Authors of Pain
Akam (left) and Rezar (right) with Paul Ellering (back, on ring apron) in April 2018
Tag team
MembersAkam / Sunny Dhinsa
Rezar / Gzim Selmani
Paul Ellering (manager)
Authors of Pain
Legion of Pain
Billed heightsAkam: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Rezar: 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
billed weight
620 lb (280 kg)
Akam (290 lb), Rezar (330 lb)
DebutJune 8, 2016
Years active2016–2020

The Authors of Pain (AOP) are a professional wrestling tag team consisting of Akam and Rezar, with Paul Ellering as their manager. They are currently signed to WWE, where they perform on the NXT and Raw brands as members of The Final Testament stable. In WWE, they are former one-time Raw Tag Team Champions and one-time NXT Tag Team Champions.

Akam and Rezar first teamed up in June 2016, paired with manager Paul Ellering in WWE's then developmental league NXT. They won the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic in 2016, leading to them winning the NXT Tag Team Championship. In April 2018, Akam and Rezar were promoted to the Raw brand, with Drake Maverick taking over as their manager and the team's name officially shortened to AOP. AOP took a hiatus in early 2019 and returned later that year, but without Maverick as their manager and later becoming enforcers to Seth Rollins. They were released in September 2020. They re-signed with WWE in 2023, and made their televised return in January 2024, once again aligning themselves with Ellering, as well as with Karrion Kross and Scarlett starting a stable as The Final Testament.


WWE (2016–2020)

NXT Tag Team Champions (2016–2018)

The team of Sunny Dhinsa and Gzim Selmani made their televised NXT debut as heels on June 8, 2016 at NXT TakeOver: The End, attacking American Alpha (Jason Jordan and Chad Gable) after they had lost the NXT Tag Team Championship to The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder). Paul Ellering appeared on the ramp following the assault, signalling his association with the two.[1]

The Authors of Pain, accompanied by Paul Ellering, as NXT Tag Team Champions in February 2017

On June 15 episode of NXT, Dhinsa and Selmani, now going by the ring names of Akam and Rezar respectively, and the team officially named the Authors of Pain won their first televised match and were accompanied by Ellering.[2] On November 19, the duo won the 2016 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, defeating TM-61 in the tournament final at NXT TakeOver: Toronto. On the January 11, 2017 episode of NXT, they assaulted #DIY (Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa) after they retained the NXT Tag Team Championship against The Revival.[3] At NXT TakeOver: San Antonio, they won the NXT Tag Team Championship by defeating #DIY.[4] On the March 1 episode of NXT, The Authors of Pain defended their titles against #DIY in a rematch, which ended in a no contest after The Revival interfered and attacked both teams. They retained the titles at NXT TakeOver: Orlando by both defeating #DIY and The Revival in a triple threat elimination match after eliminating both teams.[5] At NXT TakeOver: Chicago, the duo participated in the first-ever ladder match for the NXT Tag Team Championship against #DIY, which they won.[6]

On the July 26 episode of NXT, the two were set to compete, but their opponents were attacked by SAnitY before the match began. They then brawled with Alexander Wolfe and Killian Dain, disposing of the two before a staredown.[7] Two weeks later, SAnitY called out The Authors of Pain, who were attacked by Eric Young as they made their way down the ramp. Young zip-tied Rezar to the barricade, allowing SAnitY to beat down Akam. Rezar eventually made his way to the ring, but was ultimately attacked as well.[8] At NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III, The Authors of Pain lost the NXT Tag Team Championship to SAnitY, who were represented by Wolfe and Young after the latter replaced Killian Dain mid-match, marking their first loss in NXT.[9] At NXT TakeOver: WarGames, the Authors of Pain turned face as they teamed with Roderick Strong in a WarGames match against SAnitY and The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Kyle O'Reilly, and Bobby Fish), who won the match. At NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia, The Authors of Pain unsuccessfully challenged The Undisputed Era for the NXT Tag Team Championship. In what was their last match in NXT, they again challenged The Undisputed Era for the NXT Tag Team Championship in a triple threat match also involving the team of Strong and WWE United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne at NXT TakeOver: New Orleans, where they failed to win after Strong turned on Dunne and joined The Undisputed Era, allowing them to retain the titles.

Raw Tag Team Champions (2018–2019)

On the April 9 episode of Raw, The Authors of Pain, along with Paul Ellering, made their main roster debut as heels, defeating Heath Slater and Rhyno.[10] After the match, Akam and Rezar ended their partnership with Ellering by pushing him away and leaving him ringside as they returned backstage.[11] The Authors of Pain entered a brief feud with Titus Worldwide (Titus O'Neil and Apollo Crews), defeating them on the August 20 episode of Raw to end their feud.[12] On the September 3 episode of Raw, The Authors of Pain, now under the shortened name of AOP, were accompanied to the ring by Drake Maverick, who announced himself as their new manager.[13]

On the November 5 episode of Raw, AOP defeated Seth Rollins in a handicap match to win the Raw Tag Team Championship.[14][15] At Survivor Series, they defeated SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Bar in an interbrand match.[16][17] The following night on Raw, AOP suffered an upset loss to the team of Bobby Roode and Chad Gable, marking their first loss on the main roster.[18] On the December 10 episode of Raw, they lost their tag titles to Roode and Gable in a three-on-two handicap match that also involved their manager Maverick, ending their reign at 35 days.[19] After this, the team went on hiatus due to Akam having knee surgery in January 2019.[20] Maverick would subsequently go in his own direction, maintaining his duties as the 205 Live General Manager and then chasing after the 24/7 Championship introduced in May.[21] AOP returned during the 51-Man Battle Royal at Super ShowDown on June 7, but they were both eliminated during the match.[22]

On the September 16 episode of Raw, AOP, without Maverick, returned in a vignette, where they called out the tag team division for being soft and weak and announced their intentions of returning.[23] The following week, they would attack Heath Slater and No Way Jose backstage.[24] During the 2019 WWE draft, AOP went undrafted, becoming free agents and able to choose which brand to sign with, however, three days after the draft's conclusion, AOP signed with Raw to remain on the brand.[25]

Seth Rollins' enforcers (2019–2020)

After they made their in-ring return on the November 25 episode of Raw, they allied with Seth Rollins and later, Buddy Murphy.[26][27][28] However, they had their last appearance on the March 9 episode of Raw,[29][30] since on March 10, Rezar suffered a biceps injury, therefore putting the team on hiatus,[31] And on September 4, both Akam and Rezar were released from their WWE contracts.[32][33]

Independent circuit (2022)

In May 2022, Sunny Dhinsa and Gzim Selmani, now known as "Legion of Pain", announced the launch of their professional wrestling promotion, Wrestling Entertainment Series (WES). The promotion's first event was booked for June, but it delayed until July until it was cancelled. The promotion stated that several wrestlers wouldn't appear as the reason.[34] Nia Jax and Aiden English, who were booked to appear on the show, criticized the promotion.[35]

Return to WWE (2023–present)

Main article: The Final Testament

According to a report from Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful on August 30, 2023, AOP had been re-signed with the WWE in 2022 prior to the return of Vince McMahon as chairman in January 2023 and they were in the internal travel list as of May.[36][37] They returned as part of a stable, The Final Testament, along with Karrion Kross,[38] appearing on SmackDown: New Year's Revolution, attacking The Pride (Bobby Lashley and The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford)).[39][40] The two stables wrestled at Night 2 of WrestleMania XL, where The Final Testament lost in a Philadelphia Street Fight.[41] AOP also wrestled on NXT, facing Axiom and Nathan Frazer for the NXT Tag Team Championship at Week 2 of Spring Breakin', where they lost.[42]

Other media

Akam and Rezar made their video game debut as playable characters with Paul Ellering appearing as their manager in WWE 2K18, they also appear as playable characters in WWE 2K19, WWE 2K20 and WWE 2K Battlegrounds.

