My Two Centsss - These Are The Top Seven Tag Teams of the Year (Plus Raw Thoughts)
By Super Chrisss
Dec 17, 2013 - 3:30:34 PM
Before we get into my list for the seven best tag teams of 2013 - from both WWE and TNA - I thought I would quickly give my thoughts on last night's Raw (since I assume Al Laiman suffered a stroke after watching the announce team take 'selfies' during a match). Personally, I found last night's Raw to be one of the most enjoyable episodes in quite some time. Think about it - we got some great matches (Henry & Big E vs. The Real Americans. Punk & The Usos vs. The Shield, and Orton/Bryan immediately come to mind). We got some nice character development from Brodus Clay, even if he's still light years away from being a true "main-event player". We got a really cool in-ring segment between Shawn Michaels and CM Punk (teasing a potential Wrestlemania match, those bastards). Hell, even Aj picked up a non-title victory over a Bella!
If I was a fan who attended Monday's Raw in person, I probably would have rated the show at least a 9/10. Unfortunately, I had to watch Raw at home and endure, hands down, the worst part of the show - the commentary. I don't care if the announce team deciding to take 'selfies' in a match that featured Rey Mysterio, The Big Show, and the WWE Tag Team Champions was meant as a rib to Barack Obama. It's stupid. To 99% of the people watching at home who didn't get the joke, it translated that Cole, Lawler, and JBL cared more about taking pictures of themselves than calling the match. Way to bury your talent on-air, WWE. If the people calling the match at ringside aren't entertained by what's going on in the ring, then why should the viewer? It's moments like these that really make me hate the current commentary team. Can we please get William Regal off NXT and on Raw or SmackDown already?
Anyways, I don't want to go on a tangent because other than my eardrums bleeding, Monday's Raw was actually quite good. Isn't it funny how out of the six one-on-one matches they've wrestled this year (not counting SummerSlam), the two best Orton vs. Bryan matches have taken place on random episodes of Raw, not a Pay-Per-View? Huh. Signs seem to point at a triple threat at the Royal Rumble between Bryan, Orton, and Cena which I'd be 100% okay with because that means Cena wouldn't win the 30-man match, like I feared he would after coming up short at TLC (my money's on CM Punk winning the Rumble next month). All in all, a really good edition of Raw.
Changing gears, let's get into today's countdown - which team turned the most heads in 2013? Last year, there wasn't enough tag teams in WWE and TNA combined worthy enough of being called the year's best duos. This year, I easily named seven, and I could have went up to ten, but seven is my lucky number! Who do you think grabbed the number one spot? Let's find out...
7. The Real Americans (Antonio Cesaro & Jack Swagger)
We kick off today's list with two guys who had their career revitalized by joining forces under the leadership of the loud-spoken, yet hilarious, Zeb Colter. Antonio Cesaro kicked off 2013 as United States Champion, but spent the majority of his title run putting over main-eventers like Randy Orton and Alberto del Rio. Cesaro was even left off the Wrestlemania 29 card! Jack Swagger returned from a several-month hiatus to win the Elimination Chamber, unsuccessfully challenge Del Rio for the world title at 'Mania, and then promptly return to jobber status. These guys could have faded into obscurity but they joined forces and quickly made an impact in the tag team division, having come close to capturing the tag titles on more than one occasion. "We The People" is one of the most over catchphrases in the company today, and it's only a matter of time before The Real Americans become tag team champions or at least one of them turn babyface. You can count on at least one of those things happening in 2014.
6. The Wyatts (Luke Harper & Erick Rowan)
2013 was a big year for The Wyatt Family. They made the jump from NXT to the main roster, which very few of their colleagues were lucky enough to follow in their footsteps. After months of creepy vignettes, their first feud was with Kane, which led to a "Ring of Fire" match at SummerSlam between Bray and The Big Red Monster. While their leader has only wrestled a handful of matches since their debut, Rowan and Harper have been making waves in the tag team division. In fact, they went undefeated for quite some time before finally losing to The Brotherhood in the main-event of SmackDown a little while back. This Friday on SmackDown, Rowan & Harper have a non-title match against the tag champs, and if they're successful, they could be challenging the Rhodes brothers for the belts sooner rather than later. I'm still not sold on Rowan, but I think Harper has a bright future ahead of him, both as a tag team and a singles star.
