Who should be the Number 1 contenders? Part 1
My debut article running down who should be the No 1 contenders to each of the WWE's titles
This week: WWE Tag Team Championships and Intercontinental Championship.
Please be easy on this article as it's my first
All rights to WWE, no copyright intended
Credit for pictures goes to the respective sources
WWE Tag Team Championships
The WWE tag team division is floundering, more of an afterthought than the women's division is. Composed of a mere four teams options for title challengers are limited, having the Hart Dynasty as champions limits them to feuds with the Uso's, Hawkins and Archer and the Dudebusters, these being the only actual tag teams in the company right now. Here are my picks for the Hart Dynasty's next opponents.
Although having already feuded with the Hart's, that feud was given so little air time that it could still feel fresh if given more dimensions than a piece of paper. Firstly the Uso's need to be given the mic to develop their character and establish themselves as they are currently so unknown with the fans that I guarantee that most fans can't even tell them apart. Secondly they need to participate in longer matches to showcase their talent as from what I have seen of them they can hold their own with the Harts and are pretty entertaining. They are very similar to the Harts in their ring work and gimmick, both being related to a industry legend. Having similar ring attire also helps legitimize them as a proper team and not one thrown together as in the case of Hawkins and Archer. The Uso's were not helped by the fact the Hart's arrived in the WWE first as it prevents them from properly working their relationship with their father Rikishi. If given space to work I believe they could be credible contenders and give the WWE time to develop other tag teams.
When I searched for an image for the Dudebuster's, most of the pictures I found were of them being beaten down by the Harts. The Dudebuster's have not been featured except for as fodder to put over the Hart's and as such have been unable to develop their ring work in front of a large audience, training in FCW can't really compare to performing in front of such a large audience the WWE possesses. They to have not been given a chance to develop on the mic and lack of exposure means they are even less over than the Uso's. Perhaps pairing them with a valet such as Rosa Mendes would benefit them and help enhance their reputation as 'cool dudes'. Having not seen much of them I don't really know what to add, I don't think they are as good in the ring as the Uso's, however they would give the Dynasty more options for matches in the future.
Hawkins and Archer
A good match up for the Harts, as Hawkins and Archer are a team which has been made to look strong or at least competent with squash victories on Smackdown. Like the Dudebuster's, being on the Smackdown brand would lead to the Hart's also appearing on Smackdown which as Unified Tag Team Champions they should do at any rate. They complement the Hart's as well as Hawkins and Tyson Kidd are both smaller high fliers whereas Archer and David Hart Smith are both larger heavyweights. Although formed as a result of neither man having anything to do, their differences enable them to easier separate in the future as Archer has a dominant powerhouse gimmick which could be used as a replacement for the injured Ezekiel Jackson. Hawkins can use the difference to also build up his mic skills as the voice of the team which would help him if competing as a singles competitor. Personally I would like to see Hawkins team with Zack Ryder again as both men are good in the ring and on the mic and Ryder is horribly underused. Hawkins and Archer could put on a good match with the Harts, however I don't see them as tag team champions.
Edge and Jericho
If there is one team which could bring prestige back to the Tag Team belts it would be the duo of Edge and Chris Jericho, two of the most decorated superstars in WWE history. They have the ability, charisma, ring presence and experience to make people take note of the feud and if they win the belts they increase the value of the titles and if they lose to the Hart's they will make them look very strong champions. Both men are equally comfortable in singles and tag team action, Edge found fame in a tag team with Christian and Jericho proved last year he could be a amazing tag team champion along with the Big Show. Having them as a tag team automatically brings more focus to the tag division and means other upper carders could face them without seeming like they are being moved down the card. Their teaming again has been teased recently by WWE which provides a reason for them to team again. Both men are also not in the title picture and working in the tag division could free up space in the upper card potentially for the Miz, Evan Bourne, Daniel Bryan and perhaps John Morrison. However if they held the belts they may have to turn face as other than the Hart's there are no other face teams on the roster, the crowds seem to want a Jericho face turn and perhaps this may be the moment, perhaps turning Jericho face and keeping Edge heel could lead to a future storyline.
Currently residing as the property of Dolph Ziggler in the Smackdown midcard, Ziggler's win I think was less impressive duet to the fact that Vickie Guerrero basically won it for him. Being his first singles title belt, the audience gets the impression that he was unable to win the title without her assistance. Having a match every week with Kofi Kingston lessens their title matches as we see it every week. As these matches have dusty finishes, Dolph looks to be a weak champion and with Vickie Guerrero as his voice, he is unable to build up his character, he needs to lose the mouth and get a clean win over Kofi on PPV. Ziggler has all the tools to be the Intercontinental champion, he just needs the opportunity to prove himself.
