We are now nearly two months removed from The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford) losing their SmackDown Tag Team Championships to The Dirty Dawgs (Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode) on the Jan. 8 episode of SmackDown.
In that time, the Profits have entered a storyline where Sonya Deville — who has become an unnamed authority figure since returning to WWE television a couple of months ago — is withholding their rematch for the tag team titles.
At first, Deville made this decision under the guise of protecting Montez Ford from further injury — Ford suffered a kayfabe knee injury thanks to an attack by Roode and Ziggler; this played a major role in the Profits losing the titles.
However, with Ford showing no ill effects from his scripted malady in the two tag matches the Profits have participated in since dropping the belts, the story has shifted to the Profits needing to work their way up to getting a rematch against The Dirty Dawgs, a notion that even heel color commentator Corey Graves dismissed as nonsense.
In theory, having the Profits work their way back to a title shot following a devastating injury to a member of the team would make for an entertaining story. However, there is one glaring issue with what WWE has put together here…
The Street Profits’ story exposes the lack of depth in WWE’s tag team division.
If WWE possessed a tag team division on par with, say, All Elite Wrestling or even Ring of Honor’s in the mid-2010s, this storyline would have a little more validity. After all, the rematch clause technically doesn’t exist in WWE’s canon anymore (they may have added it back without saying anything because WWE), and holding off on another Profits/Dirty Dawgs match while Roode and Ziggler build their title reign would be smart booking in that scenario.
Unfortunately, we’re not in the fantasy land that is “WWE with a competently booked product”. We live in the real world, where WWE breaks up more teams than a salary cap in a sports league, which has created an arid tag team landscape to the point where having the Profits go, at the most, two weeks without the Profits getting a rematch requires a heavy suspension of disbelief.
Seriously, who should get a title shot, in-storyline, other than the Profits? Is it Otis and Chad Gable, who already lost to the Profits — and the Dirty Dawgs before that — and were a comedy team before randomly turning heel a couple of weeks ago? Is it the Mysterios, who lose way too often and just got squished by the aforementioned former comedy team?
These are the duos that needed to get some run with the Profits forced to the sidelines? Really?
It’s not all bad, but this Street Profits story doesn’t erase the issues.
This isn’t to say this Profits’ story isn’t without merit. Waiting to book them in a rematch with Roode and Ziggler affords WWE some time to build anticipation for a showdown at Fastlane in March or WrestleMania 37 in April.
In the weeks between now and then, we could also find out that Deville froze out the Profits for a rematch to protect Ziggler and Roode’s title reign, which would line up given Deville’s past association with Ziggler during the Ziggler/Otis/Mandy storyline. Plus, this has given WWE a chance to establish a couple of teams while keeping the Profits strong without the straps.
Sadly, it’s not enough to make this viable long-term. Playing the long game with the Profits/Dirty Dawgs rematch can work, but only if there are enough credible teams to keep that interim period fresh, and as we’ve seen many times and in this story, WWE falls well short of that standard.