Predicting the Next Tag Teams Created by WWE and AEW
All Elite Wrestling has an impressive tag team division, with nearly everyone on the roster partnered up or working with some sort of faction. WWE also has some amazing tag teams and stables but often cannibalizes the division several times per year, for whatever reason.
Having more teams is beneficial all around. It allows more crossover between storylines, gives wrestlers someone to work against who is tied to their current rival while not wrestling that person directly and can sometimes bring the best out of everyone's personalities if they have chemistry with their teammates.
Throughout 2021, there will undoubtedly be new teams that forge out of both grand plans and completely random partnerships.
Let's try to predict some of the ways WWE and AEW may pair their wrestlers in the near future.
Lana and Naomi
While she's yet to appear since being drafted, Naomi is listed as a member of the Raw roster. Considering her husband, Jimmy Uso, is likely to stay on SmackDown with Jey to keep The Usos together, she may return to the blue brand.
If she stays on the red brand, though, the company may return to the idea of pairing her with Lana.
For a short spell in 2018, Naomi and Lana teased becoming a tag team called Ravishing Glow that would play off their mutual backgrounds in dance. They also had some chemistry together; Naomi is the ring veteran who can anchor the team and teach Lana some tricks along the way.
Lana is a character who WWE keeps moving between different people. In 2020, she was with Bobby Lashley, had a love story with Liv Morgan, teamed with Natalya for a while and rounded out the year fighting alongside Asuka.
It seems she doesn't stay by herself long, so unless the game plan is to put her with Nikki Cross or another member of the Raw roster, Naomi may be the best fit to be by her side if she's going to stick to wrestling instead of going back to being a manager.
Valentina Feroz and Katrina Cortez
WWE Performance Center trainees Rita Reis and Catalina Garcia are now going by the names Valentina Feroz and Katrina Cortez, respectively.
The two have become friends and share a connection that could make for a viable tag team. Feroz is from Brazil and Cortez is Chilean, and while being from South America doesn't guarantee they will work well together, it's a commonality other teams would love to have.
Don't be surprised if these two team up as part of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. They may not go far, but it could be the start of something great.
Candy Floss and Xia Brookside
While the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship is technically available for all brands, there has yet to be a single match involving the NXT UK roster. In part, that is due to it having the smallest number of women available and no tag teams.
However, if WWE was looking to pair anyone up from that list, Candy Floss and Xia Brookside would make the most sense.
Since her debut, Brookside has been an energetic and positive performer who has a smile on her face every time she steps in the ring. Considering Floss has brought candy canes and lollipops to the ring with her, her character matches that vibe.
The Robert Stone Brand
Robert Stone has had a tough time retaining clients, but he's already tweeted that he's looking for a partner to team with Aliyah for the upcoming tournament.
Chelsea Green and Mercedes Martinez both left his partnership, but they could always return if the former has recovered from injury and the latter isn't vying for the NXT Women's Championship.
However, Blackheart has suggested Performance Center recruit Skyler Storey as Aliyah's next partner.
Storey, formerly known as Brandi Lauren, has yet to formally debut for NXT. She's appeared as an extra in the hot tub for Damian Priest's North American Championship celebration, but she hasn't stepped inside the ring under that name.
Aliyah could also reform her Borne & Boujee team with Vanessa Borne, which hasn't been seen in months. They have a history together and bringing Borne back into the fold would be an easy transition.
'Pretty' Peter Avalon's Stable of Beautiful People
After ditching the librarian gimmick, "Pretty" Peter Avalon now has a running gag where he is wrestling people based on their looks, which is dubbed "Pretty Peter's Pageant Provocation."
He ridicules everyone he beats as not being attractive enough, but eventually he's going to find someone he'll want to partner up with.
That may be in the form of another wrestler who touts themselves as being attractive so he can form a proper tag team with them. No suggestions for that role spring to mind, but it would be best to bring in someone from the indies and start them out with that introduction.
Alternatively, Avalon could take on a female partner such as Rache Chanel, who is all about style and fashion. He could be the centerpiece talker of a faction dedicated to this gimmick if AEW has enough people who could fit.
Matt Sydal with Chaos Project
Matt Sydal defeated Serpentico on the December 22 edition of AEW Dark, but the two were fighting alongside one another—as well as Luther—on the January 6 episode of Dynamite.
No formal partnership has been established with Sydal and Chaos Project, but the group makes sense. Sydal makes it a point to talk about opening your third eye and has that iconography on his attire, while Luther has a third eye painted onto his forehead every night.
If trios titles are instituted at some point this year, which has been hinted at in the past, it wouldn't hurt to have another faction among the ranks.
Big Swole and Leyla Hirsch
Big Swole has a natural tag team partner in Nicole Savoy, who went by the name Lil' Swole in the AEW Women's Tag Team Cup Tournament: The Deadly Draw.
That's virtually all we've seen of Savoy, though. Instead of being signed to the roster or working numerous episodes of AEW Dark, she's been doing other things.
Assuming she isn't brought back into the mix at some point and teams up with Big Swole again, AEW could look elsewhere for a partner and find one in "Legit" Leyla Hirsch.
Much like Dana Brooke and Mandy Rose have bonded over being two of the more muscular women on the WWE roster, Swole and Hirsch are arguably the toughest women in AEW.
Swole isn't the biggest female wrestler, but she's top-tier in terms of strength. Hirsch has developed a reputation for being AEW's Shayna Baszler—a formidable technician with an amateur wrestling background.
With Swole's power and Hirsch's skills, they would make for an imposing duo.
Abadon and Kris Statlander
It's a long shot, but if AEW was looking to partner anyone with either Abadon or Kris Statlander, the two might play off each other better than anyone else on the roster.
At first, that seems impossible. One is more of a scary heel who attacked Hikaru Shida like a caged animal while the other is a quirky babyface who "boops" people's noses.
However, oddball pairings can be among the most interesting, and when wrestlers have gimmicks that stand out like these two, sometimes they pick up traits from each other in fun ways.
If Abadon is a demon zombie or something along those lines, why would she team with anyone like Penelope Ford or Red Velvet? At least Statlander fancies herself as an alien, for whatever reason. That's certainly more otherworldly than Dr. Britt Baker being a dentist.
Booker T and Goldust worked. Daniel Bryan and Kane had a great run as Team Hell No. Even Rockabilly and The Roadie became one of the best teams of all time as The New Age Outlaws. Perhaps Abadon and Statlander could find a common ground amid their eccentricity.
Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.