Four hundred and eighty-three days as WWE Tag Team Champions, the New Day reigned.
Nearly fifty days longer than CM Punk’s modern-day record-setting WWE Championship reign. Over one hundred and thirty days longer than Dean Ambrose’s modern-day record WWE United States Championship reign. Indeed, theirs is the only title reign in recent memory that sits atop WWE as the record in their division, as they broke Demolition’s WWE World Tag Team Championship record by five days.
It’s a dominance that’s simply unmatched, and you’d be forgiven to think that the SmackDown titles are theirs to take.
Since day one
But the Usos aren’t to be disregarded.
Yes, they failed twice in those 483 days to claim the titles from the New Day, but that was a down period in the history of the Usos. From the day they set foot in WWE they’ve been able to lay a claim to being one of the best tag teams in the world by dint of their ability inside the squared circle, and they have three hundred plus days as tag champions between three reigns to prove it.
New Age Outlaws. Los Matadores. Real Americans. Rybaxel. The Wyatt Family. Gold- & Stardust. Miz & Mizdow. American Alpha. Breezango. Names that have varying levels of depth and legacy, but still a fair murderer’s row of tag teams that the Usos have vanquished while holding the gold.
And yet perhaps, nothing is more telling than one matchup that you can’t see on WWE Network. When the Young Bucks, arguably the best tag team in the rest of the wrestling world, came in for a WWE tryout, they were paired with the Usos in their tryout match.
These teams have met many times in six-mans and bigger tags, but in straight team-on-team action, they’ve only met thrice. And in those three matches, the numbers begin to turn on the New Day.
Yes, they retained the titles when it mattered at the 2016 Royal Rumble, but in two straight matches on Raw in the month leading up to that title defense, the Usos had the upper hand. And what’s more, usually the New Day’s third man offers them a degree of protection, the ability to change the lineup and foil their opponents, confounding their expectations, but one of those matches was a three-on-two handicap.
Even against the combined might of all three members of the New Day, the Usos found a way. And that was the Usos of a year and a half ago, bland and toothless good guys who seemed just as satisfied leading the crowd in singalongs of “Uce!” into “O!” as they did winning titles. The present-day Jimmy and Jey, who will tell you straight to your face that that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach isn’t paranoia, but is in fact the Usos, that aim to lock everyone up in the Uso Penitentiary, there’s an ocean of difference between them and their former selves.
New Day, it can be argued, grew fat and happy off their record-setting title reign. So much so that they willingly sat out the tag title match at WrestleMania, instead choosing a sweet hosting gig on the Grandest Stage of Them All. They seem revitalized by the move to SmackDown, but is it enough to get them the titles? Only time will tell.
Will it be a New Day or will we have to do another 25-30 in the Uso Penitentiary?
Who will win?
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