WWE SmackDown: Why The Usos Heel Turn Was Much Needed


On WWE SmackDown Live, The Usos reverted back to their roots and turned heel for the first time since 2011, attacking the hottest young, new tag team in American Alpha. The turn gives the Usos a new refreshing coat of paint moving forward in the brand split

The Usos have consistently been one of WWE’s most solid, true tag teams, arguably their best in the last five or so years. However, much of the time, as they had pointed out in a backstage segment on SmackDown, the fans underappreciated them and felt that there was disrespect being thrown at them that they didn’t deserve. Given the blood, sweat, and tears and busting their rear ends for the past half decade with the company, the Usos were completely right.

Recently, animosity had been levied at the facepaint-wearing duo because of their on-screen association with their real-life cousin, the much-vilified Roman Reigns. But now, with their unsuspecting attack on American Alpha, the Usos have followed in their father Rikishi, and their uncle Umaga’s footsteps and turned heel.

Ironically, the one thing that everybody wants Roman Reigns to do, the Usos jump on it first. But it should be of note, that on the mic, and even on camera, both Usos have an immense amount of charisma, something that Roman appears to lack in the eyes of many. Outside of WWE, the Usos are regular fixtures on Up Up Down Down, where they often display their natural high-energy personalities.

Despite the nightly introductory fanfare the New Day bring to their entrance, the Usos are, in fact, also two-time WWE Tag Team Champions. They are also back-to-back Slammy winners for Tag Team of the Year, although some may contend that 2015 should have gone to the New Day. The Usos are great in-ring workers, perhaps the workhorses of the tag team division, and rarely have what would be considered a ‘bad match’.

must read: American Alpha Debuts on SmackDown Live (Video)

Despite this, the Usos, in five years with the company, have never competed on the main card of Wrestlemania. No matter how decorated they are, no matter how many accolades they received, no matter how well they wrestle, the Usos have managed to find themselves being consistently left off the biggest show of the year.

This year’s Mania, they were on the kickoff show against the Dudleyz, as they were for Wrestlemanias 31, XXX, XXVIII, and XXVII. Perhaps most insulting was that, along with them, the Tag Team titles they either held or were competing for, were relegated to dark matches at Wrestlemania three times, a sign of the de-emphasis of tag team wrestling in WWE at the time.

One can only imagine the pent-up frustration building up in the twins leading up to SmackDown. The Usos are quite possibly one of the finest, true tag teams, in the company’s history, with no real competition around them for such a long period of time. And yet, they have been overshadowed by stables of individual stars such as The Shield and The New Day, assembled together and would go on to much praise and accomplishment.

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The Usos turning heel was the perfect thing to do. It was necessary for not only their careers, giving them longevity, but also sparking a newfound intensity in them that had been lacking for so long. American Alpha is perhaps the best true tag team to come along since the Usos and serve as the only possible competition for the Samoan twins. Given the work American Alpha had done with The Revival, it will be exciting to see the kind of matches the Usos will be able to have with them as this rivalry begins.