Somehow the WWE tag team division is flush with talent and teams you want to cheer for. Both brands tout teams that all could be considered for their divisions top spot. We’re even lucky enough to be witness to The New Day, one of the most consistent teams in ages. And yet when you watch the stories, see the build up, and the eventual results you’ll feel underwhelmed. In an era where one of the hottest wrestlers outside of the WWE are a tag team (the Young Bucks) how is it possible that the WWE continue to devalue this division?
It’s hard to reconcile the existence of The New Day, The Revival, The Hardy Boyz, The Bludgeon Brothers, The Bar, and The Usos with the lack of support for any of them. Sure, the titles are defended at nearly every PPV, and yes most of these teams get their share of air time during each SmackDown and Raw. But the importance of those championships and the matches they fight are clearly undervalued. Tag team matches feel like time filler rather than any build towards a long term story. Teams are built up, then ignored. Teams are tossed together, then succeed without any help. The entire division feels like a constant afterthought.
The New Day is probably the best example of how broken the division is. Kofi Kingston, Big E, and Xavier Woods are all talented performers in nearly every aspect. After being ignored as individual wrestlers their team was left out to wither on the vine, until their personalities took over. Then their friendship and goofiness shined through and the audience responded in kind. The WWE wasn’t blind to their new success and eventually gave them the tag team titles and let them hang on to them for a record amount of time. Since then they were moved to Smackdown their feuds feel less like engaging stories and more like reasons for them to be on TV. Clearly the WWE realizes the value of the New Day but has no clue what to do with them.
This approach can be seen with every team up and down the roster. The Bludgeon Brothers are clearly popular and yet are stuck wrestling The Ascension and The Fashion Police. The Fashion Police create one of the more entertaining gimmicks on WWE but it never manifests into any worthwhile matches. The Usos reinvent themselves, win the tag titles, and suddenly feel stagnant because the rest of the division are throwaway teams or in their own, poor, storylines. Despite having all the pieces the WWE doesn’t care to see the puzzle.
We know tag teams can become very popular. The Young Buck, Roppongi Vice, Roppongi 3K, The Best Friends, The Briscoes, War Machine, Authors of Pain, and Guerrillas of Destiny all have made their fame by being badass tag teams. Yet even when the WWE gets their hands on - or creates - a good team they can only go so far it seems. With hours to fill, PPVs lacking matches, and fans craving different style of matches it should be relatively easy to excite tag team wrestling. Instead we have a floundering segment of the roster, loaded with talent, hoping to spark something more than some catchphrases and an occasional match.