The Stomping Ground: The WWE Tag Team Scene (The Shield, Team Hell No)

Well, I gave it PLENTY of time, didn’t I? I promised that I would wait until after Wrestlemania to pass judgment on the state of the tag team division, and I patiently waited before coming to any one particular conclusion about it. Way back in September of 2012 I posted a column about how Team Hell No was not a true revival of the tag team scene in the WWE. I claimed that many people were getting just a little too excited about something that I believed ultimately would not pan out. It’s been seven months since my proclamation; seven months since I predicted what would be the ultimate resolution to the heightened drama surrounding the title belts currently held by Team Hell No.

And, in a way, I was right.

The tag team division has not been the same since the end of the Attitude Era, and it points to something I referenced in my September article: thrown-together singles competitors are the only way those belts will ever get the spotlight in this day and age. Even in the number one contenders’ tournament held last October, the two teams which received the most air time were Team Rhodes Scholars and Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara. Let’s take a look at the tag team situation from half a year ago and see where we are now.

Team Hell No: Still Tag Team Champions after all these months, and completely on the same page after their anger management classes/skits. It appears as though their time is up in May, however (more on that later).

The Usos: Jimmy and Jey received a mini-push of sorts for a while but when news of the alleged DUI came out (revealed to be a misunderstanding), the Usos slowly disappeared. Hell, even before that they were barely on TV.

Team Rhodes Scholars
: For whatever reasons, the perfect foil to Kane and Daniel Bryan never won the titles. They were broken up for two weeks, and then thrown back together with no real explanation…and for some reason they’re not back in the title hunt. Now Rhodes and Sandow are feuding with Tons of Fat.

Team CoBro: Santino Marella and Zack Ryder were put together as a comedy team for the tournament. Despite positive fan reaction, they didn’t last and Marella suffered an injury, further pushing their chances into oblivion.

The Primetime Players: Finally, a legitimate tag team debuting together! They were poised for a run with the gold, but apparently weren’t polished enough and couldn’t win the belts. They’re still together, but job to Team Hell No on a regular basis.

Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel: They never stood a chance, especially after Tyson Kidd was put out of action with an injury.

Epico and Primo: A team in the tournament who had actually been Tag Team Champions, the Colon cousins have been treated as jobbers to the likes of Ryback and the Great Khali. Any chance for glory has gone out the window.

Kofi Kingston and R-Truth: The former Tag Team Champions who lost to Kane and Bryan went their separate ways after failing to regain the gold.

Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio: Plagued by a string of injuries (and botches), the luchador team never made it out of the gate.

And there you have it. Of the nine teams mentioned, five are still together; of those five, only three receive any real exposure. And of those three, the team of Hell No is guaranteed to be in matches every week, while Rhodes Scholars are jobbing to Tons of Funk (Brodus Clay and Tensai) in a pointless feud and the PTP are perennial jobbers now as well.

Up until a couple of weeks ago, I was all set to smugly gloat about how right I was…and then The Shield got involved.

Though it hasn’t been made official yet, the apparent plan is to put the titles around the waists of The Shield at Extreme Rules, Freebirds-style, and I heartily approve. I’m all for this move, as it not only takes the belts off the stale team of Bryan and Kane but also puts focus on a team who have proven themselves more than capable of beating every main eventer in their path of destruction. With a heel faction holding those belts, a team who has a great amount of heat and buzz behind them, interest SHOULD be at an all-time high to see which duo can overcome the numbers game and take the belts from Rollins, Ambrose, and Reigns.

But knowing the WWE as we all do, they’ll probably fuck this up somehow. We can only wait and see. Hopefully this isn’t just another hiccup on the road to re-energize the once-again stagnant tag team division. Let me know what you think about this in the comments below.

So long, and thanks for all the fish.

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