The Uso brothers have been good guys for the majority of their WWE run. Save for the tag team’s debut with the company, the face-painted duo have been trotting about the tag team division as its version of John Cena. They’d rarely lose, often overcome all odds and felt more like a tag team from another era than one from today — at least as far as how they were booked is concerned.
Despite being wickedly talented in the ring, it grew tiresome quick. All that smiling, winning and being regularly teamed up with Roman Reigns (pre-brand extension) made fans loath them in ways similar to that of their brooding cousin and America’s least favorite jean shorts-loving wrestler.
Over the last several months, however, The Usos have spent a majority of their time losing to other tag teams. With their gimmick finally running its course, there was nothing left for them to do but to put over newer pairings that entered the ranks.
All of which is fine and dandy. Heck, it is logical too, as there were few — if any — good reasons to continue to jam The Usos down the WWE Universe’s throats as a fun loving tag team.
With that being said, they are still too talented to simply flounder around. Jobberville, USA is a location they do not deserve to move into.
However we feel about their face runs is fine, but at the same time there’s no ignoring that they have put on quality matches over the years and still have some potential to get better.
That’s why their heel-turn on Tuesday’s edition of SmackDown was vitally important. Not only did it set up a storyline for American Alpha to enter the tag team tournament final against Rhyno and Heath Slater very much hobbled, but the division as a whole gets a spark due to it now having a credible heel tag team.
It was an issue the division was going to face after the draft. American Alpha is awesome, but are faces. The Vaudevillains and The Ascension — who can still be saved if tried hard enough — have been busts so far. Then there’s The Hype Bros, who are essentially a face tag team that represent what 99 percent of the population hate about frat boys and perky morning people.
This was a need by the WWE. It had no choice but to bolster the division by turning one of its biggest pairings into evil-doers. Since The Usos have the longest tenure, coupled with their previous act having grown stale, pegging them to fill that role was logical.
But there’s even more to it than that.
The Usos aren’t scrubs. They are gifted inside the squared circle, but have been handcuffed to a gimmick that would normally best be served in the early 1990s. After all, if a pairing’s gimmick is to smile a lot, there’s really no character development or gimmick at all.
This gives them a chance to reach that next-level of success. Sure, they have already reached the pinnacle of the tag team division several times before, but this can have long-term ramifications on both of the brothers’ careers.
If both, or just one or the other, succeed in playing the heel role to a large degree, it can kickstart a potential singles career for both guys. While that is all “down the line” type of thinking, modern tag teams tend to only stick together for a certain amount of time, and The Usos long overstayed their welcome as a fixture in the division.
The short-term play on this is likely a feud with American Alpha, which is good due to the fact that the rest of the tag team division can’t yet hang in the ring with the former NXT darlings. This will help in freshening up The Usos as well as providing a platform for American Alpha to shine in a way — through a quality match — angles with other teams in the division would not.
Welcome, Heel Usos. It has been a long time overdue, but better late than never. Let’s just hope your charisma plays well on the microphone, as being a great heel tag team is more than just whooping on faces. Regardless, good luck!