In pro wrestling, everything has a way of running its course. Angles, titles runs, face runs, heel runs, and gimmicks all run their course in some way sooner or later. Tag teams are no different. Some tag teams spend many years together before fading out while others burn out quickly in a sudden split up. WWE fans have been treated to some classic tag team splits. How can fans forget Shawn Michaels sticking the fork in The Rockers by sending poor Marty Jannetty crashing through the Barber Shop window? And some fans might want to forget tag team split ups like Mr. Fugi breaking up The Powers of Pain by selling The Barbarian to Bobby the Brain Heenan and The Warlord to The Doctor of Style Slick. The WWE Tag Team Divisions on both Raw and SmackDown Live are due for a shake up. The question will be which tag teams should endure and continue and which ones should split up and get sent to the tag team graveyard. Another question will be which tag teams will emerge to replace these tag teams that go six feet under. Let’s take a look at eight WWE tag teams that need to split up and seven to replace them.
17 Split: The Wyatt Family
I reluctantly place The Wyatt Family in the category of tag teams that need to split up. The Wyatt Family is a great gimmick that unfortunately has been toyed with so much by WWE creative that it might be time to let these guys go their separate ways permanently. They came to WWE’s main roster from NXT with high expectations and for the most part they delivered. However, the creative decision was then made for Bray Wyatt to “set free” Luke Harper and Erick Rowan and probably prematurely. Less than a year later, the family was back together and added the monster, Braun Strowman. The recent WWE Draft split the family up with Strowman going to Raw and Wyatt and Rowan going to SmackDown Live. The family currently consists of Wyatt, Harper, and Randy Orton for the moment. Orton will turn at some point leaving just Wyatt and Harper. Wyatt needs and deserves at least one more chance at being a main event star while Harper is too good to just be Wyatt’s second banana. It might be time for WWE to set everyone free from the confines of The Wyatt Family.
16 Replacement: Winner of the 2016 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic
This year’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic will be decided at NXT TakeOver: Toronto. One tag team will be victorious in this prestigious tournament and will make a strong case for promotion to the main roster. Tournaments are supposed to be gruelling and very difficult to win. Maybe the winning tag team should get a little more. The winning tag team could be rewarded by being granted automatic promotion to the main roster. Which brand the winning team goes to could be decided by who wins the annual Raw vs SmackDown Live Survivor Series Tag Team elimination match. It would make both events much more exciting with more on the line. If this format became tradition, WWE fans could look forward to it every year. Teams such as The Authors of Pain and TM-61 would be great additions to the main roster.
14 Split: BreeZango
It might not be so much that Breezango needs to split up as it just makes the most sense. Fandango and Tyler Breeze are two of the most arrogant, self-absorbed characters in all of WWE. How these two massive egos have co-existed for this long is a mystery and their co-existing is an even greater hole in this storyline. It really doesn’t make sense if we get right down to the nuts and bolts of this partnership. The analogy would be if Mr.Perfect Curt Hennig and The Narcissist Lex Luger formed a tag team in the early 1990s. It would be believable for a while but fans would probably be looking for a feud upon the formation of the team. It was much more believable when they feuded in a clash of massive egos that culminated in a match at WrestleMania IX. Besides, this team was destined to break up when they chose Breezango as their name over Fabreeze.
13 Replacement: Baron Corbin & Jack Swagger
Baron Corbin and Jack Swagger are two WWE big men going nowhere fast. Corbin has been totally underwhelming since debuting on the main roster. He’s had meaningless mid card feuds mostly high lighted by the very annoying pro wrestling concept known as 50/50 booking. Swagger has had a WWE career with extreme ups and downs. He’s been a World Heavyweight Champion and has wrestled for the title at WrestleMania but has also been a glorified jobber and at times relegated to “B” shows like WWE Superstars. These two struggling WWE Superstars recently feuded but might actually be better served in a tag team together. The team would potentially be a great monster heel tag team reminiscent of the old WCW Skyscrapers tag team of Sid Vicious and Dan Spivey.
