenario, but there’s not exactly a dozen of those trotting about Earth who are great enough to enter the company day-one and make an impact.
That’s where NXT comes in. The developmental home of the WWE.
Oddly, NXT’s tag team division has never been considered thin. Thanks in part to only having one-hour weekly shows, NXT is normally considered deep with tag team talent. Even better, the success rate of duos going from NXT to the WWE — while not perfect (thanks, Ascension) — is pretty solid. Examples being the mega-over Enzo and Big Cass, as well as American Alpha being pushed to the moon as of this moment.
This is where NXT’s new duo, Authors of Pain, come in. A tag team led by former Road Warriors manager Paul Ellering.
Before moving forward, it is worth noting since it is rarely mentioned, that the Authors of Pain are made up of Sunny Dhinsa and Gzim Selman. Dhinsa was a former amateur wrestling talent who was close to being an Olympic darling. Selmani was an MMA fighter who last competed at Bellator 130. There he lost to Daniel Gallemore via TKO in what would turn out to be his last fight before joining WWE.
Point being: Both guys are still incredibly green in pro wrestling, but they each bring some real bad-ass credibility with them. Something broadcasters can later use to help build up their characters as scary threats as they continue to wallop talent week after week.
As of right now, the WWE is booking them perfectly. Not only have they tied this “squash-heavy” team with a legendary manager in Ellering, but they have yet to be put in a position where they have to carry a match. Instead, the creative team has put them in positions to highlight what they do best — which is showcasing their insane power, force and brutality.
This is something that will likely continue for some time. The Authors of Pain are by no means a perfect tag team, but with NXT being somewhat depleted in the tag team division post-brand extension, it is a wise idea to build the team as monsters before having them put on 20-minute matches at a TakeOver event.
Even better, part of their gimmick — at least right now — isn’t to be the type of team who will have long matches. So there is no rush to have them do anything other than destroy other teams, which will only continue to highlight their strengths and hide their flaws.
The team definitely has a lot of potential, too. Something we can notice in some of their more innovate offensive moves, such as their double powerbomb that starts after the duo hits their opponents in the air first, then send them crashing into the mat after.
It is that potential we should keep our eyes on. While they will most likely be booked as a team as strong as The Ascension was during their NXT run, the Authors of Pain have a higher ceiling. They are more athletic, more physically imposing and have incredible strength. Plus, their gimmick is slightly more rooted in reality.
Who knows if they ever actually reach their full potential, but the Authors of Pain are obviously a team that can one day trot about the main roster squared-circle. Until then, however, the NXT proving grounds is as a good a place for the team to learn on the go as any.
As for fans, we will get to consume to large humans do — and try to do — things rarely seen by men of that size. Oh, and we also get to watch Ellering wear a red suit jacket as he did on the latest edition of NXT.
We’re all winners here.