In what came as a huge surprise to the fans, The Authors of Pain were recently released by WWE. The former NXT and RAW Tag Team Champions were highly regarded on the Black and Gold brand and were quickly pushed when called up to the main roster. Dave Meltzer gave more details on Wrestling Observer Radio and gave an update on canceled plans for AOP.
According to Dave Meltzer, Triple H and Paul Heyman had plans to push Akam and Rezar, but Vince McMahon decided to release the Authors of Pain instead:
The only thing I had heard…because he had just gotten cleared and the idea was that he was not going to be back with Seth Rollins, which was their original role but they didn’t know where they would be.
When Paul Heyman was there, Paul Heyman wanted to make them his Road Warriors and Levesque did too because he even brought in Ellering for them and they were total Road Warrior rip-offs. It’s interesting that those two wanted to make them into Road Warriors and then Vince just decided whatever… H/T: WrestlingNewsCo
Paul Ellering was supposed to return to WWE alongside AOP this year
AOP's former manager in WWE NXT, Paul Ellering, was interviewed by the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling podcast a few weeks ago. During his appearance, the former manager for Legion of Doom revealed that there were plans for him to return to WWE this year to manage AOP, but plans fell through after COVID-19 hit:
Well, the idea was to bring me back in to manage them full time on Raw and go on the road with the Authors of Pain, but the pandemic happened. So with Covid going on, I’m not sure what happens next. H/T: ProWrestling.net
Obviously, Paul Ellering made his comments before WWE released AOP. It will be interesting to see if we can see AOP link up with Ellering in the future outside WWE. Both Akam and Rezar reportedly have 90-day non-compete clauses. The duo are still young and have a ton of potential and it will be interesting to see which promotion snaps them up.