12 Split: The Vaudevillains
The Vaudevillains were promoted to the main roster from NXT with the hope of being somewhat successful. However, the team seemed to have stalled out upon arrival to the main roster. Despite getting several tag team title shots, the WWE fan reception to them has been lukewarm at best. The former NXT Tag Team Champions have looked lost and don’t appear to be connecting with fans. The gimmick of a couple of throwbacks is an interesting one and both Aiden English and Simon Gotch are talented. Unfortunately, their upside has just not translated to WWE success. It might be time for a fresh start for both of them. English looks like he could be effective as a singles competitor while Gotch might benefit from a different tag team partner or a repackage job.
11 Replacement: Darren Young & Curtis Axel
Darren Young and Curtis Axel are both talented wrestlers that have had difficulty excelling in the singles ranks of WWE. Both have only had minor success in WWE’s mid card. Maybe both need to be back in the WWE Tag Team Division where they have had success in the past. Young is a proven tag team wrestler who is a former WWE Tag Team Champion with Titus O’ Neil as The Prime Time Players. Axel has also had tag team success. He is a former WWE Tag Team Champion with David Otunga and four-time Florida Championship Wrestling Tag Team Champion. Together the team of Darren Young & Curtis Axel could potentially be the most successful tag team either has been a part of. There is also a built in story to get these two into a tag team situation. Young’s life coach Bob Backlund could recruit Axel based their Minnesota connection.
10 Split: The Hype Bros
The Hype Bros haven’t come close to living up to the hype. The team of veteran Zack Ryder and Mojo Rawley first formed their team in NXT. They had success in NXT against teams like Blake & Murphy and also feuded with one of NXT’s best tag teams, The Revival. In early 2016,The Bros also scored a huge win over the Dudley Boyz in a dark match that took place before the WWE Main Event tapings. In July, Rawley was drafted to SmackDown Live where he and Ryder almost immediately reformed The Hype Bros. However, they have not had the same success. They lost to the make shift team of Heath Slater and Rhyno in the SmackDown Live Tag Team Championship tournament. They also lost a second chance match to The Usos that would have gave them another crack at Slater & Rhyno in the finals of the SmackDown Live Tag Team Championship tournament. Maybe WWE should change The Hype Bros entrance theme to Public Enemy’s “Don’t Believe The Hype”. Before spending big bucks on securing the rights to use that song, WWE might just want to split this team up.
9 Replacement: Titus O’Neil & Mojo Rawley
A tag team composed of two loud mouth former professional football players would have the potential to be a great generator of heel heat. Titus O’Neil & Mojo Rawley would definitely fit the bill. The two could cut promos bragging about their football exploits in the NFL (Rawley) and Arena Football League (O’Neil). Rawley could also take advantage of his friendship with New England Patriots Tight End Rob Gronkowski to generate heat since the Pats are generally hated on a national level. They could also perform football related maneuvers such as the shoulder tackle and clipping opponents to play up their football gimmick. It would also make a lot of sense for Titus O’Neil to return to tag team wrestling where he’s had more success. Rawley is also probably better suited for the WWE Tag Team Division.
8 Split: Enzo Amore & Big Cass
Enzo Amore & Big Cass has become another example of an NXT tag team underachieving on the main roster. The Hype Brothers, Vaudevillains, and The Ascension all fall into this category as well. Unlike the other three teams, Enzo & Cass are entertaining and over with WWE fans. However, if not for Amore’s promo skills and cartoon antics, would this team have even made it to the main roster? There is hope for these two on the main roster but probably not as a tag team. Cass, with a little more seasoning, has the size and look to be a main event WWE Superstar. He’s not as good on the mic and would probably benefit from a mouthpiece. That’s where Amore would fit in. Eventually, he probably should be transitioned into a manager’s role. Amore isn’t a great wrestler and if he doesn’t improve soon then this might be the best way for WWE to maximize the talents of both men. This seems very similar to the mid 1990s Men on a Mission situation. The team was broken up with Mo becoming Mabel’s manager. Could history be repeating itself ?
