Is there a tag team secretly signed by WWE that nobody knew about? That is the rumor courtesy of Sean Ross Sapp from Fightful Select. While they couldn't get confirmation that they are actually part of the promotion, there is speculation that the duo signed prior to Vince McMahon's return earlier in the year.
This is big news, as thanks to a hiring freeze, World Wrestling Entertainment hasn't had a slew of new stars appearing on TV in quite a while. Kairi Sane, Carlito, and Brian Pillman Jr. are the only other notable rumored signings, but none have actually appeared to confirm the speculation.
If AOP is back, the pair could make an immediate splash in the company. The Stamford-based promotion has three brands, all with various tag teams. Akam and Rezar, the AOP members, could certainly help improve the division on any of the three shows.
So, where might they end up? This article will look at a handful of ways that Akam and Rezar could potentially return to television. This includes re-aligning with an old stablemate, feuding with that very same person, or even chasing tag team gold.
Below are four ways The Authors of Pain can return after allegedly re-signing with WWE.
#4. They could re-unite with Seth Rollins
The Authors of Pain's main roster run wasn't particularly long, but the duo was seemingly set to be part of something special before it unceremoniously ended. Prior to their eventual release from the promotion, the duo were part of a new stable in WWE.
Seth Rollins was leading the faction. Akam, Rezar, and Buddy Murphy were his underlings. An injury took AOP away, and both the pandemic and budget cuts led to the program being cut short. While Buddy is in AEW now, could the plans be revived in 2023?
There's a chance that The Authors of Pain will reunite with Seth on WWE programming. The Visionary could potentially turn heel, but an alternative approach would be to have the pair be babyfaces. Could the three fight Imperium or Judgment Day, perhaps?
#3. AOP could attack The Creed Brothers on NXT
The Creed Brothers is a popular tag team on WWE NXT. Brutus and Julius Creed are real-life siblings who have taken over the white & gold brand with their incredible feats of strength and athleticism. They are also former NXT Tag Team Champions.
Many believed that the pair were set to join WWE's main roster after they lost a Loser Leaves Town Match to The Dyad. The feud continued, however, and the pair earned their way back onto the brand by winning a Steel Cage Match.
If Brutus and Julius aren't moving to RAW or SmackDown any time soon, the pair should instead feud with a major team. They've battled most of the teams on NXT, so AOP returning could be their next big challenge. If AOP wins, the two could then go on to challenge for tag team gold.
#2. The Authors of Pain could help Shinsuke Nakamura defeat Seth Rollins at Payback
While it is true that their last time in WWE saw the pair united with Seth Rollins, that doesn't mean they will actually reunite with The Visionary. If anything, there's a strong chance that Rezar and Akam will be on the opposite side of the current World Heavyweight Champion.
The Authors of Pain could blame Seth for their misfortunes. They could accuse him of abandoning them. In fact, they could even use their very real releases from WWE as justification for turning on him. The story of Seth's past victims constantly returning to haunt him is fun. Finn Balor was first, AOP could be next.
The best way to do this could be to have the pair help Shinsuke Nakamura dethrone The Visionary at Payback 2023. If Nakamura has two massive powerhouses by his side, a World Heavyweight Championship reign is very credible and exciting.
#1. They could target the Unified WWE Tag Team Champions
While challenging The Creed Brothers or uniting with either Seth or Shinsuke could be a fun move, The Authors of Pain will likely have bigger plans in mind. The two are former RAW Tag Team Champions while in WWE and surely want to capture gold again.
The reigning Unified WWE Tag Team Champions are the duo of Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. The pair captured the titles at WrestleMania 39 earlier this year by defeating The Usos to win the gold.
Sami and Kevin are seemingly ending their rivalry with The Judgment Day at Payback. If the pair walk away victorious, they will need new opponents. AOP returning and immediately targeting the champions could be an easy and fun transition to the pair's next feud.