Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Booking SmackDown Live's Tag Division Through SummerSlam

SmackDown Live's Tag Team Division has grown a bit stale since the brand split, but not for a lack of quantity. Initially with The Uso's, American Alpha, the Headbangers, and the rise of Beauty & the Man Beast, it looked like SDLive could thrive in tag team wrestling. Add in Breezango and The Ascension and SDLive's ranks were no joke. Not to mention, Triple H was overseeing the brand, so everyone thought he would try to replicate what was successful in NXT's tag division.

Right now, we're basically just an American Alpha/Usos feud with a bunch of jabronis becoming fodder for John Cena. My mission here is to fix that.

Right now, The Uso's are your SDLive Tag Team Champions, and I won't have them dropping the belts leading into SummerSlam. In fact, I would only amplify their heel tactics in feuds with guys like the Headbangers. Yes, yes, I know... old guys. But that's the point. They're an act the crowd still gets into, and they too can be booked credibly only to serve as a doormat to the Usos.

But I want to start next week. With the Superstar Shakeup. I would move Enzo & Cass to SDLive in exchange for Slater & Rhyno. It doesn't seem like a fair exchange on paper, but Slater & Rhyno on RAW could help serve as another stepping stone for The Revival. That's the ONLY change I would make to the tag division.

So on night one next week, I would have The Ascension facing Breezango and I would have The Ascension cut the ring off and not allow Breeze to tag in Fandango once.

The following week, I would have The Ascension face American Alpha, and again cut the ring off. But I would not have them win, nor would I have them lose clean. I would have Konnor hit the YAH kicks in the corner on Chad Gable, not break for the 5-count, and get disqualified.

The week after that would be a rematch, but Alpha, who has a program with The Usos, would get attacked mid-match by the Uso's, costing them the match. Jordan would be pulled from the apron, ref doesn't see, Gable gets hit with The Fall of Man (the wheel kick version, not the European Uppercut) and pinned.

Fast forward a few weeks to SDLive's first PPV after Mania with Backlash in May. The Ascension are facing Breezango again while The Uso's finish up with American Alpha. The Ascension once again cut the ring off, not allowing a tag, and pick up a clean victory by pinning Fandango. The Uso's defeat American Alpha by taking out the leg of Jordan (not Gable).

The following Tuesday, Enzo & Cass call out The Ascension. It's key for Zo & Cass to call Ascension out, not the other way around. Ascension tell Enzo & Cass they need to actually win a match (hilarious shout to Ascension's losing streak on the main roster), so Enzo & Cass face American Alpha thanks to Shane. Jordan plays up the leg injury, Enzo & Cass take advantage (in a non-heel way) and win the match. Immediately following the match, The Ascension hit the ring and blindside Cass, hit Zo with Fall of Man, and take off before Cass can get them back.

Over the next few weeks, The Acension are booked to face Cass & Zo. Zo starts the matches with Viktor, they cut the ring off, they get DQ'd for the YAH kicks in the corner on Zo and flee before Cass can give them their comeuppance. This happens both of the first matches. In the third match, Cass starts, Ascension are cutting the ring off. Cass is being shined up, he's having his comeback, takes out Viktor. Just as he starts to crawl, Konnor takes Zo out from the apron and slides into the ring. Fall of Man on Cass as he gets to his feet. Pin him clean, on SDLive.

Going into the June PPV at Money In The Bank, Ascension faces Cass & Zo again. Uso's defend the titles against The Headbangers. Ascension are cutting the ring off on Zo, you think they will do the same thing, but Zo manages to get the hot tag. Cass is shining and taking them out. Hits the Empire Elbow on Konnor, goes for the pin, the ref won't count because Viktor is the legal man. Cass turns from being distracted by the ref, Konnor kicks him in the face, and they hit Fall of Man on a dazed Cass and pin him for the win. After the match, they see Zo checking on Cass, grab him, throw him into the corner, and YAH kicks. The referee tries to break the action, but Ascension won't stop. The referee reverses his decision and awards Enzo & Cass the win by disqualification. Viktor attacks the ref.

On SDLive, Viktor gets suspended for attacking the referee. Konnor is booked in a handicap match with Cass & Zo. He manages to cut the ring off and keep Zo in the match, by himself. He punches Cass off of the apron, and Cass jumps into the ring. Cass is working his spots, but goes for the big boot with Konnor on the ropes. Konnor evades, Cass falls out, and Zo tries to hit a cross-body on Konnor who catches him. Konnor slams Zo and pins him for the win.

