Tag teams, tag teams, tag teams. What pops into your head when you hear those beautiful words? E&C. The Hart Foundation. Otunga and Cena...yeah, that one, not so much.
Tag team wrestling has been a staple of the WWE for years, with the Attitude Era spawning numerous teams that took the art of tagging to another level entirely. From the moment Jeff Hardy ate a spear in midair, and maybe even before that, tag team wrestling has become a big part of WWE programming.
For a while there was a lull with teams like Carlton Banks and Fruity Pebbles winning the titles for a day, and teams like The Hart Dynasty been broken up way too early, but recently, the WWE has seemed genuinely invested in restoring the prestige of tag team wrestling, and so far, a good job has been done.
Well, what then is this piece of writing, you ask?
Well, I would like to take you on a journey...OK, that sounded like a line from a bad film. I'd like to take a look with you, the readers, at the various pairings present in the 'E currently. I will be discussing their momentum, their current angles and what can be done to make the teams better, if anything.
Just to clear the air, what this wouldn't be is an article suggesting new tag teams or ranting about how The World's Greatest Tag Team aren't in the WWE yet–I'll leave that to the creative mind of another Bleacher Report writer. Hopefully someone who actually knows anything about Ring of Honor. This is simply a short, precise article about the populace of today's tag team division–nothing more.
Now, with that introduction out of the way, let us look at today's WWE tag teams.
Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger. Two upper mid-carders who had little to do at one point (ironic 'cos Dolph was your US champion). Until Swagger caught Vickie Guerrero's eye. After a bit of bickering which, honestly, I thought was rather unnecessary considering they seem to be getting along just fine now, Ziggler and Swagger became a tag team and now stand as the sole threat to Air Boom's tag team titles (Awesome Truth are preoccupied with screwing John Cena out of title matches).
My problem with this team is that it may seem to many viewers that Swagger is being upstaged. I mean, Ziggler is picking up the important wins, and he's been United States champion for a little over four months now. While personally, I always saw them as equals, and still do, Swagger loses to Zack Ryder (who I love, don't get me wrong) in about two minutes, and I begin to wonder.
As of now, this team has lost two title matches to Air Boom and, honestly, I can only see this team actually getting the tag championships when Ziggler loses his title, which looks like it will be going next to Mason "I am Batista's long-lost younger brother from Wales" Ryan. I'll be praying against that every night before bed.
Ignoring that hitch though, I have to say this team is rather good, comprising of two great in-ring workers and headed by the heat-seeking missile that is Vickie.
In overall terms of momentum, I would say they are on the right track. Both competitors have taken rather embarrassing losses at the hands of Ryan and Ryder, but that's what Santino Marella is there for. Nothing does the job like a quick job, right...get it?
Yeah, I'll shut up now.
Well, what do we know about these young men?
They are the sons of great WWE wrestler, Rikishi. They were, for the better part of this year, the only legitimate tag team on the roster (Air Boom's catching on fast). They are really good wrestlers. And they haven't been on Raw (or SmackDown) since Bush got shoes thrown at him.
Seriously though, these guys should be in contention for the tag titles somehow. Granted, they are faces, and a feud against Air Boom would be inadvisable. But establish them as a formidable team!
Give them matches! Turn them heel! Give them tiaras and tutus! Do something!
These men are doing nothing at the moment on either Raw or SmackDown, and I understand time slots are normally very cramped. But I bet a creative team that can have 25 minute segments start a show or write a Jim Ross versus Michael Cole feud can give these young men time to show the WWE Universe what they can do until they are ready for a good feud for the tag titles. They are exciting, explosive, with a great look and nice in-ring skill. Stick them with a valet if you need someone to do the talking, and you've got a great team.
Having said all that, momentum is nothing that can be discussed here, for obvious reasons.
Right now, I think both men are involved in some NXT angle. Seeing as the general population doesn't gravitate to NXT, I doubt the number of readers who know what exactly this angle is will be a high one. While I appreciate that they are not rotting backstage, I believe these men can be assets to the WWE's tag team revival. And that means Raw or SmackDown. Not NXT.
And WWE, while you're working at bringing this team to the main shows–can you bring AJ along with them?!
Ladies, gentlemen, your WWE tag team champions, Air Boom.
Why do I always expect "Go, go, Power Rangers" to blare in the background when that name is mentioned?
Seriously, though. The name isn't that bad. As member of the Bleacher Report community, Craig Adams, pointed out to me, it could have been 'Altitude Era'. Now, THAT would have been atrocious.
Silly names aside, Air Boom is arguably the top tag team in the WWE right now (arguably), as they are at the forefront of the tag team revival and are currently the tag team champions. They've won four title defenses–three of which have been pay-per-view matches. As of now, their reign has lasted a little over two months. God knows when last these men have been pinned.
And with that, you can already figure out that their momentum is off the charts at the moment. I'm actually starting to believe that the next time these men will lose a match will be when they lose the titles, and I don't see that happening for a while.
I believe the only way the tag titles will be restored in terms of prestige will be to have a team tighten their hold on it until it becomes a real trophy to be won, and I believe that the WWE is doing the right thing with keeping the straps on Kofi and Bourne.
As for the men themselves, it's heartening to see how much chemistry they have, and they both are great in-ring competitors. For all intents and purposes, this is an incredibly well-packaged tag team. Bourne and Kofi had nothing doing in singles competition, and it was an amazing idea to have them team up instead. This team is not going anywhere anytime soon.
OK, OK. Bad joke. Moving on...
And now, on to the one main event tag team in the WWE, Awesome Truth.
This, in my opinion, is the biggest team in the WWE as of now, and I'm sure many will agree. Strange, since they aren't actually the tag team champions, or even contenders for that matter, but that's something we already know.
When discussing the tag team revival, we must credit these men as the first real team to provide a threat to Air Boom's tag titles. They couldn't gain the gold at Night of Champions, as we all know, and that single loss is a big part of the angle they are involved in now.
Anyway, The Miz and R-Truth are coming off a huge win over Triple H and CM Punk last Sunday at Vengeance. Of course, they needed Kevin Nash to pull it off, but that does not stop the fact that they are riding on a huge wave of momentum from the win.
Now, if they would stop attacking their opponents before the match ends...seriously, that's my only one gripe with this team.
Now, on to the praise.
Personally, I love how well these guys gel. I mean, on paper, The Miz and R-Truth in a tag team seems like a pretty crappy idea. Turns out not everything is played on paper, and these two work off each other beautifully. They have solid microphone skills and both work good matches. I don't really like them coming down the ramp with a rap song blaring in the background, but what are you gonna do?
In my opinion, I think it would have been a good idea to still have these still gunning for the tag titles, especially since they are in the delicate stage of regaining lost prestige, but the 'E seems to have bigger plans for them on the way.
By bigger plans, I mean getting their tushies Rock Bottomed to kingdom come, but many people will consider that an honor, so I guess that's no problem.
In closure, the tag team division is looking much better than it has in a while, and I'm sure many of us would love to see how far the WWE will go in completely reinventing and revitalizing the division. All we can hope is that in about a year, tag team wrestling will be the riveting spectacle that it once was.
Well, readers, thank you for struggling through the thickets that was my article, and be free to raid the comment section with little snippets on anything from how Mahal and Khali are the greatest tag team ever to how awesomely articulate my work is (thank you, thank you. Thank you very much).
Until next time, I am Jo-Jo, and I'm not that damn good.