Posted by Jamie Welton
Think back over the years, it’s startling to think the last time I feel the tag team division in WWE was relevant on TV is when teams like The Hardy Boyz, The Dudley Boyz, Edge and Christian, and The Acolytes were facing off during the Attitude Era, trading and earning multiple tag team championship reigns. Since then, the good old days of tag team wrestling have gone and have been replaced by two wrestlers being thrown together. That is until fairly recently, when performances from teams such as The Real Americans, The Uso’s, The Shield, and most recently Cody Rhodes and Goldust stepped up the quality of matches and made it feel that Tag Team wrestling is once again on the rise.
Lets be honest, have there really been any tag teams who have been relevant since the Attitude Era teams named above? Sure, teams like the Worlds Greatest Tag Team, Hart Dynasty, Deuce and Domino, Paul London & Brian Kendrick, Team Hell No, and MNM have all proved to be talented and popular tag teams over the years, but the problem is that the majority of these teams did not have another talented team to work off, or with, and WWE did not really seem to want to push the tag division as a priority. I think it’s fair to say that WWE has mistreated it’s tag team division for a number of years now, and it seems to become relevant again, whenever it seems to suit Vince McMahon.
There have been some truly talented teams who could have really carried that division for WWE over the years that could have really given something for the fans to enjoy. However, a lack of interest from Vince McMahon seemed to have put this on the back burner. Just imagine what a team like the Hart Dynasty could have done in their prime as a tag team? They were solid wrestlers who were in WWE as a tag team at the wrong time. I think if Harry Smith made the decision to return to WWE, and re-form the team with Tyson Kidd, the two would have great success and finally show the world what they can do. Paul London and Brian Kendrick are another fine example – A great team, entertaining wrestlers, but I feel they did not have enough teams to work with to be truly successful, and shows the fans their full potential.
As of late we have suddenly seen the tag teams take their opportunities to show us what they can do in the ring. The catalyst team for this for me was The Shield. Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose came into WWE and literally stated their intent in the ring. Their first pay per view match saw them face off against John Cena, CM Punk, and Ryback. The Shield not only held their own, they exceeded all expectations put on them. The independent experience of Ambrose and Rollins made them the stand outs of the team, but Reigns was a concern due to him being considered very ‘green’. By the end of their first match those fears were laid to rest, and since then the team have gone on to have some great matches, and a successful run as WWE Tag Team Champions.
The Shield have had some great matches, and for the team to really shine they needed to face great opponents. Step forward Cody Rhodes and Goldust. The recent matches between these two teams have been nothing short of phenomenal. Cody Rhodes has grabbed the bull by the horns with this run and has shown everyone the potential a lot of fans knew he already had. Goldust came back and looked like he had never missed a beat since his last proper WWE run in 2011. In fact not only did he look like he never missed a beat, Goldust appears to be having some of the best matches of his career. The fact these two half brothers are now able to work together may be just the push they need to really step up to the mark and show WWE and the fans what they are capable of. The team are having some of the best matches on any WWE shows right now, and I cannot see this ending any time soon if they keep the momentum they seem to be building up running.
Likewise, many fans have known that Jimmy and Jey Uso are a talented young tag team with a real bright future in the company. They have never won the WWE Tag Team Championships since their debut in the company in 2010, and started out brightly by feuding with the Hart Dynasty, but since then I feel they have not really had a relevant feud to challenge and push them. The is until their recent feud with The Shield, following their victory at Money in the Bank 2013 that earned them the chance to face The Shield for the Tag Team Championships. Since then I have seen a side to Jimmy and Jey that seems to have been bursting to come out. They are performing on another level right now that is making them serious contenders for a shot at a run with the Tag Team Championships. Only hard work, and time, will see whether or not that will happen.
The quality of the tag team matches these teams have put on at pay per views such as Night of Champions, Battleground, and at Hell in a Cell, as well as on Raw and Smackdown, have been of a level WWE Has been lacking for some time. I hope that the quality of these matches not only continues to improve, but is here to stay for the long haul. From what I hear, people need to tune in to watch WWE Smackdown this week to see the six tag team match between John Cena, Cody Rhodes & Goldust and the team of Damien Sandow & the Real Americans. You will also see The Uso’s face off against The Shield, which I have no doubt will be another top quality match. We can only continue to hope that more teams in the division step up their game and make WWE’s tag team division something to once again be proud of, for both the company and the fans.
I look forward to seeing your thoughts on the current state of the tag team division in WWE. Do you feel things have improved recently with the teams mentioned? Or do you believe that things have not really changed, and some of the matches have just been of a great quality. Are there any teams you feel I have missed out on? As always, please feel free to leave your thoughts and comments below.