The WWE tag team division is hurting, and two savage surgeons in The Ascension await a chance to mend it.
To add depth, infuse new energy and provide compelling challengers for the tag team titles, WWE's best move is to call up Konnor and Viktor of The Ascension. The NXT tag titleholders have shown themselves to be a pair of warriors worth watching and have little left to accomplish at Full Sail University.
A huge part of the successful wrestler equation is finding the right packaging. Bray Wyatt is the poster child for that, going from forgettable as Husky Harris to mesmerizing as his current incarnation.
Konnor and Viktor have already found their ideal gimmick.
Their haunting music, unique ring gear, the pose they strike after their victories and the snarls they wear during their bouts all combine to make for an intriguing, standout team. Fans will notice them right away, just as they did with The Wyatt Family and The Shield.
The Ascension are too strange and too violent not to grab the audience's attention.
Their ring work has mostly been seen in short bursts, but one call tell that Konnor and Viktor have great chemistry together and have embraced/mastered their gimmick. Most importantly, they have become artists in the medium of violence.
When they took on El Local and Kalisto at NXT: Takeover, they incited the crowd with thunderous uppercuts from outside the ring. The masked team gave The Ascension some trouble, but when it was the champions' turn to up the aggression, they delivered.
They can bring that kind of exciting match to the main roster. They have thrived against high-flyers Kalisto and El Local, in a one-sided affair against Sami Zayn and Tyson Kidd and when asked to face teams from WWE proper.
On April 24, Corey Graves teamed with The Ascension against The Usos and Zayn. The result was a preview of what they could do, should WWE promote them.
Hard strikes and fast-paced action powered the bout.
This is what the division needs. There are just too few pairings right now that can deliver it.
The Usos and The Wyatt Family's battle at Money in the Bank reminded fans just how great tag team wrestling can be.
For that greatness to continue, though, there was to be variety and multiple top teams WWE can plug in. That's not the case right now. The current list of tag teams is too short:
- Erick Rowan and Luke Harper
- Xavier Woods and R-Truth
- The Usos
- Goldust and Stardust
- Ryback and Curtis Axel
- Los Matadores
Woods and R-Truth haven't appeared much lately. The same has been true for Los Matadores since their chief rivals, 3MB, fell victim to WWE's recent budget cuts. Even if those duos were active, though, it's not as if WWE can build around them.
They are both filler groups in a division with too few marquee attractions.
Besides, Fernando is going to be out of action for the moment. The bullfighter suffered an ankle sprain and an injury to a knee ligament at a recent live event.
WWE has two options when addressing the division's depth and not having The Real Americans, The Shield and others anymore—placing two Superstars together to form a new team or plucking an existing one from the developmental system. The company needs to do both.
Becoming RybAxel gave two mid-carders new life. They haven't become elite stars since joining forces, but being a team has kept them on-screen and involved them in a number of feuds. Damien Sandow would love to be in that position, and Justin Gabriel would make an exciting partner for somebody.
Officials don't have to be creative to boost the tag team scene. NXT offers a potential top team in The Ascension.
They have already challenged The Usos on Twitter, teasing a future collision between the two.
Going through with that clash would be a wise move. The Ascension have run out of viable challengers at NXT. All the new teams need time to develop a fanbase and pick up wins. Viktor and Konnor are already miles ahead of them, having now held onto the NXT tag belts since last October.
The Usos will eventually need to move on from The Wyatt Family, with or without the titles.
When that feud is over, where does WWE turn? A Usos vs. RybAxel feud has little appeal. Turning Stardust and Goldust heel to face them is an option, but then who would take on The Wyatt Family? There's no way fans will be thrilled to see Harper and Rowan tangle with Woods and R-Truth multiple times.
Insert The Ascension into the mix and suddenly the options expand.
The Ascension vs. The Wyatt Family would be an interesting showdown where power, darkness and mercilessness abound. Viktor and Konnor could also face Stardust and Goldust, providing an intimidating challenge to the flashy, fun twosome.
WWE seems to know this and is nearing the moment where it calls up The Ascension. They recently worked a WWE live event in Portland, Maine.
Getting an opportunity like that is often a precursor to a move to the main roster as fans saw with Rusev most recently.
The company clearly knows one of the potential cures to its limping tag team division lies in the destruction that Viktor and Konnor can wage. It just needs to implement it as soon as possible.