Craig Wilson, Brian Damage,
Earl Marx and Benjamin Trecroci
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 American Alpha.
Craig: Jeez, it’s difficult to think of any act that’s fallen by the wayside to the same extent as Chad Gable and Jason Jordan. From the high hopes of the tag team division and NXT champs through to the main roster debut and quickly winning the titles on the main roster. Now, however, they look like a sure-fire case for the Fashion Police: where are American Alpha?
So, what has gone wrong for the pair? Where have they been and why have they slid so far off the radar. Undoubtedly a talented pair of wrestlers, is there something deeper than simply creative has nothing for them? And, finally, do they have the talent to keep them in the company or should they be cooked?
Brian: What has happened to American Alpha is both sad and confusing. They are arguably the most talented team on either of the main rosters. The fans have simply not gravitated to them as expected despite an initial strong push.
Seeing Chad Gable being used as nothing more than a glorified jobber on Smackdown Live was surprising. I wonder if Jason Jordan is hurt? There has to be a reasonable explanation for them not teaming for weeks now on the main show.
Craig: Yeah, the jobber bit was strange. Wasn’t remotely amusing for a comedic segment either. I really, really wonder what’s going on. You may be right Brian re them not getting over to an extent but it’s idiotic for the WWE to punish them by taking them off the screens. If the fans don’t care it’s the company’s fault for not making us care. I’m absolutely bamboozled by it. The jobber appearance means that they aren’t just off telly to be rebranded or relaunched though. So what is going on?
Brian: I wish I knew, perhaps they did something we know nothing about. In this day and age though, I seriously doubt it. Excellent point Craig made about Chad Gable being used this past Tuesday on TV, it certainly means they will NOT be re-branded or held off TV to generate interest in them.
I think maybe Jason Jordan is hurt, why else would they not use them at all? There was a perfect spot to use the American Alpha on the Money in the Bank show. Instead of that spot match between Breezango and the Ascension, why not have American Alpha be the ones who destroyed Breezango’s headquarters and have them play heels?
Craig: Part of me did expect it to be American Alpha that was behind the attacks. Considering how excellent the Fashion Files were, it’s a bit of a crap payoff for it to have a pair of glorified jobbers rather than use it as a vehicle to get American Alpha turn heel and destroy the babyface Fashion Police?
Maybe you are right, though, Brian. Perhaps Jason Jordan is injured. Why else have them off TV. There doesn’t seem to be any reason to other than injury. So is this a book because it’s unfair to judge with Jordan injured?
Brian: I would book them and book them big. There is no excuse why this team whether face or heel shouldn’t be pushed as a great tag team. The talent is there, the charisma is a little green but is there as well.
Maybe align them with somebody like Kurt Angle and or Shelton Benjamin (if he comes back) and start them off that way. They certainly deserve to be given a proper try.
Earl: I hope I can slide into home base before the game is up and the polls are closed. I am voting to book on this actually.
I think the raw talent associated with American Alpha is amazing. But, as noted on many occasions, pro wrestling is not an actual sport where the most talented are the most rewarded. There must be more. Have American Alpha been given a chance to gain the connection to the crowd? Not yet to me. A title reign doesn’t immediately create the connection. In most cases with the WWE, they try different ways to present the talent before finally writing them off. American Alpha was called up sooner than they should have been. They were brought up as a good tag team with no character really. It would have worked in the 90s or 80s but not today. THIS CAN BE FIXED.
Now, my peers have listed suggested pairings that could get the job done. I like it. If mic skills are not their strong suit, let’s try them with a mouthpiece. I actually think that with the type of raw talent they have, people should be envious which screams a heel turn should come. However, given the Uso Penitentiary being a focal point and the Ascension being brought back into the mix, I can’t see a heel turn anytime soon. These guys are young enough to have successful solo careers as well, but I fear they would each become lost in the solo shuffle but who knows? Perhaps the opportunity could arise and one of them could be the next #1 contender! It happened to Jinder! There is DEFINITELY hope for these guys. No way am I cooking these guys. BOOK. BOOK. Pick up the book and let’s make something happen!
Benjamin: Definitely agree with Brian that they should be booked huge! When they were announced to be drafted they got a huge reaction and that initial month was great but then it seemed like fans in certain cities had no idea who they were and that’s not their fault.
WWE did a horrible job with promoting who this team was and why fans who don’t watch NXT should care. Sure the announcers tried to sell them as the best young tag team in the business but would it have killed them to throw together a couple video packages? Maybe they showed one but I don’t recall one. Remember seeing great video packages on NXT about the personal journeys of Gable of Jordan. That would’ve at peaked some interest in fans who weren’t familiar with them.
Instead, they showed up and yeah they were great workers, but who are they? It’s the same problem that plagues 205 Live.
This is what happens to guys like AA and Ascension, etc. They are off the radar for so long that when they come back either they need to repackaged, cut some type of promo or broken up and that’s a shame and it’s pretty lazy for the WWE booking staff.
You can read all previous ‘Book or Cook’ pieces here.