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WrestleMania 31 match card preview: Fatal 4Way for the Tag Team titles

Fatal 4Way for the WWE Tag Team Championship

The Usos vs. Los Matadores vs. The New Day vs. Tyson Kidd & Cesaro (c)

The recently crowned tag champs are too dang good to leave off the card, and even Rikishi is tired of seeing his sons either defending or challenging for the belts alone. But then someone in the back remembered they don't have any other established tag teams. Time for good old fashioned "get a bunch of guys on the card" booking.

The Road To WrestleMania 31

Prior to Royal Rumble, former United States champion Cesaro and former tag champ Tyson Kidd were a "Creative has nothing for you" pairing of Superstars. Very few complained about their being put together though - you were either in the camp who are unimpressed by the Swiss and Canadian (or, as I like to call those folks, "wrong"), or you were among those who loved them for their work rate and passion for the business.

Through a Fastlane feud with recurrent division kings Jimmy & Jey Uso largely based around Total Divas and featuring an all-time so-bad-it's-great location shoot segment where Kidd and his partner disrespected Naomi's dinner, it became apparent that their was more to the duo than just technical wrestling skill. Though they've been unable to settle on/get approval for a name, they've been granted more time in the ring and on the microphone. Even the push to make sure they were featured on the card in Santa Clara is probably a good sign for duo many fans call "The Brass Ring Club" in reference to Vince McMahon's infamous comments about Cesaro and stars of his generation on The Stone Cold Podcast.

A rematch against Jimmy & Jey was the obvious path. The twins offical chance to reclaim the titles ended indecisively after interference from Kidd's wife Natalya, who always seems to be wavering on whether or not she's down with the champs' heel-ish ways:

With the brothers having been the only constant in an underdeveloped scene for nearly two years now, the powers-that-be decided to quickly re-create the division after botching The Ascension's ascension and breaking up the other over teams in Stardust & Goldust & The Miz & Damien Mizdow. In one night, Big E & Xavier Woods of The New Day knocked off the champs in non-title action and Los Matadores stunned The Usos.

In WWE logic, we now had two more title contenders.

The usual roundhouse booking has resulted in good wrestling and storytelling that's made the program something in which it's really hard to get invested. The only things that have really added intrigue to the match are fan desire for a heel change or new gimmick for E, Woods & Kofi Kingston and Jey's shoulder injury, incurred during a dive from Xavier during an eight-man tag on Smackdown:

Heat does exist between The Masters of the WWE Universe (another of the monikers for Kidd & Cesaro) and the recently elevated contenders. The champions' rise began on the Rumble pre-show with a win over Big & Kofi, while the Uso injury cleared the way for an entertaining mini-feud where Diego, Fernando & their mascot centered a battle against the Swiss-Canadian trio on Natty vs. El Torito.

What's at stake?

Big picture, the future of tag wrestling in WWE. Pairs are not a strength at any level of the organization, and having a second duo join The Usos are mainstays of the scene is probably the best hope for a return to days where Dudleys, Hardys and Canadian surfer dudes main evented the occasional Raw. The more Cesaro & Kidd can ingrain themselves as a team with the brass and the crowd, the more likely that is to happen.

For right now, where the belts end up by the time the pay-per-view (PPV) portion of the event starts probably doesn't matter a whole lot. As one of two matches on a two hour pre-show, this doesn't even carry the usual burden of setting a tone. There will likely be lots of deadtime before the main show as the audience finds their seats and spends their money.

If The Swinging Cats continue to get time as a unit, even having the belts go back to The Usos probably isn't a huge setback. Barring the African-American faction ditching the vestments for either something more militant or generally less stereotypical, the important stuff will happen after WrestleMania rather than before it.

Let's shoot for a good match, and continue to hope for they pay more attention tag team wrestling in the coming year!

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