For quite some time now, people have been writing articles on the current state (or lack there of) of the Tag Team Division in the WWE right now. What state is that that I'm referring to?
WWE Tag Team Championship
We've seen some of WWE's best wear the WWE Tag Team Championships: Chris Benoit & Kurt Angle, Los Guerreros, Eddie Guerrero & Rey Mysterio, The Dudley Boyz, RVD, Road Warrior Animal, Matt Hardy, MVP, London & Kendrick...the list goes on.
However, since July of 2008, the WWE Tag Team Champions have hardly ever been on TV, and whey they were...they were usually losing and/or in singles matches.
Since July 2008, the only WWE Tag Team Champions that we've had have been Hawkins & Ryder and The Colons.
Carlito has been wrestling longer that Hawkins, Ryder and Primo combined. Ever since being drafted to SmackDown in last year's draft, he had not been on TV up until the middle of September when he debuted with his little brother.
They proceeded to beat the then tag champs Hawkins & Ryder in a non-title match. Two weeks later, they were the new WWE Tag Team Champions.
A week or two before this had happened, I wrote an article saying that basically Hawkins & Ryder weren't deserving of the titles, because they were never on TV and never defended them.
At first, I thought it was mainly on SmackDown where the tag team division was struggling.
Right now the only tag teams that are assigned to SmackDown are Hawkins & Ryder, Jesse & Festus and The Colons...that's it. Only three teams competing for one title...no wonder the competition is so weak on Friday nights.
World Tag Team Championship
The WWF/E World Tag Team Championship has been around since June of 1971. Many current WWE Hall of Famers have held the World Tag Team Championships since then.
Back in 2002, after the brand split, it was decided that the World Tag Team Championships would belong exclusively to RAW. At this point, the World Tag Team Champions were Kane & The Hurricane.
Then in 2006, WWE brought back ECW as one of their brands, but only brought back the ECW Championship, leaving out the ECW World Tag Team Championship and the ECW TV Championship (all of which were held by Rhyno when the company went under).
So at that point, there were still just two Tag Team Championships in the WWE, one on RAW and one on SmackDown. The tag team divisions were really strong for quite some time, but now...are almost forgotten.
If you thought that the competition on SmackDown for the WWE Tag Team Championship was bad, there's only TWO tag teams assigned to RAW...Cryme Time and Team Priceless.
Yet neither of those teams hold the World Tag Teams Championships...the most prestigious tag team title in the history of the business.
The Miz & John Morrison
I remember the day that Johnny Nitro first debuted in the WWE as part of MNM...I was there with my cousin in Chicago. We were arguing over who'd get the binoculars as we both were trying to scope out and check out Melina.
MNM went on to win a record three WWE Tag Team Championships in their rookie year. No other team has ever done that in WWE history, in their rookie year or in their career. Shortly thereafter, MNM split up.
Actually they got fired by then SmackDown GM Teddy Long. Next thing you know, Nitro & Melina showed up on RAW.
Nitro went on to win several Intercontinental Championships, most from Jeff Hardy. Once in a while, MNM got back together for a 'cameo appearance' at a PPV, but that was the last we'd seen of Joey Mercury.
During the 2007 Draft, Johnny Nitro was drafted to ECW. He replaced the then MIA Chris Benoit (R.I.P.) in a match against CM Punk for the vacant ECW Championship, which Nitro won. A few weeks later, Nitro was history...and out came John Morrison.
On Nov. 16, 2007, MVP told Matt Hardy that Hardy couldn't challenge him for the United States Championship because he had scheduled them a match that night for the WWE Tag Team Championships. Their opponents: the unlikely pair of John Morrison and The Miz.
After the smoke had cleared, Miz & Morrison were the new tag team champions. Many wondered how they'd work and co-exist as a tag team. I myself wondered if they'd last, or if they were just 'transitional champions' (like CM Punk's World Title run).
Well here we are over a year later, and they are the World Tag Team Champions. The only tag team that was around when they first started wrestling together that is still in a tag team, is Cryme Time. Everybody else disbanded.
Over the last few weeks we've been seeing Champion Vs. Champion matches in The Colons VS Miz & Morrison. Of course, The Colons lost every time; in fact, I can't even remember when they last won a non-title tag team match.
Two weeks ago Miz & Morrison beat (once again) The Colons to earn a date with the Bella Twins.
Next thing we know, after the date, Miz & Morrison have challenged The Colons for the WWE Tag Team Championship. If they win, they will become the Undisputed Tag Team Champions. I was surprised when I heard this.
The Miz & Morrison may soon have both of WWE's tag team titles? What's gonna happen with the rest of the tag team division?
What To Do?
Then it hit me...this IS what the WWE's doing with the tag team division. They're getting rid of, what has unfortunately become the weaker title, and unifying them to go back to the old days of just having one tag team title.
Why would they do that? Well think about it...up until the time that Miz & Morrison won the WWE Tag Team Championship...the World Tag Team titles were exclusive to RAW and the WWE Tag Team titles were exclusive to SmackDown.
Then two ECW Superstars come in and take the titles back to ECW.
Yet they're still considered a SmackDown title...how does that work? Well Miz & Morrison would float back & forth between ECW and RAW, but only defended the titles on RAW. That wasn't the same when they were WWE Tag Team Champions, they defended the titles on ECW and SmackDown.
I've already pointed out that there's only 6 tag teams in the WWE right now. Competition = Prestige. If there's no competition for a title, what good is it? Look at the Divas Championship, the title's only been around for about six months.
There was such a huge hype around the title at first. Natalya Neidhart is a third generation diva, the first ever in history. She comes from the legendary Hart family, and is a truly gifted wrestler.
It was Natlya VS Michelle McCool: Who would become the first ever WWE Divas Champion? Both divas got such a huge push heading into SummerSlam '09. Michelle won the match, and Natalya disappeared. For a while her and Victoria were losing matches to Brie Bella, I mean Nikki Bella...wait...they're twins?!
My point is that the title still doesn't carry much prestige because A) it's still new, and B) there really isn't much competition aside from Michelle McCool and Gail Kim (when she comes back).
That's what has happened to the tag team division in the WWE as of late. The titles are still prestigious, but not what they used to be.
I mean come on, whose idea was it to put CM Punk and Kofi Kingston together and give them the titles? I love Punk (not just because he's from Chicago either) and Kingston...it was just a stupid idea to put the two of them together. Their title reign lasted about six weeks, that's it.
Sure you can put two singles competitors together, and they COULD form a good tag team...but you never know what's gonna happen. Many, many tag teams have been formed that way; but the number that fail are far greater than the number that succeed.
As much as I have always loved the WWE Tag Team Championship, it's been greatly diminished over the last year and I'm glad that the WWE is finally doing something about it. It sucks that they're getting rid of it all together, but sometimes that's what you have to do.
Hey who knows, maybe they'll finally bring back the Cruiserweight Championship? I'm not holding my breath, but it's worth hoping for. Let me know what you think, is the WWE making a good move by getting rid of the WWE Tag Team Championship and just having one tag team title for all three brands?
This has been an Assassins article.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!