Push or Break Up These 10 WWE and AEW Tag Teams

Graham GSM Matthews@@WrestleRantFeatured ColumnistApril 16, 2022

Push or Break Up These 10 WWE and AEW Tag Teams

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    FTR are on their run of their career right now and should continue to be pushed to the top of AEW's tag team division.
    FTR are on their run of their career right now and should continue to be pushed to the top of AEW's tag team division.Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    Tag team wrestling is a hot topic of conversation at the moment in both WWE and AEW, though for very different reasons.

    AEW is widely regarded as having the deepest tag team division anywhere in wrestling. The promotion started off with a wealth of talented teams in 2019, and their tag team scene has only grown bigger and better since then.

    In WWE, tag teams have been much less of a priority for many years now. It's commonplace for the company to pair two singles wrestlers out of convenience before breaking them up once they get going and develop strong chemistry together.

    Despite that, WWE has a handful of tandems worth getting excited about right now, whether it be the wildly entertaining RK-Bro and Alpha Academy or tag team staples such as The Usos and The New Day. The same can be said for the women's tag division, which also has a few promising pairings.

    In both companies, there are plenty of teams that could either be pushed at a higher level or be split up once they've run their course. These are 10 that WWE and AEW should take action with in the immediate future to bolster both divisions.

Push: Blackpool Combat Club

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    It's been just over a month since Bryan Danielson, Jon Moxley and William Regal joined forces, and already they're arguably the best thing going in AEW right now.

    Collectively known as Blackpool Combat Club, the three seasoned veterans came together out of respect for the sport and knowing they were far stronger together than apart. This followed a brutal battle Danielson and Moxley had at Revolution, and with the guidance of Regal, they are an unstoppable unit.

    Danielson and Moxley made quick work of their opponents in tag team competition the first few times they teamed up. They've since branched off into singles action, which has led to ROH Pure champion Wheeler Yuta joining their ranks as well.

    Everything about this stable works exceptionally well. Danielson, Moxley and Regal all complement each other perfectly, and the idea for them to recruit promising prospects who share their vision is brilliant.

    Regardless of who is in possession of the AEW World Tag Team Championships by Double or Nothing, any combination of Danielson, Moxley and Yuta should be contending for them at that event and probably winning them. They've already proved to be an excellent act, and they've merely scratched the surface of what they can do together.

Break Up: Rhea Ripley and Liv Morgan

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    WWE has largely overlooked its women's tag team division since its inception three years ago, but a few teams have managed to inject excitement into the scene, with the duo of Rhea Ripley and Liv Morgan being a shining example.

    They were a classic case of WWE not knowing what to do with two singles stars heading into WrestleMania 38 but not wanting to leave them off the card. That led to them being paired in a tag team and immediately hitting it off as partners.

    As well as they work together, however, their tandem comes at the expense of the momentum Ripley was building following the end of her alliance with Nikki A.S.H earlier this year. This team benefits Morgan more than it does Ripley, who is ready for a real run at the Raw Women's Championship.

    Thankfully, WWE has already begun to plant the seeds of dissension between the two. Ripley was not thrilled with Morgan enduring another loss on the post-WrestleMania edition of Raw, and when they once again unsuccessfully challenge for the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship, that should be the catalyst for a Ripley heel turn.

    What that will mean for Morgan is unknown, but she's popular enough to rebound. Raw needs top heels in its women's division at the moment, and Ripley can occupy one of those spots once she betrays the former Riott Squad member.

Push: FTR

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    Although FTR have always had a reputation for being one of wrestling's top teams, they've taken it up an extra notch as of late to where now there's no denying that claim.

    Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler came into AEW with plenty of fanfare in the spring of 2020 and quickly captured the AEW World Tag Team Championships. Unfortunately, their reign was short-lived, and they were booked as background players in The Pinnacle from that point forward.

    Thus, their recent babyface turn and split from The Pinnacle was the best thing that could have happened to them.

    In a five-day stretch, they contested two of the very best bouts all year with The Briscoes and The Young Bucks, respectively. They currently reign as both the ROH and AAA world tag team champions while the AEW World Tag Team Championships remain in their sights.

    As prominently featured as they have been lately, AEW should go all the way with the duo by crowning them AEW champs on the sooner side. It would complete the hat trick and make them the most important tandem in all of wrestling (assuming they aren't already).

    At the very least, AEW must allow them to maintain momentum and keep killing it on a weekly basis.

Break Up: Best Friends

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    Best Friends started out as one of AEW's most popular acts, but the more time that passes, the more evident it is that an AEW World Tag Team Championships run isn't in their future.

    Trent Beretta and Chuck Taylor had been teaming in various promotions long before AEW came along. They've since been joined by Wheeler Yuta, Orange Cassidy and Kris Statlander, but with all three of them branching off as of late, it's apparent that Best Friends would be better off doing the same.

    Beretta has shown standout singles potential in his various matches with Adam Cole, Bryan Danielson and Jay White. He even scored a surprising victory over Nick Jackson on the January 21 edition of Rampage.

    That said, Taylor would be the one at risk of fading into obscurity. He's a competent competitor but not nearly as skilled as Beretta and would likely be relegated to Dark duty if Best Friends were to end.

    Despite that, unless six-man tag team titles are introduced soon, Best Friends have clearly hit a ceiling in AEW and most members would benefit from breaking away and ditching the comedy.

Push: Los Lotharios

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    Los Lotharios are one of the most talented tandems WWE has, yet you would never know it because of how bizarre their booking has been in 2022.

