Wednesday, 26 September 2012

The Odd Couple

What started life as a fairly bland mid-card feud that felt like a waste of one of WWE's hottest acts has morphed into one of wrestling's most entertaining tag teams. Kane and Daniel Bryan are easily the best pairing currently at WWE's disposal and are the right choice to spearhead what appears to be a resurgence in the league's dismal doubles scene.
I've written about the state of tag team wrestling in WWE several times before. I've even been caught out and heralded a bright new dawn that's turned to be an overcast dusk at least once. The reason I think things may be different this time is that Bryan and Kane (dubbed Team Hell No on Monday's RAW) have not been picked out by the writers as the new lead team. They've been picked out by the fans.

The two have quickly developed an easy and entertaining rapport that's just as enjoyable in their backstage anger management skits as it is when they're bickering in the ring. Their cries of "I'm the tag team champions", while grammatically incorrect, make them perfectly suited to interacting with audiences. The same is true of the various cries of "Yes!" and "No!" directed at 'D-Bryan'.

One of these guys is the tag team champions... But which?
It's not just Team Hell No that has created hope for the WWE tag straps. The pairing of Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow on last Friday's SmackDown originally appeared to be a one night storyline designed to give the champs some heel opponents. Monday's RAW revealed that the two will work as a tag team for the foreseeable future. After attacking the champions Rhodes revealed he and Sandow will be known as the Rhodes Scholars. WWE wouldn't have bothered concocting a team name for them if they had no intention of keeping them paired up.
The creation of the Rhodes Scholars is a good move. 'The Intellectual Saviour of the Masses' has gotten over to a far greater extent than the company originally expected. With nothing in the works for him as a singles competitor putting him into a tag team means he will still be kept relevancy but means there is no need to elevate him immediately. It's good for the former 'Dashing One' too: he'd been floundering since losing the Intercontinental title to Christian at Over The Limit. Both should benefit from working with the popular and talented tag champions.
Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara have been put together as a unit in recent weeks. Apparently the long term plan is to have one turn on the other in time for a match at WrestleMania XXIX. Until a few weeks ago they looked like the favourites to defeat the Prime Time Players for the tag gold, who in turn seemed like the favourites to topple Kofi Kingston and R-Truth. Both the masked pair and the PTPs could be considered threats to the current strap holders, with Young and O'Neil being particularly notable due to the fact that WWE have been pushing them steadily up the card for months.
There are a very healthy number of entertaining units elsewhere on the roster. The Usos and Epico and Primo (who really need some sort of collective noun) are both very good teams while the combo of Justin Gabriel and Tyson Kidd could produce some electric matches if given the chance.

Hunico and Camacho could be given more screen time to fatten up the doubles ranks and The Ascension are more than ready to be called up from NXT. Finally, the recently formed group consisting of Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre could be an interesting factor in tag team competition if they're kept together long enough.
Bryan and Kane are not a team that will sit on top of the company's tag team division for years. They should be good for a few months though. If WWE are smart they'll use this time to get some successors established for the inevitable Team Hell No split. For now the future looks bright, and unpredictable for WWE's tag team division. That, to quote Diamond Dallas Page, is a good thing.

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