Have you ever asked yourself who the WWE Tag Team Champions are? I know it has taken me some time to remember at times too. Let's face it, Primo & Epico are about the all-time low for the tag team division even though they are a fairly competent duo.
The problem is that they and their entire division are treated like dirt. Weeks go sometimes where they are not even mentioned on WWE programming. That is a bad sign.
Honestly, the WWE tag team division has not been in a great spot for years. Over the past three years, the titles have slowly lost much of their luster. They were given to makeshift teams then to the only teams available. Now, they are being held by a team that WWE doesn't even care to promote anymore.
Gone are the times where people are talking for weeks on end about a tag team match. Gone are the times when the teams can even get hyped matches on pay-per-views. It's all gone.
Now, this downturn doesn't mean that there cannot be a renewal. It is always possible to come back from failure if you invest time and creative insight. With WWE's tag division, there are several ways to help the division, and I want to first outline a few ideas.
Boosting the Number of Contenders
This is an absolute necessity in any situation with the division. While the Usos exist as a viable option as a tag team, few others exist. Justin Gabriel and Tyson Kidd, who challenged together for the belts at WrestleMania, will be solid once Gabriel returns from injury.
Don't discount the newer NXT pairing that will soon be coming to SmackDown in Darren Young and Titus O'Neil who are passable as entertainers and wrestlers but should also add depth to the roster. I'm not certain how soon they will be going to SmackDown, but they will be on the brand soon.
Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks may be an option if circumstances on NXT develop to bring them back as they are currently kayfabe fired. Other than these three, the options are sparse even though the roster is loaded with stars.
Now I know that there are not a whole lot of tag teams in WWE right now, but that can be remedied. This would not be by pairing random midcarders and upper midcarders together as WWE.com put it in a recent article. What WWE really needs is to look at their whole roster and find the stars that need direction.
Alex Riley, JTG, Mason Ryan, Michael McGillicutty, Hunico, Ezekiel Jackson, Jinder Mahal, Johnny Curtis, Ted DiBiase (injured), Trent Barreta, Heath Slater and Yoshi Tatsu all are largely being wasted or lack any direction at all if not for work on NXT.
Other bigger names that could be used include Sin Cara (injured), Brodus Clay, Great Khali, Jack Swagger, David Otunga, R-Truth, Kofi Kingston and even Dolph Ziggler.
Now, the bigger stars would be mainly to help credibility as it would be preferable if Ziggler, Kofi and Truth at least moved on to bigger competition if possible. Even so, from these groups, many potential tag teams emerge.
Ziggler/Swagger: a team that has been inconsistently a team on and off could make for a credibility boost certainly to the division for a time if Ziggler has no other direction.
Truth/Kingston: another sporadic team that sort of faded out lately but could inject some fire into the division.
Hunico/Camacho: Camacho is not someone I originally named above because he has a managerial role. However, he and Hunico could easily become a team with Hunico lacking any direction.
Otunga/McGillicutty: former tag team champions, though not well received. Both have improved quite a bit since that time. Otunga could bring McGillicutty into the inner circle of Laurinaitis making for a dangerous storyline team.
Many other options exist, and they could be used to create viable groups if built well getting many lacking air time some room to develop. You can name some pairings that you would like to see in the comment section if you want.
Tag Team Tournament
They can then use already made tag teams coupled with these newly created tag teams to form a tournament. This tournament would be a number one contender tournament where the winner would get a match against the champions at a future pay-per-view.
Eight tag teams competing in seven total matches on Raw and SmackDown will easily build up tag team wrestling. Seeing stars fight full force for their one chance at success will instantly add some needed emotion to the division.
After its all said and done, several of the teams in the tournament can use their momentum in the tournament to begin developing as complete teams while the tag team champions get a real challenge regardless of the winner, who would hopefully be a team that will stay with the division for several months at the very least.
Give the Titles to Main Eventers
Now, I'm not a huge fan of this idea, but it has worked before. With Primo and Epico seemingly off the show almost entirely, have them come on one time as challengers to two rival main event or upper mid-card wrestlers.
With the titles on the line, the challengers can win and carry around the belts for a few months. They can then promptly drop them to a worthy team that has built up to beat them.
It is not ideal in the short run as it might hamper the titles' progression and the overall flow of the division, but if stars like CM Punk, Chris Jericho, Randy Orton and maybe even John Cena held the belts for a little while, they should come out as more visible.
The Open Challenge
A simple concept that might be exactly what the tag team champions need to make themselves look credible. Primo could come out one week with his partner and simply say that the two can beat anyone and lay out an open challenge.
New tag teams can come up and challenge the champions, losing at first. Then when one team finally pulls out the victory, it will be a big deal, launching a feud between the two teams.
This would introduce a bunch of new teams to the fans while solidifying Primo and Epico as the champions. This is an absolute win-win for everyone as long as WWE is willing to give it time on the show.
This is simple. The best way for two young stars to get over is to go out there and show what they've got in the ring. Both Primo and Epico are fine in the ring, though they are not really allowed to show all they can do with about three minutes a week to wrestle.
What if the champions were to start defending with wild stipulations attached? Tables match, ladder matches, no holds barred matches, etc. That would also add to the excitement certainly, but really what the division needs to simply to be given real TV time.
Ten minutes a week devoted to tag team wrestling, whether it is building a team or the champions. Ten minutes to wrestle on Raw/SmackDown each week along with their normal time on NXT/Superstars.
With that, it will be made clear who the champions are and where their contenders sit. More importantly, it will make the division something to watch again.
In the end it won't matter if my ideas actually come to the surface. What matters is that the tag team division needs a change now. Primo and Epico are paper champions at the moment, and they have literally no one stepping up to challenge them.
WWE must reevaluate where they are headed with all tag team wrestling right now before it dies. Honestly, that might be the end at this point, for the entire division known for tag team wrestling to die out, but that wouldn't really be fair to the young wrestlers.
Tag team wrestling has been an essential piece of wrestling as a whole for decades. Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Edge, Christian, Jeff Hardy—the list goes on and on. Every single one of those stars owes tag team wrestling. It was where they developed and grew as competitors.
Right now is the time to get back to those roots. No more ignoring champions and throwing around the title on whoever inches their way up to bat. The division needs to change now.
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