The WWE writing staff has to be giddy: The Dudley Boyz are back, and suddenly booking the tag team division will be a lot more fun.
On an eventful Raw on Monday night, Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley interrupted the New Day's latest celebration in violent fashion. Roaring Brooklyn fans welcomed back the former tag champs and watched on as the Dudley Boyz took their first WWE victims in 10 years.
To get the most from their current tenure with the company, WWE has to use them to showcase and elevate other teams.
There's a chance here to give several younger squads momentum, big victories and marquee matches. The division should be more thrilling with the Dudley Boyz around but also stronger after they leave.
Making sure to throw them into frays filled with tables, ladders and chairs is key as well. It's clear from their resume that it is in that kind of chaos they thrive.
WWE is already on the right path on both fronts. This latest chapter of the Dudley Boyz's story has them right where they should be: in the New Day's faces.
New Foes for the New Day
Thanks to an ever-evolving gimmick and a mastery of getting on the crowd's nerves, Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods have been the highlight of the tag team scene for months. They overcelebrate and showboat extremely well. What's been missing, though, is a compelling rival.
Their feud with the Prime Time Players just hasn't caught fire.
That's where the Dudley Boyz come in. The goal in having these two teams battle should be to make them look more rugged and dangerous. If they can hang with brawlers such as D-Von and Bubba Ray, they will just feel like more legit threats and come off as more formidable champions.
Pit the Dudley Boyz against the New Day at Night of Champions.
Keep the Attitude era fan favorites undefeated until then. They can walk all over Los Matadores on Raw one night and beat down Adam Rose and Brad Maddox, who have been teaming together at house shows, doing to them what they did to the Ascension on Thursday's SmackDown.
That way, when the New Day give them their first real challenge, it's a bigger deal. Kingston and his crew push back when the challengers push them at the pay-per-view. It's a physical, chippy battle in which no team has the advantage for long.
The New Day retain by purposely getting themselves disqualified.
It's too soon to have the title change hands, and the Dudley Boyz can appease the fans after the non-conclusive ending by sending someone from the clap-happy trio through a table afterward.
Over the next few weeks, the New Day escape two more title matches on TV. In one of them, Woods nails Bubba Ray with his trombone while the referee is turned the other way. The other time, Woods drags Kingston away from the ring after he suffers a 3D, electing to take a count-out rather than take a loss.
Despite those endings, the New Day look good in these battles. They leave the Dudley Boyz wincing in pain and flustered by their speed and power.
What the Dudleys Do Best
The Dudley Boyz at this point appeal to the ego of the New Day. They demand their next meeting be a TLC match. To entice the champs, Bubba Ray and D-Von add the stipulation that if they lose, they can no longer challenge for the titles while the New Day hold them.
Hell in a Cell hosts this last-chance TLC bout.
After a slobberknocker of a matchup, the Dudley Boyz come out as champs. They then become the men sitting atop the mountain, waiting for some of the young guns to knock them off.
This is where the division as a whole can get stronger and more entertaining. The battle to become the No. 1 contender is the central storyline. Every squad looks to prove itself in order to get the next crack at the Dudley Boyz.
The Prime Time Players take issue with the Dudley Boyz because they never got their rematch against the New Day. "You cut in line," Titus O'Neil tells them.
There is closer attention paid to the division's standings at this point. The Prime Time Players knock off the Lucha Dragons to climb above them. The New Day squeaks by Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose to close in on contention.
A 30-minute Iron Man match on SmackDown between the New Day and the Prime Time Players to determine the No. 1 contenders ends tied at 2-2. That results in both teams getting a title shot at TLC.
The Dudley Boyz defend the belts in the bout that gives that PPV its name. They retain, but not before both sets of challengers get their big moments. Big E spears Bubba Ray off the ring apron and sends him crashing into a table; Young hits Kingston with a Gut Check from the top of a ladder.
This route assures that there are a number of high-stakes matches with a variety of teams. The Dudley Boyz come out of these battles looking next to unbeatable, which makes their eventual title loss that much more powerful.
Dethroned on a Grand Stage
The next few months should be a means to further this idea that the Dudley Boyz are a top-tier team who don't appear to be letting go of the tag titles anytime soon.
The Lucha Dragons test them but fail to beat them. Reigns and Ambrose get a shot, but can't finish them off. Kevin Owens and Rusev team up and unsuccessfully try their hands at snatching the belts.
Leading up to WrestleMania, a new challenger emerges: the Wyatt Family.
Up to this point, the backwoods clan hasn't even crossed paths with them. Then, Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper follow up a dominant stretch with an attack on the Dudley Boyz. They reverse the script and send D-Von and Bubba Ray through tables this time around.
If WWE isn't ready to make Wyatt a world title contender, the tag championship is a good way to establish him as a fearsome monster.
He and Harper roll through the roster, earning a championship showdown at WrestleMania. This is billed as a collision of unstoppable forces.
Wyatt and Harper outlast the titleholders. They stand over the fallen Dudley Boyz with their new championships in hand, their era soon to be begin.
There are more broken tables and thrill rides to be had, but by this point, the Dudley Boyz would have catapulted the Wyatt Family, provided a litany of big tag matches and shown off the New Day's grittier side. WWE would surely be getting their money's worth from the surefire Hall of Famers' latest stay with the company.