TMR - Will The Tag Team Division Survive WM Season? (+ Other Relevant Crap)
Feb 18, 2014 - 3:10:31 AM
Will The Tag Team Division
Survive WM Season?
(+ Other Relevant Crap)
Welcome back to the column that’s longing for Punk’s embrace outside an airport terminal - Taste My Rainbow.
For starters, Super Chrisss is a weiner. I just read his proposed card for WrestleMania XXX and he’s fucking clueless. I’ll let you in on a little secret…THIS is what you can expect to see on April 6th:
SkitZ’ Super Legitimate WM30 Lineup
~ Not Brodus Clay
~ A clusterous clutterfuck of a Kickoff Match: Something that involves Ziggler, Kofi, Miz, Barrett, Sandow, Fandango and Hornswoggle’s Muppet tattoos
~ Title Unification Match: Intercontinental Champion Big E (w/ SkidMark) vs. United States Champion Dean Ambrose (w/ Seth Rollins)
~ Divas Title Match: AJ Lee (w/ Tamina) vs. Naomi (w/ Cameron)
~ Retirement Match: Cody Rhodes vs. Goldust (don’t listen to the tweets!)
~ The Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns
~ Four Corners Match for the Tag Team Titles: The Usos vs. Real Americans vs. Rybaxel vs. Rey Mysterio & his crutch (Sin Cara)
~ Sheamus vs. Corporate Kane
~ John Cena (w/ Hulk Hogan) vs. Bray Wyatt (w/ Luke Harper & Erik Rowan)
~ No Holds Barred Match: Triple H vs. Daniel Bryan
~ Triple Threat Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Title: Brock Lesnar vs. Batista vs. Randy Orton
Or this if Punk and upper management settle their differences before the PPV…
~ Punk opens the show with a 20-minute promo
~ AJ Lee vs. Michelle Beadle in a Boot Camp Bra & Panties Match (Refereed by Punk)
~ This is followed by a live sex celebration (which will be edited off the DVD)
~ Six-Man Tag Team Match: Straightedge Council (Luke Gallows, Joey Mercury & Colt Cabana) vs. The Shield
~ Punk vs. *insert random UFC fighter* in a “real” MMA Match
~ Musical Performance by RANCID
~ John Cena vs. Hulk Hogan (Punk works commentary)
~ Punk vs. Triple H in a Career Threatening Match
~ Promo touting the return of WWE ice cream bars by the time summer hits
~ Bray Wyatt ends The Undertaker’s Streak (at Punk’s behest)
~ CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan in an Iron Man Match for the WWE World Title
You heard it here first, people. Spread the word.
Elimination Chamber is this Sunday and you can bet your smelly ass I’ll be ordering the pay per view. Yes despite the fact I’ll be able to watch it on the WWE Network soon enough for only $10. Why would I rather spend 45 dollars? Isn’t it obvious? I’m frivolous with my money. The two headlining bouts are sure to deliver and that’s an enticing enough offer on its own. Although the company messily announced a bunch of matches on RAW, there are a few additional side attractions which I foresee making the cut. My mindset leading into the event is as follows...
Fandango & Summer Rae vs. Santino & Emma
Hey we could use more goofy Divas. Granted Emma’s entrance music is annoying as shit but I’m guessing Kevin Dunn will wanna put his own little twist on it before long to differentiate from the NXT version. With the right guy, Fandango can produce. Marella isn’t that individual. Expect a heavy dose of high jinx, a couple moments where ‘suspending your disbelief’ becomes a laughable sentiment and a victory for the babyfaces. Personally, I would’ve been fine with just Summer Rae versus Emma (actually I’d prefer it).
AJ Lee vs. Cameron
Jimmy Uso had a bit too much to drink apparently, slugged Naomi and now we’re stuck with the lesser Funkadactyl because of his poor judgment. On the plus side, this sets up a nice comeback story for Naomi where she can return valiantly and take the belt from Lee at WrestleMania. Total Divas is gaining popularity and the producers will no doubt clamor for a worthwhile season finale. Unfortunately in the meantime, we’ll be burdened with a series of AJ/Cameron matches which all have a high probability of sucking dick. The thinner Funkadactyl reminds me of a wind-up toy in the ring. She flies around with a ton of energy recklessly. AJ retains (hopefully without sustaining an injury).
Titus O’Neil vs. Darren Young
(See comments below) Who wins is an afterthought.
