Damage CTRL was the first big splash of the new Triple H Era, as the return of Bayley from injury, Iyo Sky's official call-up and Dakota Kai coming back to the company during SummerSlam was a big, bold statement and brought a lot of excitement.
The booking didn't exactly follow up on that promise. Sure, Iyo and Dakota won tag gold for a while, but the trio took too many losses to look dominant. Bayley failed to win big and the team losing essentially 3-on-1 matchups to Bianca Belair didn't make them look like they could do all that much Damage. And we kept seeing teases of a breakup. Captain Kota going out to injury was an unfortunate blow as well.
Iyo winning Money in the Bank and successfully cashing in certainly helped, but she seemed to play second fiddle in her own title feuds while Bayley became the stepping stone to all potential challengers. And partway through their Crown Jewel match, one could easily see Iyo losing her title to Belair and the faction shattering.
But the injection of Kairi Sane (who looks fantastic in the evil pirate aesthetic, BTW) helped Iyo retain and brought intrigue to the group. Then Asuka turning and joining the stable really brings it to the next level. (Much appreciation for Bayley's performance and facial expressions through all these rollercoaster segments.)
Asuka finally brings a sense of danger to this group, and the subsequent beatdowns on babyfaces showed the elements this group has been missing. This faction, now with even more of the best wrestlers on the planet, is set for a WarGames match that will provide them all a showcase. Maybe they'll actually win this one? Or hopefully they won't look as outmatched as WWE has sometimes booked them previously.
At the very least, they look capable of a lot more Damage than ever before.
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. 10:
1. Judgment Day (last week: 2)
Pro: Rhea Ripley remains women's champ on Raw. enor Money in the Bank Damian Priest and Finn Balor defeated the always game New Day. Dominik Mysterio is still NXT North American champ. And they're getting a big match in War Games.
Con: Will be interesting to see what babyface super friends team they'll have to survive in that bout.
2. Damage CTRL (not ranked)
Pro: Add Asuka and Kairi Sane while Iyo Sky holds gold? That will get you a high ranking. As will setting up for a War Games match.
Con: But will they be allowed to win this time?
3. Diamond Mine (3)
Pro: Officially signed to Raw, and the win streak continues with a victory over DIY. Ivy Nile had a great debut outing in the #1 contenders battle royal.
Con: Needed some assistance from Imperium's Ludwig Kaiser to get the W.
4. Chelsea Green and Piper Niven (4)
Pro: Still women's tag champs.
Con: Strength in numbers didn't help them win a chance at a singles title in the Raw battle royal.
5. Bobby Lashley and Street Profits (not ranked)
Pro: Back on TV and in the win column as Lashley defeated Carlito.
Con: Can they move on from LWO and maybe climb the ladder?
6. Chase U (5)
Pro: Still the men's tag titleholders for NXT.
Con: The D'Angelo Family has a rematch and a secret about Andre Chase.
7. The Bloodline (1)
Pro: Roman remains (sorry, Seth) the top champ in the company.
Con: Aaaaaaand he's gone again, which takes away the Island of Relevancy. Nobody else in the faction even did anything that meaningful this week.
8. Cody Rhodes and Jey Uso (not ranked)
Pro: Will get a chance to regain tag gold, and will play prominent roles in the upcoming War Games match as well.
Con: Seems unlikely they'll retake the championships, but it should be a fun match.
9. Alpha Academy (not ranked)
Pro: Getting quality time on Mondays and Tuesdays, with Otis picking up a win in NXT against Drew Gulak, and setting up a possible Meta-Four match.
Con: Akira Tozawa took a couple more losses in the process.
10. Meta-Four (10)
Pro: Noam Dar retained the Heritage Cup with a little help from his friends in a fun rounds match.
Con: Oro Mensah took an Alpha Academy beatdown after the match.
Tag Team Segment of the Week: The evolution of Damage CTRL, especially the addition of Asuka, easily claims this honor.
Most of the scenes getting attention, a faction becoming revitalized and a setup involving actual teams on the heel side of War Games are all welcome.