The Authors of Pain made their WWE main roster debut with great fanfare, appearing on the Monday Night Raw after WrestleMania 34 in April. However, the former NXT Tag Team Champions have barely been on television since then, having gone undefeated in a handful of matches, but not having wrestled since the May 14 episode of Main Event. While many fans speculated that AOP’s long absence was a classic case of WWE’s creative team having nothing for them, a new report suggests that these fans shouldn’t have much to worry about.
According to a report from Wrestling Inc., John Pollock reported via the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that the Authors of Pain have not appeared on television for a month for a couple of reasons, including an unspecified visa issue that affected one of the members. While that has already been sorted out, WWE is reportedly holding off on bringing them back to television, as Monday Night Raw’s current tag team storylines are focusing mainly on the B-Team (Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel) as they prepare to fight for the Raw Tag Team Championships held by Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt, and the rise of Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre as another relatively new tag team.
In relation to the Authors of Pain, WWE executive Paul “Triple H” Levesque spoke on Wednesday at a media conference call about a number of topics, including that of AOP’s manager on NXT, Paul Ellering, whom the tag team fired on their first night on the main roster. According to Triple H, he didn’t take part in the creative decision to get rid of Ellering, but told the veteran manager that he hopes to find a new role for him “when the time is right.” WrestlingNews.co also noted that Ellering is still listed on WWE’s Superstars page as an active performer.
“[Ellering] really did add something to AOP, both as characters on the show [as] he added credibility to them, but he also added something backstage,” said Triple H, as quoted by Wrestling Inc.
“I told him then, ‘I want to look for something else, I want to look for the right thing and when I have it, I’ll give you a ring. If you’re still free and available, I’d love to do it.'”
At a combined weight of more than 600 pounds, the Authors of Pain were consistently booked as a dominant tag team on WWE’s developmental brand, NXT, having held the NXT Tag Team Championships for 203 days. According to Sportskeeda, the original creative plans for AOP as main roster newcomers involved them joining the tag team Money in the Bank ladder match that was scheduled for Sunday’s event of the same name, but was ultimately scrapped.