Craig Wilson, Jamie Lithgow and Brian Damage
The WWE roster is filled with “superstars” at every level. There are the main roster guys who regularly appear on Raw and SmackDown, those who are used as glorified jobbers and those who are barely used at all. In this series of pieces, we will take an individual wrestler barely used and decide if they are worth keeping or should they be let go. Today we decide if we Book or Cook The Usos.
Craig: There is no doubting the longevity of Jimmy and Jey Uso. The pair first appeared on our screens well over six years ago in May 20010, attacking the Harty Dynasty. Being members of the Anoaʻi family there is a degree of inevitability about them stepping into the ring.
For me, always a team that was there or thereabouts in the most part. Around the time they inducted Yokozuna into the WWE Hall of Fame was arguably the time they were at their hottest in the eyes of the fans, yet the company didn’t really pull the trigger with them.
Here we are, some four years later, and the pair continue as always. They haven’t managed to recapture the tag titles they lost to Tyson Kidd and Cesaro at last year’s Fastlane, in no small part due to the lengthy injury enforced absence of Jey. Latterly they have mostly spent their time aligned with Roman Reigns in his programme with AJ Styles and the Club.
So, is there a space for the Usos on the roster or have they long overstayed their welcome?
Jamie: I like The Usos, but not as they are because they are stale. This will sound like an unimaginative cliche, but a simple heel turn would do them no end of good. Problem is, they’re colourful and popular with kids. Rather than interesting and compelling characters, WWE’s faith is to the big picture and who makes the most money across the board, and The Uso’s merch sales must be pretty strong.
Another argument for simply turning them heel is because they have faced almost every team possible as babyfaces but I cannot recall them ever working as heels. It worked for The New Day, why not The Usos?
Brian: I do recall them working as heels when they first debuted with Tamina as their valet. They were extremely stale then much like the Colon cousins are right now. At least the face paint and warrior chant they do before matches makes them interesting. I think they are what they are at this point in their careers.
It doesn’t make much sense to split them up, maybe a heel run would work? I like the Usos, I think they are the embodiment of what a tag team should be.
Craig: I don’t disagree that they the embodiment of a tag team and I’m a huge fan of authentic tag teams rather than simply guys being chucked together. The Usos are a tag team first and foremost. But I also agree that the act is stale. A heel turn and a more vicious style would, at the very least, freshen them up – wouldn’t it? Would it solve all their problems? Probably not but would set them apart a bit. Plus, with the upcoming brand split there’s every chance that there might well be two tag team divisions…
Jamie: I really hope there won’t be two tag divisions, but that’s a story for another day. I feel like we are in agreement; The Usos are a proper tag team and should not be split up in the draft. The fact that they are twins is nature’s way of telling WWE that they are a natural team. Splitting them up because they have gone stale would be extremely lazy. Granted turning them heel isn’t very imaginative either, but it would present a new opportunity for Jimmy and Jay within a context that makes sense. I know that a babyface ‘change of attitude’ could be an option, but I feel like The Usos have been stale for too long and their association with Roman Reigns hasn’t done them too many favours in that regard either. I honestly can’t think of any ideas for them other than to turn heel and have them destroy other teams using their size, power, speed and experience. They are so good in the ring that it’s not hard to see them becoming such good heels that fans cheer them again, a la The New Day.
Brian: I would book them and just let them be who they are. The Usos are an extremely talented team that may need a little retooling but nothing extremely drastic either. I mean what else could you really do to them?
Jamie: I can’t disagree with that. What they do is good and effective, it’s just a little stale at the moment. Personally I would turn them heel, but not a drastic change. I’d just book them against babyface teams and let them show a more serious edge. Failing that, a stellar series of matches with another tandem could be all that’s needed to reignite them, much like their series with The Shield a couple of years ago. It’s a ‘book’ from me.
There you have our take. A book but just freshen them up. Maybe a heel turn or maybe an emphasis on a more vicious attack.
Got a different opinion? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
You can read all previous ‘Book or Cook?’ pieces here.