Numerous former WWE stars have made their way back to the promotion since Triple H took control of both the creative and talent relations end of the company in the summer of 2022.
Johnny Gargano, Braun Strowman, Bray Wyatt, Mia Yim, Dakota Kai, Tegan Nox, Karrion Kross, and Scarlett are just a handful of the stars who have returned under Triple H's leadership. There's a chance that another pair of superstars could be on their way back as well.
Rezar and Akam, best known as The Authors of Pain, could be returning to World Wrestling Entertainment. According to Fightful Select, there have been discussions among those behind the scenes regarding bringing the big-man duo back to the company, likely to help boost the tag team scene.
The talented duo were released by the company in 2020 as part of ongoing Covid-19 pandemic-related budget cuts. If the pair make their way back to the company, what could they do upon returning? Could AOP be led by a former manager? Could they reunite with a top star?
Below are five ways AOP could return to WWE programming.
#5. They could return under Paul Ellering's mentorship
The report from Fightful Select interestingly included Paul Ellering's name in the discussions of a potential return. The former superstar and legendary manager is 69 years old, so a return to the promotion would be surprising to many fans.
For those unaware, Ellering managed the likes of The Road Warriors in years gone by, but his most recent claim to fame was as the visionary and mouthpiece for AOP in NXT. He led the duo to winning the NXT Tag Team Titles and the 2016 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.
When AOP joined the main roster, they did so without Paul. A reunion could be a great way to reintroduce them, now with a renewed focus under the leadership of the man who knows them best. What could Paul direct the duo to do? Only time will tell.
#4. AOP could return to NXT to make a major splash
As noted, The Authors of Pain are former NXT Tag Team Champions. The duo won the titles at NXT TakeOver: San Antonio and went on to have a dominant reign as the champions of the black & gold brand.
There's a chance that Akam and Rezar could potentially return to NXT if they were to re-sign with WWE. The developmental brand is loaded with talent, but the show could help the pair get rid of any ring rust they may have after being mostly inactive for almost three years.
Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods are the reigning NXT Tag Team Champions. The New Day feuding with AOP would certainly capture the attention of many fans, while also providing high-quality wrestling. If the pair won tag gold, they could dominate NXT for a second time.
#3. They could challenge The Usos for tag team gold
The NXT Tag Team Titles aren't the only belts that The Authors of Pain managed to win while in World Wrestling Entertainment. The powerful duo also held the RAW Tag Team Championship, belts that they likely want to reclaim.
The WWE RAW Tag Team Titles are currently held by The Usos. Jimmy & Jey Uso are also the holders of the SmackDown Tag Team Titles, effectively making them the Unified WWE Tag Team Champions.
If The Authors of Pain do return to World Wrestling Entertainment, they may immediately target the champions of RAW & SmackDown. The Usos have battled many impressive tag teams, but they've yet to fight a powerful duo quite like AOP.
#2. The Authors of Pain could reunite with Seth Rollins
Seth Rollins is one of the most consistent and popular stars in World Wrestling Entertainment. The talented star is so impressive in and out of the ring that WWE had to turn him into a babyface. The fans want to cheer for him whenever they can.
While The Architect is a solo act these days, a handful of years ago he tried leading a group of future stars. This included the likes of Buddy Murphy, Austin Theory, and, of course, The Authors of Pain.
There's a chance that AOP could return to WWE by rejoining Seth Rollins' side. While Seth is currently a babyface, there's no guarantee that he'll remain one going forward. Even if he does, he could potentially recruit Akam and Rezar to help him fight the likes of Judgment Day and The Bloodline.
#1. They could become henchmen for a top heel in WWE
While reuniting with a past manager or leader could make for fun storytelling, there's no guarantee that the group would seek out guidance from somebody who has led them before. Instead, the group could become henchmen for somebody else entirely.
The most obvious person for the duo to work under is Austin Theory. The United States Champion is another disciple of Rollins who feels that the former Universal Champion has cast him out. Austin could try to use similar feelings of resentment as a means of manipulating and thus obtaining the services of AOP.
Another person who could potentially lead the duo is The Miz. Be it Dexter Lumis, Bronson Reed, John Morrison, Tommaso Ciampa, or Logan Paul, The A-Lister constantly surrounds himself with others. Akam and Rezar could be great backup for the former WWE Champion.