Let’s talk about tag team wrestling. If there’s one idea that a lot of fans always want to see, it’s rebuilding the tag team division. Earlier this week on “Smackdown”, the announcers mentioned that Smackdown General Manager Daniel Bryan wanted to bring Tag Team Titles to the blue show. If you’ve been watching “Smackdown” since the Draft, you should know how ridiculous of an idea this really is.
Let’s take a quick look at the current “Smackdown” tag division. Right now we have:
American Alpha – They’ve wrestled two matches on WWE TV. Two. Yes they’re known as the hottest team in the company but they’re completely unproven on the main roster. I’m sure they would be the favorites to win the new titles but then what are they supposed to do? Who are they supposed to feud against? Well that’s where we’re going next.
Ascension – Oh please. Any guesses as to when they last won a match on “Monday Night Raw” or “Smackdown”? That would be on September 10, 2015 on an episode of “Smackdown” where they beat the Lucha Dragons in 1:40. Their second most recent win on one of the big shows? February 19, 2015 on “Smackdown” when they beat Big E. and Xavier Woods in 2:52. So yeah, we’re supposed to buy a team with two wins on TV in the last fifteen months as championship contenders.
Breezango – A comedy team who was thrown together about three months ago as part of a story about forming another team. Now to be fair I rather like this pairing and they’ve turned absolutely nothing into a very decent act. I like watching Breezango and they could actually be good challengers if they beat a few teams along the way.
Hype Bros – They were losers down in NXT and haven’t actually had a match together on either of the major shows. Instead of letting them go somewhere in NXT they were thrown onto the main roster without being anything more than a glorified comedy act. They’ve beaten three of the teams on this list on “Main Event” so they’ve got a little traction going, but there’s no reason to believe they’re anything more than goofs who are in over their heads.
Usos – They’re probably the best option to give American Alpha the big rub but they haven’t been interesting in a long time and they’ve had the same matches over and over again for years. Oh yeah Jimmy Uso is out with a spine injury and while he might be back soon, that doesn’t make the team any less boring than they’ve been in recent months if not years.
Vaudevillains – Another new team with almost no reputation on the main roster yet. They’ve been out of NXT and on the top level for about four months and have won a total of two matches since April. It’s pretty clear that they were another team thrown out of the company crib about two weeks after they debuted but now we’re supposed to take them seriously.
Wyatt Family – It’s a stretch to call them a regular team as Erick Rowan is really only an enforcer for Bray Wyatt and Wyatt has had a total of two title matches on TV since he debuted on the main roster, one of which was Money in the Bank and the other in the Royal Rumble. They’ve never made any real indication of going after the Tag Team Titles but if they have to be thrown in they’ll be fine.
So to sum it up we have a team with two matches on the main roster, a team with a win/loss record that the Brooklyn Brawler would find pathetic, a heel comedy team, a face comedy team, a good but uninteresting team, a team who hasn’t been on the roster five months yet and a team with no interest in being champions.
Of those seven teams, you would have to stretch to call four of them teams that belong in a title hunt. I know the pickings are slim but it’s going to take little short of a miracle to convince me to buy Ascension or the Hype Bros as being someone I would buy in a title match, especially against someone like American Alpha when they can’t Golden Truth.
Speaking of Golden Truth, let’s take a look at the tag teams over on “Monday Night Raw”. Over there we have:
Enzo and Cass
Again let’s take a look at each team one by one.
The Club – They’re solid and likely candidates to take the Tag Team Titles off New Day at Summerslam. They have the experience, the resume and the talent to make it work so I think we can qualify them as a good if not very good team.
Dudley Boyz – These guys are little more than job guys anymore and that’s all they should be. This is of course assuming that the glare that Bubba Ray Dudley gave to his brother on this week’s episode of “Monday Night Raw” doesn’t signal the end of the team.
Enzo and Cass – They’re new and talented but it seems like Cass is much more destined for a singles run with Enzo as the big talker. For the sake of this however, we’ll put them on the good list as they don’t seem to be splitting up anytime soon.
Golden Truth – Last seen dealing with Scooby-Doo, their most recent match saw R-Truth cost Goldust the pinfall due to playing “Pokemon Go” on the apron. Much like the Dudley Boyz, this seems to be leading to a split. On top of that, they’re another comedy team with little reason to believe in their potential success.
New Day – Easily the most successful tag act in years, they’ve had the belts for almost a year now and I can’t imagine they’ll keep them more than another few months at best. After that and perhaps a rematch against whoever beats them, is there anything left for them to do? They’ve mostly outgrown the titles and seem ready to either go their separate ways or go after singles gold while still a unit. Since they have the titles now though, we’ll keep them on the list as there’s certainly no guarantee they’re breaking up soon.
Shining Stars – Remember when I said “Oh please” about Ascension? Same thing here, but in Spanish. These guys (who are very talented) are lucky to still be employed given how horrible this gimmick is. I really don’t know why they dropped the Los Matadores gimmick but now we’re seeing them as people who love Puerto Rico and that’s really the extent of their characters. They’re hardly serious contenders and have only recently won anything thanks to the powers of “Pokemon Go.”
So to sum it up, we have a good team, a team who exists to put others over, another good team, a comedy team, the champions and another comedy team. If you count the Dudley Boyz (and assume they’ll be together by the end of the month), you have another four teams, just like over on “Smackdown”.
In total, that’s eight teams worth much of anything other than comedy value. Between these eight teams, it seems that we’ll be having two sets of titles. That’s four teams per title, including the champions. I know the champions can only defend against challengers one at a time but they only have two teams waiting in the wings after that?
Even if you count every regular team currently on the roster, you have a total of thirteen teams. Back at “Survivor Series 1987” and “Survivor Series 1988”, there were tag team elimination matches where two five team teams would face off. The shorter of these two matches ran over thirty seven minutes. Can you imagine a match with Golden Truth and the Hype Bros lasting longer than the Undertaker vs. Shane McMahon at “Wrestlemania XXXII”?
The major difference is the quality of the teams. Right now WWE has a bunch of teams who just don’t have the traction. These teams are almost all brand new and audiences who haven’t watched NXT just aren’t familiar with them. If you have a bunch of newcomers as the focus of a title picture, fans aren’t going to buy the titles as anything serious. Teams like the Dudley Boyz and other successful teams can help but other than that they’re a bunch of teams trading meaningless wins.
Based on the current roster, it would be a stretch to have one set of Tag Team Titles. Since this is WWE though, the decision is to have two of them, likely for marketing reasons. They tried this before and we were rewarded with such teams as Chief Morely/Lance Storm, La Resistance, William Regal/Eugene, Lance Cade/Trevor Murdoch, Kenzo Suzuki/Renee Dupree, the Basham Brothers and Deuce n Domino. If that’s the best they can do but with a bunch of teams that are brand new to the roster or chasing Pokemon, just get rid of both sets of belts because it’s never going to get better.
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