Unfortunately for American Alpha, the short win was not a sign of a good evening for them.
Instead, as Jordan and Gable lined up to shake hands with The Usos as a display of respect and good sportsmanship, the Samoan American brothers instead exploded, unloading on the young duo and, ultimately knocking them out of their tag team tournament final match this Sunday.
Now, in it’s place, we get a loser’s bracket match, if you will, with the winner facing the Cinderella team of Rhyno and Heath Slater. Take your pick, folks, between The Usos and the Hype Bros.
I do have a few thoughts on these developments…
1-Disappointment for Jordan and Gable. As much as fans are amazingly getting behind Slater (and Rhyno), Alpha is the emergent tag team. I thought they had a very strong shot at becoming the new SmackDown tag team champions, so this bit of a detour is unfortunate.
2-A weight is lifted for The Usos. Because it was about a year, maybe a year and a half back, when New Day did a slow turn from heel to face, and in the process, The Usos fell out of favor with the vast majority of fans.¬† They’ve never recovered, though they were also not as lustily booed as, say, their relative Roman Reigns. But, clearly they weren’t destined to be a top face team, and SmackDown finds itself a bit face heavy in the tag ranks. For those reasons, and many others, a heel turn was just logical (are you paying attention, writers in Stamford?).
3-Dislike the match. Because while The Usos and Hype Bros were effectively the last two teams out, one team got themselves into another match by injuring the opposition after they’d already lost. Yes, I know they are now heels, and yes, I know it’s a typical heel move. But, at the same time, I would have rather seen a tag team battle royal of some sort for the right to battle Slater and Rhyno. To insert The Usos in a second-chance match is to basically reward them for (storyline) knocking Chad Gable out with a knee injury. But, it gets heat on The Usos, which is more likely than not, all they were worried about.
4-Thinking we get to see a short reign by shocking fan favorites Slater and Rhyno. Right now, for the sake of him getting his contract, I see Slater winning on Sunday, and one of two things happen. One-Jimmy and Jey snap again, and on Tuesday we hear that the team cannot compete to defend the titles (which I hate because it would/could mean ANOTHER tournament). Or, Usos get a rematch on¬† SmackDown and win the belts. But, I am probably wrong.
In the grand scheme of things? This move was several months overdue. But it was worth it, and should serve both The Usos and WWE well over the next year. The only way this could go any better is if WWE brought back a certain Samoan uncle (no, not The Rock) and re-christened these guys the New Wild Samoans.