Night of Champions has a dark horse hit in the making in Goldust and Stardust challenging The Usos.
The intensity of the feud points to these two teams meeting at the upcoming pay-per-view, even if WWE has yet to officially announce the title bout. It's a rivalry that has seen WWE Creative go back to the basis of wrestling storytelling.
This is a story of good versus evil, champion versus challenger, the wronged versus those delighting in wrongdoing.
Turning Goldust and Stardust heel had them move away from rambling backstage about celestial forces and cosmic keys. The lure of the WWE Tag Team Championship has maddened them and transformed the face-painted brothers into ideal rivals for Jimmy and Jey Uso.
It was unclear where WWE was going to go with the tag champs after they knocked off The Wyatt Family at Battleground in their second straight tremendous showing against them. SummerSlam came and went without The Usos facing anyone.
WWE solved the issue of the champions' lack of rivals by having darkness take over Goldust and Stardust.
On the Aug. 25 edition of Raw, the bizarre brothers had a title shot end in frustration. Jey injured his leg on a dive outside of the ring, the bad wheel keeping him from getting back in the ring before the referee's 10-count.
That meant that Goldust and Stardust earned a victory, but not the kind that allowed them to take home the gold. Out come the monsters swimming inside them. They accused Jey of getting counted-out, of cowardice before pummeling him and Jimmy.
Dusty Rhodes' sons had suddenly gone from silly to disturbing.
WWE has wisely zeroed in on that injured leg. It has become the crux of the narrative, the way to show Jey's guts and Goldust and Stardust's mercilessness.
The challengers apologized on the Aug. 29 SmackDown. Their desire to be champions had clouded their judgement and they had lost their temper, they explained. It was a logical explanation, one that was soon forgotten when Stardust's loss to Jimmy brought the brothers' dark side out again.
Stardust tore at Jey's shirt during the attack. He and Goldust pounced on Jey's injury once more.
Fans were watching a pair of warriors succumb to their most predatory instincts. The babyfaces were suffering, having gone from resting comfortably in their thrones to heading for an emotional battle, bad leg and all.
It's been a fascinating metamorphosis.
Stardust was previously a sprite-like creature, hopping around the ring with a goofy grin and excitement in his eyes. This new version of him is far more threatening. When he attacked Jey again on the Sept. 1 Raw, there was something devilish about how he licked his lips.
He and Goldust left The Usos writhing, an increasingly familiar sight.
Goldust screaming that The Usos' time is up was haunting. That's a feeling that is bound to grow more intense as Goldust and Stardust get more sinister.
The odd duo's evolution has created a compelling dynamic. The Usos are easy to root for. They are the ones suffering, the righteous gladiators felled by their foes ignoring a code of honor.
They now face a challenge that, much like Luke Harper and Erick Rowan before them, has one unsure of who will walk out champion.
As a bonus, the Rhodes boys and The Usos have created magic before. At last year's Hell in a Cell, those two teams along with The Shield crafted a work of art.
In the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t ProFightDB.com), Dave Meltzer rated the bout four out of five stars.
WWE is putting the bulk of the hype for Night of Champions on Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena. That is, after all, the WWE title match and a meeting of two megastars. That's the clash on the marquee, but the one for the tag titles promises to be a show-stealer.
The story of Goldust and Stardust's hunt for tag team gold has worked at every turn so far. It's been enthralling to see men morph into monsters as two ailing brothers look to fend them off. It's the kind of dynamite, straight-forward story that is bound for success.
Eyes aplenty will be watching how the ensuing chapters unfold.
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