An unquestionable bright spot of recent WWE programming has to be the company’s growing tag team division. A year ago an eight team elimination tournament would have been just about unthinkable, but recently one was held just to determine the number one contenders for the WWE Tag Team Championship. At this rate fans might actually be able to enjoy an elimination match at WWE Survivor Series (2012) involving tag teams! I doubt we’ll get the kind of tag team elimination matches that we got in 1987 and 1988, but there is always a reason to hold out hope.
The following list ranks all of the teams involved in the tournament and the current holders of the WWE Tag Team Championship. The only exception is that the team of Kofi Kingston and R-Truth has not been included since they recently broke up.
1. Rhodes Scholars
Rhodes Scholars could be an even better (and smarter) version of Money inc. if they are given the chance to develop. Looking at the tag team scene it is not all that different from how it was in 1993 when Money inc. ruled the division. That is to say it is not as great as it has been, but still has enough teams to make it interesting. Speaking of interesting Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow are arguably at the respective heights of their careers as dynamic characters. Okay, Rhodes got a little off-track. However, Rhodes Scholars will offer a chance to revitalize him. Admittedly, the team oozes a tad of the “throwing two singles stars together and calling them a tag team” feeling. Yet, Rhodes and Sandow are making it work. Plus, they actually have good in-ring chemistry. If the WWE is patient and keeps these two together for about a year then when they inevitably go their separate ways either one or both could be convincing main event heels. The biggest concern should be that the WWE will hotshot it and try to make one of them the Shawn Michaels of the team, which has never truly worked.
2. The Prime Time Players
The best part about The Prime Time Players is how well they gel as a team. By just watching Darren Young and Titus O’Neil act like dorks I never want to see either one of them again! Alone that is. Together they are great as far as mic work goes and at least never drag things down in a major way in the ring. Where will these guys go as singles stars? Do you care? Well, you probably shouldn’t! If it was up to me they’d be tagging for years to come.
3. Team Hell No
This team has its fans and who am I to knock what audiences are responding to? What makes me rank them outside of the top two is that while Rhodes Scholars may be a case of pairing two singles stars together and slapping on the tag team label this is a much worse case. This is what happens if whoever was slapping on that label got it blown up huge using the photocopier at Staples. The tag team will produce some quality matches and even better segments, but it will be at the expense of Daniel Bryan’s singles career. Is this really the way a guy who had a match of the year candidate for the WWE Championship just months ago should be booked? At least Kane will be okay as always.
4. Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara
I never understood all the fuss about Sin Cara botching or even thought that he botched that much. At least I didn’t think Sin Cara botched that much compared to some of the other stars appearing on WWE programming every week. On the other hand, I more than agree with those who have observed that Rey Mysterio is more than showing his age and cannot go like he used to. I know, I know. His knees are made of sawdust. Spare me. Still, both are more than capable of getting in some decent to great high spots. With each having faults this team gives them the chance to show off their maneuvers while keeping the pace of a match and hiding each others’ weaknesses.
5. Primo and Epico
Primo had a tough time entering the WWE. In his early tenure he tagged with his brother, Carlito. Carlito had some decent matches in WWC in his native Puerto Rico as Carly Colon and even a fun run in the WWE early on. Yet, by the time Primo came along Carlito was unmotivated much of time. So instead of getting a Carly Colon match, fans were instead often treated to a match more reminiscent of one X-Pac would have after downing a bottle of Somas. Luckily for Primo, Carlito left and a young and eager Epico came in. Being paired with Rosa Mendes has given them some eye candy and perhaps a reason WWE management might care about them. WWE could do far worse than giving them more television time in a tag team feud that isn’t quickly swept under the rug.
6. Justin Gabriel and Tyson Kidd
If Primo and Epico are put into a feud then this would be my pick. Since Justin Gabriel and Tyson Kidd debuted they have been criminally underused. This list is beginning to reek of armchair booking, but indulge me in yet another scenario. Gabriel and Kidd need to continue to be booked as faces in order to show off their aerial ability. Right now Primo and Epico are also faces, but this can easily be changed as they haven’t really done much to get face pops lately. If Gabriel and Kidd don’t feud with Primo and Epico, one of the top two teams on this list may serve as even better foes.
7. The Usos
This team has somehow managed to avoid the future endeavored list for this long! Now that a tag team division has sprouted up they might actually get a chance to shine. The Usos are by no means a weak tag team. They are kind of like Primo and Epico, but with less natural talent, no valet and they happen to be Samoan. The Usos haven’t done much to impress since they joined the WWE, but they haven’t had many chances. Unless they are pushed as hard heels this might continue as the opponents that they have the best chemistry with are currently best used as faces.
8. Team CoBro
The bottom spot goes to Team CoBro, but it isn’t like they aren’t without their redeeming qualities. WWE has always needed a comedy jobber tag team (well at least since The Bushwhackers). Santino Marella and Zack Ryder could best be used by making Team Hell No look like total monsters and offer clean victories for the top heels. Rhodes Scholars and The Prime Time Players can only cheat so many times to win before it starts to make it look like they are unable to beat anyone based on skill. By facing Team CoBro and getting relatively easy wins off of them it makes the top heel teams look vicious.
Photos 1-8: en.wikipedia.org