Quick Takes on AEW's Tag Team Turmoil, Babyface Logan Paul in WWE, More

Graham GSM Matthews@@WrestleRantFeatured Columnist IVJuly 18, 2022

Quick Takes on AEW's Tag Team Turmoil, Babyface Logan Paul in WWE, More

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    Fans have long argued that All Elite Wrestling boasts the best tag team division anywhere in the world, and considering the massive amount of talent in the company's tag team ranks, it isn't difficult to see why.

    That's why Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland's AEW World Tag Team Championship victory last week on Dynamite came as such a surprise. At the end of the day, they're not a true tandem (not to mention they've already teased tension), and it may do the division a disservice if their reign isn't temporary.

    Speaking of booking miscalculations, Logan Paul has virtually no chance of getting over as a babyface in WWE. As impressive as his in-ring debut was at WrestleMania 38, he's naturally detestable, and expecting the fans in attendance to embrace him will be a tall task.

    Shockingly enough, the WWE Universe was more inclined to cheer for Dolph Ziggler when he returned on Raw last Monday. As overexposed and as misused as he's been over the years, Ziggler is the perfect utility player for the promotion and is always effective at elevating talent.

    This installment of Quick Takes will delve into Ziggler's Raw return, Claudio Castagnoli being the next ROH World champ, and Solo Sikoa's main roster call-up.

How Theory Can Benefit from a Feud with Dolph Ziggler

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    Dolph Ziggler was likely one of the last people fans expected to see close out an episode of Raw in 2022, but there he was last Monday night standing over Theory for reasons that have yet to be explained.

    He's appeared on Raw a time or two in recent weeks, but he hasn't been used in a meaningful manner since losing the NXT Championship back to Bron Breakker immediately following WrestleMania 38. That's why it was slightly startling to see him back in the spotlight as a newly turned babyface and in a feud with the current Mr. Money in the Bank, Theory.

    Although it's almost impossible to get invested in Ziggler as a character at this point, he's still extremely useful, especially in an instance when WWE is attempting to get fresh faces over. That's clearly going to be the case with Theory as well.

    In the ring, Ziggler remains exceptionally skilled, and the matches he could have with Theory have the potential to be a blast. No matter how badly he's been booked, he's an established star on the roster who can lend credibility to anyone who beats him.

    Ziggler taking issue with Theory holding the same opportunistic contract he won a decade earlier is a story that writes itself. It's been refreshing to see Theory have so many enemies simultaneously on SmackDown and Raw as it will only make him a bigger deal in the long run.

Claudio Castagnoli Is a Logical Next ROH World Champion

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    Following Jonathan Gresham's successful defense of the ROH World Championship against Lee Moriarty on Friday's AEW Rampage, it was announced that Claudio Castagnoli will challenge him for the gold next at the Death Before Dishonor pay-per-view.

    The match should be a technical wrestling masterpiece, but the implication that Castagnoli will be the one to dethrone Gresham as champ is what fans are most excited for.

    As was recently pointed out on Dynamite, Castagnoli has never held a world title in any of the major promotions he's worked for. It's highly unlikely he'll ever be AEW World champion because of the vast amount of talent the company has under contract, but the ROH World Championship is the next best thing.

    That way, Castagnoli can be established as the face of a brand without shortchanging anyone else who may be a better fit for that spot. He's a notable name as well and may be able to bring new eyes to the revamped ROH product.

    The man formerly known as Cesaro has been on fire since joining AEW, and the best way to keep his momentum rolling is by crowning him the new ROH champion this coming weekend.

Booking Logan Paul as a Babyface Will Do More to Hinder Than Help His Momentum

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    Logan Paul proved to be a natural fit for the wrestling business both in the buildup to WrestleMania 38 and at the event itself when he exceeded expectations with his performance. The Miz turning on him afterward was oddly executed, and now we know why.

    It wasn't designed to turn Miz babyface (which appeared to be the intention) but rather endear Paul to the WWE Universe. Since resurfacing on Raw a few weeks ago, Paul has been firmly established as a "fan favorite" even though the reaction he's going to get on Raw and at SummerSlam may suggest otherwise.

    It's entirely possible he's beloved by the WWE faithful in the weeks ahead, but with Paul being so organically detestable, to book him as anything other than a heel would be shortsighted. Keeping him a face would also hurt fans' interest in the outing and make the match with Miz feel like less of an attraction.

    Regardless of whose idea it was to turn him from the heel role, it needs to be rectified coming out of SummerSlam. It's too late to turn Miz now, and altering the dynamic at this stage would make matters even more confusing.

    Paul undoubtedly brings value to WWE, but his run could get off to a less-than-stellar start if the intention is for him to get cheered at SummerSlam and the reaction is the exact opposite instead.

Solo Sikoa Is Primed for Main Roster Call-up Post-SummerSlam

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    Looking at the landscape of the NXT 2.0 roster, Solo Sikoa makes the most sense to be the next one called up to WWE's main stage given how far he is in his development and how he doesn't have much else going on creatively.

    Despite his ring name (and even a few promos he's cut on NXT TV) suggesting otherwise, Sikoa should absolutely be slotted with The Bloodline upon being called up. It would be even better for him to make his premiere appearance on WWE TV at SummerSlam, aiding The Usos to victory over The Street Profits.

    The original belief among fans is that he could have been the special guest referee for that tag title clash. However, since poor officiating from the ref cost Street Profits the win at Money in the Bank, it would have been foolish to then put Sikoa in a spot where he could clearly favor The Usos.

    Moreover, The Bloodline have been draped in all the gold for months, but they've definitely grown slightly stale in Roman Reigns' absence. Adding Sikoa to the mix would immediately freshen things up and give them someone to invade the midcard scene.

    SummerSlam is the perfect place to have it happen so he can be introduced to a massive audience and waste no time in rolling with his family. It can be as simple as him helping The Usos win when special guest ref Jeff Jarrett isn't looking, or beating down the babyfaces with a vicious post-match assault.

    Either way, his arrival is imminent.

Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland's AEW Tag Title Reign Must Be Short-lived

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    Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland hadn't done a whole lot in AEW since arriving earlier this year aside from teaming together and making the occasional appearance on Dynamite. It was certainly a cool moment when they became AEW World Tag Team champions last Wednesday, but it unnecessarily threw the entire division into a state of disarray.

    Prior to the title change, it appeared AEW was building toward a rubber match between The Young Bucks and FTR at All Out for all the gold. Unless the Bucks get the belts back in the next few weeks, that's almost definitely off the table.

    Even with all of the titles they possess, FTR is far and away the best tag team AEW has and should be AEW World Tag Team champions over Lee and Strickland. The latter duo works well together but aren't a true team and are bound to break up sooner rather than later.

    It then becomes an issue of AEW favoring a makeshift team over the many others who have been in their division for years. Lee and Strickland are amazing singles competitors and should be pushed on their own, especially while there are plenty of other teams that should be in the spot they find themselves in.

    A short title reign for them would reignite the possibility of Bucks vs. FTR, but again, it's not looking likely. Depending on how this is handled, this could be a step backward for AEW's tag team division or an opportunity to do something fun but different enough from what the company has done in the past with feuding partners.

    Graham Mirmina, aka Graham "GSM" Matthews, has specialized in sports and entertainment writing since 2010. Visit his website, WrestleRant, and subscribe to his YouTube channel for more wrestling-related content.


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