It’s no secret that Triple H, who has been in his fair share of high-profile factions, likes his stables. WWE in general has been moving in that direction and – even with the biggest group in the fed, Judgment Day, getting a night off – SmackDown showed this build toward faction warfare bear fruit.
While The Bloodline-OC feud appears very one-sided what with Jimmy Uso and Solo Sikoa giving AJ Styles a stretcher job and Jim topping Karl Anderson with little difficulty, a well-placed slap from Michin shows that the program isn’t exactly over. This could set up AJ to be yet another wrestler to give Roman Reigns a great match in a losing effort … but, hey, there are worse positions, which is where The OC has been most of its run.
Elsewhere on the card, Street Profits trying to get back into the good graces of Bobby Lashley by putting the boots to LWO gives a bunch of good wrestlers something to do on an upcoming premium live event. It will be fun bout that continues to tell the Profits-Lashley story and potentially show whether Rey Mysterio and Santos Escobar can continue to be respectful.
The Brawling Brutes might be diminished with Sheamus dealing with an injury, but Butch has had a chance to show up and show out on NXT recently. The Brutes adding Tyler Bate – who has been good enough for the main roster for a while – could refresh their outlook.
Recently we’ve seen a nice amount of world-building with some storyline progression that gives a lot of talent things to 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 Sept. 30:
1. Judgment Day (last week: 1)
Pro: Damian Priest and Finn Balor remain double tag champs, surviving Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. Rhea Ripley remains a dominant women’s champ even in absentia. Damian Priest remains Senor Money in the Bank.
Con: Dom Mysterio lost his NXT title to Trick Williams.
2. The Bloodline (2)
Pro: Even without the Big Dog, acting like the big dogs on Friday nights. Jimmy Uso picked up a win over Karl Anderson.
Con: The team of John Cena and LA Knight won’t exactly seem like underdogs.
3. The D’Angelo Family (4)
Pro: The NXT men’s tag champs picked up a signature and stirring victory at No Mercy to retain.
Con: It also showed there are a lot of teams hungry for their gold.
4. Street Profits and Bobby Lashley (6)
Pro: Nothing like a beatdown to bring the Profits closer to their would-be mentor.
Con: They can’t afford a loss in their Fastlane match if they want to stay together.
5. Latino World Order (3)
Pro: Rey Mysterio remained US Champion after a win in a very good bout against Santos Escobar. And they seem to still be on the same page.
Con: Took a beatdown from Street Profits.
6. Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens (not ranked)
Pro: Put together yet another great title match in a main event and remain near the top of the Raw card.
Con: Unable to recapture the tag championships.
7. Grayson Waller and Austin Theory (7)
Pro: Grayson’s talk show remains a SmackDown staple and Austin Theory picked up a win.
Con: As a duo, still could use a signature win to start moving up the ranks.
8. Imperium (4)
Pro: Gunther’s still Gunther, and the Intercontinental Champ.
Con: Tomasso Ciampa added a win over Ludwig Kaiser and gets Gunther next.
9. Chelsea Green and Piper Niven (8)
Pro: Still the women’s tag champs.
Con: Have all the momentum on a resting anvil.
10. OTM (not ranked)
Pro: Picked up a win on NXT to make their way into a fatal four-way title match.
Con: Unable to claim gold in the bout.
Tag Team Segment of the Week: Any time you put Zayn, Owens and Judgment Day into a match, no matter how many permutations you’ve had before, they’ll find a way to shine. And their title tilt in the Raw main event was beautiful chaos once again.
Grade: B+. The irrelevant nature of the women’s title scene is unfortunate, but some great action for the men’s championships.