Sunday 7 July 2013

Uso Oh No

So WWE spent over half a year building up The Shield, involving them in the WWE title picture, giving them an impressive undefeated streak, putting them in the ring with the likes of super worker Daniel Bryan and Hall of Famer-in-waiting The Undertaker, so that they could wrestle a pre-show match against Jimmy and Jey Uso? Wow. Anti-climax, you say?

I admit I'm being facetious there. Obviously Rollins and Reigns haven't been pushed with the intention of setting up this match. Their incredible rise up the card was always going to slow eventually. Eight months into their WWE careers seems like a good point for that. There's plenty of time for them to be pushed again later.

What puzzles me is why WWE didn't plan things better. The Shield’s (well, Rollins and Reigns’, Ambrose is still hanging in there) drop down the card could have coincided with increased focus on the tag division. Once WrestleMania was done and dusted it became clear pretty quickly that 'The Hounds of Justice' were going to be relieving Team Hell No of the tag titles. That happened at Extreme Rules, with Bryan getting a rematch alongside Randy Orton at the following month’s Payback. That means there were two months in which WWE could have spent time preparing two or three secondary teams to create a division for The Shield to rule over.

Because nobody in WWE cares about tag team wrestling that didn't happen. Instead they waited until the week after Payback to book a hasty number one contendership match won by the Usos. Yep, the same Usos that have been appearing almost exclusively on Main Event and Superstars for the last couple of years. The same Usos nobody has any reason to care about, including Jimmy and Jey themselves.

My complaint isn't that WWE didn't bother to spend two months creating a tag division for The Shield. They were obviously never going to bother doing that so why get upset by it? My complaint is that they chose the Usos as the first opponents of The Shield instead of the far superior Prime Time Players.

I've sung the praises of Titus O'Neil and Darren Young before but the sentiment bears repeating. Neither man is in danger of usurping Daniel Bryan's spot as the best wrestler in the company. CM Punk's status as the company's greatest promo is similarly safe. They’re not the greatest at any one thing but there's just something about the pair that works. They've put far more effort into being a marketable tag team act than have the brothers Uso. Face paint went out in the nineties, guys.

Face paint hasn't been particularly relevant since this guy... and it was tenuous even then

Titus O'Neil has more charisma than both Usos put together. You only need to listen to him on commentary for proof of that. He carries himself like a star too. The Usos look like they’re resigned to losing the moment they appear.

Darren Young is not as good as 'The Big Deal' but he’s not dead wood. He carries his part of the unit well. Together the PTPs have far more to offer than Jimmy and Jey.

That the Players are bad guys isn't a problem. There's nothing about their act that wouldn't allow them to work as fan favourites. They come across as being naturally likeable. They could have been presented as credible opposition to The Shield with greater ease than the Usos.

Perhaps if Rollins and Reigns squeak by their rumoured SummerSlam opponents of Kane and The Undertaker with the gold we’ll see them tangle with Young and O’Neil. I’m not going to hold my breath for that though.

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