WWE Hell in a Cell 2012: Ranking the Possible Tag Team Title Challengers

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistOctober 8, 2012

Photo courtesy of WWE.com
Photo courtesy of WWE.com

A couple of weeks ago, it was announced on SmackDown by general manager Booker T that an eight-team tournament would be held to determine the No. 1 contenders for the tag championships.

The field has now shrunk to four, and each team certainly has its merits.

Kane and Daniel Bryan are readying for their first true defense and feud, so the result of this tournament is an important one.

The winners will face Team Hell No at Hell in a Cell and figure to become an integral part of the tag division, whether they win or lose that match.

There is one team that seems very likely to win the tournament, but you never know for sure what is going to happen.

With that said, here are my power rankings of the final four teams remaining in the tournament based on who I believe most deserves to triumph. 


4. Zack Ryder and Santino Marella

There is no doubt that the biggest underdog team remaining in the tournament is Zack Ryder and Santino Marella. Ryder and Santino have tagged together on occasion in the past, but they would qualify as a thrown-together squad. The comedic duo managed to knock off Justin Gabriel and Tyson Kidd in the first round, but I don't like their chances at all against Rhodes Scholars.

Both Ryder and Santino are over with the crowd, and I don't mind them as a team, but they aren't one of the teams that the tag division should be built around. It seems like Ryder and Santino were placed in the tournament simply to get a crowd reaction and to act as a stepping stone for Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes.

Despite their popularity, I doubt that most fans want to see Ryder and Santino win the tournament, and I would be beyond shocked if they managed to. 


3. Prime Time Players

Prior to the sudden renaissance of the tag scene, the Prime Time Players were essentially at the top of the heap. They were unable to capture the titles from Kofi Kingston and R-Truth, but they were the main challengers for a couple of months and had several opportunities.

While there are suddenly more mouths to feed in the tag division, Darren Young and Titus O'Neil are still very much in the mix.

The Prime Time Players vanquished their old foes in Kofi and Truth to advance to the second round and they will now meet a team that they have been pestering for the past couple of weeks in Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara.

The Prime Time Players are fairly entertaining and feel like a true tag team, but their in-ring work remains sloppy and I don't consider them the best challengers for Kane and Daniel Bryan.

I wouldn't be particularly upset if they won the tournament, and it wouldn't be the craziest thing that ever happened.

Young and O'Neil have simply been knocked down the ladder a few pegs as more time is being put into the tag division, and they're suddenly stuck in the middle of the pack. 


2. Rhodes Scholars

I'm generally not a huge fan of teams that are formed without much rhyme or reason, but I have really been able to get behind Rhodes Scholars.

Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow are two of the most talented heels on the roster, so they're a natural fit. Since neither of them were particularly busy as singles competitors, I'm glad that they were paired together and given some purpose in the meantime.

Rhodes and Sandow already have a leg up on the competition as they had a run in with Kane and Bryan a few weeks ago.

Both Rhodes and Sandow won singles matches over the tag champions, but they lost a tag match via disqualification. Following the contest, Kane and Bryan proceeded to decimate Rhodes Scholars with steel chairs, as well as all the other tag teams surrounding the ring that acted as lumberjacks.

From a pure entertainment standpoint, Rhodes Scholars are probably the best choice as they have already been shown to have some good chemistry with Team Hell No and can cut some entertaining promos.

I also consider them the favorites to win the tournament, but there is one tandem that I would rather see challenge for the titles at Hell in a Cell. 


1. Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara

Ever since Rey Mysterio's return from a knee injury and suspension, I have been calling for him to be paired with Sin Cara.

Mysterio has accomplished everything possible as a singles competitor, and Sin Cara had lost a lot of steam since his debut. Therefore, becoming a tag team was an obvious solution.

Thankfully, my hope came to fruition, as Mysterio and Sin Cara now represent perhaps the most exciting duo in the revamped division.

Both luchadors have very large fanbases and come from similar backgrounds, so they seem like more of a natural fit than any other current tag team. They even adopted matching masks last week, so it looks like Mysterio and Sin Cara are together for the long haul.

They vanquished Primo and Epico in the first round of the tournament, and I believe they will beat the Prime Time Players to set up a showdown against Rhodes Scholars in the finals.

Everything seems to be pointing toward Rhodes and Sandow winning the tourney, but I feel like Mysterio and Sin Cara are a more substantial team and that they should be showcased.

Even if Mysterio and Sin Cara don't win, I expect them to hold the tag championships at some point down the line.


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