The 8-team tournament was set up to find new challengers for The Usos Smackdown Tag Team Championships. 8 of the top teams on Smackdown were chosen to compete in the knock-out format, with only one left at the end to take on The Usos on Smackdown.
The unlikely duo of Ricochet and Braun Strowman won the whole thing, defeating Imperium in the final on Smackdown. Strowman showcased his awesome power to launch his partner off his shoulders, hitting a flying senton bomb to win the match for their team.
Curiously, they were not even meant to be in the tournament. They were only added after the Banger Bros (Drew McIntyre and Sheamus) decided to chase The Viking Raiders instead of wrestling against Hit Row.
They won the match and the following final and will take on The Usos next week on Smackdown. That match is in doubt however as Jey Uso did not enter with the rest of The Bloodline on Smackdown and his future with his brother Jimmy is in doubt.
Even if they do end up wrestling The Usos next next, Braun Strowman and Ricochet are not the tag team to end the legendary reign of The Usos. The Samoan brothers have held the titles for 566 days and counting and currently boast the longest tag title reign in WWE history.
That is not something that should be ended by a put-together-at-the-last-minute tag team. Ricochet and Braun Strowman have been a tag team for about 10 minutes and have shown nothing to think that they are worthy of ending such a record-setting reign.
The story with The Usos only point to two men taking the titles from them at Wrestlemania. Their Bloodline brother Sami Zayn and his long-time friend and eternal rival Kevin Owens.
Zayn recently turned on The Bloodline at the 2023 Royal Rumble, refusing to following Roman Reigns of orders of burying a steel chair into the head of Kevin Owens. Instead, he launched it square in the back of The Tribal Chief, leaving the group once and for all.
Risking his life to help his friend Kevin Owens, it seems certain the pair will team together. With the complex relationship Zayn has with the Usos – more specifically Jey Uso. Jey only just began to accept Sami as one of his own, and time will tell whether Zayn’s expulsion from The Bloodline will causes fractures between Jey Uso and the rest of the family.
Some may say that Braun Strowman and Ricochet can win the Smackdown titles next week and Zayn & Owens could beat The Usos at Wrestlemania 39. I think that is a bad call.
The big win over the team that have held the belts for over two years needs to be on the biggest stage possible, against a real team. Zayn and Owens have the potential to be a top tag team who wrestle in the main event – Strowman and Ricochet do not have that luxury.
Sami Zayn will face Roman Reigns at Elimination Chamber 2023 in his hometown of Montreal. It is very unlikely he beats The Big Dog for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship, especially with WWE already advertising Cody Rhodes vs Roman Reigns. His future seems destined in the tag division with his friends and rival Kevin Owens, finally together as faces to take down The Bloodline once and for all.
Plus, this could build to a six man tag match at “Wrestlemania Backlash” that pits Cody Rhodes, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn against The Usos and Roman Reigns. The Usos can drop the Smackdown tag team championships at a later date, possibly to a side like Imperium or The Banger Bros.