The tag team scene in WWE is rather disappointing right now. Fans had high hopes following the brand split, allowing the teams to be showcased effectively to make tag team wrestling relevant for the first time in many years. Raw and SmackDown Live both have deep divisions, but there are too many bland teams. The wrestlers would benefit from being split and given the chance to work as singles talents. It would give the talent in failing tag teams the chance to succeed and improve the tag division by changing things up for the better.
On the other side, there are many tag teams that belong together for the long run. They either haven’t hit their potential or are just too perfect together to risk splitting. We’ll look at the current landscape of tag teams currently on Raw, SmackDown Live and NXT. The argument will be made for how eight specific teams could benefit from splitting up. Seven teams that belong together in the long run will also be examined as to why they should remain a team. WWE would be a better place for teams if the following eight teams were to break up and the following seven teams stayed together for many years.
15. Break Up: Cesaro & Sheamus
The talents of Cesaro and Sheamus are up there with any other team in the business today. The problem is they are just not a tag team. We can all clearly see the reasoning for Sheamus and Cesaro teaming together is WWE not having anything else of substance for them to do. Both men were floundering in the mid-card and the company decided to make them a tag team.
Cesaro and Sheamus ended New Day’s record breaking title reign, but still couldn’t become a credible team. WWE would have them lose the Raw Tag Team Championship to Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows after a little over a month. They just can’t force the chemistry that is needed for a successful tag team. Sheamus and Cesaro will be better in the short and long term if they split up to return to their singles careers.
14. Stay Together: The Usos
Jimmy and Jey Uso are a fixture in the WWE tag team picture. The Usos are currently the best heel tag team on SmackDown Live, portraying villainous characters for the first time in many years. They are extremely entertaining together when given a chance to tell a great story in the ring. Most of the best WWE tag team matches in recent years have featured The Usos in some form.
Unlike other tag teams, there is no significantly stronger member of the team. Both men are talented but neither jump out as someone that would thrive as a singles star. The Usos have the family chemistry of being twins that shows in the ring. At the end of their career, The Usos should be one of the teams that remained together without ever splitting up.
13. Break Up: Heath Slater & Rhyno
WWE found some short term magic with Heath Slater and Rhyno as a tag team. No one would have expected them to be the first SmackDown Live Tag Team Champions at the time of the brand split. Slater was an enhancement talent who was rarely used on television and Rhyno wasn’t even on the main roster at that point.
The popularity of Slater and Rhyno as an underdog team allowed them to get the big moment as the fans supported them. Their momentum has gone downhill and they have no storyline currently going on. Rhyno teased turning on Slater after they lost the titles but that was seemingly put on hold. Once WrestleMania ends, WWE will have to push new talent and start new feuds, meaning Slater and Rhyno should break up to help Slater into a singles push.
12. Stay Together: The Revival
The Revival have become a top tag team in NXT, mixing both old school and new school in their style. Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder are arguably the best team in NXT history when looking at the track record. Their matches against DIY and American Alpha stole the show at every TakeOver special they wrestled on.
It’s obvious that they are ready for the main roster. The Revival no longer belongs in NXT after accomplishing everything they could. Dawson and Wilder should come to the main roster as a unit and stick together for many years. The Revival are clearly meant to be a heel tag team that will be a part of many memorable feuds through the years. WWE needs to keep them together as long as possible.
11. Break Up: The Hype Bros
Zack Ryder and Mojo Rawley brought their NXT tag team act to the main roster following the brand split, as The Hype Bros became a fixture in the SmackDown Live tag team division. A recent injury to Ryder has put the team on hold, while Mojo has rarely been featured on television and is playing the same character in his rare on-screen moments.
That either means WWE will reunite The Hype Bros once Ryder is healthy or Ryder will turn heel on his partner. The latter is clearly the better scenario as The Hype Bros have no shot at making it as a top level team. Ryder would have a fresh new opportunity in the heel role and Mojo could actually get over with fans showing sympathy for him.
10. Stay Together: Golden Truth
WWE placed R-Truth and Goldust together as an odd couple of veterans teaming together. They are rarely featured on Raw and are only used when the company needs to fill time. Golden Truth are mostly needed for comedic segments or a pointless match to put over others. Both R-Truth and Goldust are in the final years of their careers and this is the only role they can really have.
Golden Truth has fun with the younger fans at the live events in multi-man matches. The idea of breaking them up would be pointless at this stage. No one cares enough to boo either man and it would take too long to turn one of them into an efficient heel. The current situation of Golden Truth being together and rarely on television is best for everyone.
9. Break Up: Breezeango
Tyler Breeze and Fandango have both shown short spurts of being over as singles stars. Sadly, the current role as Breezeango is a complete waste. They’re entertaining as humorous jobbers, but it’s a waste of their potential. Breeze has shown he’s a great wrestler with the ability to make his character a successful heel if given a fair chance, like back in NXT.
Fandango had the fans in the palm of his hands following WrestleMania 29. Fans would hum along to his entrance theme and enjoyed his unique mannerisms. Fandango also has the ability to wrestle, but we just never see it. Both men would be significantly better off in singles roles. The longer Breezeango goes on, the more worried we should be about their job security.
