WWE Elimination Chamber 2013: Pre-Show Must Lead to Reprisal of Rhodes Scholars

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 13, 2013

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

It has only been a couple weeks since Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow went their separate ways, but nothing good has come of it for either man. With Team Rhodes Scholars reforming to face Brodus Clay and Tensai on the Elimination Chamber pre-show, it should lead to an official reprisal of the partnership between Rhodes and Sandow.

I have high hopes for both Rhodes and Sandow as singles competitors and believe that they both have what it takes to be world champion down the line, but there is no point in keeping them apart currently when they stand to benefit much more from a dominant run in the tag-team division.

Team Rhodes Scholars served as Team Hell No's primary rival for a few months, and although Rhodes and Sandow did score some victories over Kane and Daniel Bryan, they were never able to capture the Tag Team Championships. It seemed as though they were on the verge of doing so at the Royal Rumble, however, Team Hell No was able to foil their plans yet again.

This prompted Rhodes and Sandow to announce on SmackDown a few weeks ago that they were ending their partnership amicably in order to focus on their singles careers. That didn't sound too bad in theory since both of them are strong individual competitors, but the issue is that there is nothing for them to do at the moment. Because of that, they have largely put over other superstars rather than being built up themselves.

I realize that everyone on the roster can't win all time, especially heels, but guys who are as talented as Rhodes and Sandow shouldn't be utilized as jobbers to the stars. I wouldn't have had an issue with Team Rhodes Scholars dissolving if there were plans to use both Rhodes and Sandow effectively, but based on how much depth there is on the WWE roster currently, I knew that wasn't likely to be the case.

Due to the fact that the WWE has been showing a pre-show match prior to each of their pay-per-views since WrestleMania XXVIII, I figured there was a good chance that the newly-formed team of Brodus Clay and Tensai would be featured, but I thought they would take on The Prime Time Players. Despite the fact that it was announced that Team Rhodes Scholars split up, they will oppose Clay and Tensai instead.

This could very well be a one-night-only thing, but why have them face Clay and Tensai rather than The Prime Time Players if there aren't bigger plans? I can't explain why the WWE would break them up only to put them back together, but I'm hopeful that it sticks regardless because Elimination Chamber could very well spell the beginning of the end for Team Hell No as Kane and Bryan will face each other in the chamber match.

Whether it happens during the road to WrestleMania or at WrestleMania, it's only a matter of time before Team Hell No drops the titles. They could certainly lose the belts to Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara, The Prime Time Players, Clay and Tensai or some other team, but Team Rhodes Scholars is the most legitimate among them and could carry the titles for a month or two until the rest of the division is strong enough to prosper.

Since the creative team has obviously known for quite some time that Team Hell No is only temporary, it made very little sense to end Team Rhodes Scholars so prematurely. It was technically a thrown-together team, but Rhodes and Sandow managed to get a ton of heat from the crowd and were unquestionably the top heel tandem in the company.

If nothing else, maybe the WWE initially thought it would be a good idea to split up Rhodes and Sandow, but has since seen the error of its ways and intends to rectify the situation. It never made sense to me, but if Team Rhodes Scholars is reformed now, it will essentially be no harm, no foul on the WWE's part.

Rhodes is a guy with a fantastic pedigree, great in-ring skills and a track record of success, while Sandow is one of the best in the WWE on the mic and has a highly-entertaining character as well. They are two superstars who should most definitely be showcased during the lead up to WrestleMania, but unless they go back to teaming together, I'm not sure how the WWE can possibly integrate them into meaningful storylines.

It obviously wouldn't surprise me if Team Rhodes Scholars reunites at Elimination Chamber and then Rhodes and Sandow go back to losing singles matches afterward. The WWE has been known to make puzzling decisions from time to time and this would obviously qualify.

Keeping Rhodes and Sandow apart is a dangerous game when it comes to the tag-team division with Team Hell No on the brink of disaster as well. Some team will have to assume the dominant role when Kane and Bryan resume their singles careers, and Team Rhodes Scholars should be the pairing to do it.


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