5. The Usos
Man, has any tag team benefitted from a revival in tag team wrestling more so than The Usos have? When they became the number one contenders to The Shield's tag team titles back in July, no one cared about them. And, to be fair, why would anyone? The Usos had been sparingly used on television, and spent the majority of their career putting over other teams. In fact, around this time last year, I predicted one of the Usos would be future endeavoured and the other would embark on a singles career. Was I wrong or what? The Usos have made the most out of every opportunity they've been given, and have really gotten over with the live crowds. They've had some great tag team matches this year, and they're another team I see winning the gold sometime in 2014. They could use some promo time to help get their characters over, but they're in a much better position now than they were 365 days ago.
4. Bad Influence (Daniels & Kazarian)
Here to represent TNA is none other than a duo who is quickly becoming one of my favourite tag teams of all-time. By himself, Kazarian is nothing more than a mid-card talent who management often uses to put up-and-comers or directionless main-eventers over. On his own, Daniels is a main-event waiting to happen, but the company has never pulled the trigger on a world title run for The Fall Angel. Together, they are the Bad Influence - one of the most entertaining acts TNA has to offer. Kaz & Daniels can turn crap into gold - regardless if they're feuding with charisma vacuums like Chavo & Hernandez, or trying to make the audience forget that Joseph Park is actually Abyss, you can always count on Bad Influence to 'save the show', either with a match or a promo. Yet, TNA continues to push other tag teams instead, like Gunner & Storm, or The Bro-Mans, for reasons unknown. Hell, many fans (myself included) were outraged when Bad Influence were left off the Bound For Glory card in favour of the other two teams. Kaz & Daniels have been together so long, it's hard to imagine them splitting; but then again, Daniels isn't getting any younger. I would love to see the company give him a 'thank-you' run with the world title before he calls it quits...
3. The Shield (Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns)
In all fairness, Reigns & Rollins would have been even higher on this list - possibly even number one - had they faced better competition during their run as champs or had they defended their titles more often. Sure, they were the tag team champions for many months, but I can count on one hand the number of times they put their belts on the line. That's because WWE was too busy booking The Shield in six-man matches, which makes sense, but narrows down the number of title matches. However, Reigns & Rollins were the perfect team to de-throne Team Hell No, as the belts went from one credible team to another. As a result, when The Brotherhood defeated The Shield at Battleground and Raw the next week for the titles, it felt like a big deal due to The Shield's stranglehold on those titles. So credit goes to Reigns & Rollins for being a major reason why the tag team division is as competitive as it currently is.
2. Team Hell No (Kane & Daniel Bryan)
When you look at how far Daniel Bryan has come in a year - he went from being booked in a throwaway tag team match at Wrestlemania to defeating John Cena in the main-event of SummerSlam - it's quite a remarkable journey. Bryan and Kane were absolutely dominate as tag team champions. Apart from their six-man battles with The Shield, Team Hell No rarely lost a non-title match, which is quite rare for a non-world champion in today's WWE. Bryan and Kane also held the titles for what seemed like forever - September to May is a really long time. Truth be told, Team Hell No had such awesome chemistry together that it was hard to seem split up, even though WWE could no longer ignore the deafeaning "Yes!" chants in every arena. From their days in Anger Management with Dr. Shelby, to hugging it out on national television, to their amazing series of matches with The Shield, it was hard not to root for the odd-ball pairing. The only thing stopping them from making it to number one was their competition - it felt like they were facing either The Shield, The PrimeTime Players, or 3MB every other week. Still, a hell of a year for Team Hell No.
1. The Brotherhood (Cody Rhodes & Goldust)
There weren't many Slammy award winners that I agreed with, but when it comes to Tag Team of the Year, the WWE Universe got it right. I know many people will argue that a team formed less than three months ago has no business being called the greatest tag team of the year, especially when the likes of Team Hell No, The Shield, and The Usos have been together much, much longer, but how can you deny The Rhodes' success since winning their jobs back at October's Battleground Pay-Per-View? Think of all the names they've beaten - The Shield (more than once), The Wyatts (ending their undefeated streak), Big Show & Rey Mysterio, The Real Americans...the list goes on and on. The best part is, every time The Rhodes are out to wrestle, they either steal the show or have one of the best matches of the night. Both of their matches with The Shield were awesome, and were filled with some really "feel-good moments". Right now, The Brotherhood are the team to beat in the WWE, and even though I can see them imploding in the near future to set up a Brother vs. Brother match at Wrestlemania XXX, it's been a really fun ride so far.
Honourable Mentions: The PrimeTime Players; James Storm & Gunner; Austin Aries & Bobby Roode
Your Two Centsss: Do you agree that The Rhodes Bros. are the best tag team of the year? If not, who would you rank as number one, and why?
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