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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

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EOTR Tag Team Tuesdays: The State Of The WWE Tag Team Divisions

By @AmeenKnows


I'm currently a week behind on this article because I wanted to do this right after Wrestlemania, but I was so impressed by the performance from The Authors Of Pain that I had to make them my featured team of the week. Keep in mind this article was written before the Superstar Shakeup and it will have no place in this article. This will be my first time addressing WWE's tag team division as a whole and its current standing. I'm not sure how many times I will do this kind of article because if I do it once a month, there's probably not enough growth from teams so they will be far in between. I am also thinking of doing the same for ROH, Impact Wrestling and New Japan possibly in the future, but it'll take some time as I am currently back in school and don't have enough time on my hands anymore. On to more important matters!


NXT:
Once again, the cupboard has been stricken bare due to the call up of The Revival after they were one of the three featured teams in the NXT Tag Team Championship scene. However, there is still talent to be cultivated. Currently DIY are the ring leaders of the division and the best in ring workers. The Authors of Pain are still very much a work in progress, but have made incredible strides and are working their role as the monster heel's perfectly. TM61 has been out of action due to Shane Thorne's knee injury but when he returns, they will provide an instant boost to the division. The Bollywood Boyz have had success on the independent circuit and could get over with the Full Sail crowd if they weren't booked as enhancement talent.


 A team to watch for is Heavy Machinery. Made up of Otis Dozovic and Tucker Knight, these guys remind me of The Natural Disasters. Tucker was very impressive in the first round of the Dusty Rhodes Classic in particular, where they were defeated by Austin Aries and Roderick Strong. The wild card of the division is SAnitY's Killian Dame and Alexander Wolfe. They have mostly been used as Eric Young's protection but if they were to decide they wanted the tag team gold, there would be a hard struggle to stop them. All in all, the NXT brand has been able to recover from call ups and will remain in good standings for the forseeable future.


Raw:
Tag team wrestling is in its most exciting place it has been since the brand split. With the additions of the Hardy Boyz and The Revival, the stale look of the division has received a refreshing boost in appeal. The problem that needs to be overcome is the booking of the division. Everyone outside of these two mentioned teams have gone through periods of looking incredibly weak. The Club has been underwhelmingly booked but they still try their best to work with what they have. The New Day is still their naturally funny selves but without the Tag Team gold they have been nothing more than a comedy act (Editor's Note: They'll be moving to Smackdown).





Enzo and Cass are usually given the bad seed but since they are entertaining on the mic they don't lose momentum. The Golden Truth is nothing more than enhancement talent. The wildcard is Sheamus and Cesaro. They have recently shown even greater signs of unity, but in the back of my mind is a potential split betweent the two. Just something to watch out for. If the top teams can overcome stale booking then Raw's Tag Team Division will get that shot in the arm it received when The Brotherhood showed up in 2013.


Smackdown Live: 
Even with a great creative team, Smackdown's tag team division is the weakest by far. With the Wyatt Family currently out of the fold, the only two teams that matter are American Alpha and current Tag Team Champions The Usos, who have gone over an incredible character change. The Hype Bros are currently out of action due to Zack Ryder's knee injury and although at times they have had flashes of compentency, the Ascension have continued to look like a shell of their former selves.



I also haven't seen much from Rhyno and Heath Slater since they dropped the Tag Team Titles so I don't expect to see more in the future (Editor's Note: They're now on RAW). Breezango is nothing more than enhancement talent. The Vaudevillains are gone. The division needs a complete face lift. As great as Alpha vs Usos will possibly be as a feud, they can't fall into the same stale patterns that held back Raw's tag team division.

With the Superstar Shakeup, not much has really changed minus a few insignificant teams moving and I can only hope each show puts the work in to make their tag team divisions even better than before.

-Ameen

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