HARTFORD, Conn. — A couple of weeks ago, Daniel Bryan & Rowan became the SmackDown Tag Team Champions by defeating The Usos, who took advantage of the Wild Card Rule to vie for the titles. Consider the favor repaid: The Planet’s Tag Team Champions were one-upped by Jimmy & Jey on the WWE Money in the Bank Kickoff in a non-title match that blurred the battle lines between Raw and SmackDown LIVE.

Jimmy Uso flips out on an overwhelmed Rowan: WWE Money in the Bank 2019 Kickoff Match

The Usos turn the tide on reigning SmackDown Tag Team Champions Daniel Bryan & Rowan in the highly-anticipated WWE Money in the Bank 2019 Kickoff Match.

Fittingly for Jimmy & Jey, they started things off with jokes, dubbing Bryan & Rowan “SpongeBob & Patrick” to the delight of the WWE Universe. It had the unfortunate side effect, however, of infuriating the champions, who made sure The Usos went through hell before they got even within a hair’s breadth of sweet victory. The main aggressor in the match was Rowan, whom Bryan deployed at will to pulverize The Usos. The Beard wasn’t entirely absent from the showdown, tagging in mainly to act as a closer, but Jimmy & Jey rightly identified Rowan as their biggest problem (literally and figuratively), and took him out with stereo superkicks outside the ring. When Bryan attempted to join the fray with a suicide dive, he, too, was met with a pair of simultaneous superkicks. The Double Uce that sealed the match was all but elementary, but the implications of the victory were anything but.

True, on its face, this win doesn’t mean The Usos are heading back to the blue brand — the bout was non-title, so Bryan & Rowan are still the champs. Nonetheless, it was a solid boost for Jimmy & Jey as they weigh a challenge from The Revival, and a blow to the barely-crowned titleholders who have already raised the hackles of a potential contender. And that’s before we even get to the Wild Card Rule, which could, conceivably, give The Usos leeway to challenge for the titles in earnest. True, nothing technically changed at the end of this match, but it’s looking more and more like what Bryan & Rowan always said they wanted, though not in the way they hoped: A different world.

HARTFORD, Conn. — A couple of weeks ago, Daniel Bryan & Rowan became the SmackDown Tag Team Champions by defeating The Usos, who took advantage of the Wild Card Rule to vie for the titles. Consider the favor repaid: The Planet’s Tag Team Champions were one-upped by Jimmy & Jey on the WWE Money in the Bank Kickoff in a non-title match that blurred the battle lines between Raw and SmackDown LIVE.

Jimmy Uso flips out on an overwhelmed Rowan: WWE Money in the Bank 2019 Kickoff Match

The Usos turn the tide on reigning SmackDown Tag Team Champions Daniel Bryan & Rowan in the highly-anticipated WWE Money in the Bank 2019 Kickoff Match.

Fittingly for Jimmy & Jey, they started things off with jokes, dubbing Bryan & Rowan “SpongeBob & Patrick” to the delight of the WWE Universe. It had the unfortunate side effect, however, of infuriating the champions, who made sure The Usos went through hell before they got even within a hair’s breadth of sweet victory. The main aggressor in the match was Rowan, whom Bryan deployed at will to pulverize The Usos. The Beard wasn’t entirely absent from the showdown, tagging in mainly to act as a closer, but Jimmy & Jey rightly identified Rowan as their biggest problem (literally and figuratively), and took him out with stereo superkicks outside the ring. When Bryan attempted to join the fray with a suicide dive, he, too, was met with a pair of simultaneous superkicks. The Double Uce that sealed the match was all but elementary, but the implications of the victory were anything but.

True, on its face, this win doesn’t mean The Usos are heading back to the blue brand — the bout was non-title, so Bryan & Rowan are still the champs. Nonetheless, it was a solid boost for Jimmy & Jey as they weigh a challenge from The Revival, and a blow to the barely-crowned titleholders who have already raised the hackles of a potential contender. And that’s before we even get to the Wild Card Rule, which could, conceivably, give The Usos leeway to challenge for the titles in earnest. True, nothing technically changed at the end of this match, but it’s looking more and more like what Bryan & Rowan always said they wanted, though not in the way they hoped: A different world.