One of the focal points of NX TakeOver: Respect has been the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament, wherein every team in NXT as well as some from the main WWE roster has participated for no reason other than to win. It’s an odd situation, not having the titles on the line, as it means some focus has been brought back to a division which has its ups and downs and usually only exists because of those championships.
In the past few years, the tag team division in WWE has been criticized for being overlooked and used only to propel singles stars as there have been numerous times where two random people have been put together, win the titles, split up and WWE takes it from there. Surprisingly, though, one of the most fun aspects of this tournament has been the oddball pairings. Baron Corbin and Rhyno are in the semifinals, as are Finn Balor and Samoa Joe. Tyler Breeze and Bull Dempsey being paired up was a big storyline going on throughout the past several weeks. Jason Jordan started off not wanting to tag with Chad Gable, but look how far they’ve gotten, facing off against The Hype Bros who were pretty much slapped together in their own right.
With this being the current climate in the company, I’ve been looking at the rosters for WWE and NXT and trying to see who could benefit from being included into the tag team division in some fashion.
This is a good team to start off a list of 10, right?
Curtis Axel has had a rollercoaster year. His participation in the Royal Rumble was a complete joke, but somehow, that joke was turned into something very entertaining with the Axelmania gimmick. This eventually lead into the new Mega Powers act with Macho Mandow, which was unfortunately not pushed too far before being subject to a guillotine after Hulk Hogan’s exit from the company. Axel has talent, but he isn’t as lucky as his father when it comes to charisma, and he just doesn’t seem to know how to carry himself as a bona fide superstar deserving of more. When Tyson Kidd left NXT, I had hoped Axel would be the next guy to take a step down and fill that spot, which I still think could be advantageous to both the brand and Axel himself.
Then you have Tye Dillinger, who was the B-man in his tag team with Jason Jordan, but bounced back with a simple, yet effective gimmick with the Perfect 10 concept. He’s getting a better chance to shine now, although still somewhat used as a jobber. I like him, I love his theme music, I love the new gimmick, and I think he has a ton of talent that could go far, but I don’t have faith WWE will push him on his own. He could use something to give him a push and I feel Axel could be that catalyst.
Obviously, Perfect 10 would definitely be the tag team name. Even the formation of the team could be rather easy to pull off with their personas. My pitch for how this goes down is pretty simple: Axel and Dillinger are booked in a match where Axel cuts a promo about how he doesn’t appreciate the “perfect” adjective just being thrown around like that. Axel’s the son of Mr. Perfect, so Dillinger needs to prove it. Axel, the babyface, wins—but by cheating. A rematch is requested, where Dillinger cheats to win. A rubber match then takes place, but after the two bitch about not trusting the other one to be fair, William Regal appoints a special guest referee of sorts. When the match appears to be a draw, Axel and Dillinger shake hands, attack the babyface enforcer, and have a newfound mutual respect as equals and total jerks who feel they’re better than everyone else. Extra points go to an entrance taunt where they hold their hands up to show the number 10, then give each other high-fives. You can’t get much simpler than that, can you?
Los Matadores are pretty much dead, right? Rumors have it that WWE wants Carlito to return to join up with them and form a new stable. DO THIS.
As Primo and Epico, there was much left to be desired, and I can’t imagine those two would be significantly improved compared to before. However, that’s why Carlito is so necessary. He brings the mouthpiece and the character that is lacking. The best thing Primo’s ever done was tag with Carlito and the best thing Epico’s done was moving out of the way when Rosa Mendes wanted the spotlight. Carlito, on the other hand, has a decent career behind him and would likely be welcomed back by the WWE Universe with open arms.
With The New Day, The Wyatt Family, the potential to add a new Dudley as they used to do back in the day and several other trios, there’s a lot of room to play with this coalition of Colons.
Shoot Nation Gains a Member
If you’re not watching NXT, you may not know who Shoot Nation is. Hell, even if you’re watching NXT, you still might not have a clue, as they don’t refer to them as that all the time and the two members aren’t exactly hogging the spotlight. Originally, this was a team of Chad Gable, Sawyer Fulton and Angelo Dawkins. Gable moved on to team with Jason Jordan, but Fulton and Dawkins are still teaming together, dressed like collegiate wrestlers and going nowhere.
Similar to how Primo and Epico need someone to steer them in the right direction, these two are in need of the same thing. They need someone with a similar wrestling style. They need someone who isn’t too above them. They need someone who isn’t too busy. They need Jack Swagger, and he needs them.
The All American American American American American American.14159265358979323846… has went from a pet project in ECW to the World Heavyweight Championship to a jobber and everywhere in between. Right now, his career is at a standstill and he hasn’t been relevant since Zeb Colter was doing the grunt work for his feud with Rusev. With no Colter, there’s no Real Americans, and with no Real Americans, there’s just a good in-ring wrestler who loses on Superstars and Main Event.
Jack Swagger could team up with Shoot Nation and help work with the guys in NXT to teach them what he knows while also giving them some wins over an established star. Those people look better in the long run and Swagger gets a chance to jumpstart his career without having to be repackaged in any way that would rely on him having gained better mic skills since we last heard him speak. It’s not his strong point, nor do Fulton or Dawkins seem to be turning into the next Roddy Piper or The Rock, so let these guys go out there and just let their ring work speak for themselves.