How in the name of all that is holy is Christian not a world champion or at least a title contender. He has everything a world champion needs: ring skills, impressive moveset (unlike John Cena), charisma, experience and is also over with the fans. Yet Vince McMahon thinks that because of his previous affiliation with TNA he is unfit to hold a proper title in the WWE as lets face it the the ECW title last year was worth less than Owen Hargreaves (football fans may understand that). Despite the fact that other stars who had stints in TNA have gone on to hold WWE gold, namely Jeff Hardy, for some reason Christian flounders in the mid card with a lack of direction is he feuding with Drew McIntyre or Cody Rhodes or even Matt Hardy at one point. Christian should at least be challenging Ziggler for the Intercontinental championship, if he wins it he can work with a number of younger challengers to help elevate them whilst furthering a feud, if he doesn't win the belt he makes Ziggler look good as it shows he can beat a veteran, plus Vince might finally see how good Christian can be in contention for a title and give him a world championship match, CM Punk v Christian would be an amazing feud, their match on ECW last year was brilliant.
Aside from having one of the best entrance themes in the WWE, Drew really does have a look to him that makes you think that he is someone to be taken seriously. Whilst a little slow at times in the ring, with experience that will most likely translate into psychology. He has proven competent on the mic and can draw heat from the crowd, stemming from his abuse of Teddy Long. I also enjoyed his matches with Kofi Kingston and Christian and he really made the Intercontinental belt look like a important title, he has the heat that Dolph Ziggler doesn't, Drew has established himself as someone not afraid to defy the GM wheras Ziggler is a lackey to an authority figure who is lower than Teddy Long. Drew is better than Dolph simply because he is more established already, I would give Drew the belt to give meaning to his feud with Christian whilst similtaneously elevating Dolph.
The Ghanaian sensation has really begin to come into his own recently and has begun to really develop his character. Since his feud with Randy Orton, most people felt it was only a matter of time until he broke into the main event, yet backstage politics obstructed him and he floated around for a while, his character was not allowed to develop until his feud with Dolph Ziggler where we saw a darker side to his character during his beatdown on the champion. Kofi has proved to be a resourceful champion with his innovative offence and crowd popularity and has shown improvement in the charisma department, I found that his promo in which he destroyed Randy Orton's race car very intense and his boom drop on him at Madison Square Garden had the crowd worked into a frenzy. With a lack of main eventer's on the blue brand, I believe that when the Kane-Taker feud is ended, Kofi can rise and take his place on the top of the card. Finally I believe that he would also be a good heel if he can mantain the level of aggression he has shown on Orton and Ziggler.
One of the most improved superstars of recent months, Cody Rhodes has established himself a nice little niche on the Smackdown brand. Given screen time to cut some much improved promos when compared to his Legacy days, Cody has proved himself to be the better of Orton's former lackeys (which I called) and has shown great ability on the mic and in the ring, high flying moves such as the Moonsault really have helped to vary his moveset. Cody would be my personal pick for the next Intercontinental champion, however he would have to win it in a multi man match due to both him and Dolph Ziggler currently acting as heels, I believe that Cody would also make a good face if the need was to arise. What he needs now is a clear feud instead of continuously facing Christian and Matt Hardy, teaming him with Alberto Del Rio for a while I think would help Cody due to the natural mesh of their narcissistic gimmicks, Cody could also put on a good match with Rey Mysterio if Rey is willing to put over a younger star.
One of the most unlikely picks for the Intercontinental Championship, Matt Hardy has always got the short end of the stick throughout his career when compared to his brother Jeff, ironically one of their original moves the 'Poetry in Motion' illustrates this, Matt used as a stepping stone for Jeff to get the crowd's applause. Without Matt there is little chance that Jeff would have reached the heights he has done as Matt helped to establish Jeff during their tag team days and was the talker of the group, I think he is better on the mic than Jeff was and can work as face, heel or tweener, his angelic diablo gimmick and also his feud with Jeff last year showcased his range of character, yet since his face turn he has done nothing of note, retiring Drew McIntyre may have given him an achievement of note if he wasn't reinstated a few weeks later. Much as in the same way Kane was given the World title as a recognition of his years of hard work, the Intercontinental title could be Matt Hardy's accolade for his years of putting up with backstage politics and being grossly underused. He is surprisingly over with the fans and this would be a great way to give him a reason to stay and not jump ship to TNA.