Poor Titus O'Neil and Darren Young. They just can't catch a break.
When they formed the Prime Time Players earlier this year, they had one goal in mind, and that was to capture tag-team gold. Under the direction of Abraham "A.W." Washington, they were the No. 1 contenders for the belts.
But PTP lost to then-champs Kofi Kingston and R-Truth on a Raw episode, and there went their No. 1 contender spot. They eventually got back on track with singles victories, and then beat Primo and Epico to get back to the No. 1 spot.
Then the losing REALLY started. First, they lost A.W., who was fired last August for controversial comments about Kobe Bryant. Second, they lost their match later that month at Summerslam to Kingston and Truth.
So back up the ladder they had to climb. And they got themselves back into position as top contenders. That was until Team Hell No (Kane and Daniel Bryan) beat them in a TV match to advance to Night of Champions, where they subsequently won the belts.
Back to the ladder. PTP finally got that long-awaited victory over Kingston and Truth to advance in the Tag Team Tournament and possibly face Team Hell No at Hell in a Cell.
Underline "possibly." Because the recently formed Rhodes Scholars (Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow) are generating the most heat of all the tag teams, and that ultimately will lead to a tournament victory...and probably the belts at HIAC.
And once again, Young and O'Neil, two strapping young stars who seemed to be on the fast track to tag-team glory, find themselves back on the outside.
Can they get back in the title picture? Of course, they can. But they probably will have to trade in whatever heat they had for pop.
Some might say they already had more pop than heat, anyway. Their "millions of dollars" chant and dance was well-received by the crowd, but in a join-in rather than boo-them way. Their promos drew as many cheers as jeers.
But don't forget, most of their heat was due to A.W. and his constant ringside jawing. He was the true talker of the group. With him gone, the path was cleared for PTP to possibly take a face turn.
And they need to grab that opportunity if they want to be relevant again as a tag team.
Look for Young and O'Neil to make their presence known at Hell in a Cell. I could see them attacking Rhodes and Sandow after they win the tag-team belts, loudly claiming that the belts are rightfully theirs.
Then, the tag-team division will have something it has been lacking for quite a while, and that is a solid program involving four hot young Superstars.
I might even be willing to wager a little bet on PTP coming on strong. Possibly "millions of dollars."
Follow Bill Atkinson on Twitter at @BAtkinson1963.
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