Sanity debuted on SmackDown Live Tuesday night, and while the segment may have felt like a dud with limited crowd reaction, the way the segment was structured actually shows that WWE has big plans for the group.
If you’re not an NXT watcher, Sanity is a trio comprised of Eric Young, Alexander Wolfe and Killian Dain. Wolfe and Dain are former NXT Tag Team Champions.
The crowd wasn’t electric for Sanity’s debut, but they were paired with one of the top tag teams on the SmackDown brand, the Usos. The segment started with Jimmy and Jey calling out “the new team” on the roster. Sanity came to the ring with a full ring entrance and music, and then attacked the Usos, leaving them laying after a beatdown.
First, WWE sees enough in Sanity to pair them with the Usos. That alone is a pretty good statement for the group as it rises to the main roster for the first time. Second, they had Sanity go over the Usos in a big way, while at the same time not making the Usos take a clean pin or submission.
It was actually really smart booking.
Now Sanity can wrestle the next few weeks on SmackDown against (hopefully) some jobber teams in an effort to establish themselves and their moveset to the main-roster crowd, similar to the way that SmackDown built the Bludgeon Brothers after they were re-paired up following the Wyatt Family.
There could be some political minefields for Sanity to navigate, but there doesn’t appear to be as much of that on SmackDown. The Authors of Pain, who were also called up to Raw during the Superstar Shakeup (that’s when Sanity was actually called up … in April), haven’t been used on Raw in more than a month. It seems here the creative team was more disciplined, and didn’t begin using Sanity on WWE TV until there was something for them to do.