JC’s Top Rope Report: Giving The Usos Their Due
I’ve been trying to figure out a way to write this column over the last few weeks. And one point I just wanted to write, “The Usos are freaking awesome right now.” I could have left it at that. But that wouldn’t give The Usos all the credit that they deserve right now.
The Usos might be the best act in the entire WWE right now. And that’s saying a lot considering where I thought they were a few years ago.
First off, I can’t believe The Usos have been in the WWE since 2010. That blew my mind. I thought 2013/2014 was when they came along. But that is how time blends when you have been a wrestling fan for your entire life. Also, 2010-2014 kind of all blends together when you are a WWE fan.
For the first six years of the Usos WWE run, they played the typical WWE Samoan gimmick. It was okay to a point. They were a more modern version of the Headshrinkers, minus Afa eating a turkey leg at ringside. Their in ring work was good, but they came along at a time where the tag team division in the WWE was struggling. When you go back and look at some of these teams it is just a giant ugh of tag teams: The Corre, Santino and Kozlov, 3MB, Curtis Axel and Ryback. That is not a strong tag team division. The Usos are the only team that lasted through their debut to now in that time frame.
I can remember there being a time where I was getting bored with the Usos. Again, they were good wrestlers. I’d never take that away from them. But their generic Samoan characters were wearing on me. They would come on TV and I just wouldn’t care anymore. If they were going to be anything but a generic tag team in the WWE something needed to change.
And then the brand split happened.
The Usos were drafted to Smackdown in the 2016 brand split. After about two months of again just floating around, the Usos turned heel and beat down American Alpha after losing to them in 28 seconds. After it happened, the Usos cut this backstage promo.
After watching this promo you knew something was going to change with the Usos. Sometimes heel turns can freshen up an act for a short time. But there was something different about this promo that caught my eye. I remember watching this promo and immediately being interested in the Usos again.
As the weeks went on, the Usos continued to change their act. They changed their ring attire, they changed their mannerisms, they changed their theme music. The Usos became a completely different team right in front of our eyes. Jimmy and Jey themselves looked like they had reinvented themselves. They 100% invested themselves into their new heels characters.
It took the Usos until March of 2017 to finally win the Smackdown Live Tag Team Titles. It was a well deserved Title win for a team that became a completely new and entertaining act over the last several months. The Usos went through American Alpha and Breezango before engaging in a summer/fall long feud with the Usos. Those two teams put on some of the best matches in 2017 when they fought. Usually when two teams fight this long you get bored of it after awhile (see The Bar vs Seth Rollins and Partner X). But these two teams went out their every night and constantly put on the best match on the show. Their SummerSlam match was on the preshow and it was the best match of the night. Their Hell In A Cell match that opened the HIAC PPV was also the match of the night. These two teams busted their asses to entertain the fans and they absolutely delivered.
After the Usos defeated New Day at Hell In A Cell, they formed a truce with them as a sign of respect. This turned the Usos face. Now when you turn face it can often water down your act. But that didn’t happen with the Usos. I would almost say the Usos made sure that didn’t happen. They seem to be even more hyped up as faces. Their act hasn’t changed one bit since the face turn. The Usos stuck with what got them to the top and it continues to pay off on TV every week.
The Usos ran through the Smackdown Live tag team division and it seems like a match with the Bludgeon Brothers is on tap for Fastlane. That’s fine. But if you have been following my live tweets during Smackdown every Tuesday, you know I would have done it differently. I’ve been campaigning for the Usos to get a main event match at Fastlane. Their opponents you ask? AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura. They have not done the “guys fighting in a WWE Title match as a team” story in a long time. Give these guys 30 minutes in the main event of Fastlane and you have a Match of the Year candidate. Not just in the WWE, but in all of wrestling. The Usos deserve a main event match and this would have been the perfect opportunity to give them one.
I don’t know what is in store for the Usos in 2018. I would think a move to RAW happens during a potential superstar shakeup. They have gone through everyone on Smackdown Live. It seems inevitable. But if the Usos continue to spit fire with their promos, deliver in the ring, and tweak their act when needed, I don’t see them going away any time soon.
The Usos are one of the best, if not the best act in the WWE right now. They’ve earned my respect as wrestlers. Just when I thought I was done with them they pulled me back in and became one of favorite current acts in all of wrestling. They’ve been on the Wrestlemania preshow for six straight years, they deserve to be on the main card in a big match this year.
I may not have been down with the Usos since Day One Ish, but I’m down with the Usos now and for the foreseeable future.
Until Next Time,
Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka