American Alpha wins SmackDown tag team championships

American Alpha closed out 2016 by becoming SmackDown tag team champions during the SmackDown "Wild Card Finals." Courtesy of WWE

The WWE has been rife with title changes over the past two months, and Tuesday brought another one on SmackDown Live as American Alpha won a 4-Way elimination match to take the SmackDown tag team championships.

On a show dubbed the "Wild Card Finals," Chad Gable and Jason Jordan certainly played the role by outlasting three other tag teams and defeating SmackDown tag team champions The Wyatt Family to win their first main roster titles.

This match only came about because of a devastating knee injury to Zack Ryder, who had earned a shot for himself and Mojo Rawley by winning a battle royal. Ryder's injury will sideline him for several months.

American Alpha unseated The Wyatt Family, who held the SmackDown tag team championships for only 23 days after defeating Heath Slater & Rhyno at the TLC pay-per-view earlier in this month. Utilizing the "Freebird Rule," any combination of two out of the three members of The Wyatt Family could defend the championships -- and in this match, it was Randy Orton and Luke Harper.

The other two teams in the match were former champions Slater & Rhyno and The Usos.

American Alpha combined to win the NXT tag team championships in April. Gable, 30, is a former Olympic wrestler, and Jordan, 28, had a prolific amateur wrestling career at Indiana University. They made their SmackDown Live debuts on Aug. 2, after getting selected in the WWE brand separation draft on July 19.

Gable and Jordan are the third team to hold these tag team titles, winning them just 100 days after they were first awarded at the WWE Backlash pay-per-view.