In NXT, there was a tag team that was more akin to a force of nature blowing through the division on their way to the top. They were lead by an expert manager in Paul Ellering, and they were the Authors of Pain; an aptly named team who combined size, power, speed, tag team chemistry, all lead by a master tactician.
Who Are Akam & Rezar?
Akam (real name Sunny Dhinsa, from Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada) was a standout amateur wrestler, winning a gold medal in the 2009 Canada Summer Games and Silver at the 2011 Pan American Game. He was even considered an olympic prospect for the 2016 Summer Olympics, before being offered a contract by Gerald Brisco in 2014.
Rezar (real name Gzim Selmani, from Amsterdam, Netherlands) is also a standout talent being known as The Albanian Psycho in the world of MMA, holding a record of 6 wins, 2 losses, most notably fighting for Bellator. He was scouted and signed by William Regal for NXT in 2015. With their combined skillsets, size, and sheer presence, it’s no shock they took to professional wrestling so quickly.
Their Destruction Of the NXT Roster
They quickly made a name for themselves winning the Dusty Tag Team Classic, beating out TM-61 in the finals at NXT Takeover Toronto in 2016 in a match where Ellering was suspended in a shark cage above the ring to keep him from interfering,. Their wave of destruction lead them all the way towards winning the NXT Tag Team Titles from #DIY (Johnny Gargano & Tomasso Ciampa) at NXT Takeover San Antonio in dominant fashion.
They would proceed to reign for 202 Days, defeating the likes of #DIY, The Revival, & Heavy Machinery, before losing the titles to Sanity at NXT Takeover Brooklyn. Their defenses included the match which kick-started the biggest feud in recent NXT, when they defeated #DIY in a ladder match, the straw that broke the psychopaths back, causing Ciampa to turn on Gargano. Their loss to Sanity would actually be their first loss on the roster in general, not counting a DQ loss to #DIY.
Following their title loss, they fought in NXT’s first War Games match alongside Roderick Strong, unsuccessfully challenged Undisputed Eras tag team experts Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly at NXT Takeover Philadelphia for the NXT Tag Team Titles, and had another good showing in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic losing to Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly in the finals.
Floundering On Monday Night RAW
They then showed on Monday Night RAW, without manager Paul Ellering, and seemingly without direction either. They defeated Heath Slater & Rhyno as well as local talents in squash matches, vanished off TV for several months. When they returned it was more throwaway tag matches, yet somehow eventually became RAW Tag Team Champions defeating Seth Rollins in what amounted to a handicap match, which was overshadowed by an angle that saw Rollins partner, Dean Ambrose never show up to help him defend their titles.
This reign was much less impressive. They became aligned with Drake Maverick along the way, and would lose the belts in just 35 days. Their involvement with Maverick famously involved him peeing his pants during a champion vs. champion match with The Bar at Survivor Series 2018, a moment which seriously killed the teams momentum. Soon after they’d vanish from TV, when Akam went down with an undisclosed leg injury. That brings us to current day, where Akam & Rezar can be seen cutting promos on Monday Night RAW, building back up their credibilty as no-nonsense badasses.
They aren’t show-stealers, and they aren’t flashy; they’re just two absolute hosses. Lack of flash led many overlook them, but their chemistry in the ring shouldn’t be overlooked, especially when you consider their youth. Akam is only 25, and Rezar is only 26. Their whole careers are still ahead of them, and they will certainly leave a wave of destruction in their wake.