Why American Alpha's Tag Team title win was too soon
American Alpha's title victory was certainly a big moment, but it could've been even greater.
Everyone loves a great ‘feel good’ moment within the WWE. With heels getting the best of babyfaces so often in the modern day landscape, it feels so refreshing when an honest to God impressive good guy or girl gets a win they truly deserve.
It links back to the old days when that was the main booking technique used by wrestling companies around the world, and it can still be effective in 2017.
However, hotshotting storylines and dramatic moments can backfire sometimes. Perhaps the people involved aren't quite ready to be that high up the card yet, or maybe it's poorly handled to the point where fans don't really care about it anymore.
Whatever the case may be, execution is everything and more often than not SmackDown Live understands that better than anyone else.
Unfortunately, in this specific incident, they didn't really pull it off as everyone expected. We are of course referring to American Alpha's Tag Team Championship victory over The Wyatt Family which saw them leap to the top of the division less than six months into the brand split.
On the face of it, this seems like an unusual idea and that would probably be because it is. American Alpha's transition from NXT to the main roster has been pretty solid since they were drafted by the blue brand, however, they haven't quite been able to get the same crowd reactions as we've come to expect down at Full Sail.
Perhaps that's because the crowds are bigger or it may just be because WWE didn't feel the need to work on their characters as much as others. If the latter is true, it's pretty bizarre considering the work SmackDown has done with the likes of Miz, Ziggler and even Baron Corbin.
There comes a point where even if SD Live is the greatest pro-wrestling product in the world, which it very well may be, you still need to critique it every now and again. Much like NXT twelve months ago, the show is getting to the point where even the most pessimistic of fans struggle to find things to complain about on a weekly basis.
That being said, we need to talk about this topic. It may hurt, it may pinch a little and some people may not want to believe it - but it's true. Given the way they've been handled in the last few months, it feels like American Alpha's victory over The Wyatt Family has come too soon.
Now set down your pitchforks and let's talk about this. First off, the new Wyatt Family that includes Randy Orton has been on fire. Having won the titles in emphatic fashion over Heath Slater & Rhyno, many people rightly felt that they should hold onto the belts for a while. As we all now know that didn't really end up happening.
Having the titles taken off them so soon after winning them, makes it feel like they're cutting the Harper/Wyatt/Orton story off at the knees just because the Rumble is coming up. That's a really risky strategy and because the event in which they lost the belts was called the Wild Card Finals, it seems like WWE felt compelled to have a title change for the sake of it.
Controversy creates cash is the motto that's always been used when defending odd decisions, and in this case, it felt particularly unnecessary. American Alpha's rise to the top of the division could've gone on all the way until WrestleMania where, you know, these kinds of moments are supposed to happen.
Obviously, people will want to see Wyatt and Orton go one-on-one at the event in Orlando, so just have another team take the straps off them. The Usos are more than capable of doing it and given their new heel persona, they'd be perfect foes for American Alpha that would draw comparisons back to their brilliant feud with The Revival down in NXT.
Yes, there have been injuries, but the timing of the title change can be altered.
We as fans are conditioned to appreciate great wrestling throughout Vince McMahon's products. As such, having us see such a well-developed story in one aspect, NXT, then seeing it wasted before a big PPV just to advance another team's storyline on SmackDown, feels a little bit wrong.
As we touched on earlier, the reactions from the crowd are nowhere near the levels that they once were for Alpha.
Time and time again WWE mask a lack of storytelling with great in-ring wrestling, and that's the definition of what happened when Jason Jordan and Chad Gable lifted the titles. They were put on par with other competitors over the years who have had their big moment dwindled down because the opposition required more attention.
Jason Jordan cried when they won the titles down in NXT, but there weren't as many tears or signs of emotion this time round. Long term booking is one of the best attributes WWE has at their disposal, and this whole situation comes down to one word - waste.
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