On last weeks Monday night on RAW, weeks of build storyline culminated in a big reveal by general manager Kurt Angle. Smackdown LIVE’s Jason Jordan was announced as Angle’s illegitimate son. With this, not only does it set up an interesting story with many possibilities down the road, it also effectively signals the end of the popular tag-team, American Alpha. Jordan’s partner Chad Gable will now test the singles competitor market for the first time on the main roster.
We’ve witnessed a few tag-teams and/or partnerships end over the last little while. Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho. Enzo Amore and Big Cass. Hey, even the Lucha Dragons. The tag-team division has taken a hit, and it could be taking yet another one. But who’s the next duo to split? Let’s find out…
The Hype Bros
We’ll start with the most obvious one. When Zack Ryder returned from injury on June 13th, he made his intentions clear: The Hype Bros are going after the tag-team titles. He and Mojo Rawley earned a championship match back in December in a battle royal, the night Ryder suffered a knee injury that kept him out for six months. A few weeks later on June 27th, the two were unsuccessful in their match for the belts, losing to the Usos.
During the Independence Day Battle Royal on July 4th, Rawley eliminated Ryder, causing major tension between the two. Earlier in the night, Rawley told Ryder that it was “every man for himself.” If you saw WWE Breaking Ground, a reality-based documentary show that followed the NXT locker room in late 2015, Ryder was too thrilled with being in NXT and teaming with Mojo. This, couple by the fact Rawley eliminated Ryder, could cause a split and endorse a background story. With the Usos and New Day firmly leading the Smackdown tag-team divison, there’s little wiggle room for the Hype Bros to become legitimate contenders. Even in the “land of opportunity.”
If a split were to occur, Ryder turning heel and attacking Rawley makes the most sense. A feud between the two, if booked properly, could become a very intriguing part of Tuesday nights.
The Hardy Boyz
As fun as it’s been for fans to see the Hardy’s back in a WWE ring together, a lot of fans may be vying for them to go their separate ways.
Ever since returning at Wrestlemania 33, Matt Hardy has teased a portrayal of the “Broken” gimmick he infamously constructed whilst in TNA and on the independent scene. Matt seems to be half normal/half Broken, with enough of a tease to keep fans hanging on to a potential turn. There has been an ongoing lawsuit that has effectively prevented Matt from using the Broken gimmick in WWE. If Matt were able to obtain possession and use it now, it’ll do wonders in a number of ways. From a possible upping in viewership, to merchandise, the possibilities are endless.
Having Matt become “Broken” and have feuds with the likes of Bray Wyatt and Dean Ambrose could become a hot topic on RAW. And if a split were to take place, Jeff could continue to put on extraordinary matches. He’s 40, but certainly doesn’t seem that way in the ring.
A break-up would most likely be mutual. Knowing their in-ring careers could be coming to an end, they may want to just pursue new things before they call it quits.
Heath Slater & Rhyno
We’ll keep this one short. The Heath Slater storyline of 2016 was very entertaining. From going undrafted in the WWE Draft, to constantly trying to plead his case to both show’s respective GM’s, it kept intrigue in to product.
After Daniel Bryan gave Slater a shot to earn a contract by entering a tag-team title tournament, he found an ally in Rhyno. The two miraculously won the entire thing, securing Slater’s contract and making him a champion. Through heartbreak and triumph, it was an incredible culmination in a true “down on your luck” story.
Fast forward to December. The two lose the belts to the Wyatt Family at TLC. Two nights later, they lose their rematch. They’d be given a few more opportunities to earn a title match, but were ultimately unsuccessful every time.
And that was it.
They haven’t done anything since. The two have since moved to RAW as part of the Superstar Shakeup, and were briefly involved in the ongoing storyline between Dean Ambrose and The Miz. Either than that, they’re just kind of there.
A split would be for nothing more but a breath of fresh air. They aren’t going anywhere together, and have primarily been featured on WWE Main Event. Allowing these two to go their separate ways and try to find success alone might be the best bet.