The following week, Konnor sees Jordan backstage and Jordan tells him his win in the handicap match was impressive. Konnor looks at Jordan, smirks, and then kicks his bad leg. He's attacking him when Gable runs up and gets in the way. Shane & Bryan are there and Gable demands a match with Konnor. In the match, Gable gets in some offense based on his emotion, but Konnor ends up getting the upper hand. He is giving him the YAH kicks in the corner and again gets DQ'd for not breaking at the 5-count.

A week later, Konnor is in Shane's office demanding he lift the suspension on Viktor. Shane tells Konnor that's not going to happen, and puts him in a match with Cass. In a decent 5-minute match, Konnor gets the upper hand when Cass again goes for the big boot and misses. Cass's leg gets tied up in the ropes and Konnor stomps him out as he's tied up. The ref frees Cass who struggles to get to his feet in the corner. Konnor with the YAH kicks again, but instead of getting DQ'd, he backs out, then goes right back to them. When he's finished, he lifts Cass and slams him with his solo Fall of Man (flapjack followed by legdrop to back of the head) and pins Cass clean.

At the July PPV Battleground, Viktor is reinstated and The Ascension have a match with Cass & Zo. As Cass & Zo are being interviewed, Ascension attack and take out Zo. Then they focus on Cass and beat him down. They hit him with the Soul Driver against the bay door and walk off. Ascension come out for their match and Zo comes out without Cass. He announces Daniel Bryan has named a tag partner for him, and out comes Gable. Konnor and Viktor cut the ring off, keep Zo from tagging Gable in until Gable dodges an attack on the apron. Gable gets in the ring, takes out Viktor, but Konnor overpowers him. Viktor recovers on the outside, takes Zo out against the steps, slides in and they hit Fall of Man on Gable for the 3.

Over the next couple of weeks, Ascension repeatedly get DQ'd with YAH kicks in the corner against The Headbangers, Breezango, and then face Cass & Zo. They cut off the ring and beat Zo down. Then they ALLOW Zo to tag Cass in and they beat him down. Tag moves galore as they cut off the ring, Zo is out on the apron. Zo starts to come to, Cass manages to fight out of the corner. Cass tags Zo in, who climbs to the top, Cass throws him off on top of Viktor. Konnor tags himself in thinking they didn't see, but Zo dropkicks his leg out. Zo back up top and Cass throws him again. Konnor catches him, Viktor pulls Cass out of the ring, and Konnor slams Zo. Viktor shoves Cass into the steps, slides in, and they hit Fall of Man on Cass & Zo for the clean win.

At the go-home SDLive before SummerSlam, Konnor and Viktor are calling out The Uso's for the SDLive Tag Team Championship. Instead, American Alpha show up on the stage. Jordan says he's all better, and they're the one team Ascension haven't beat clean. Bryan comes out and announces they will face each other for a chance at The Uso's at SummerSlam in the main event. Yes, the MAIN event.

So Ascension are doing a good job cutting off the ring. Alpha eventually get the upper hand and cut off the ring with Viktor in their corner. Eventually Ascension regain control of the match, they use the ring post to attack Jordan's leg, Gable tries to help but the ref keeps cutting him off. Ascension are both in the ring, ref cuts Gable off again, Ascension hit Fall of Man on Jordan. Gable is about to get in the ring but Viktor cuts him off and Konnor pins Jordan clean to close the show as #1 contenders.

At SummerSlam, Ascension dominate the match. They cut the ring off. They don't allow Jey to tag Jimmy in at all. They just completely control the match. They're using the YAH kicks in the corner, you think they might get DQ'd, but they keep tagging out just in time and both doing the YAH kicks repeatedly (word to New Day's Unicorn Stampede). They knock Jimmy off of the apron, hit Fall of Man on Jey, go for the pin, but Jimmy breaks it up. He clears the ring, hits a dive over the top on Konnor. Jey recovers, hits a Superkick on Viktor, and crawls to the corner to go up top. Konnor and Jimmy both get up on the outside but Konnor throws Jimmy into the ringpost. He climbs up and shoves Jey off of the top rope into a wheel kick by Viktor, who covers him for the pin and the win. Ascension have the titles, they're the top heel team on SDLive.

The first SDLive after SummerSlam, they dismantle The Uso's in their rematch, YAH kicks DQ, they're getting nuclear heat when suddenly DIY's music hits, they come out to make the save and clear the ring. We'll book that later.