- The Authors of Pain had a dominant run in NXT, becoming Tag Team Champions and holding the titles for 203 days.
- Their transition to the main roster was filled with ups and downs, including a short-lived partnership with Drake Maverick and a 35-day reign as RAW Tag Team Champions.
- Their departure from WWE was due to the COVID-19 pandemic and their desire to prioritize the safety and well-being of their families. They have no ill will towards the company.
Among the tales of triumph and tribulation, the narrative of the Authors of Pain stands out as a captivating enigma, filled with dominance, departures, and an unexpected resurgence. From their thunderous debut in NXT alongside Paul Ellering to a tumultuous main roster journey, the Authors of Pain left an indelible mark. Yet, their exit from WWE was shrouded in mystery, a decision influenced by unforeseen circumstances. Now, as the dust settles, a SmackDown return with Karrion Kross raises questions about what lies ahead for this formidable tag team. Now with them finally returning to WWE, it’s fitting time to unravel the chapters of the Authors of Pain’s wrestling odyssey.
The First WWE Run Of The Authors Of Pain
The AOP Became NXT Tag Team Champions
AOP WWE Accomplishments
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Winners
NXT Tag Team Champions (Held for 203 days)
RAW Tag Team Champions (35-day reign)
The Authors of Pain’s journey in WWE began in 2016 when they made their debut in NXT. Akam and Rezar, under the guidance of veteran manager Paul Ellering, quickly established themselves as a powerhouse tag team. Their sheer dominance was evident as they triumphed in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, showcasing their strength and teamwork. As they continued to rampage through the NXT tag team division, the Authors of Pain culminated their ascent by winning the NXT Tag Team Championship in 2017. Holding the titles for an impressive 203 days, they became synonymous with brute force and unwavering intensity.
The transition to the main roster in 2018 marked a significant chapter for the Authors of Pain. Breaking ties with Paul Ellering, they ventured into the main roster independently. This period saw them engage in scattered matches, experimenting with a different managerial alignment, which was a short-lived partnership with Drake Maverick. The pinnacle of their main roster run came in November 2018 when the Authors of Pain achieved a monumental feat by defeating Seth Rollins in a 2-on-1 handicap match to capture the RAW Tag Team Championships. However, their reign was short-lived, lasting only 35 days before dropping the titles.
In a surprising turn of events, 2019 brought a noteworthy storyline for the Authors of Pain. They joined forces with Seth Rollins, aligning themselves as his enforcers. This alliance added layers to their characters and showcased their versatility beyond mere brute strength. This partnership endured until early 2020, when tragedy struck as Rezar suffered an injury, forcing the team to take an involuntary hiatus. Unfortunately, their journey was momentarily derailed by injury, setting the stage for their eventual release in 2020.
Authors Of Pain & 9 Other Tag Teams That Never Lived Up To Their Potential
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The Authors Of Pain Were Okay After WWE Release
AOP Prioritized Family Amidst COVID
In an interview with Ango, the Authors of Pain delved into the circumstances surrounding their departure from WWE, shedding light on the personal and global challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Akam and Rezar revealed that their decision to step away from the wrestling spotlight was rooted in a profound desire to prioritize the safety and well-being of their families during an unprecedented and uncertain time. Akam said:
“So, basically…we departed from the company, it was nothing negative about it. It was at a time when COVID had just started, we were in a pretty big storyline at the time. What happened was, we couldn’t travel anymore. COVID was very strong, we were asked to do something, like go back, but we opted out of it. We didn’t feel comfortable doing it. At the time, that was the big thing. Nobody really knew. ‘What happened with AOP?’ Nothing, we opted out to stay with family, take care of our family, and be home close to them. There was a lot of uncertainty, all across the board. WWE officials, there was uncertainty with what they wanted to do, and as far as humans and family men, we had our own uncertainties of what we wanted to do for our families. That’s all it was, there was nothing else to it. We have no ill will towards the company. They booked us good and treated us well. Nothing negative about it.”
The AOP Returns To WWE On SmackDown
The AOP Formed A Faction With Karrion Kross
Despite their absence from the limelight, the Authors of Pain quietly remained under WWE contract after their initial release in 2020. Throughout 2022 and 2023, they were listed on the internal roster but conspicuously absent from televised events. The wrestling community speculated on their status, with fans and analysts pondering when, or if, the powerful tag team would resurface. In a surprising turn of events, in December 2023, Karrion Kross and Scarlett began teasing the formation of a new faction.
Authors of Pain Return To WWE, Join Karrion Kross’ New Faction
AOP has returned to WWE and joined Karrion Kross in a new faction. It appears to be managed by both Paul Ellering and Scarlett.
The long-awaited revelation occurred on the first SmackDown of 2024. The Authors of Pain made their impactful return, ambushing Bobby Lashley and the Street Profits. The shock factor intensified when Paul Ellering, their original manager from their NXT days, emerged alongside them. The quartet, completed by Karrion Kross and Scarlett, officially formed a new faction, instantly altering the landscape of SmackDown. The AOP are now primed and ready to realize their full potential.