For a few years now, fans have pointed toward the decline of WWE's tag team division.
Things have picked up at last in recent months. Title reigns are longer, legitimate tag teams are forming (as opposed to random pairs of superstars with little in common) and bigger names are getting involved in the division.
Current tag teams include Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow, Primo and Epico, the Prime Time Players, R-Truth and Kofi Kingston, Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara and tag team champions Team Hell No.
I suspect the next major feud over the titles will involve the champions doing battle with Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio. I also think it will be the final step in making the tag team division a genuinely exciting part of WWE's roster.
There may be a pay-per-view or two before this comes to pass, but come to pass it will.
Lets look at why.
At one point, the Prime Time Players seemed a lock to win the titles. WWE was grooming them as the next guys who would carry the belt for several months.
However, with the loss of their manager Abraham Washington and the controversial reasons for his departure, times have changed for the Players.
Unfortunately for PTP, their decline came just as the "Anger Management" angle took the WWE Universe by storm. Daniel Bryan and Kane became one of the most compelling elements of Raw and SmackDown. It also coincided with Rey Mysterio's return to WWE, and suddenly WWE needed to find a use for one of its best-known tag-team wrestlers.
With Kane and Daniel Bryan holding the titles, I can't see The Prime Time Players winning them. They are booked strongly but not that strongly.
The Players might get a few matches against Team Hell No, while WWE furthers the "Anger Management" angle and give Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio time to gel. But their role would be comparable to Awesome Truth's at Survivor Series 2011 when they were involved in a match that was about The Rock and John Cena's rivalry. Awesome Truth were simply used as props.
If PTP goes up against Team Hell No, the match will be 100 percent about Daniel Bryan and Kane.
Kane is one of WWE's longest tenured stars, and the longest tenured full-time guy still on the roster other than Mark Henry, who is currently injured.
Daniel Bryan is the hottest thing to come out of indy wrestling in the last decade, popular with fans who normally prefer "pure" wrestling. Combined with Kane being an example of WWE's more sensationalised, cartoony characters, this forms a team appealing to all wrestling fans.
Both men have significant experience with the World Heavyweight Championship, tag team titles and have briefly held the top prize in the business, the WWE Championship.
The most high-profile feud Kane has had in his lengthy career is with The Undertaker. For Daniel Bryan, it was probably his recent feud with CM Punk that fans remember. When those are the kind of guys you consider major competition, you're definitely a high-level wrestler.
Their only problem? They need someone of an equally high level to feud with.
Rey Mysterio has had success in the world and tag team title scenes similar to that of Bryan and Kane. I would say he is the only man in the tag team division really on the level to challenge them.
Sin Cara has experienced vast success in Mexico, comparable to that of Daniel Bryan in Ring of Honor. He is quite possibly the larger star of the two, in terms of the tickets he has sold and TV ratings he has brought in. Within WWE, he has not achieved as much as Bryan, Kane and Mysterio, but he has still been booked strongly with a long winning streak.
WWE is normally shy to acknowledge the achievements of its wrestlers in rival American promotions TNA and Ring of Honor, but it has not been as shy about Sin Cara's history, making it clear to the WWE Universe that he is a wrestler to be taken seriously.
Both men appeal to the lucrative Mexican (and on a wider level, Latino) audience, which always helps.
Despite what that last slide said, Sin Cara is not the "new Rey Mysterio" many fans believe WWE wants to turn him into. He needs to carry some gold, and he clearly was not achieving it in singles competition.
With the help of the veteran Mysterio, who crucially can act as a mouthpiece for the team with his superior English speaking skills, WWE can turn Sin Cara into a star.
Mysterio is still fairly fresh back in WWE after a lengthy period of time off. WWE needs to re-establish the man as a major contender, and after putting over The Miz at SummerSlam, that is more true now than ever.
Interest in WWE has increased recently, and some new fans might not be aware of Mysterio's wrestling career, especially given the lengthy ring hiatus he just took.
The ongoing "Anger Management" angle has resulted in a rather strained partnership between Kane and Daniel Bryan. I feel sure such an unstable team cannot last long, especially with both men being heels currently, and Kane's history of "odd couple" tag teams never lasting long.
When their angle together either draws to a close or sees them feuding again, the tag team titles will need to go to someone and that time will be soon.
They can carry the feeble tag team division because their own angle with each other is entertaining to fans, but the division will need someone to carry it in the long term.
This new angle stops WWE from milking the current champions as they so often do (see Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio).
It is no big secret that WWE is plotting a showdown between the two masked superstars at WrestleMania 29. That is when the Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara angle will conclude, but that is a whole six months away.
In the interim, the team needs to be kept fresh until its breakup. Being tag team champions provides them with an excuse to go through a series of tag team opponents and helps shine a spotlight on the two men.
The loss of the titles further down the line provides an obvious excuse for their angle together.
Team Hell No is almost too powerful for the tag team division. Anyone who goes up against them except Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara will probably look very, very weak.
Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara are a different story, however. Mysterio's career of underdog victories makes them defeating Team Hell No more believable. While the two luchadores duke it out with Hell No, WWE can pit other tag teams against each other, helping get them over for a shot at the tag team titles.
Once Hell No has dropped the titles, Mysterio and Sin Cara will not look quite as powerful compared to the other tag teams in the division, making for closer matches.
The lack of a complex storyline between the two teammates—as is the case with Kane and Daniel Bryan—will further help matters, allowing them to focus on opposing tag teams (until the team splits up in the build toward WrestleMania).
Sin Cara has recently made huge progress transitioning to WWE's style of wrestling.
Working with Rey Mysterio will surely help him though. Mysterio can help Sin Cara continue to learn the WWE style of wrestling. Any struggling wrestler typically performs better in a tag team environment where they get regular breaks to gather their wits and leave some major spots to their team partner.
Daniel Bryan never has a bad match, which also bodes well for Sin Cara. Kane is not quite as consistently good as Bryan, but can also be relied upon not to botch moves and keep himself and his opponents injury free.
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