Getting Rid of WWE's Women's Tag Titles, Johnny Elite in AEW, More Quick Takes
The ramifications of Sasha Banks and Naomi walking out of Monday's WWE Raw are still being felt, and while many aspects of the situation are still unknown, what is certain is that they are no longer the reigning WWE Women's Tag Team champions.
WWE revealed during Friday's SmackDown that the two former Team B.A.D. members will be stripped of the titles and suspended indefinitely. It was also revealed that an upcoming tournament will determine the next pair of champs, despite there not being a big enough division to justify doing that.
Although Banks and Naomi could be on their way out of WWE, John Morrison may be the latest addition to the AEW roster, albeit under a different name. He debuted on Dynamite as the joker entrant against Samoa Joe in the men's Owen Hart Cup and had an impressive performance in defeat.
Elite very likely won't be on the card for Double or Nothing, and he won't be the only one missing. The lineup for next Sunday's AEW pay-per-view is virtually complete, and yet the rushed setup for some of the matches hasn't helped.
This installment of Quick Takes will tackle how AEW botched the build to Double or Nothing, WWE officially unifying their tag titles on SmackDown, Roman Reigns' rumored list of opponents for the summer and more.
WWE's Women's Tag Team Division Is Officially Dead in the Water
All things considered, Sasha Banks and Naomi were among the best-booked WWE Women's Tag Team champions the company has had to date. The titles themselves haven't meant that much more than they did previously, but they no doubt gave the belts additional exposure and won more often than not.
With Banks and Naomi now being stripped of the titles and suspended, there is virtually no hope left for the division that the former Team B.A.D. duo desperately wanted to help elevate.
The WWE Women's Tag Team Championship belts have largely been utilized as paperweights since their inception, and that is WWE's fault for not doing more to make fans care. Sadly, the newly announced tag team tournament to determine the next pair of champs won't fix matters because there are barely any female teams as it is.
Natalya and Shayna Baszler, as well as Nikki A.S.H. and Doudrop, are almost guaranteed to take part, but the well runs dry beyond them. Carmella and Queen Zelina will likely reunite for one night at least, but that's about it.
It's clear that the division has never been a priority to WWE and never will be. The situation surrounding Banks and Naomi could—and should—have been used as an opportunity to get rid of the titles altogether, but don't be fooled into thinking that WWE will start taking them seriously again because that's what Banks and Naomi were fighting for in the first place.
WWE Should Keep the Tag Titles on Raw and SmackDown Unified
The popular belief among fans as of late has been that the WWE Championship and Universal Championship should be broken back up again into their own entities. This would give more Superstars from both brands more opportunities, especially since Roman Reigns hasn't done much of note since becoming Undisputed WWE Universal Championship.
The men's tag team titles, however, are far better off staying unified as long as it's necessary.
In what should come as little surprise, WWE has hardly valued tag team wrestling in recent years. The Raw and SmackDown tag team divisions are so depleted that merging them together into one was the best thing WWE could have done.
The finish to Friday's SmackDown main event that saw The Usos beat RK-Bro to unify the titles was shockingly clean. The obvious answer would be to run the bout back at Hell in a Cell inside the so-called Devil's Playground, but who The Usos take on from there after already beating nearly everyone there is to beat is the question.
Either way, having one pair of unified champs for the men is the way to go.
There's No Excuse for AEW's Rushed Build to Double or Nothing
AEW's last appearance on pay-per-view was Revolution in early March. It was an extremely well-received event by fans, and although we've gotten some strong television from AEW since, the build for Double or Nothing should have started much sooner than it did.
Of course, the biggest attraction on the card will be CM Punk challenging Adam Page for the AEW World Championship. That's been in the works for a while, but everything else seems to be coming together at the last minute.
The finals of the men's and women's Owen Hart Cups were announced many months ago, but the tournament matches themselves have been rushed on Dynamite and Rampage recently. The Thunder Rosa vs. Serena Deeb program has been solid so far, but that should have kicked off earlier than it did.
Even The Hardys vs. The Young Bucks, which is an exciting renewal of a rivalry on paper, doesn't feel as big as it should.
With all of that being said, AEW almost always knocks it out of the park with their pay-per-views. Double or Nothing next Sunday should be no exception, but the build should start sooner next time to achieve maximum effect.
Roman Reigns' Rumored Upcoming Title Defenses All Feel Like Exciting Attractions
The Undisputed WWE Universal Championship reign of Roman Reigns has been nothing to rave about since WrestleMania 38 seeing as how he hasn't defended either belt at all on television. The fact he isn't advertised to appear at Hell in a Cell doesn't help, but at least the promise of three marquee matches for him this summer is a step in the right direction.
Per Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t WrestlingNews.co), Matt Riddle will be next to challenge Reigns at Money in the Bank in Allegiant Stadium in early July. That would explain why the two have gotten physical with each other recently on SmackDown and why Reigns cost RK-Bro the Raw Tag Team Championship.
From there, Riddle's partner Randy Orton will be next to take on Reigns at SummerSlam. The two originally faced off at the 2014 installment of the event, but the dynamic is so much stronger all these years later now that the roles have been reversed.
Finally, Drew McIntyre is slated to be Reigns' opponent at the Clash at the Castle mega show in early September. That bout has been a long time in the making and Wales will be the perfect environment to host it.
Mind you, these upcoming booking plans with Reigns don't excuse his lack of defenses since 'Mania, and who knows where Cody Rhodes will factor into all of this, but at least those are three matches worth looking forward to later in the summer assuming WWE doesn't change course.
While Not Necessary, Johnny Elite Would Be a Solid Addition to AEW's Roster
There were several likely possibilities for who could have been the mystery joker entrant for the men on Wednesday's Dynamite, and Johnny Elite was a pleasant surprise. He was last seen on WWE TV in November before being randomly released from the roster.
The former John Morrison received a nice reaction from the crowd and had a solid showing against Samoa Joe, but there was no indication he had been signed to a full-time deal. Even a few days removed from the debut, Elite still doesn't feel like a must-sign star for AEW based on the stacked roster they already have.
There is a significant list of stars AEW has signed with some buzz behind them that quickly disappeared off into Dark purgatory. Granted, there's only so much television time to go around, but it's getting to a point where it's almost as ridiculous as when WWE signed everyone under the sun and did nothing with them.
Realistically, Elite would be a great fit for the AEW TNT Championship picture and have a ton of fun matches, but it's also possible he gets lost in the shuffle almost as soon he arrives. He'd need his wife Taya Valkyrie to stand out as a heel unit.
Until then, he's better off making one-off appearances for AEW and elsewhere to remind the world what he's capable of.
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.