After weeks of odd vignettes, the Bludgeon Brothers will debut on SmackDown Live next Tuesday. This is a repackaging for two former members of the Wyatt Family, Erick Rowan and Luke Harper, and how they’re booked in the first few weeks of their run will drastically impact how they’re viewed in the tag team division.
It’s highly unlikely that the WWE would be foolish enough to have the new-look tandem lose in their debut. They’ll probably go over on one of the lesser teams in the division — maybe even squash a tag team that isn’t a part of the roster at all, ala Asuka — and look strong in the process.
How they look strong is almost as important as the victory itself, however, and creative needs to carefully control how we view the Bludgeon Brothers right from the outset. Harper and Rowan have both growled and barked into the camera in recent weeks, talking about abstract concepts like destruction, chaos and the world being an awful place.
Their purpose? They’re here to make it worse.
The outfits are a bit over-the-top and the giant hammers are almost cartoonish, but there’s some real potential here that the WWE could slowly tap into. The two long-time tag partners certainly look the part of two anarchists bent on shaking the very foundations that hold society up. Their promos to this point have been easy to chuckle at, but there are core concepts in place that could allow the Bludgeon Brothers to generate some real heat.
It seems likely that they’ll be involved in a program with Breezango after it was revealed on the Fashion Files last month that the Bludgeon Brothers were behind the attacks on Tyler Breeze and Fandango. This has mostly been a (wildly successful) comedy schtick up to this point, but the WWE has to resist the urge to make Harper and Rowan part of the punch line.
If we’re ever going to believe that the Bludgeon Brothers are here to raise hell and generate discord, then they need to be treated like a true force of darkness right from the get-go. They need to be allowed to run wild for several weeks, maiming and crushing anyone who stands in their way. If handled properly, Harper and Rowan could eventually become a true and believable threat to the upper echelon of the tag team division.
The only way to do that is to allow them to back up the wacky promos they’ve been cutting with action in the ring. Those hammers need to become a key aspect of their matches, and they should be a proverbial bulldozer in the ring for at least a handful of weeks. We’re not saying that they need to be squashed over or anything along those lines. Creative just needs to allow them to be a sinister tag team that sucks the air out of arenas instead of just another comedy bit on SmackDown.
The blue brand is already chock full of goofy stables. The New Day, Hype Bros and Breezango are all about having fun and making fans smile. With the Usos in the midst of a face-turn, there’s a real opportunity for the Bludgeon Brothers to establish themselves as a threatening heel tag team on Tuesday nights.
It starts next Tuesday, and creative needs to be very careful with how they handle this repackage moving forward.