Tag Team Weekly Roundup and Power Ratings: Where do the new Viking Raiders fit?

First things first – we certainly should all agree that it’s great to see Erik return from injury and his wife Sarah Logan back in WWE, joining Ivar in a new configuration of the Viking Raiders. Seeing talented folks getting to cosplay as vikings for a living makes a person smile.

What’s less certain is where the Viking Raiders (are they still new and vicious?) fit into the tag-team hierarchy. Before they set sail to the inactive list, the tandem conquered New Day in a Viking Rules match that was more wildly entertaining than it had any right to be. But that should end their program with the Princes of Positivity, who are sort of the tag team gatekeepers right now.

The problem here is beating up on Hit Row and Legado del Fantasma doesn’t exactly feel like a step up, as neither of those teams have accomplished much on the main roster (although LdF and especially Santos Escobar have experience and a high ceiling). Going toe to toe with Imperium would be fun but the heel-heel matchup makes little sense unless WWE wanted to flip the vikings back to the face side (which isn’t how they’re being presented).

Now a program with Brawling Brutes could be a lot of fun, but they are locked into a promising program with The Bloodline (which simply must result in at least one more shot of Sheamus for the top titles). There’s certainly room for the Viking Raiders to help the Brutes lose a match in that process, but that wouldn’t be until after Survivor Series at least.

And that this week SmackDown had no room for the Viking Raiders – in what was admittedly a packed show – doesn’t make them feel like much of a priority. While it’s great to see them back, they are probably all dressed up in viking regalia and rowing in place until another top team sails into the right situation. Until then, they can probably roll up some wins while awaiting something higher up the mast.

The following Tag Team Power Rankings take into account wins, power and placement of segments, recentness of appearances, creative direction and momentum for teams and factions.

WWE Tag Team Power Rankings through Nov. 18:

1. The Bloodline (last week: 1)

Pro: Still holding all kinds of championships and the reaction Roman received reminds us of his star power. Plus watching Sami Zayn try to break Jey Uso is one of the best things on TV.
Con: Zayn took a loss to Butch, and the return of Kevin Owens complicates things for the dominant faction.

2. Damage CTRL (Bayley, Iyo Sky and Dakota Kai) (2)

Pro: Kai and Sky continue to hold tag gold, and the Genius of the Sky added a win over Dana Brooke. Plus they picked up Rhea Ripley for their War Games team.
Con: Meanwhile, Bianca Belair team added Mia Yim. If Bayley and Co. can't win this big match, they just aren't going to look that powerful.

3. Brawling Brutes (7)

Pro: Butch defeated Sami in a really good SmackDown main event made even better by Kevin Owens returning to ally himself with the Brutes and Drew McIntyre. Being positioned as babyfaces in what may well be the top Survivor Series match is definitely good.
Con: But what are the odds of them going over The Bloodline in said main event?

4. The OC (3)

Pro: Prominently featured throughout Raw, particularly with Mia Yim getting a win and joining the face WarGames women's team.
Con: It's great that we're getting AJ Styles vs. Finn at Survivor Series, but that leaves Kurt Anderson and Luke Gallows out in the cold for that event.

5. Judgment Day (4)

Pro: Dominik continued his winning streak by defeating Sheldon Benjamin, while Finn Balor put on a heck of a main event with Seth Rollins.
Con: Thanks to The OC, Balor was unable to secure the win or the gold.

6. Katana Chance and Kayden Carter (5)

Pro: Still women's tag titleholders in NXT.
Con: Waiting for the next challengers to emerge.

7. Pretty Deadly (6)

Pro: Still the NXT men's tag champs and fabulous in many ways.
Con: Are they getting enough airtime? No, boy!

8. New Day (8)

Pro: Back in the win column against Imperium, thanks to Braun Strowman joining them for a six-man tag.
Con: That this seemed a lot more about Braun than the Princes of Positivity.

9. The Schism (9)

Pro: The Dyad picked up a win over Josh Briggs and Brooks Jensen, perhaps the biggest win for the duo since they were the Grizzled Young Veterans.
Con: Had to rely on Kiana James' meddling to pick up the victory.

10. Alpha Academy (10)

Pro: Finally putting together a bit of a win streak, with Gable defeating Matt Riddle on Raw.
Con: That WWE doesn't give them a lot of win streaks.

Best tag segment of the week: Even without all the additional hoopla around the ring during and after the bout, Butch and Sami had a really fun match that would be great to see again in a more regular layout.

Grade: C+

Almost all of the tag title programs are on stall, particularly in NXT, although the gearing up for faction warfare is at least giving the main-roster titleholders plenty to do.

The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Cageside Seats readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cageside Seats editors or staff.