At TLC, Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton of the new and improved Wyatt Family captured the Smackdown Tag Team Championship by defeating Heath Slater and Rhyno. They retained those belts in a rematch on Smackdown Live, and it looks like it may be some time before another team (*cough* American Alpha *cough*) comes along to knock them off their perch.
Given that Orton and Wyatt have taken to using Luke Harper as a belt rack already, there has been some speculation that the three members of the Wyatt Family might begin invoking the Freebird Rule, just as Raw Tag Team Champions The New Day have done for the better part of two years now. Sure enough, on Wednesday, WWE.com announced that now BOTH sets of tag belts will be defended using the Freebird Rule.
The Wyatt Family is evoking a rarely-used custom during their reign as SmackDown Tag Team Champions, WWE.com has learned.
While Bray Wyatt & Randy Orton captured the titles for the Family at WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs, SmackDown LIVE Commissioner Shane McMahon and General Manager Daniel Bryan have sanctioned Luke Harper as champion as well, making him eligible to defend the titles alongside Wyatt or Orton under the Freebird Rule.
Named for WWE Hall of Famers The Fabulous Freebirds, the rule stipulates that a faction that holds a championship can assign any of its members to defend the title at any given time. The reigning Raw Tag Team Champions, The New Day, have used the Freebird Rule to great success. Xavier Woods has defended the titles several times alongside either Kofi Kingston or Big E, who won them at SummerSlam 2015.
Whenever Erick Rowan gets back, he’ll be thrilled about this! So now Bray Wyatt has the best of both worlds: he finally has a WWE title, and he doesn’t even have to wrestle in order to successfully defend it! Wait, I guess that means he can lose it without wrestling, too. Crap. Well, I’m sure he has nothing to worry about. Randy Orton will probably be holding it down for the Wyatt Family forever, and he’s a real ringer when it comes to title matches. That guy’ll never let you down. Nope. No sir.