Brodus Clay and Tensai are the two latest WWE Superstars to join forces, forming a new tag team in the company. While just that statement alone is surely enough to garner some jeers from fans, I for one believe there is no reason why this duo should not come together.
Okay, enough laughing, I’m serious.
To be honest I really didn’t see this coming, at least not the way it’s playing out.
We all know that Tensai has been struggling for a long while now in his attempts to get over as a heel. Since returning to WWE as a Japanese warrior, the Superstar once known as Albert has had one opportunity after another at scoring big with the fans.
He steamrolled over opponents during his first few matches, even going the extra mile after the final bell to inflict more damage before leaving the ring. He was portrayed as merciless, vicious, a true villain in every sense of the word.
He even had a pin-fall victory over John Cena, a moment that the majority of fans likely did not see coming. This victory, combined with his intensity and violent image, seemed like the right formula to move the newly dubbed Tensai into full on beast mode. He was headed for a top spot as a major heel in Vince McMahon’s company. The only problem?
No one really cared.
Perhaps it was the fact that he was already known to WWE audiences who were very familiar with his previous incarnations as Albert and A-Train. Expecting fans to buy that just because he spent time in Japan now meant that he was channeling a samurai fighting spirit could have been too much.
Or maybe it was because his image was just a bit too close to that of Mark Henry, another punishing bruiser whose world title run had ended just three months before Tensai’s debut. Mark’s role as the unstoppable juggernaut was very believable and very well received among the WWE faithful. Maybe Tensai’s gimmick was too soon after Henry’s to be considered credible.
Whatever the reason, the Tensai character just never seemed to truly take off. The man who was presented as pure devastation suddenly could not buy a victory. He went from being on a roll to being rolled over by everyone he stepped into the ring with.
Let’s face it, the writing was on the wall for Tensai.
It was a shame, really, especially considering the success that he had found in Japan. While the Japanese crowd usually show a large amount of respect for American superstars, they also know a phony when they see one.
Tensai was the real deal and got over in a big way in the land of the rising sun. It was too bad that could not be said of his own home country.
Enter Brodus Clay, a man who has many similarities to Tensai.
Like Tensai, Brodus was once known as a carnage specialist. He didn’t wrestle his opponents as much as he physically assaulted them and he seemed like a monster heel in the making.
But at some point, the plan for Brodus Clay changed. Instead of following the typical path that he had been set upon—the one that Mark Henry had already conquered—Clay was put in a track suit and told to go dance under a disco ball.
Talk about déjà vu, right?
Now, we seem to be seeing the exact same thing with Tensai. Instead of tearing each other apart, these two would-be adversaries are tearing it up on the dance floor.
Makes you laugh, right? Yeah, me too.
Here’s the thing. While on the surface this looks to be just another way for WWE to make use of two Superstars who have done all they can as singles wrestlers by putting them in a throwaway tag team, it may actually work.
I’m not suggesting that WWE has a tremendous amount of faith in either man to create some magic and get hot with the fans in this new tandem. Nor am I saying that they honestly could pull off such a move. After all, getting over has to include some help from the company in terms of promos, spots, and support.
It’s a safe bet that none of this is guaranteed.
But at the end of the day, WWE did not succeed with the Tensai character. Point the blame at whoever you want, but now that it’s obvious they are ready to move on, my question is why not put him with Brodus Clay?
What is there to lose? Both men have a sense of humor and the fact is that comedy goes a long way in WWE. It may not be the ideal situation that some fans had depicted for two behemoths like Brodus and Tensai, but at least it’s something.
It will be a challenge for them to succeed, a challenge that hopefully both of them are embracing. But if they can, they could just become a must-see tag team. WWE has made it happen with mismatched duos in the past, most recently with Kane and Daniel Bryan in Team Hell No.
Perhaps Tensai and Brodus are just enough of a good fit that they will catch on with WWE fans and have at least a modicum of success.
For me, the real point here is that as fans we always take the product very seriously. So seriously sometimes that maybe we can’t pull back enough to give an angle a chance to play out and just have fun with it as it does.
The pairing of Tensai and Brodus Clay may be just that bit of fun that we could miss out on if we don’t give it a chance. So I say lower the glitter ball and let’s get down.
Alright, stop with the laughing. I’m serious.