As the General has pointed out in last week's Smackdown Reactions, The Real Americans are really bad cheaters. What's funny is, the team that Antonio Cesaro and Jack Swagger (along with manager Zeb Colter) couldn't seem to scheme to beat last week, The Primetime Players, is a team that I had noticed had a similar problem several times on Superstars this year.
In recent years, the tag team division of the WWE has been treated as a way to keep borderline main event faces busy when they're not needed in the main event. Going along with that, the division has become a warm-up act, something to get the crowd excited for the rest of the card.
"But Sean", you say, "the current champs are heels."
Yes, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins of The Shield are the champs and bad guys. But their reign, from the Extreme Rules pay-per-view (PPV) to now, has featured three title defenses in over three months. Two of those were against Daniel Bryan and a partner, and largely served to tell the story of why Bryan would soon no longer be partnering with the person (the second, at Payback, set the stage for our current top program between the Beard and Randy Orton). The third was the pre-show for Money in the Bank.
It's almost as if as soon as the Hounds of Justice won the straps, WWE Creative forgot what to do with them. Probably because they haven't booked heel champions since Jeri-Show. And even that was only the flip-side of the "creative has nothing for you" partnerships that have taken up the division of late.
But Reigns and Rollins do follow the script that was used for a dominant, over rudo team like Edge & Christian from the Attitude Era. The team you loved to hate but couldn't take your eyes off when they worked a match. E & C, along with the Hardy and Dudley Boyz, innovated in the ring, delivering exciting matches much like The Shield have been doing since their debut.
Unfortunately, the Canadian "brothers" were surrounded by a solid group of other teams like the Hardys, Dudleys and even teams like DX/NAO, Too Cool, T & A and even novelty acts like Right to Censor.
In some respects, it's a "chicken and the egg problem". You need strong face teams in order to have strong heel teams. And as long as the purpose of the division is to get over one big good guy duo, like Hell No, you create a bunch of ineffective heel teams, like Rhodes Scholars, PTP or Real Americans, for them to go over.
The Usos seemed to be getting a push that would have seen them positioned as an established favorite fans could root for against The Shield as the newest evil power of tag team wrestling. But as they've faded into the background in favor of another slapped together face team in Mark Henry and The Big Show, it seems we might be headed to another Mega Powers-esque team that will bowl over lesser baddies.
Maybe the rise of Darren Young and Titus O'Neil as técnicos, and the debut of the ole-chant appropriating Epico and Primo re-packaging Los Matadores (thereby giving the promotion more than one team to book wins for), will be the impetus that is needed to write for a whole division and not just one team. And if our rumor guru Eric B. Stephen is right and Luke Harper and Erick Rowan of The Wyatt Family are set to bring their NXT tag title winning ways to the big shows, we could really be on to something.
But I think it's just as likely that Show & Henry hold the straps for the next six months, while PTP become another version of the Usos and Harper & Rowan spend much more time backing Bray as they do winning tag matches. Don't ask me, though, I won't be happy until we have Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff shushing crowds so they can sing their anthems.
IRAN NUMBER 1! USA - !
What do you think, Cagesiders? Will we ever have a dominant heel team, or a real tag team division, in WWE again? Or should we just focus on the other things they're doing well these days and stop asking for the world?