Thanks to The Usos turning heel, the SmackDown Tag Team Tournament now has a bit of a wrinkle t0 it. American Alpha is out due to injury. That’s the news. Due to that, Backlash will have a fight-in match that features The Hype Bros vs. The Usos, with the winner going on to face Rhyno and Heath Slater for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships.
From an overall standpoint, this might seem bland sine most of the world wants to see American Alpha be at the top of the division. But that’s ignoring some potential storytelling gold, as well as the idea that wrestlers are usually best served not immediately reaching the mountain top. After all, mega-pushes usually result in insane (incoming pun!) backlashes. Just look at Roman Reigns, early Usos and John Cena as examples.
Here, we make a case for each of them to win the tag team gold.
The Hype Bros
If the WWE wants to go shock and awe, this would certainly be the most shocking and it would likely provide a heck of a lot of awes.
Other than that, there’s really no solid reason to give The Hype Bros the gold. Their gimmick was an only-sometimes hit at NXT, the main roster crowd appears indifferent, and even though “Woo Woo Woo” carries a lot of goodwill with him, it wouldn’t be enough to warrant the titles.
They make the most sense if we are heading into an angle in which American Alpha needs to overcome the evil heels.
But let’s not make this only about American Alpha. Yes, yes. Everyone gets it. We all love American Alpha. Still, not every literal thing in the tag team division has to be about them. At least not yet.
I’ve written about them at-length recently. To sum it up: They are good in the ring, their heel turn freshens up their previously stale characters, and who doesn’t love face paint?
There’s more to it than that. Nearly every division in wrestling is better when the evil-doer has the title. We need our good guys, who are usually underdogs, to have something to chase after. This obviously circles back to how this can help American Alpha, but it can apply for every other face tag team on SmackDown.
Heath Slater and Rhyno
Heath Slater is an American hero. No, really, I am being somewhat serious.
He has been given bad gimmick after bad gimmick. Turning each of those bad jobs (characters) into something of relative worth (entertainment). This has happened time after time after time. But there’s never really been a payoff for the man. Yet, here we are, and he’s only one win away from being a tag team champion.
While The Usos seem like the logical choice, the smart money here is on Slater and Rhyno.
There’s just so many angles the tag team division can have with these two carrying the gold. First and foremost, The Usos and American Alpha can feud outside of the championship scene while Rhyno and Slater keep upsetting other tag teams along the way.
Because of how it helps the tag team division by allowing the two actual best teams fight outside the title scene, which elevates everyone else who is battling Slater and Rhyno for the titles, they should be the heavy favorites heading into Sunday’s championship match.