Pro Wrestling

Analyzing the WWE Tag Team Division

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Tag Team wrestling holds a pretty significant spot in Summerslam lore. The original event in 1988 was headlined by a tag team match: Hulk Hogan and the Macho Man, aptly called the Mega Powers, defeated The Mega Bucks, Ted DiBiase and Andre the Giant. Many WWE Tag Team Championship matches at Summerslam have received acclaim since the birth of the event.

The two out of three three falls match between The Hart Foundation and Demolition at Summerslam 1990 holds a special place in my heart. Summerslam 2000 featured the first ever Tables, Ladders and Chairs match between the Dudley’s, Hardy’s and Edge and Christian; many consider this one of the best Summerslam matches of all time.

Despite all this, the tag team champions were left off the card for the second-straight year. The Uso’s were subjugated to being lumberjacks in the Seth Rollins-Dean Ambrose match. This is unfortunate. The feud between the Uso’s and the Wyatt’s that went on for the better part of the last three months produced some of the best matches of the summer. Since the Uso’s beat Luke Harper and Erik Rowan at Battleground in a heated two out of three falls match, which was the match of the night, they’ve been kept rather quiet.

Understandably, there simply isn’t another team that can challenge them for the titles at the moment. The Los Matadors are nothing more than a comedy act. Not a real viable threat to the championship. It also doesn’t help that Fernando is out with an injury. But, hey, Diego has been picking up singles wins over Fandango. Clearly moving up the ranks toward a singles title run, if nothing else.

RyBaxel is a team I can get behind. I know I’m in the minority. After fledgling as singles stars, Ryback and Curtis Axel have really found chemistry as former Paul Heyman guys. Sadly, this is the go-to team when a baby-face tandem needs a win. This is why we desperately need nameless “enhancement talent” back on WWE programming. A tag title shot is not looking good for them. Stardust and Goldust are interesting. They haven’t wrestled in a lot of matches since beating RyBaxel over and over; but their character development has been solid. Their search for the cosmic key has been some of the more compelling segments on WWE television. They have hope, but unless they turn heel, I don’t see them challenging the reigning Uso’s anytime soon.

Slater-Gator is the closest thing we have to the aforementioned enhancement talent. Titus O’Neil and Heath Slater are the thrown-together jobber tandem. I love both guys, but I also live in the real world and know this is as close as the previously mentioned enhancement talent as we get nowadays. They may get a shot at the Uso’s, but it will be in a five minute squash on Main Event or Superstars.

Big Show and Mark Henry is a new tag team thrown together just recently. Big Show has had as many partners as I had adult beverages Sunday for Summerslam. It’s still up in the air if this is serious or building toward a match between the two. Their Vengeance 2011 match was much better than one would think and both guys are better suited for singles competition. Hopefully, this is just the beginning of a singles feud.

The Ascension is probably the answer. Konnor and Viktor are the current NXT Tag Team Champions, and have been for almost a year. They are a very large, brooding, dominant team. However, their long title reign may just be because the NXT tag team division is even more thin that the main roster. I haven’t been overly impressed with their in-ring work, but they do have charisma and a good look. I think they will be fast tracked right into the tag team title picture upon call up and end a lengthy Uso’s reign in the near future.

This isn’t the worst the tag team division has looked in the last decade, but it isn’t exactly a strength of the product. The Uso’s are probably going to be the tag team champions for a few more months, but better opponents could have made their reign really memorable. Unfortunately, good competition just doesn’t exist for them to consistently put on great matches.

Ryan Ball is a writer for Follow him on Twitter @squash_match