Any wrestling promotion, from your local indie to the WWE, needs performers that can make others look good, generally known euphemistically as "enhancement talent." Not all are jobbers who serve as squash match fodder; some are folks who make it on TV regularly to put on matches that they lose but enhance their opponents.
And nobody in wrestling today fills this important role better and in a more entertaining manner than Alpha Academy.
Calling them "enhancement talent" is no diss on their skills. Chad Gable has elite-level technical in-ring ability. Does anybody remember the last time he had a bad match? Otis is underrated in the ring with his combination of size, technical acumen and explosiveness. But the fact of the matter is they spend most of their time losing.
Does that mean WWE brass don't see value in them? Quite the contrary. Chad and Otis are on TV almost every Monday night, and some Fridays, where they often get promo time for Chad to "shoosh" the crowd, tell them that booing education is gross (he's right) and other great lines. Then they go out and get plenty of time to work their magic while putting over stars who need to look strong.
They may well have been the best part of the Raw Halloween episode. In addition to re-enacting the Chip and Dale segment (featuring Patrick Swayze and Chris Farley) from SNL, Otis pulled The Caterpillar out of mothballs for the first time as a heel. And the crowd loved it, even as Chad yelled that it was for one night only. They can certainly mine additional mileage from teasing it in future weeks.
Alpha Academy are certainly not total jobbers: They've won tag team gold by beating the formidable and popular team of RK-Bro before losing it to them again, but along the way the segments were consistent metaphorical gold because Chad and Otis shine in segments outside of the ring as well.
Will it eventually lead to more wins and perhaps even titles? With the tag titles on lock and secondary titles gaining added prestige, it's hard to foresee immediately. But they will remain among the most valuable and versatile members of the roster because they are just so good at what they do.
The following Tag Team Power Rankings take into account wins, power and placement of segments, recentness of appearances, creative direction and momentum for teams and factions.
WWE Tag Team Power Rankings through Nov.. 5:
1. The Bloodline (last week: 1)
Pro: Still holding the main men's solo and tag gold. Roman Reigns and The Usos retained their gold at Crown Jewel.
Con: Roman had to work much harder than expected (in kayfabe) to beat Logan Paul.
2. Damage CTRL (Bayley, Iyo Sky and Dakota Kai) (2)
Pro: Sky and Kai regained the women's tag titles ...
Con: ... after losing them on Raw. Bayley still couldn't wrest the women's title from Bianca Belair.
3. Judgment Day (3)
Pro: Once again got the best of The OC thanks to Rhea Ripley.
Con: Damien Priest took a solo loss to Karl Anderson.
4. Pretty Deadly (5)
Pro: The outrageous champs are putting together a solid and entertaining title run, including a main-event win over Bron Breakker and Wes Lee.
Con: Once again, they needed outside interference to get the win.
5. Katana Chance and Kayden Carter (6)
Pro: Still the NXT women's tag champs.
Con: Will have to beat Zoey Stark and Nikkita Lyons to keep the belts, but since Zoey seems to be in the midst of a heel turn, team KC's odds are pretty good.
6. Asuka and Alexa Bliss (not ranked)
Pro: The two former singles titleholders became tag-team champs on Raw in a very good match.
Con: Lost the titles back at Crown Jewel.
7. The OC (AJ Styles, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows) (8)
Pro: Anderson picked up a win over Priest on Raw.
Con: They still haven't solved their Rhea problem in losing a six-man tag match.
8. New Day (not ranked)
Pro: Will have a title shot on SmackDown to try to keep The Usos from breaking their tag-team record.
Con: Given the lack of build, seems an unlikely quest.
9. Imperium (not ranked)
Pro: Gunther retained his Intercontinental Championship against Rey Mysterio.
Con: Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci need more to do.
10. The Schism (10)
Pro: Ava Raine's first sit-down promo was really good, a nice sign considering she makes sense as the focal point of the faction.
Con: Need some better storylines now.
Best tag segment of the week: It was good to see not one but two good main-roster women's title matches, though we'll have to see what the trading the titles back and forth means going forward.
A couple of title changes (albeit with the same belts) and some good title retentions made for a wonderful week if you like tag-team wrestling.