Championship and accomplishments


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  3. ^ Fiorvanti, Tim (November 19, 2016). "NXT Takeover Toronto: Match recaps and ratings". Retrieved August 20, 2017.
  4. ^ Powell, Jason. "1/28 Powell's NXT Takeover: San Antonio Live Review – Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Bobby Roode for the NXT Title, DIY vs. Authors of Pain for the NXT Tag Titles, Asuka vs. Nikki Cross vs. Billie Kay vs. Peyton Royce for the NXT Women's Title". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved January 28, 2017.
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  9. ^ Winter, Arya (August 19, 2017). "NXT TakeOver Brooklyn III live results: Bobby Roode vs. Drew McIntyre". Wrestling Observer/Figure Four Online. Retrieved August 20, 2017.
  10. ^ Benigno, Anthony. "The Authors of Pain def. Heath Slater & Rhyno". Retrieved April 9, 2018.
  11. ^ Keller, Wade (April 9, 2018). "Keller's WWE Raw report 4/9: The Day After WrestleMania 34 Edition with Reigns-Lesnar and Rousey fallout". Pro Wrestling Torch. Archived from the original on April 10, 2018. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
  12. ^ Powell, Jason (August 20, 2018). "8/20 Powell's WWE Raw Live TV Review: The night after WWE SummerSlam, new champions Roman Reigns and Ronda Rousey, Triple H appearance, Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  13. ^ "AOP def. Keith Thompson & Jimmy James". Retrieved September 3, 2018.
  14. ^ Powell, Jason. "11/05 Powell's WWE Raw Live TV Review: Survivor Series developments, Raw Tag Title match, Riott Squad vs. Sasha Banks, Bayley, and Natalya, Dolph Ziggler vs. Elias, Nia Jax vs. Ember Moon, Bobby Lashley vs. Finn Balor". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
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  19. ^ Powell, Jason. "12/10 Powell's WWE Raw Live TV Review: Seth Rollins on Dean Ambrose and the state of Raw, Alexa Bliss hosts a Ronda Rousey and Nia Jax press conference, final hype for WWE TLC". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
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  22. ^ P., Leon (June 8, 2019). "There Were Actually 51 Competitors in the Super ShowDown Battle Royal, Complete List". PWInsider. Retrieved June 12, 2019.
  23. ^ Powell, Jason (September 16, 2019). "9/16 WWE Raw Results: Powell's review of Chad Gable vs. Baron Corbin in King of the Ring tournament finals, the Street Profits hosting a gender reveal party for Maria Kanellis's baby, the begin of the Hell in a Cell build". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
  24. ^ Powell, Jason (September 23, 2019). "9/23 WWE Raw Results: Powell's review of AJ Styles vs. Ricochet vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Robert Roode in a five-way for a shot at the WWE Universal Championship, Sasha Banks vs. Nikki Cross, Chad Gable vs. Baron Corbin in a rematch of the KOTR final". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved September 24, 2019.
  25. ^ "Breaking news regarding WWE Crown Jewel, free agency and the Intercontinental Title: WWE Now". WWE. October 17, 2019. Retrieved October 17, 2019.
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  27. ^ Powell, Jason (December 9, 2019). "12/09 WWE Raw Results: Powell's review of Rey Mysterio vs. AJ Styles for the U.S. Championship, Rusev and Lana divorce, the brand's final push for the WWE TLC pay-per-view". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
  28. ^ Powell, Jason. "01/13 WWE Raw Results: Powell's review of Seth Rollins and AOP vs. Big Show, Samoa Joe, and Kevin Owens in a fistfight, Randy Orton vs. AJ Styles vs. Drew McIntyre, Aleister Black vs. Buddy Murphy, and Rusev vs. Bobby Lashley, Brock Lesnar latest appearance". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved January 13, 2020.
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  34. ^ "Wrestling Entertainment Series cancela su primer evento en Reino Unido". 6 July 2022.
  35. ^ "Nia Jax desmiente su participación en el primer show de WES". 5 July 2022.
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  37. ^ "Two former champions may have secretly re-signed with WWE two years after release - Reports". 31 August 2023.
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