Olé! The Matadores, the WWE's newest tag team, looks to soon be making their way to WWE programming, but the repackaged team of Primo and Epico has not been without their detractors.
Though the details of the Matadores's gimmick have not been disclosed (neither Primo nor Epico have yet to compete in the ring under their new look), the team's flashy outfit and hot pink masks has already earned them some critics.
Other skeptics question the Matadores's success due to the nature of their stereotypical characters. The men formally known as Primo and Epico are of Puerto Rican origin, they but are set to play a pair of Spanish bullfighters using a gimmick that resembles the creative direction of the WWE in the '80s, when its characters were considered to be more "cartoon-like" and less "complex."
Regardless of these detractors, the Matadores are deserving of a chance. This is not the first time fans have cried foul in regard to a debuting character's vignettes only to later fall in love with the gimmick.
Who could have ever guessed that Johnny Curtis's repackaging as Fandango would have ever been a successful gimmick?
When Fandango's vignettes first debuted on WWE television, critics were saying similar things about the new Superstar, and yet the concept that initially seemed silly has now got grown men chanting, "Cha cha la la."
Yes, much of the success of Fandango has been dependent of Curtis's own talent, but Primo and Epico are equally talented Superstars. Whose to say that the former Tag Team champions won't rise to new levels with their Matadores gimmick?
The news of the Matadores' debut was soon followed with rumors that a third member would be added to the new team.
On August 20, Nick Paglino of WrestleZone.com (via Wrestling Observer) reported that "Los Matadores, will most likely have a third member added to the group." Paglino identified the third member of the group as the Mexican superstar Mascarita Dorada.
Mascarita Dorada, as the Mexican pro wrestling website SuperLuchas reports (via Wrestling Observer), was given a WWE developmental contract earlier this year. The SuperLuchas article also claims that the names "Torito" and "Torlito" were registered by the WWE (both variables of the Spanish word for bull, toro), possibly to be given to the Mexican wrestler.
The Mexican superstar's addition to the WWE's roster would be a phenomenal contribution given Mascarita Dorada's past work south of the border.
As announced on WWE.com, it looks like Zeb Colter and his team of "Real Americans," composed of former World Heavyweight champion Jack Swagger and former United States champion Antonio Cesaro, are already seeking to bring the fight to the Matadores. Colter, the WWE's resident xenophobe, appears to not be fond of the company's latest "Spanish" import.
Given the great work (despite a losing streak) that Colter and the Real Americans have done over the past months on WWE programming, a feud with the Matadores should be interesting at the very least. If anything, it is guaranteed that Colter's vitriol against the foreigners should be a great watch.
It is difficult to understand the reasoning behind the WWE's decision to repackage Primo and Epico as the Matadores; however, the WWE's latest trend of creating solid tag teams could be an indicator that the company is interested in revitalizing its tag team division.
With teams like the Primetime Players, Tons of Funk, the Usos, the Real Americans and now the Matadores, it looks like the WWE is investing in its formally great tag team division.
Primo and Epico's change may seem weird, but it is change nonetheless. Creative risks don't always pay off, but they at least keep things from becoming stagnant.
Silly costumes and cartoon gimmicks aside, the Matadores look like they could be entertaining. With their debut on the horizon, I say give the Matadores a chance.
Though the gimmick screams "time-filler," there are worse things that the WWE could do to fill time on its weekly programming. Would you rather see a Great Khali dance-off?