Langston vs. Jack Swagger
Something to keep the other Real American occupied for the evening. I’m sorta surprised Swags finds himself in this position to be honest (along with the fact that certain smarks believe he’ll strip Big E of the gold). Would management employ a title swap and book the Real Americans to feud over the belt? Well Chrisss predicted that so lets lead towards no, shall we? Langston – whoops I meant the muscular black gentlemen in the one piece bathing suit – is merely in need of a sparring partner until ‘Mania draws closer. Look at the positive: he’s squashing somebody besides Sandow and Axel for a change. I’m thrilled.
Irrelevant photo? Check.
New Age Outlaws vs. The Usos
Part of me can’t help but suspect that Road Dogg & Billy Gunn will hold the straps until the big dance. Lets hope that isn’t the case. NAO aren’t exactly fresh off the developmental bus so the quality could be iffy. D-O-Double-G is hilarious during commentary but that’s where I draw the line. Get me off this nostalgia trip and back to civilization. Your best bet is finding a distraction (food, fucking around with phone apps, etc.) until the closing sequence arrives. Don’t miss the ending though as I’m fairly confident we’ll witness new champs being crowned.
Batista vs. Alberto Del Rio
This bad boy intrigues me. The interweb has been abuzz over Berty’s discontentment towards Batista and not wanting to be victimized. Therefore, I’m focusing in with unusual interest to see if ADR tries sabotaging Big Dave’s WrestleMania plans. Will Dorito deliberately work a fast paced tempo to incapacitate The Animal? Maybe he’ll embarrass Batista with a full cardio display? Or smack him with an oxygen tank to send a message? Ehhh perhaps after the bell. Collapsed lung or not, Big Dave goes over strong while the crowd showers the #1 contender with derogatory remarks (possibly other stuff too).
The Shield vs. Wyatt Family
Several of us had this showdown pegged for WrestleMania. It appears Creative’s decided to visit the match early however which is cool with me as Ambrose, Rollins & Reigns will likely be divided by then. WWE’s two biggest factions (sans The Authority) have budded heads on multiple occasions since around Survivor Series and their confrontation last week set the stage for an incredible scenario this Sunday. As backwards as it may strike some (considering The Shield are clearly the more complete trio), there’s no way The Wyatts don’t win the six-man tag. The Hounds of Justice are on a collision course with each other and Bray needs to be kept strong if he’s supposed to be a credible threat to Cena (shit I’m beginning to sound like Tito… please pass me the bleach).
Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan vs. John Cena vs. Sheamus vs. Christian vs.
After last year’s presentation, I had my doubts about the Elimination Chamber’s legacy moving forward. The caliber of contestants in this year’s edition however has restored my faith. Until proven otherwise, I envision Brock competing for the World Title at ‘Mania. In fact, I say he enters the event as champion. There are too many arrows pointing towards Heyman’s client leaving the PPV triumphantly. Christian REEKS of pod placeholder (and death / eat a cheeseburger for fuck sake!). Captain Charisma’s inclusion seems tailor-made for Lesnar to launch a premeditated attack and steal his spot in the chamber. The pay per view is being held in Brock’s hometown. He and Heyman returned for the sole purpose of seizing the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. The Authority thwarted their efforts so now Paul & Lesnar force the issue by doing what’s “best for business”. If nothing of the sort happens, at least we can enjoy Cesaro whose bound to leave everyone talking about his performance in the aftermath.
Draining the Tag Division of Its Breast Milk
Pen hit the nail on the head in one of his recent columns. The Shield has done wonders for tag team wrestling ever since they started competing regularly on the main roster a year ago. Not long after, The Usos built on said momentum and then Cody & Goldust kicked the door in. Those three tandems are surrounded by a handful of capable duos and the division appeared to be firing on all cylinders when 2013 ended. The Brotherhood’s title defense against Rybaxel, Biggie Smalls and The Real Americans at TLC received 21 GODDAMN MINUTES. When’s the last time you can recall a tag bout running that long on a pay per view? It’s a credit to how much improvement occurred from June-December.
