Hot Take: R-K-Bro Tag Team Pairing Is WWE's Best Idea in 2021

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistMay 8, 2021


It's not often that WWE hits on something that is utterly perfect and worthy of nothing but praise. 

But funnily enough, R-K-Bro—the formation of a new tag team consisting of Randy Orton and Matt Riddle—is one of those things. 

It's so silly but so good. Even the play of the name, based around Orton's finisher and Riddle's favorite word, is strong. It's silly and strong in the same way the Superstars themselves are in promos, with Orton being his usual brooding self and Riddle joking about ordering speedos with vipers on them. 

But this has the potential to be quite a bit more than a silly one-off thing that fans remember fondly in hindsight. It has the same sort of potential that the Kane-Daniel Bryan pairing had all those years ago. 

First and foremost is just how important this could be in the long run for Riddle. He's had a few interesting matches and moments since making the big jump from NXT, but he was in danger of fading into midcard purgatory without anything noteworthy going for him, just like so many other recent callups. 

This new pairing with Orton is a brilliant way to keep him at the forefront of the minds of fans now and far into the upcoming calendar year if WWE doesn't call it off soon. It lets fans see him in prominent spots, showing off his moveset and getting him in front of a mic within a context they actually care. 

That is another way of saying it sure beats the tar out of Riddle just trading wins and losses with other mid-carders while fans lose interest and his act grows stale. With the serious-but-sometimes-funny Orton playing off Riddle's act, it has a legitimate chance to remain fresh for much longer. 

And think about the long, long term for a second from Riddle's perspective. It's not hard to see where this could go after, say, six months to a year and after at least one big tag-title win—Orton betrays Riddle. All of a sudden, the lovable bro is an underdog babyface against one of the most dangerous people in all of wrestling, a literal legend killer who spars with mystical threats like Bray Wyatt as if it's nothing. 

That's one way to make sure fans remain infatuated with Riddle before he eventually gets a slingshot to the main event scene. Overcoming Orton is a superb way to do that. 

And speaking of Orton, let's not forget this is a great way to keep him in a good place. He was one of the best Superstars of 2020 until that miserable WrestleMania finish against Wyatt. From there, he's been in danger of falling off the map when he has no business doing so. 

Instead, Orton's in a fun spot now where he can pair well with a guy he clearly has great in-ring chemistry with, and he gets the bonus of being able to show off some of that non-demonic personality, which is usually pretty funny in its own right. 

We'd be remiss not to mention the entirety of the tag division, too. To say Raw's tag division is underwhelming and forgettable right now would be an understatement. The odd pairing of AJ Styles and Omos are the champions, and just browsing the rest of the list reveals there isn't a whole lot else going on there. 

That means the door is ajar for a juggernaut-type force to come through and dominate the scene. With the way Riddle and Orton have performed in the ring together already, there's serious potential for the pairing to help elevate the entire division. 

Never mind the fact that it's just good wrestling. Nobody could have properly predicted Orton and Riddle would be this good in the ring together this fast, but the results so far have been refreshing and entertaining. Give them a little time to come up with some more combo moves and play with characters by having friendly competitions with each other and this thing could really take off. 

If asked to spitball how to uplift a sagging tag division, make a boring part of the calendar fun, salvage Riddle before he's ruined and save Orton's momentum, few probably would have suggested this pairing. 

But so far, it somehow manages to do all of the above, and there appears to be plenty of room for growth before a seriously positive long-term outcome for one of the company's next big rising stars. 

So hat's off to all involved, as this out-of-nowhere (get it?) pairing is the best move of 2021 so far, bro.