The 2013 edition of WWE's Royal Rumble is set for Sunday in Phoenix. In addition to the headline bout, a match between CM Punk and The Rock for the WWE title, there are two other major championship confrontations on the card.
Alberto Del Rio will face Big Show in a Last Man Standing match for the World Heavyweight Championship, and Team Hell No will defend the WWE Tag Team titles against Rhodes Scholars. It's time for Hell No to drop the tag belts.
The following slides demonstrate six reasons why it's best for WWE and its fans if Daniel Bryan and Kane lose the tag titles to Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow.
Over the past several months, WWE has elevated the cachet of the tag titles by having the belts on Team Hell No. Daniel Bryan and Kane are top-level singles stars, and have done a good job as a tag team. Having top-flight workers hold the tag titles makes the belts seem more important, and allows WWE to put tag matches in high profile television and pay-per-view segments.
Having Hell No drop the belts to Rhodes Scholars would keep the belts in a prominent position on the PPV, elevate a new team to the top, and allow WWE to continue the momentum started by Kane and Bryan.
Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes are good workers with solid gimmicks. Putting the belts on them would allow WWE to continue to place tag matches in top spots on TV and on PPV broadcasts. Since Rhodes Scholars has built up credibility as a team, the cachet of the belts would not be damaged.
This would also give WWE a chance to build up some babyface teams. Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara are rumored to be ready to return to TV, and had built up some credibility as a babyface pair.
With Evan Bourne also set to return soon, and Justin Gabriel missing a partner due to Tyson Kidd's recent knee injury, there's another possibility for a high-flying babyface team to feud with Rhodes Scholars.
Creating credible foes to face an established championship team would put the tag division in a good place for a long time to come.
If Team Hell No drops the tag titles to Rhodes Scholars at the Rumble, it opens the door for numerous storyline possibilities.
Without the tag belts, Hell No's Daniel Bryan and Kane would be free to pursue singles feuds. Either or both of them could challenge for the World Heavyweight Championship, or even one of the secondary titles like the Intercontinental or U.S. belts.
A loss at the Rumble would also create the possibility of a breakup angle. If Bryan and Kane blame each other for the loss, they could dissolve their uneasy alliance and take on each other. This would make a good feud and create at least two months' worth of matches leading up to a possible blowoff match.
Even if Hell No stays together, dropping the belts to Rhodes Scholars would continue the current rivalry over the tag belts. This would keep the belts highly visible during a time when a lot of focus will be on the two major titles.
A tag team title change at Royal Rumble would also give WWE a number of possibilities for the belts at WrestleMania 29.
If Hell No retains the belts, it would be time to set up some new challengers for the title. Since there's not much time to build up a credible heel team (with the possible exception of The Shield), it makes more sense to give the belts to Rhodes Scholars.
If Sandow and Rhodes take the belts at the Rumble, it sets up a possible return match with Hell No for WrestleMania...provided Rhodes Scholars can keep the belts until then.
Dropping the belts to Rhodes Scholars would likely instigate the breakup of Team Hell No, and Bryan and Kane would be able to face each other over the weeks leading up to WrestleMania. WWE could then stage a blowoff match between the two former teammates in order to have a good undercard match.
The best scenario is to stage a second title match between Hell No and Rhodes Scholars at WrestleMania. This would keep the tag team belts in a prominent place on the card, and keep all four wrestlers in the semi-main event picture for the foreseeable future.
Winning the tag team titles at the Royal Rumble would enhance the credibility of Team Rhodes Scholars.
Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow are an ideal heel tag team. They both have good in-ring skills and are strong on the mic. Right now, the team's persona is that of a pair of arrogant heels that have yet to back up their boasts. A win over Hell No would make them something more than pompous heels.
If Rhodes and Sandow don't win at the Royal Rumble, it will make the team seem weak. It's fine to brag about your skills, but eventually, even heels have to back up those boasts if they intend to remain credible with the WWE Universe.
If Hell No keeps the belts, there's not much reason to keep Rhodes Scholars together, and it's just too soon to break up WWE's elite heel tag team.
If Rhodes Scholars wins the WWE tag titles at the Royal Rumble, it would add intrigue to the Rumble Match itself.
If Hell No loses, will they turn on each other during the battle royal? Will they help each other? Will Bryan and Kane attack the new tag champs while the battle rages on around them? These are all questions that would be automatically in play if Rhodes Scholars takes the belts.
Of the four men involved in the current feud for the tag championships, Daniel Bryan seems the most likely bet to win the Rumble match itself. It seems far-fetched that WWE would book Bryan to win the Rumble if he's still holding half of the tag team championship.
If Hell No keeps the titles, it seems to eliminate four possible Rumble winners.
As mentioned, Bryan is unlikely to win the Rumble if he's half of the tag champs. The same goes for Kane. Taking the belts off of the duo makes each a fairly solid candidate to win the Rumble match.
Rhodes and Sandow are both up-and-coming stars, but neither is ready to headline WrestleMania. The duo is considered by many to be the best tag team in WWE, and a loss at the Rumble would seem to be reason to break them up.
At this time, neither man is as valuable to WWE as an individual as they are as a team. As it stands, the best way to keep Rhodes and Sandow together is to give them the tag belts.
Giving the tag belts to Rhodes and Sandow would add intrigue to the Rhodes Scholars story line.
Unlike Team Hell No, Rhodes Scholars haven't tasted success. There's no telling what a win would do to their team dynamic. Neither man seems primed for a singles run, so breaking the pair up would be counter-productive, at best.
As of now, they proclaim themselves the perfect tag team and best friends. Would success upset the apple cart? Will one claim to be the reason for the victory, thus causing jealousy in the other? Would winning the belts take away the thing that bonds them? Or would a win only strengthen them?
The possibilities for Rhodes Scholars are nearly endless, as long as they take the tag belts at the Royal Rumble.
Considering all of the options, it seems that WWE would be wise to book Rhodes Scholars to take the tag team belts at the Royal Rumble PPV.
Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow need the titles more than Daniel Bryan and Kane.
Both teams would have numerous storyline possibilities if Hell No lost the titles.
Having a heel team as champions would allow WWE to establish some new top-flight babyface teams.
The best reason to have a title change is that Hell No has done everything possible to elevate the tag team belts. It's time for Bryan and Kane to move on, and they can't do that with the tag straps around their waists.
The tag team belts have been elevated, and Rhodes Scholars has gained credibility through the feud with Hell No. It's time to see if the heels can continue the momentum that Kane and Bryan started.
Should Hell No drop the belts? Is it time for new champs, or should WWE stay the course? Is there a reason missing on this list? Speak your mind in the comments section below.