For the second week in a row, Raw has suddenly become the better main-roster show for its use of tag-team talent. This week, even without a tag match closing the show, they worked members of a lot of teams into a really good main event.
Seth Rollins, co-tag-team champ, pulled out all the stops including a Curb Stomp aka Blackout (!) to defeat Finn, the leader of the resurgent Balor Club. It seemed to be something with future implications for the Irishman, as well as bringing back a signature move from the most successful days for the Shield architect.
Speaking of Irishmen, Sheamus and his buddy Cesaro also got involved in the main event because of their running feud with Rollins and his (slimy) partner Jason Jordan, who himself cheated a bit to help Seth’s win. Those teams will face each other for the belts, and with JJ acting repeatedly selfish, the titles seem up for grabs.
Yet The Bar can’t look ahead too far because they have now taken two consecutive losses to the suddenly surging Titus Worldwide, although this week’s had to do with a distraction by the ubiquitous Jordan … which Rollins didn’t seem 100% pleased about.
It all adds up to a very intriguing Raw tag division, especially welcome since SmackDown had an off week for its own tag ranks, which has been the most compelling part of the show.
But what does that mean for this week’s power rankings?
The following Tag Team Power Rankings take into account wins, power and placement of segments, recentness of appearances, creative direction and momentum for main-roster teams.
WWE Tag Team Power Rankings through Jan. 16:
1. Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan (last week: 3)
Pro: Big win for Rollins over Balor, with cheat-y help from Jordan, who is really hitting his stride as a smarmy hypocrite. Still the Raw tag champs.
Con: Seth’s win seems iffy with weird ref count. And signs can’t possibly point to them retaining the gold, can they?
2. Balor Club (1)
Pro: Big spot (albeit a loss and a weird ref count) for Balor, plus more spotlight (and a potential Bar feud) for Gallows and Anderson.
Con: Hard to know what’s up with the long awkward closing segment, although it could be the start of a turn or other evolution with this group.
3. Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable (3)
Pro: Got in a solid beatdown on Usos and had a simple, effective promo in backstage segment.
Con: The amount of upper hand they’ve had seems almost too good for the sake of their title chances.
4. The Usos (4)
Pro: Managed to squeeze in a short entertaining promo before Gablenjamin attacked.
Con: Jey’s DWI arrest is a concern.
5. The New Day (6)
Pro: Got a promo to kick off SmackDown.
Con: Xavier lost an uninspiring match with Jinder in the US Title tournament.
6. Titus Worldwide (10)
Pro: You don’t even need Dana, the best statistician in WWE, to tell you that two wins in a row is big for the group.
Con: Will this lead to any sustained push?
7. The Bar (7)
Pro: Still getting a lot of play in various Raw segments. Still have a decent shot at regaining the titles.
Con: Lost to Titus Worldwide again, albeit with a JJ distraction.
8. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn (5)
Pro: Still lingering around the WWE title picture preparing for handicap match.
Con: SmackDown participation limited to video package.
9. The Revival (not rated)
Pro: Say yeah! A squash victory and the distinction that they are professional wrestlers, not sports entertainers, was a nice return to TV.
Con: Let’s hope it’s not all a setup for them to get beat down by retired tag teams at Raw 25.
10. Breezango (9)
Pro: Had one of their best Fashion Files in quite some time …
Con: … which for whatever reason SmackDown didn’t include in the broadcast.
Best tag segment of the week: While not a tag match per se, the main event of Raw had plenty of moving parts who are part of the tag team scene. And they all worked pretty well. Suddenly Raw’s tag stars are must-see TV.
Grade: B. In the reverse of so much recent trending, Raw pulls the grade up thanks to such scant SmackDown attention to its tag scene.