Monday night was not a good night to be a part of the WWE Tag Team Champions. Kofi Kingston was stuck in a steel cage with Big Show, and while he nearly pulled off the upset over the giant, Kingston was ultimately knocked out cold from a fierce punch from Big Show. Kingston asked for the match after Big Show punched his tag team partner, R-Truth.
This is likely to go along with reports over the weekend that R-Truth was injured and that Kingston was using other partners to defend the tag titles at house shows.
As No Way Out looms on the horizon this Sunday, there's a chance that the tag titles could be held up and be given to a new team in a match on pay-per-view. However, if the decision is made to have Kingston move forward with the titles and a new partner, there are a few choices that could be made. It seems that R-Truth's punch will help disguise his rumored injury, while it isn't certain that the punch Kingston took will keep him out of action too.
Kingston hasn't had the best of luck with tag team partners in the past, so it may be best if we choose his next partner for him. Kingston was a tag team champion with Evan Bourne and held the title while Bourne served a suspension for violating the Wellness Policy. Kingston did not defend the title in that time, but the tag team division is also in much better shape now than it was back in November.
Here are five logical choices to make the new one-half of the WWE Tag Team Champions with Kofi Kingston. Perhaps one of these choices could be Kingston's new partner.
In the reports of R-Truth's injury, it was Brodus Clay who helped Kingston defend the titles at house shows over the weekend. Clay is friendly onscreen with Kingston. Kingston and Clay would be a mismatch of strengths, which is perfect for tag teams. Kingston will be the speed, while Clay will be the strength. It will also eliminate this string of matches for Clay that have little doubt of him winning.
There are a few issues with this idea. For one, Clay is banned from appearing on RAW to keep him away from Big Show. Even with Cameron and Naomi trying last night, the decision has not been reversed. If Laurinaitis is fired on Sunday night, it could be reversed, in theory.
However, it likely will stay this way for a while.
The other issue is that if Kingston has anything booked for Sunday, it will work against a busy day that Brodus Clay already has. He will already be a part of the YouTube pre-show match against David Otunga. Double booking for Clay could be possible but not probable. It would also mess with Clay's undefeated streak if Kingston loses a tag team match and Clay had no part in the actual decision.
Where has Ezekiel Jackson been?
He was great as an enforcer for The Brian Kendrick and did some of the bidding for William Regal in his Ruthless Roundtable faction. Jackson was a nice person to have in The Corre, and he would dispose of Big Show on more than one occasion. If Kingston needs defense for another Big Show attack, Jackson is a nice choice.
It also gives Jackson something to do, which is more than we can say about the rest of his 2012. From the way that Jackson's career has gone, having him rub shoulders with Kingston will actually raise his stock back up to "oh, I remember that guy" status.
Poor Tyson Kidd knows how it is to lose tag team partners.
He came into prominence in The Hart Dynasty with David Hart Smith. After Kidd broke the team up, Smith ultimately got released. Kidd recently attempted to form a team with former tag team champion Justin Gabriel. The two competed in the pre-show match at WrestleMania but were unsuccessful in obtaining tag team titles together.
Gabriel ended up getting injured, and Kidd has been all but stagnant since.
Putting Gabriel and Kingston in a team together would put two guys with similar styles on the same team. Both can fly high and are athletic enough to have great matches all the time. Also, imagine what happens when both Gabriel and R-Truth return from their injuries and the titles are still held by Kidd and Kingston.
Want a good tag team feud? How about Kidd and Kingston disband and reform with their old partners, fighting in a match with only one team leaving as the tag team champions?
Sin Cara needs something to do beyond beating up on guys in unusual lighting.
Sin Cara needs a storyline, which would be his first real direction since his feud with Hunico. A tag team with Kingston and Sin Cara would put two of the most popular high-flyers WWE has had in a number of years on the same team.
Sin Cara has virtually changed his offensive style so that he's less likely to get injured while also fitting into the confines of what WWE wants to put out there. However, Sin Cara's skills have seemingly been restrained so much that Kingston may be more of a risk-taker than Sin Cara is now.
Matching them together may expose the fact that Kofi Kingston can go over the ropes, while Sin Cara has the potential from getting injured again that way.
At the same time, it could be Sin Cara who gets the help from WWE veteran Kingston in how to continue to adapt his style. Sin Cara is too important to the growth of WWE internationally, as well as having good money invested in him. Just imagine a t-shirt idea with both of these men involved, who rank among the best merchandise sellers in the company today.
We've seen this image before, and there are Air Boom t-shirts that still need to be sold as well as an Air Boom theme that still has to be utilized more.
When Evan Bourne returns from his injury, why not get the old team back together? Air Boom was slated as the team to help the resurgence of the tag team division. Their real problem at the time was a lack of teams. There isn't that problem anymore.
The real problem is Bourne's attitude and ability. He has two strikes against him now for the Wellness Policy. One more violation and Bourne is gone from WWE for good. He needs to be very careful, and if controlling the fate of the tag team division wasn't incentive enough to fall in line before, there is little hope for now to be any different.
Hopefully, Bourne's urgency to cement his legacy with the company and not be the first man to be fired via the Wellness Policy should be the reason this team works. His first suspension went unexplained, and his second forced the title off of Kingston's shoulder. Can Kingston trust this guy again? If it means the notoriety that Kingston has craved since debuting in WWE, it is a worthy risk.