As we’ve begun chipping away at 2014 however, there’s a troublesome pattern forming. Am I losing my shit or is the division shrinking? WWE’s strongest asset as of late has gone from overproducing in mass quantity to dumping inventory for immediate gain. It’s like a surrogate mother taking a doner’s sperm, turning around and selling it down at the clinic for $50. Why waste a perfectly good load!? No matter what Goldust may try and tell you thru social media, the Rhodes Bros. are squaring off at WrestleMania 30. They’ve continually lost since dropping the straps to NAO at the Royal Rumble and Cody’s shown occasional signs of frustration; with losing, with his brother and with miscommunication between the two. What looked like a basic backstage segment on RAW last night to shill WWE’s newest toy could’ve just as easily been management planting the seeds for The Brotherhood’s impending breakup. Cody not wanting his older brother’s assistance and calling him something along the lines of a freak could evolve into a theme in the coming weeks.
Prime Time Players are history. Finally, the company noticed something in Titus that the majority of us have had our eyes on for almost 8-10 months now. It’s a great move for O’Neil and the worst possible thing that could happen to Young. Darren doesn’t succeed in WWE outside of a tag team from where I’m sitting. What the dude needs to do is be proactive and join ranks with the likes of R-Truth & Xavier Woods. A hip-hop act with an established fan base that company officials hold in high regard for some strange reason. That is Darren Young’s niche. As for Titus, I’m remaining on the fence for awhile. Yeah the talent and charisma is there but what about the right opportunities? O’Neil’s repeatedly made mention of his desire to become World Heavyweight Champion. Not only is there just one belt nowadays but the title scene sees enough traffic as is. I worry that Vince & Co. might have good intentions with this Titus push but a.) It’ll be cast aside in favor of another project or b.) There won’t be any chairs left at the adult table.
And as for The Shield? They’re splintering and the hairline cracks are visible. Unlike these other groups however, I can imagine 2/3 of the stable remaining intact after ‘Mania passes. Either Reigns turns face, ventures out on his own and Rollins & Ambrose stick together OR Ambrose abandons his partners following a nasty altercation; leaving Seth & Roman to continue tagging. I think it’s extremely unlikely that all three Shield members branch off into singles competition simultaneously. Not when, at the moment, the Creative Team’s painting them as protagonists in their war against The Wyatts. My money’s on Moxley growing jealous of Reigns and taking a hike. Will his Shield counterparts stay active within the division? Or could we be witnessing the rise of Roman Reigns while Rollins watches his back?
Cesaro’s being groomed for a more vital role in the company (meaning the Real Americans are on their last leg. Being training buddies with Cena has its perks, right? Nah Castagnoli has earned the recognition he’s received from WWE’s inner circle. How anything about that dude could be misconstrued as “boring” is fucking absurd. On an episode of RAW that also featured Daniel Bryan versus Christian, Cesaro managed to steal MOTN honors in a standard wrestling match against John Cena. Let that sink in for a second. I anticipated a title reign for Claudio & Swagger materializing at some point but other hot streaks prevented such from happening. Cesaro would be safer alongside Zeb & Spitter for the time being but Vince can’t wait another second. The boss is ready to introducing this motherfucker to the world. Mr. McMahon’s attempting to catch lightning in a bottle. Lets pray that it benefits Castagnoli in the long run rather than just boost WWE’s merchandise sales and TV ratings in the short term. There’s more to being a workhorse than putting on excellent matches each week and jobbing to every top tier start in the process.
Don’t get me wrong, twats. The tag team scene is very much alive and well. Jimmy & Jey are now the class of the division and they’ve closed in on the titles in recent months. I feel like a total jackass for belittling them last summer when management decided to repackage them. As of right now, The Usos are arguably the most exciting tandem in the entire company. Thank God they’re Samoan twins and we don’t gotta worry about them being split up down the road. Speaking of which, Rybaxel are bound to stay united as absolutely nobody wants anything to do with Hennig or Sheffield individually. Not I. Not the fans. Not the IWC. Not the front office. Not Goldberg. Not Heyman. Not Ticketmaster. Not a soul. Fortunately, there’s Los Matadores to provide the aerial spots and midget entertainment (El Torito looks like Max Mini in an outfit inspired by Psicosis and The Barbarian). New Age Outlaws threw on their old wrestling gear to work with the surplus of young talent in WWE. Rowan & Harper loosely contribute. 3MB are there…
I struggle to find faith in the company given how they’ve resurrected the tag team division in the past for brief spurts. Who’s to say this current resurgence isn’t simply a fad that’ll fizzle out after WM30? The year’s not off to a promising start. Less than two months into ’14 and much of the division’s core is falling apart. Will a few of these tandems emerge from the other side relatively unscathed? Is there fresh meat from NXT on the verge of being called up? Am I bitching about petty bullshit? Or do you spot the signs as well?
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