    They started off the year being able to showcase their skills in a stellar series of matches with The New Day before spending some time in the Intercontinental Championship picture prior to WrestleMania 38. They failed to win the gold, and now they're apparently entering an angle with newcomer Raquel Rodriquez.

    Of course, Angel and Humberto are legitimately cousins and thus their chemistry is off the charts. WWE was wise to pair them together when they did, but they need to rack up wins in order for fans to take them seriously as any sort of threat to the tag titles.

    The Usos being the current SmackDown tag champions hasn't helped as they are fellow heels and WWE likely won't have them feud, but there's no reason why they can't begin a rivalry with The Viking Raiders and build momentum that way.

    Los Lotharios are still new to the tag team scene, but they've shown that they're ready for more than what they've been given. With The Lethal Lovers, WWE needs to focus more on the former part of their nickname and not so much the latter.

Break Up: The Dirty Dawgs

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    Aside from a brief resurgence in NXT recently, Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode have long overstayed their welcome as a team.

    The two first joined forces in the fall of 2019 and won the Raw Tag Team Championships shortly thereafter. Although it was a brief reign, they later redeemed themselves with a four-month run as the SmackDown tag champions in 2021.

    Since then, The Dirty Dawgs have been booked as undercard competitors and understandably so. They're obviously capable of contesting quality matches, but there is nothing remotely interesting about them as characters.

    Ziggler and Roode are both seasoned veterans, but Roode has been in WWE for far less time than Ziggler and deserves a real chance at attaining singles stardom. It's most likely too late for that, but it would be worth a shot as opposed to keeping him and Ziggler together to flounder in tag team purgatory.

    Even Ziggler could find new opponents to mix it up with on his own, but either way, The Dirty Dawgs should be no more.

Push: The Hurt Business

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    The Hurt Business remain one of WWE's biggest blunders of the last several years.

    The formation of the group with MVP, Bobby Lashley and Shelton Benjamin along with the addition of Cedric Alexander was among the top highlights of the company's ThunderDome era in 2020. They were well on their way to holding all the gold on Raw before WWE inexplicably had Lashley and MVP sever with Benjamin and Alexander.

    Lashley and MVP wound up being just fine, but breaking Benjamin and Alexander away from them proved to be disastrous for the latter two. They also turned on each other before eventually reuniting because it was clear WWE had no other plans for them.

    Their Raw appearances in 2022 have been few and far between, and whenever they have shown up, they've been used as enhancement talent. They've spent a majority of their time spinning their wheels on Main Event.

    An RK-Bro vs. Hurt Business feud could be fun if Alexander and Benjamin are built up as actual threats. Both still have so much to offer and shouldn't be underutilized any longer.

Break Up: The Lucha Brothers/Death Triangle

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    The Lucha Brothers have always been one of the most entertaining teams to watch in AEW, at least whenever injuries haven't stalled their momentum.

    The duo finally received their overdue run with the AEW World Tag Team Championships last year before dropping the belts to Jurassic Express at the onset of 2022. It was in that same match that Rey Fenix went down with a nasty elbow dislocation and has been sidelined since.

    In his absence, Penta El Zero Miedo has been repackaged as Penta Oscuro (a la his Lucha Underground persona) and has come off cooler than he ever has been. He and his Death Triangle partner Pac haven't been aligned as much lately, and that's the way it should stay, even once Fenix is cleared to return.

    The Lucha Brothers have done all they can in the tag team ranks, and it's time for them to put all of their focus into their singles careers.

    Similar to some of the aforementioned tandems, a full-fledged breakup isn't needed. Rather, they can remain linked but not associate with each other as often so they can test the waters in one-on-one competition.

Push: Santana and Ortiz

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    The fact that Santana and Ortiz have yet to hold the AEW World Tag Team Championships despite being with AEW since the summer of 2019 is egregious, to say the least.

    The two were ripping it up everywhere they went prior to signing with the promotion, and although they were booked well from the get-go in their feud with The Young Bucks and as members of Inner Circle, they took a backseat to Chris Jericho for the better part of 2020.

    Their fortunes didn't change much in 2021, at least until they finally parted ways with Jericho and Inner Circle. Then again, they're still tied to Jericho as part of their ongoing rivalry with him and the rest of Jericho Appreciation Society, so they still aren't involved in the tag title mix like they should be.

    Fans can only hope that they'll emerge from this feud on the winning end so they can finally move past the faction wars and begin chasing gold for the first time. They've earned the opportunity and are too talented to be relegated to anything else for much longer.

    Regardless of whether they're babyfaces or heels, Santana and Ortiz are a tremendous team and don't often get the credit they deserve. If they haven't become champions by this time next year, it might be in their best interest to start exploring other options.

Break Up: The Mysterios

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    Rey and Dominik Mysterio becoming the first father-son duo to win WWE tag team gold at last year's WrestleMania Backlash event was a fantastic feel-good moment, but the time has come for them to go their separate ways.

    For a while on SmackDown, it appeared as if WWE was moving in that direction with all the tension that was being teased. They ended up getting back on the same page once they were moved over to Raw in the 2021 draft, and they've been a cohesive unit ever since.

    There was the possibility of WWE holding off on the breakup so they could go one-on-one at WrestleMania 38, but that never came to fruition either. Instead, they took on the tandem of The Miz and Logan Paul and fell short of victory.

    Dominik being brutally attacked by Veer Mahaan this past week on Raw should pave the way for an NXT run for him. There, he can continue to hone his craft and carve his own legacy while Rey makes the most of this last stretch of his career on his own.

    That would also prevent Dominik from unnecessarily turning heel on his father. A reunion down the road when Dominik has more experience under his belt is always likely, but their best bet would be to move in different directions as singles stars.

           

    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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