WWE tag team wrestling has always carried a love/hate relationship with fans. Everybody whines and cries for more tag team wrestling, but what is one of the most talked about subjects? A certain tag guy needing to break out on his own, how great a rivalry would be between two guys, if one is better than the other, etc. See the issue? Thus, it is not that difficult to see why WWE tends to go halfway with some of its tag teams and only focus on building up single wrestlers. That has led us to a troublesome 2020 tag team division.
Thanks for the topic Simon! Great choice. I don’t know if there is any way to truly sort out the entire division. However, we can take a look at the Raw and Smackdown tag ranks and go from there.
RAW Tag Team Division
The New Day – Let’s start with the current champs. If anything sums up the stale, repetitive and downright BLAH state of the tag team division in 2020, it is the fact that The New Day returned randomly on an episode of Smackdown and by the end of the episode, they had regained the titles. For the 376th time in the past few years. Ugh. No longer The New Day, they are Yester Day. Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods are cool and fun and sell a ton of merchandise, but after five years, I don’t need to see them on television with the gold anymore. Use them somewhere else on the card. Not off to a good start here. If there is one positive (power?), it is the fact that they are now on the red brand, somewhat of a fresh start for them.
The Hurt Business – Does this entry count? I don’t think of The Hurt Business as a tag team, no matter the combination.
RETRIBUTION – Read above. I think this group has bigger goals than tag gold. Time will tell though.
Andrade/Angel Garza – Fairly certain they are done.
The Viking Raiders – Both are injured. Who knows if they will come back together on RAW or Smackdown? Either way, they showed such great promise in NXT and have been hit or miss since getting the call up to the main roster. Too many wacky, unfunny, comedy skits. I’m all for showing personality and expanding an act. However, the Viking Raiders are freakin’ power houses. Stick to that. They are amazing in the ring. Show off that side and not them doing karaoke in the car.
Lucha House Party – I went to a live event last year, and the fans LOVED these guys. I have always been a little skeptical of their on screen. When I saw it in person, I got it. People were chanting along with them. People were dancing to the theme song. We did the cheers. People clapped along. It was nice. Not just kids either. All ages, all sizes, everybody was having a good time with The Lucha House Party. That was their spot on the card, and it was entertaining. Then when you saw what they could actually do inside the squared circle, boom! It helped them out even more. If it is with this new heel side or whatever, let’s get the Luchas going.
The Miz/John Morrison – One of my prime picks to move brands in the 2020 WWE Draft. They had gone through the ringer on Smackdown. It was time for a change. Now that they are on Raw, we will see what WWE has planned. So far, after one week, I am not very confident. The comedy stuff is okay for a few laughs…but these two can flip to a more serious tone in an instant. No more joking with Otis or messing with Mandy Rose. The Miz is a former WrestleMania main eventer and while I have never been a big fan of Morrison, he has plenty to show off in the ring as well. If the tag division is going to get a jump start, this is where you look towards – Miz and Morrison!
That’s it folks. As you can see, there is not a whole lot of shine on the tag team division for RAW currently. WWE also has the Womens Tag Team Titles. However, that is spread across all brands…and well, that isn’t looking too pretty either. Kind of a mess. NXT, same deal. A little rough if you ask me. Luckily, there is still Smackdown to discuss. Much better over on FOX. Let’s take a look…
Smackdown Tag Team Division
The Street Profits – I love this move over to Smackdown. Obviously the current champs. Lots of praise here. I can’t see them losing the straps for a long time. Great start at the top here.
Forgotten Sons – Are they still around? Does anybody care? I didn’t like them in NXT, and I didn’t like them after debuting on the main roster. Zero interest in them.
Bobby Roode/Dolph Ziggler – Assuming these two are sticking together, they are a solid tag team heel act. Sadly, the duo just got done losing a couple big matches in a row. Probably does not bode well for their short-term futures, already losing across the board. I continue to hope the company eventually wakes up and gives Roode another shot at being a solo star. He is GLORIOUS!
Cesaro/Shinsuke Nakamura – Mostly the same as what I just wrote about Roode and Ziggler. Solid heel tag team and can do it all inside the squared circle. As noted above, this is a team where I want to see the guys on their own, rather than clumped together. Especially if it includes them losing a bunch. Once these guys get on track, there is no team better as challengers to The Street Profits. Good job keeping them on Smackdown.
Mysterios – Rey and Dominik are a tag team, I suppose. Personally, I wouldn’t be doing this entire story line, but it feels like WWE wants them to have the big father/son moment as champions together. Fine. It works. Rey Mysterio gets another title added on to his legendary resume, while Dom keeps working his way up the card without being too exposed. Not sure they match up well against The Street Profits though. Both beloved faces right now. Something for the future though, absolutely down the road.
Usos – One is injured, while the other is challenging for the Universal Championship versus Roman Reigns. Don’t think they are teaming for awhile.
I have more confidence in the blue brand but only by a little. That is the tag team scene in WWE right now. A far cry from the heyday many moons ago. Lots to work with though. Like anything, the solution is simple – build characters, give time to shine, focus on the talent and watch the results pay off. Easier said than done admittedly. If you build it, they will come. We have seen it before. We can see it again.
By Justin Watry (Twitter: @JustinWatry)