Big Cass and Enzo Amore aren’t the only babyface tag team splitting up soon. It should be obvious to anyone that watches Smackdown Live that the plan is to split up Zack Ryder and Mojo Rawley. That was actualy the plan for the last few months with the idea being that Ryder would be the one to turn heel on Rawley. The story they will tell is that Rawley has had success as a singles wrestler (he won the Andre The Giant Memorial battle royal) but Ryder wanted to hang on as Rawley’s tag team partner. The jealousy will get the best of Ryder and he’ll turn on him.
On a January episode of Talking Smack, Rawley indicated that he would be changing his character a little as he would be doing less comedy and less dancing while focusing on a singles career. On the June 13th episode of Talking Smack they started dropping hints that a split was coming. Rawley responded to JBL asking him if he really wanted to continue as a tag team wrestler before Ryder interrupted and insisted that they were not done as a team.
After Smackdown, Rawley took to Instagram to reference his elimination of Ryder from the Independence Day Battle Royal and said that he only did what Ryder would have eventually done. It sounds like a heelish move but WWE’s plan is for Rawley to be the babyface in his feud with Ryder.
Ryder recently returned after a long absence because of a knee injury suffered back in December on an episode of Smackdown Live. He’s always been a guy that was more (with the fans) than his push so it will be interesting to see if the company has faith in him as heel. The 32-year old former Intercontinental Champion has many good years ahead of him so perhaps, this will be his first legitimate opportunity to break out as a top singles heel. Smackdown Live is known as the brand that gives out opportunities to lower card wrestlers so this could be his chance to shine.
Mojo Rawley is liked by management and the feeling is that they can make a lot of money with him through merchandise and he is great when he does media appearances so an upper mid card singles push looks to be in his immediate future.
The split of The Hype Bros. comes on the heels of the break-up of two of WWE’s most beloved teams. #DIY (Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano) split up at NXT Takeover: Chicago in April. Unfortunately, they won’t be able to follow up on that angle right away because Ciampa is sidelined with a torn ACL injury until 2018.
Enzo Amore and Big Cass split up a couple of weeks ago when Cass turned heel on his former best friend. That was expected because the idea for Cass was for him to eventually break out as a top singles star. Also, it looks like American Alpha are going their separate ways. Chad Gable wrestled a singles match against AJ Styles on this week’s episode of Smackdown Live and Jason Jordan was one of the participants in the Independence Day battle royal.
The WWE Battleground pay-per-view takes place on 7/23 so if they plan to book Ryder vs. Rawley on that show then they still have two more episodes of Smackdown left before they have to do the big split angle.