Last year saw what many believed to be a full-on revival of tag team wrestling in WWE. The alphas in the division came in the unlikely duo of "The American Dragon" and "The Big Red Machine." The duo went on to be named (Team) Hell No after quickly rising through the ranks of the Tag Team Division and winning the WWE Tag Team Championship.
However, while Kane and Daniel Bryan were the alphas of the tag team division, Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow quickly made their presence felt in becoming the betas of the tag team division, laying out the then-WWE Tag Team Champions moments after they officially gained the Hell No name, and took the opportunity to let the world know just who was responsible for dropping two former World Champions: Team Rhodes Scholars.
Praise to the WWE came, as it appeared as though WWE was finally taking tag team wrestling seriously again. Hell No started off strong (if not somewhat disruptive,) and The Rhode Scholars brought one of the more entertaining speakers into the mix. Sadly, WWE decided to milk Hell No all at once and as a result, Team Rhode Scholars became the personal jobbers for Daniel Bryan and Kane.
Even today do they rarely enjoy the success that came with their initial debut as a team. At one point, the two even drew up papers that mutually dissolved their partnership (though the two would remain best friends,) only to continue teaming together after a few weeks.
Honestly, I think for all involved it is time Damien and Cody get those papers done again. Simply put, it's over, everyone.
Rhode Scholars did their job in entertaining people, but I think we've seen that they will not make it far as a tag team. They went from pushing Hell No to the limit to jobbing to Brodus Clay and Tensai. While some people thought that the pairing was going to be instrumental, in retrospect, considering that they were pretty much the first team Hell No feuded with and it would have been asinine to have a team you're building your division around lose to the first team they feud with, things were never really set for Cody and Damien to win the tag straps.
Add to that, WWE doesn't need another strong, heel tag team right now. That's what The Shield is. They've also got the The Prime Time Players waiting in the wings for their push. 3MB is more talented than most people know. If The Rhode Scholars were faces then a case for their continued existence could more easily be made, but that's not the case.
Aside from The Usos is their another team that can face The Shield? Hell No is all but done and that really only leaves a couple of options. WWE could either bring both Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne back and reform Air Boom, or alternatively, reform the Hip-Hop Express with Kingston and R-Truth. Something could happen that turns Rhodes and Sandow face, but it would have to likely take place at Money in The Bank, but in a match where they're both already opponents, I don't know if it can happen.
What should WWE do with Team Rhode Scholars?
It's unlikely the WWE would ever think about going the obvious route of turning The Prime Time Players or 3MB face (despite the fact they're almost built for it,) but maybe WWE surprises me? Point is, WWE is in dire need of a strong face tag team besides The Usos, but that's an issue that will be likely be addressed at another time.
I think the strongest argument for ending Rhodes Scholars is the fact that both men are stagnant right now. As of now, Damien has been a tag team star for the majority of his WWE run, and Rhodes already has four tag team titles to his name. It's time for something new for these men.
Damien Sandow as a singles heel can be fun on a whole different level, and I think Rhodes has spent enough time as a heel. It's time to branch out a little and see how he plays a face after all these years. A feud between these two could be very entertaining, and I think plenty of people would rather see that than watching them get beat by Randy Orton and Sheamus.
Damien Sandow could well be a top heel in a couple of years. His mic skills are top notch and he's becoming more fun to watch in the ring. I feel like it's about time WWE thought about giving him a midcard championship.
Likewise, Rhodes has been biding his time below the glass ceiling for awhile now. Many claim that Rhodes' youth allows his continued bypasses to be harmless, but I feel more can be done with the product with Rhodes being pushed—especially as a face. Already a multi-time tag and Intercontinental Champion, I feel as though Rhodes is ready for that next level, and as a test of his versatility, a face run is in order.
He hasn't been a face since he debuted years ago, so to see how Cody portrays himself as a face now would be quite the fun show, I think.
In fact, the thought of a face Cody Rhodes leads me to think that it should be in the books for Rhodes to come away with a United States Championship down the road. Who could be more American than the son of an American Dream, right?
Considering the heels who've held their belts and their attitudes (Ambrose's misguided view of justice, and Cesaro's anti-American values,) should be something of a calling for someone like Rhodes to conquer. The man who restored the image of the Intercontinental Championship could do wonders with the U.S. Title and perhaps down the road, after feuds with the likes of Cesaro, maybe Swagger, Ambrose and the like, Rhodes could come face to face with his former partner Damien Sandow to feud for the gold?
Of course, I'm getting ahead of myself here. Still, there's a lot more Rhodes and Sandow can bring to the WWE as individuals rather than a team. WWE could always bring them back every so often in a couple of years or so, but for now, I think WWE really needs to look at it's roster and realize that Rhodes Scholars is easily replaceable by (just throwing the team out there) Heath Slater and Fandango, as far as heel teams go.
Their impact as singles stars though, is something WWE could potentially make great use of.