6 Replacement: Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder
Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder was a regular and very successful tag team from 2004 to 2008. They won tag team gold everywhere they went. Hawkins & Ryder are former WWE Tag Team Champions, Ohio Valley Wrestling Tag Team Champions, two-time Deep South Wrestling Tag Team Champions, and two-time New York Wrestling Connection Tag Team Champions. Hawkins recently returned to SmackDown Live but has been more of a heel comedy act and glorified jobber. Ryder’s Hype Bros tag team with Mojo Rawley isn’t nearly as popular with WWE fans as it was with NXT fans. Breaking up the Hype Bros and reuniting Hawkins & Ryder would serve two purposes. It would hopefully rejuvenate their WWE careers and at the same time give the SmackDown Live Tag Team Division a solid and proven tag team to join its ranks.
5 Split: The Golden Truth
Goldust and R-Truth were both top pro wrestling superstars in WWE and a number of other top pro wrestling promotions. That was a long time ago. Unfortunately, there is guy in pro wrestling that no one beats and his name is Father Time. With both well over 40-years old, the clock is ticking on their WWE careers. It’s probably the reason that The Golden Truth was formed in the first place. The team of two wily veterans started off as a valued piece of the tag team division. However, they have quickly become a comedy act that is better known for their antics outside the ring than their performance inside the ring. There aren’t many spots in the WWE tag team division and it might be time for Golden Truth to bow out to allow an opportunity for a new tag team to take their spot.
4 Replacement: Neville & Apollo Crews
Neville and Apollo Crews are both extremely athletic WWE Superstars. They are both known wowing WWE fans with spectacular moves. Unfortunately, their athleticism and unique styles have not paid off since coming up to the main roster from NXT. Crews was briefly in contention for the Intercontinental Championship while Neville had moderate success before being lost in the mid card shuffle. However, these two great wrestlers might be the perfect complements to each other in a tag team. Neville & Apollo Crews would be a great addition to the WWE Tag Team Division and would save them from drowning in the mid card. This team would be a much better option than The Golden Truth and Sheamus & Cesaro on Raw or The Spirit Squad, Hype Bros, The Ascension or The Vaudevillains on Smack Down Live.
3 Split: Heath Slater & Rhyno
Yes, WWE SmackDown Live Tag Team Champions Heath Slater & Rhyno should split up. The unlikely champs have had a good run and Slater deserved this push after years of being a glorified jobber. However, Slater’s push shouldn’t end if the team is dissolved. The team looks to be still over with fans so why split them up?In this day and age, make shift teams usually don’t have a long shelf life. With that said, Slater is on a creative roll and the team should be split up before it starts to decline, which it inevitably will. Losing the titles followed by a feud between the two might be a logical next step. Slater could win a brief feud that would hopefully keep him hot and primed for something new.
2 Replacement: Heath Slater & Sami Zayn
Heath Slater & Sami Zayn is an odd couple pairing that could have long term potential. Unlike, the odd couple tag team of Heath Slater & Rhyno, this team would be a bit more youthful and athletic with a more interesting story. The culture clash story of a good ol’ southern boy and his partner from north of the border might be a fan pleaser. Fans of Zayn being a solo success probably don’t like this idea. However, Zayn may benefit from being in an interesting tag team as opposed to being relegated to the upper mid card where he’s only had minimal success. Slater is a solid talent who is shaking off the stigma of being a jobber in his current tag team championship push with Rhyno. Both WWE Superstars are experienced tag team wrestlers. This Can-Am Connection could be extremely entertaining and successful if given the chance.
1 Split: Sheamus & Cesaro
The unlikely make shift team of Sheamus & Cesaro needs to be split up. It would appear that this angle wasn’t meant to form a lasting team between the two nor should it. The rumored reason for the pairing is Cesaro’s current WWE contract is about to expire. It is believed that he hasn’t been happy with the way WWE has been booking him and there’s concern he may walk rather resign. The team is sort of way to place Cesaro in limbo where he can’t be damaged if he resigns or strengthen his name at the expense of other WWE Superstars if he doesn’t. In the mean time, they are taking up a coveted spot in the Raw Tag Team Division. Hopefully this angle based on a real life contract situation is put to bed soon. It’s not fair to the Raw Tag Team Division and a legitimate team that could contribute to it.
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