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WWE TLC 2014 match card preview: Miz & Mizdow vs. The Usos

Tag Team Championship

The Usos vs. The Miz & Damien Mizdow (c)

Jimmy & Jey fought long and hard to fulfill their dream of becoming tag team champions.  And they thwarted all who came after their belts for seven months until Night of Champions.  But some men from the stars finally stripped them of the titles, and a Hollywood star and his stunt double took them at Survivor Series.

But Rikishi's boys have stayed in the saddle, picking up some impressive wins to get a shot at reclaiming the pairs division's top prize.  Now they'll face The Miz & Damien Mizdow to get them back on Sunday, December 14th in Cleveland.

The Road to TLC

One thing The Usos impressive run at or near the top of the tag team division over the past two years has been missing is much in the way of a character for either Jimmy or Jey.  They've got a fun chant, and Michael Cole says some dumb $#!+ when they dive out of the ring and they occasional re-enact episodes of Black Dynamite backstage.

So even though their presence almost guarantees a good match, I was less than enthused when they won Tag Team Turmoil on Raw a few weeks back to earn the right to be Miz & Miz-dow's new pursuers.  Then this happened:

Now, it didn't look like much at the time, and I was certainly among the crowd calling it the latest example of WWE's patriarchical/misogynistic tendencies.  "Impressive twerking" is still a problematic line, but Miz is a heel.

And this development has lead to The Marine 3 star getting ample opportunities to show how great he is at being a dick, Just as important, it's allowed Damien Mizdow to ham it up at his side - and delay the inevitable split between the two while there are still miles in the stunt double gimmick.  It's also given us some decent in-ring encounters that have highlighted the strengthes of each of the four men.

After a little while, Naomi actually got some agency in the story as well,  As a result of that, the brothers now have distinct personalities, too!  Who knew?

This may not be news to Total Divas watchers, but for the wrestling fans like me that Vince McMahon makes fun of, it was a revelation.  Jealous hot head and focused, sensible partner aren't exacty Rust Cohle and Marty Hart, but it's a big step up from jumping guy #1 and dancing guy #2.

Now, the audience, the babyfaces chasing the title and an actual female character with individual aspirations are all guessing at the machinations of the heel challenger.  And who knows what's going on in the stunt double's head?  He's realized that the fans love him, even if his kayfabe employer is still ignoring their cheers, and is willing to either make a blind tag to win a match or fall down on the floor in sympathetic pain.

The only real fault I can find with this program is that, on a pay-per-view (PPV) subtitled Tables, Ladders and Chairs...and Stairs, the battle for the top prize in the division that invented TLC isn't being fought under any stipulation.

What's at Stake?

Those pretty bronze belts.  No word if Jimmy or Jey would also want the replicas Damien carries.

The twins streak of good-to-really-good matches is also on the line, as is the run by the champs of making anything they do watchable.

It could be that whether or not we'll get more of this kind of "Reality" Era storylines will depend on the audience reaction.  If live audiences and TV watchers by into The Usos and Naomi more as a result of this, maybe every Total Divas crossover won't have to be about man trouble and jealousy between females?

Of course, this is probably only happening because Mrs. Fatu is leaving the E! show next season...

Will Trinity get a recording contract?  Is the crowd chanting "We Want Mizdow" or "We Want Miz Now"?  Does anyone at CAA really accept Mike Mizanin's calls?  And who will be tag champs come Monday?

You'll get those answers as soon as we have them, Cagesiders, right here on your favorite pro wrestling web site!

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