What a difference a year makes!
One year ago, ten of WWE’s finest tag teams met in battle in a traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match and in the end it came down the four men here who will do battle once again tomorrow night.
They say that history repeats itself
So, let’s go ahead and take a look at exactly how that shook out, courtesy of my handy-dandy full-service liveblog of Survivor Series 2016, shall we? This excerpt commences the moment the Usos eliminated Enzo & Big Cass to bring us down to the final two.
Sheamus sets Jey up for the Beats of the Bodhran, landing all ten, if not more, and then into the Finlay Roll. Jey ducks the Brogue Kick, hits an enzuigiri, tag to Jimmy. Superkick party on Sheamus! Brogue Kick on Jimmy but Jey breaks up the pin! Sheamus clotheslines him outside for his trouble and goes back to Jimmy, setting him up top. Big right hand, Sheamus climbs to the second, thinking White Noise, blind tag from Jey!
White Noise connects but Jey comes off the top with the splash! Cesaro breaks up the pin! Cesaro practically begging for the tag now and gets it. Uppercut train on Jey but he cuts him off with a back elbow. Springboard corkscrew uppercut, Jimmy runs in and gets dropkicked off the top. 619 on Jey! Cesaro up top, diving crossbody... NOT ENOUGH!
Jey's caught in the swing, rotation after rotation, Cesaro locks the Sharpshooter on but Jimmy superkicks his knee out from underneath him! Tequila Sunrise locked on, Cesaro is fighting but Jey keeps him in the middle of the ring. Cesaro rolls through and steps through Jey's legs, back into the Sharpshooter! Jey crawls for the ropes, summoning every last ounce of determination. Jimmy in to break it up but he eats a Brogue Kick for his trouble...
Team Raw wins by submission, Cesaro & Sheamus last eliminating the Usos with a Sharpshooter from Cesaro on Jey Uso.
Well nobody knows, no you never can tell
But in the year since that meeting, much has changed.
Put together by then-general manager Mick Foley after beating each other into oblivion to draw a best-of-seven series, Cesaro & Sheamus were already a force to be reckoned with but hadn’t quite gelled as a true tag team yet when they won the elimination match.
In the year since that match, the Bar have not only picked up a semi-official team name, but have continued to hone their acumen as a tag team, winning the Raw Tag Team Championship three times. Cesaro spent months trying to sand the rough edges off of Sheamus only to find, once the Hardy Boyz stole their thunder at WrestleMania, that perhaps the Celtic Warrior had the right attitude all along.
Likewise, the Usos came into Survivor Series 2016 as freshly-made rulebreakers and have spent most of the year since in the same mode, breaking legs, winning the SmackDown Tag Team Championship thrice and locking team after team in the Uso Penitentiary with their cry of “It ain’t paranoia, it’s the Usos!” They’ve since come to the side of the angels after growing a mutual respect over their excellent months-long feud with the New Day, but their attitude in the ring is as vicious as ever.
One thing that the last year can’t give us some insight to is the preparation factor. The Usos have been getting ready to compete for brand supremacy since the moment this champion vs. champion match was announced. Sure, they’ve had to fend off a challenge from the rising team of Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin, but they’ve been able to keep their eyes on Survivor Series the whole time, whereas the Bar had to focus on getting their tag titles back first.
And that brings us to the 800 pound gorilla in the room— It’s not as if the Bar overcame the challenge of the Shield. On the contrary, New Day paying Raw a visit combined with Kurt Angle’s paranoia and desire to prevent another siege left everyone slackjawed and gave them an easy victory. Could that make the difference tomorrow night?
Will the Bar continue to set the level of tag team competition in WWE or will it turn out they were just another piece of steel in the cell doors of the Uso Penitentiary?
Who will win?
This poll is closed
The Bar (Cesaro & Sheamus)
The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso)