Redefining Monsters: How The Authors Of Pain added a twist to an old story
Ever since Vince McMahon Jr launched a national explosion of the World Wrestling Federation in the mid-late 1980s, professional wrestling has been littered with giants who intimidate everyone just by their sheer size alone.
It put the thought into viewers head that athletes of gargantuan proportions had to be unbeatable and a threat to their heroes of smaller stature.
One giant has always been bad enough but when two proverbial towering infernos come together, nothing good ever comes out of it for the innocent.
In 1986 Bobby “The Brain” Heenan brought together King Kong Bundy and Big John Studd.While they never won tag team gold, they made life miserable for every fan favorite who braved the squared circle to oppose them.Bundy and Studd played a part in Paul Orndorff betraying Hulk Hogan, battered then-WWF Tag Team Champions The British Bulldogs, and as Vince Jr famously phrased it, raped Andre The Giant of his dignity with a hair cut.
Quite the resume only made more impressive by the sheer mass carrying out the deeds.
Theodore R. Long unveiled The Skyscrapers in 1989 and what an awesome sight Sid Vicious and Dan Spivey were.
Sid’s brute force and Spivey’s raw combination of power and athleticism proved to be too much for many tandems in the National Wrestling Alliance. Everyone from The Dynamic Dudes to the Road Warriors were put on notice.
By all rights they should have eventually garnered the NWA World Tag Team Championships but it wasn’t to be. Vicious suffered a punctured lung and Spivey had an on-off solo career from 1991-1992 before departing for good. Their is a tale of what could have been had the stars been properly aligned.
Still, the devastation they brought to the ring should not be overlooked or underappreciated.
In the modern era, Bray Wyatt sought to define his message through his “sons” Luke Harper and Erick Rowan. That the Eater of Worlds was able to harness the minds of the two giants was scary enough; that they gelled as a unit seamlessly was downright frightening.
Harper and Rowan captured gold in NXT, holding the tag team titles for 70 days. Upon joining their patriarch on Monday Night Raw, they helped Wyatt carry out acts of violence against the likes of John Cena, Dean Ambrose, The Dudleys, The Undertaker, Kane, Roman Reigns, and many others.
That The Usos survived their repeated challenges in 2014 is a testament to their determination and talent as Harper and Rowan pushed them to absolute limits on numerous occasions. Should they ever reunite, whoever may reign as Smackdown’s reigning tag team champions may want to make themselves scarce.
Of all the monster tandems that have terrorized rings however, one has always been the measuring stick for all that followed.
Mad genius Paul Ellering combined the forces of Hawk and Animal to form The Road Warriors/Legion of Doom. Their impact was so great he opted to fold his original LOD stable (that included King Kong Bundy, Jake Roberts, The Spoiler, etc) and direct all his focus on the pair from Mad Max Hell.
History speaks of itself. The Warriors captured tag team gold in the NWA, AWA, and WWF and will forever be the only team to ever do so.
They won the Jim Crockett Memorial Cup in 1986 defeating Ronnie Garvin and Magnum TA to claim the prestigious trophy and prize money.
Their conquests are a who’s who of legendary duos. The Steiner Brothers, The Midnight Express, The Russians, The Nasty Boys, Money Inc, Demolition, The Fabulous Ones, The Fabulous Freebirds, The Samoan Swat Team, and every team in between.
The dynamic was simple but destructive.
Ellering mapped out the game plan while Hawk and Animal stormed the ring and ate everyone alive. They only knew one mode and that was to seek and destroy.
It is of little wonder that the trio were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2011.
When Ellering’s two prior stints for the WWF were lackluster at best 1992 saw Rocco The Dummy and Hawk quit while 1998 saw an ill fated heel turn on LOD and pairing with the Disciples of Apocalypse), many were left to settle for the idea that his glory years would be remembered for his contributions outside of Titan.
Then came a new chapter.
“Sometimes that shark, he looks right into ya. Right into your eyes. Y’know the thing about a shark.. he’s got lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll’s eyes. When he comes at ya, doesn’t seem to be livin.. until he bites ya. And then those black eyes roll over white and then.. oh then you hear the terrible high pitch screamin’ Then the ocean turns red and spite’ of all the poundin’ and hollerin’, they all come in.. and they rip you to pieces”- Quint from Jaws
At NXT Takeover: The End, there was blood in the water and nobody would be safe from what came swarming in after The Revival defeated American Alpha to recapture the NXT Tag Team Championships.
Jason Jordan and Chad Gable had just gotten back to their feet, bruised and devastated by the title loss. For a moment they were healed by the applause and adulation from the crowd when terror struck.
Two gigantic men hit the ring and obliterated Alpha as if they were two sacks of spuds destined to be sliced and diced into French fries.
As a stunned arena looked on, Ellering shockingly emerged from the back and stood at the top of the ramp. He nodded in approval at the monsters who exited the scene with him.
One of the most dangerous minds had returned and he brought with him The Authors of Pain.
Since that memorable arrival, the christened Akam and Rezar have torn through everyone brave enough to sign up for a match against them.
They march to the ring, fists fly, power bombs of all variety are executed, and it all ends with The Final Chapter.
They rarely speak because they don’t have to. “Precious” Paul is right there to espouse what exactly their end game is and just who will see their deadly fates.
Thus far the book being written has been filled with success and carnage.
The Authors plowed through The Bollywood Boys, #DIY, en route to defeating TM-61 to win the second annual Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic at Takeover: Toronto.
Johnny Gargano and Tomasso Ciampa fought through hell to gain the NXT Tag Team Championships from The Revival at Toronto.
The pair who did it themselves never backed down from a challenge and showed no fear when The Authors were granted a title opportunity at Takeover: San Antonio.
The match was an excellent blend of speed and cunning up against pure power and deadly intentions. As they had in their prior encounter, DIY gave AoP the fight of their careers and came the closest anyone has to date to handing them their first taste of defeat.
Ellering’s masterful strategizing won on this night. Akam and Rezar withstood everything thrown at them by one of the best team’s to ever come through NXT and walked out of Texas as Tag Team Champions.
The scariest thing of all is that winning the belts isn’t anywhere near the peak of what thesr two men are fully capable of.
While Ellering is the brains, The Authors are evolving past brawn.
They may have a one track mind when it comes to dishing out punishment but how they do so isn’t limited to lumbering around the ring.
Akam was a successful amateur wrestler and won medals at the 2009 Summer American Games and the 2011 Pan American Games.
Rezar came from the world of Mixed Martial Arts with a record of 4-2 in his six professional fights. He won a portion of them via submission, a skill he has yet to need to display in NXT.
Those credentials matched with Ellering’s guiding force means they will only get better and in my estimation they have already redefined what a monster tandem brings to the table.
In recent weeks they have added new devastating maneuvers into the arsenal leading me to believe they haven’t scratched the surface of what they can dish out. That level of dedication has proven to go a long way in terms of success and championship glory.
If I were any one of the teams currently competing on Raw and Smackdown Live, I would keep an eye on The Authors of Pain.
Eventually they will be knocking down the door of either brand, Ellering with pen in hand to write a new chapter. They will have one goal in mind and that is to continue leaving behind a wake of broken dreams and bodies.
For many, their stories will end in torment, agony.. It indeed be their final chapter.