WWE: Analyzing the Current Crop of Tag Teams
Kofi Kingston and R-Truth have held the WWE tag titles since winning the straps on the April 30 edition of Raw, but there’s more to the tag team division than just those two.
Well, not much more. But a handful of other teams, nonetheless.
Since Kingston and Truth won the tag titles by defeating Epico and Primo, tag team wrestling in the WWE has been dominated by those two duos and a third tandem in the Prime Time Players.
Kingston and Truth, Epico and Primo, and Titus O’Neil and Darren Young have all been hanging around the tag team title scene since back in April. On multiple occasions, it’s looked like the Prime Time Players would win the titles from Kingston and Truth, but that hasn’t happened—at least not yet.
A couple of other teams have now thrown themselves into the WWE tag title mix.
On last week’s episode of SmackDown, we saw a backstage brawl between each of the teams I’ve mentioned as well the Usos and the very talented duo of Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel.
It remains to be seen who will step up to be the next No. 1 contenders for the tag team titles, but it’s safe to say that at least one—if not multiple—teams will get a shot at the titles soon.
After all, these are basically the only five teams in the WWE’s tag team division.
After Tyler Reks abruptly and surprisingly asked for his release (and was granted it) last week, there’s no more Reks and Hawkins. That’s a shame, as I’ve always felt like those two made up a talented duo that could have been the eventual WWE tag champions down the line.
Of course, we’re now down just to five teams.
That’s actually not that bad, though, especially when you consider that at times in recent years the WWE has had maybe only two or three legitimate tag teams. Five may not be a huge number, but it’s a step in the right direction toward a formidable division.
I like the tag team champs, Truth and Kingston, separately. I’m just not sure they fit together.
Sure, they are both baby faces that are pretty over with the crowd. However, beyond that, there’s no real reason for the wacky, crazed Truth to be paired with the high-flying Kingston.
Although they’re entertaining in the ring and bring some much-needed legitimacy to the tag team division, their pairing does seem like a case of “let’s throw these two guys together” because they have nothing else to do.
That being said, I’d take the Kingston/Truth duo over the Prime Time Players any day of the week.
There was something about the PTPers that stood out when A.W. was their obnoxious manager.
Now, Young and O’Neil seem like just another duo.
They make me laugh with their “Millions o' dollars” catchphrase and their ridiculous dance, but beyond that, they don’t have much of an appeal.
Young is certainly the more talented of the duo, but he still leaves a lot to be desired in the ring. Meanwhile, O’Neil is as green as goose poop, has a knack for botching and has one of the simplest move sets in the entire WWE.
I like their long-term potential, but right now, I don’t think they’re ready to hold the WWE tag titles and become the de facto faces of the tag team division.
On the flip side, the company has three other really strong tag teams that should be building blocks of the future.
Jey and Jimmy Uso have made drastic improvements since debuting on the main roster a few years ago. They’re also twin brothers, have a natural connection and are thus a duo that makes sense.
I’ve seen these guys live a few times. They’re pretty over as baby faces, very talented and come from a rich wrestling tradition.
The Usos are undoubtedly among the most misused superstars on the WWE roster. For the most part, they’ve been the “jobbers” of sorts of the tag team division. They pick up wins here and there, but generally speaking, they rarely appear on TV and only do so to make the other teams look good.
Like the Usos, real-life cousins Epico and Primo seem to have that natural connection that most tag teams don’t, and instead spend years building up.
They have some fantastic chemistry together, and even though Epico is relatively new to the main roster, he’s showed a lot of potential and should be a tag team division mainstay for years to come. Epico and Primo should stay together long-term and become one of the building blocks of the tag team division as the WWE tries to revitalize it.
I’m just not sure why the WWE recently decided to turn these two baby face, though.
They were pretty good as heels, and now that they’re good guys, we’ve got four baby face duos (including the champs) and just one heel tag team, which is the least talented one in the division.
One of these face duos is going to have to turn heel. I just hope it’s not the Kidd/Gabriel pairing.
Although we haven’t seen much from these two together on Raw or SmackDown, all it takes is a quick YouTube search to see that this is probably the best tag team that the WWE has to offer.
Is there hope for the tag team division after all?
Kidd and Gabriel are very similar in look, size and style. Therefore, they compliment each other very well in the ring. Of course, it’s no secret that they’ve both been underutilized for years now, but are among the most agile and athletic performers in the company.
I think that in both the short and long-terms, Kidd and Gabriel should be the top tag team in the WWE and the faces of the division. After all, their high-flying style is absolutely perfect for tag team wrestling,
I really like the potential that those two have and the potential of the tag team division as a whole.
Is it perfect? Of course not.
Is it better than it was a year ago? Absolutely.
Looking at things in an optimistic way, the WWE has taken steps in the right direction by finally building up enough tag teams to at least have the resemblance of a legitimate tag team division.
Creative still has to utilize more mid and lower card workers to add another few teams to the mix, but I like what I’m seeing so far.
We’ve got four really talented teams and one up-and-coming one that could make the tag team division very fun to watch if the creative team just gives them a chance.
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!
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