Is WWE building a tag team renaissance?
For years, fans have been clamoring for WWE to build a tag team division worth discussion. The state of tag teams over the past decade has been abysmal at best, with the last really great tag team feuds ending with MNM, London & Kendrick, and The Hardy Boyz back in 2006.
Since then, it's been mostly a barren landscape, with the Tag Team titles being tossed around from team to team, usually comprised of two superstars that just don't have anything better to do.
There have been some exceptions here and there, such as The Hart Dynasty (which never really rose to the greatness we all had hoped. However, since 2010, it's all been teams with little to no reason to be together.
Until most recently, WWE had treated the tag division very much like an afterthought. However, we have a new crop of teams and trios, and little by little, we are seeing the foundation being laid for a (hopefully) strong division for years to come.
Let's take a look and break it down.
Currently the WWE Tag Team Champions, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns have been consistently dominant since they broke onto the scene. Flanked by fellow member (and US Champ) Dean Ambrose, Rollins & Reigns worked an incredible program with Kane & Daniel Bryan, leading to a title victory in May.
Even before their title match at Extreme Rules, The Shield has dominated. Never wavering, they've had top match after top match, and proved that with their solid teamwork, nothing can stop The Shield.
The Uso Brothers
The Usos have long been a favorite of mine. They have a great personality that connects with the fans, and the two brothers have great teamwork, not to mention they're excellent workers. I felt that they had great chemistry facing against The Shield, and their match during the Money in the Bank preshow really should have been on the main show, as it was one of the best matches of the night.
Jimmy Uso's claim to fame right now is his involvement in WWE's reality show Total Divas, but long term I see them finding a run with the Tag Titles. They have the kind of act that can get over with a young audience, and they can work well enough to keep even the most die-hard wrestling fan entertained. If WWE is serious about this team, this team can make them money long-term.
The Real Americans
I will admit I was extremely skeptical when WWE paired Antonio Cesaro with Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger. The gimmick just didn't seem to fit, and it made little to no sense. Why would they pair someone that is obviously from another country with a character that is so politically minded and anti-foreign?
Logic and poor explanations aside, the team is working wonderfully. Both Swagger and Cesaro can go in the ring, and having a credible manager like Colter has helped both of them hide their weakness - cutting a promo. Right now these two are jobbing out to the likes of the Primetime Players (more on them next), but if WWE keeps the course, they can build a credible feud with this team and just about any other team in WWE.
The Primetime Players
I've always been a fan of the Primetime Players. From their "Millions of Dollas" dance to Titus O'Neil's "Pancake" Patterson impression, the duo has embraced being goofballs while showing fire and intensity when necessary. Now, I'll admit I was very harsh on Titus O'Neil when he was on NXT, but he has grown and learned, and become a valuable member of the roster.
My only knock against them is their sudden face turn resulting from Darren Young's coming out. It's such a minor non-issue I really shouldn't be bothered by it, but I always appreciate the attention to details, and I would've liked to have seen the team make a save that would solidify them as faces. Regardless, I'm enjoying their TV time and feud with The Real Americans, and hope to see them move on to challenge The Shield in the coming months.
The Wyatt Family
I suspect this will really end up breaking down into Erick Rowan and Luke Harper, and we will see Bray Wyatt mostly be the one in singles matches. That's perfectly fine by me. These two big men will be just fine.
I don't know much about Rowan, but Harper has quite the indy background, wrestling on the indy circuit for years under the name Brodie Lee. Lee can work a powerful big-man style, and what little I've seen of Rowan, he should be just fine. I expect this trio to stay far away from The Shield for some time (be patient, folks). I don't think we will see them making a push for tag gold any time soon, either. Perhaps in 2014, we will see The Wyatt Family hold the gold, but for now, just enjoy the stories.
Three Man Band (3MB)
Here's your job squad. There always has to be one. Sad it's these guys, because there is value in the team. Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal, and Drew McIntryre have all had mixed success over the years as singles competitors, but as a hilarious trio, they've been nothing but ridiculous.
I'll give them credit - they've gone all in with the gimmick and own it. However, if you expect this trio will be winning any matches any time soon, you're sadly mistaken. They will have value in the division though, serving as both a means to get other teams over, as well as individual stars in singles competition.
Tons of Funk
I nearly forgot about Brodus Clay and Sweet T. That's how much I'm paying attention to this team. However, they are a team and I would be a horrible journalist if I didn't at least mention them.
Right now, these two are in the same category as 3MB, except they have some credibility and win occasionally. That being said, they are both in desperate need of repackaging, and I think a gimmick change would benefit them both. But, fans like to dance, apparently, and dance these two big men shall.
Well, they haven't debuted yet, but the repackaging of Primo and Epico could be a sign that WWE is taking them seriously. Then again, it could be the kiss of death.
Primo and Epico haven't been on TV in months. They're an extremely valuable team and excellent workers that know how to get the fans on their side. When they were teamed with Rosa Mendes, they were a lot of fun (and Rosa is certainly easy to look at). Rumor has it they will no longer be teamed with the lovely Rosa, and will be taking a different path going forward, possibly with different names.
I'll reserve judgment on these two until they re-debut. In the meantime, I'll go with what I know - these guys can tear up the tag division and are worthy of holding the Titles again.
The main roster has more tag teams than I can remember having in years, and each one has its' place. There's a crop of new talent in NXT waiting to come up, and debuting as a tag team could be an excellent way to bring up unproven wrestlers. But, to me, the future is bright, and fans of tag team wrestling have something to look forward to.
Remember folks, you cannot debut ten teams at once - it takes time and effort, and you have to bring them in bit by bit, otherwise half will get lost in the shuffle and we won't know anything about the rest. WWE is holding the course and creating a division, bit by bit, that could bring back the glory days of tag teams again. Remember the great matches Edge & Christian, The Hardys, and The Dudley Boys had? How about The British Bulldogs, Demolition, and The Hart Foundation? Those days just might be around the corner.