8. Stay Together: The Ascension
You would assume The Ascension needs to break up given the lack of focus on them. The successful NXT tag team completely flopped on the main roster after a very short lived push. WWE’s brand split could have given them a new opportunity, but they still remain an afterthought in the SmackDown Live tag division.
Unfortunately, time has passed and The Ascension are going to be linked together. Fans will not view either man as a credible singles performer unless WWE gives them a great storyline, which is highly unlikely. The best bet for The Ascension is to wait for a small opportunity and hit a home run. They proved they could get over in front of a tough NXT crowd. At worst, they’ll be released together and find a new home to continue their tag team careers.
7. Break Up: The Shining Stars
The Shining Stars continue to flop every time they’re given a new gimmick. Primo and Epico both have talent, but their lack of charisma and personality always holds them back from getting over enough to receive a push. Their current run as The Shining Stars is the end of the line for them as a tag team. It just won’t work.
WWE’s best bet is splitting them up and placing Primo in the cruiserweight division. His athletic ability and aerial maneuvers have been on display in the past and he could benefit from being in the cruiserweight division. Epico is also talented, but it’s hard to find a realistic position for him in WWE that would work. Primo is more talented and a better fit in the cruiserweight division rather than continuing with this failing tag team.
6. Stay Together: DIY
Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa were very successful singles wrestlers on the independent circuit. They never teamed together until WWE brought them in for an appearance on NXT. Gargano and Ciampa did so well that WWE signed them to become a full-time team for them. Under the name of DIY (Do It Yourself), they have achieved huge success, capturing the NXT Tag Team Championships.
Fans get lost in the performances of Gargano and Ciampa, which makes them the perfect face tag team. Once you consistently get the fans to care about the face in peril tagging the fresh partner, you’re money as a fan favorite duo. DIY may have potential as singles stars, but they belong together in the tag division in the long run. WWE could have a future top tier team on Raw or SmackDown Live if Gargano and Ciampa get the call-up.
5. Break Up: The Vaudevillains
The main roster tenure of The Vaudevillains has been a complete flop following their call up from NXT. Simon Gotch and Aiden English succeeded in NXT, with the fans completely buying into their characters. WWE called them up in 2016 following WrestleMania 32. It was instantly realized that they wouldn’t get over with the unique gimmick and rumors surfaced that Vince McMahon detests it.
The Vaudevillains clearly need to break up and separate for a chance at singles careers. Gotch is considered one of the least popular wrestlers in the SmackDown Live locker room, while English has more potential and losing the tag partner that everyone hates could give him a chance to thrive. If they remain together, it’s only a matter of time before one or both get fired.
4. Stay Together: Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows
WWE signing Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows to main roster contracts in 2016 without putting them in NXT first was a huge surprise. The tag team dominated New Japan and it impressed WWE enough to sign them to great contracts. Anderson and Gallows have already captured gold in under a year and will be the Raw Tag Team Champions heading into WrestleMania 33.
Their chemistry is outstanding and they belong together for the entirety of their WWE careers. Anderson is a little better, but it ‘s hard to envision him being anywhere above the mid-card picture as a singles star. Both men are much better together and they’re just now starting to showcase their potential as a team in WWE. Anderson and Gallows have many more years ahead of them as a top tier team.
3. Break up: Big Cass & Enzo Amore
It may be a controversial call to break up Big Cass and Enzo Amore right now given the popularity of their entrance. Unfortunately, it all goes downhill after they recite their weekly lines that fans chant along with. Their matches and feuds have consistently failed to deliver since they got called up to the main roster.
One thing that remains a constant is Cass having a lot more potential than Enzo. The big man could possibly work as a main eventer, as Cass looked great during a short time period while Enzo nursed his injury on the main roster. He held his own in a WWE Universal Championship match with the likes of Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens. It’s always best to avoid wasting time and Cass would be better suited in the main event picture, while Enzo can continue being entertaining in a smaller role.
2. Stay Together: American Alpha
American Alpha was the big call up in the brand split for the tag team division. Jason Jordan and Chad Gable have clearly become the faces of the SmackDown Live tag division in a short time period. They dominated NXT with a tremendous run that made them very popular and they have the potential to become one of the best tag teams in WWE history if they stay together.
Gable and Jordan are so good that the other teams on the SmackDown Live division look horrible by comparison, aside from The Usos. WWE has the rare chance to spotlight a tag team from the early stages of their careers and allow them to continue for the entirety of their careers. Jordan and Gable have a special chemistry that may very well be once in a generation.
1. Break Up: New Day
The New Day have dominated the tag team scene in WWE over the past two years. Kofi Kingston, Big E and Xavier Woods all have achieved success beyond their wildest dreams as a popular trio. The branding opportunities have seen New Day get dozens of shirts, their own Funko Pop set and Booty-O’s cereal. Sadly, they have become a stale act.
WWE is struggling to find a role for them. New Day won’t have a match at WrestleMania 33 and will just serve as the hosts. The best booking decision would be for one of the guys to turn heel and go the singles route. That wrestler would get a huge push with the potential to be a future World Champion. The other two could keep The New Day brand alive. WWE gets to have their Booty-O’s and eat it too if one of the three members forces New Day to break up.
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