A frustrated Zack Ryder marched out of the ring on Tuesday's WWE SmackDown in what felt like a tease of The Hype Bros' breaking up.
That would be a mistimed move. The Hype Bros can't be added to the list of dissolved WWE teams yet. Ryder and Mojo Rawley haven't yet been given a real shot to make their mark on WWE SmackDown. There are stories yet to be told and opportunities to be had with this high-energy duo.
Ryder and Rawley faced Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable on Tuesday night in Las Vegas and came up short.
While Benjamin held Ryder up, Gable drove the former U.S. champion's head into the mat. Rawley shook his opponents' hands afterward. Ryder wasn't having any of that sportsmanship junk.
Ryder tweeted afterward: "I don't even know anymore."
There have been flashes of tension between the teammates in the past. After this latest one, Rawley talked about the team's struggles in an interview backstage, saying he wasn't sure what was going wrong.
If this is WWE planting the seed for a Hype Bros split, the company can't let that moment happen anytime soon.
Whether the company believes this team to be a championship-caliber one or not, it has to at least explore what Rawley and Ryder are capable of together more. They simply haven't had time to gain any traction.
The Hype Bros have only been on the main roster since last August. And six months of that partnership doesn't even really count, as Ryder was out of action with a knee injury.
The Hype Bros have only wrestled in a pair of two-on-two PPV matches, per CageMatch. They have been in exactly zero title bouts. And WWE has booked them in only two TV matches since June.
As we've seen with Breezango recently, who went from nobodies to comic-relief royalty, sticking with an act can net impressive results.
Why hurry toward a breakup anyway when that story has been told so much already this year?
2017 has been the year of the broken friendship. Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens parted ways. Enzo Amore and Big Cass split up. #DIY imploded. So did The Golden Truth.
There's no need to do another remix of that song right now.
Should Ryder and Rawley begin to get more aggressive in an attempt to start winning, that would be a welcome character shift. Should The Hype Bros bicker after losses only to grow stronger in the end, that's a powerful story to tell.
SmackDown's tag team division shouldn't lose The Hype Bros until they have had a chance to explore narratives like that, until they are allowed to stand on the stage a bit more to see what they can produce together.