For much of the last year, the WWE women’s tag team division has consisted of just one or two teams at a time. It’s not hyperbole to say there are often zero actual women’s teams in WWE besides the reigning tag team champions. With no teams to fight against, sometimes the champs are just treated as fodder for the top singles stars to beat on weekly television.
Rhea Ripley has been a mainstay in the tag division going back to the end of last summer when she formed a team with Nikki A.S.H. Their team split up this year. Instead of moving away from tag wrestling after that angle finished up, Ripley now finds herself tagging with Liv Morgan at WrestleMania 38. They will challenge Carmella and Queen Vega for the Women’s tag team titles in a triple threat match that also includes Sasha Banks and Naomi.
The teams of Ripley & Morgan and Banks & Naomi exist right now primarily because of WWE’s lazy booking, lack of long-term planning, lack of depth in the women’s roster, and general disregard for tag team wrestling.
Banks and Ripley both had prominent positions on the card one year ago at WrestleMania 37; Banks wrestled in the main event of night one, and Ripley got the big fancy entrance en route to defeating Asuka for the Raw women’s championship on night two. Both stars needed something to do at WrestleMania this year, but they aren’t booked in the top singles matches with Ronda Rousey or Becky Lynch.
WWE’s solution was to put them in makeshift tag teams to get them on the WrestleMania 38 card in a match that is more meaningful than a filler Battle Royal. It’s something, but it’s not much given how shoddily it was all put together.
Ripley understands that the women’s tag titles are poorly positioned in WWE, but that won’t deter her from trying to remind everyone why tag team wrestling is so great. That’s pretty much what she told Phil Strum during their conversation on Under the Ring: as she talked about the importance of the women’s tag team title match on the WrestleMania card:
“I think it’s very important. The women’s tag team championships, they sort of get looked down upon by a lot of people. I see it on social media all the time, and I get it. We don’t really get good positions on the show, and our matches are very very quick. So I think that it is important to put it on WrestleMania and remind everyone exactly what we can do, and how much these titles do truly mean.
I love the tag titles. I love tag wrestling. I love everything about it. We just gotta remind everyone how much they love it as well, and I think that’s what we’re trying to do.”
I admire Rhea’s positive outlook on the situation, and hopefully the women in her match will get enough time to put on a hell of a show on Apr. 3 in Arlington, Texas. However, the fans complaining about the booking of the women’s tag division aren’t really the ones who need to be reminded why they love women’s tag team wrestling. It’s the decision-makers in WWE who need to get their heads out of their asses for anything of significance to actually change here.