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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

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EOTR Tag Team Tuesdays: CM Punk and Kofi Kingston

By @TrueGodImmortal 

I wanted to do an article on Cryme Tyme or maybe Doom, a tag team that could represent Black History Month well. However, after seeing the reaction to The Rock calling CM Punk after RAW went off the air, and the New Day hosting WrestleMania 33, I thought to continue Ameen's process of talking makeshift or temporary tag teams and today, I'm looking back at the short run of CM Punk and Kofi Kingston.

Team Formation
So, this team came about in the usual way that makeshift tag teams usually do: common enemies. Shortly after CM Punk somehow lost his World Heavyweight Championship (without acting losing it), he would have a feud with Randy Orton (briefly). That feud with Orton would spill into a battle with Legacy, as Manu, Ted Dibiase Jr., and Cody Rhodes assisted Orton in beating down Punk after a one on one match between Punk and Cody. Kofi Kingston would make the save for Punk and from there, we were off.

Road To Tag Titles
It was a very short road to the tag titles for Punk and Kofi, as the tag team champions Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase Jr. were quickly thrown into a feud with them. Punk went from the World Heavyweight Champion to being in a tag team with Kofi, and while that could have made him slack off, he didn't. Punk and Kofi were already real life friends and that translated well into the ring and with their chemistry. After Kofi and Dibiase had a one on one match with Punk and Legacy in their respective corners, Punk and Kofi had a battle against The Miz and John Morrison, which resulted in a win for Punk and Kofi. After a win against one of the biggest tag teams on RAW, it seemed Punk and Kofi were in line to get a title shot soon, and just a week later, they would get that on RAW.

The match was likely supposed to take place at Cyber Sunday, but that match didn't get voted in (which is sad in a way), so it had to take place the next night on RAW. The match was pretty damn good and Punk and Kofi walked out with the tag titles around their waists. It's crazy that in just a month, Punk had gone from the World Heavyweight Champion to the Tag Team Champions with Kofi, but he never lost popularity and I'd say he was more comfortable in the tag team role than the singles "main event" role they attempted to give him (WWE really screwed that up). After winning the tag titles, it was obvious the reign would be short for Punk and Kofi, but along the way, we would had to have some good title defenses right?

Tag Title Run
As tag team champions, Kofi and Punk were a fun team to watch, but they really didn't do much on RAW or the big PPVs. They would be on Team Batista heading into Survivor Series 2008, and continue their feud with Cody and Ted. This would lead to some title defenses against Cody and Ted, including their mandatory tag title rematch. After winning the mandatory rematch against Cody and Ted, it seemed as if Kofi and Punk were about to break up as soon as they got together. Punk began getting involved in the Intercontinental Title picture and would have a match at Armageddon against Rey Mysterio to determine the No. 1 contender. Before that match however, Punk and Kofi would drop the tag titles to John Morrison and The Miz, and then lose their rematch right after on RAW, and Punk would go on to be no. 1 contender for the Intercontinental Title. It was a quick and bittersweet end for this makeshift team, as Punk would eventually go on to win the Intercontinental Title and win Money In The Bank for a 2nd straight time. Kofi and Punk would team by chance after this, but not much. It was odd to see this team fall apart so quickly, but their short run was still fun and one of the better things on RAW during the HHH-Batista-Orton-Cena era.

Punk and Kofi had a short 3 month run as a tag team, but they had good chemistry and worked well together. While they didn't really seem to have any long term plans together, it was still a fun but short ride for this tag team, and considering the fact that they ended up tag team champions makes them noteworthy. Punk would go on to become the most important wrestler in WWE within the last 10 years, while Kofi would end up winning tag team titles with Evan Bourne, R-Truth, and of course, The New Day. I like this idea of covering makeshift tag teams for Tag Team Tuesdays because some of these moments tend to be forgotten by some in wrestling history. Not anymore.



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