After taking a near three-month hiatus, The New Day made their return/debut on Smackdown! Live last Tuesday. As participants in WWE’s Superstar Shakeup, the trio of Xavier Woods, Big E, and Kofi Kingston provided a much needed boost of star power onto the Blue Brand and its struggling tag division. Their confrontation with the The Usos brought a level of entertainment that was missing between two of the most popular teams on the roster and a program that will bring a number of quality matches.
For once, Smackdown’s tag division looks important again at the expense of cutting other face teams at the legs. Sure, we discovered how entertaining the team of Fandango and Tyler Breeze can be with their Fashion File segments but they can easily be slotted as another comedy tag team and nothing more. Also, do anyone remember where Chad Gable and Jason Jordan was last seen? At first, they looked to be in a program with The (once again repackaged) Colons then shortly faded away. With New Day back at the helm as the top team and Breezango having more momentum, American Alpha has been lost in the wind and the only way to save them now is to turn them heel.
Gable and Jordan upon their main roster debut were at the cream of the crop of the NXT Tag Team division, developing quickly as a highly-athletic duo that drew many comparisons to The Steiner Brothers and The World’s Greatest Tag Team. They initially started out as heels but with Gable’s charm and their excellent performances as a team they end up becoming the top face tag team and that could’ve been their detriment in the long term. In contrast to their more successful developmental counterparts #DIY (Johnny Gargano & Tomasso Ciampa) and The Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder), American Alpha didn’t have that much time to create an organic and emotional bond with the audience there. Being rushed into the main roster didn’t help that much either as they were constantly victims of start-and-stop pushes.
When they were on the cusp of being the first Smackdown Live Tag Team Champions, they were written off into a feud with The Usos and eventually lost out to Heath Slater & Rhyno. Even then the feud never received its due as injuries halted the process and made American Alpha even weaker. Despite good matches and eventually winning the Tag Titles from The Wyatt Family, they didn’t really pick up momentum and got over as much as a they should. Then they lose the titles to the Usos in March in a great match and became an afterthought yet again. Now that the Superstar Shakeup has harmed more than helped American Alpha, it’s about time to push the reboot button and have them as heels.
In their initial run, Chad Gable came across as egotistical and annoying, with the “Ready, Willing, and Gable” towel being his calling-card. Jason Jordan was more vanilla and a regular heel at best upon uniting with Chad, which heighten his strengths and improved on his flaws. This time around, American Alpha should come off more aggressive and bitter that the golden road paved for them was taken away by more popular teams. Gable himself could use a new look as well and American Alpha should be a team intent on decimating everyone in their path on the quest in being on top of the tag division again.
For the longest time on their main roster stay, American Alpha has missed a quality about them that would make them even bigger. Hopefully the creative can bring the magic to find that and rescue the Smackdown tag division as a whole.