Take yourself back to April the 3rd, 2017.
The night before, at the showcase of the immortals, The Hardy Boys returned to what is commonly referred to as one of the largest pops in wrestling history. Jumping forward 24 hours, many people believed it would be years when they’d hear a reaction to a tag team like that again.
And then The Revival’s music hit and the arena roof exploded. Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder had finally left NXT, moved up the main roster and tag team domination was in their future…right? Somehow, wrong. Despite a rabid crowd screaming ‘YEAH’ in time with their music and millions watching at home suddenly classing themselves as ‘Southern Boys’, the Revival did not have a good time on WWE’s main roster programming. Within three years, the former ‘Mechanics’ had been shaving each other’s backs, barely featuring on programming and publicly airing their grievances on social media.
And so, this past week, Dawson and Wilder were finally granted their immediate releases. So where did it all go wrong and where do we go from here? I have some ideas.
So the main thought process in every wrestling fan’s heads when the former NXT tag team champions debuted was ‘This is great…but Vince and Co won’t get their gimmick.’ The main reason being that The Revival’s gimmick wasn’t really a gimmick. Their character is that they’re good, intelligent, technical wrestlers. They don’t have demonic music and lighting. They aren’t superheroes for the children. They’re just guys who are really, REALLY good at the sport but will still cheat in doing so. And that’s why NXT worked so well for them.
The black and gold brand, headed by Triple H, rewards wrestlers who are good at wrestling (what a novelty, right?). They didn’t need to be ‘sports entertainers’ as that wasn’t the market or product they were appealing to. Let’s be honest, the average viewer of NXT isn’t usually too big a fan of what RAW and Smackdown tend to do on a weekly basis and wants the in-ring product to take precedent above it all. Therefore, Dawson and Wilder took the NXT brand by absolute storm. Whether it was against random teams cobbled together on the night or their absolute classics against the likes of American Alpha and #DIY; the ‘Top Guys’ were certainly living up to their names.
And then they hit the main roster. Where you can’t just wrestle well as you may only get 5 minutes out of 4 RAW shows a month. Sure, they won a few championships. No-one can take that from WWE who clearly did put their top tag belts on the two. But many times, it was immediately after it was made incredibly clear they wanted out of the company. Not for their in ring talent, but for their moral conscience to stay.
And it just…wasn’t clicking. Both men have fantastic chemistry together so most things they did that would usually be absolutely horrific given to others turned out to be ‘just fine’ and that is a testament to how good they are. But when you turn two of the best wrestlers in the entire company into the butt of a joke about masculinity as they were ‘caught shaving each others backs’- you know it’s the end of the line. So what’s next for, now newly named, Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler? It seems pretty obvious.
On the 3rd of December, 2018; Dash Wilder tweeted ‘One day we’ll wrestle the Young Bucks & everyone will rejoice’. Despite deleting it pretty sharpish, the tweet obviously stuck around. And now, it looks like it could be happening. I mean…SURELY they’re going to AEW? All Elite Wrestling, from the outside in, seems like the holy grail for a wrestler. Getting to compete in a stacked roster, working with very little creative limitation and being able to do what you want to do, within reason.
So when the announcement came through that The Revival were released, the internet collectively started fantasy booking. And right they should. The Revival are going to absolutely kill it now that they are away from WWE. They’ll be given a platform, they’ll be given a stage; regardless of where they go. Let’s say they don’t go to AEW. They have Impact, New Japan, ROH, NWA and literally thousands of independents to go, prove their worth and remind everyone how they are one of the best tag teams in the world.
The Young Bucks feud is, insanely, more than three years in the making despite never coming into contact physically with each other and it is the perfect feud for their introduction. It could create multiple Match of the Year contenders, allow The Revival to showcase their ability as charismatic heels with character, a level of criticism that has been thrown at them previously, and just enjoy wrestling again. That’s the most important aspect of it. As long as they’re having fun in the industry again, that’s why their careers will be ‘revived’.
Top Guys…are back.
You can find me on Twitter @McIverTheMark. Thanks for reading.