Welcome another edition of the March to WrestleMania 35, breaking down the environment around all the championships heading into the biggest show of the year to set the tone for 1) recapping how we got to this point, 2) discussing possible plans for WrestleMania and 3) guessing where this all going to end up once WrestleMania has concluded.
This post will be covering what’s going on regarding the Raw Tag Team Championship.
Let’s start with what we already know…
THE RAW TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
Who are the current champions?
Somehow, despite all the amazing matches they had as two-time NXT tag team champions, it took two years and the threat of leaving the company for The Revival to win the Raw Tag Team Championship—even though the division had been in shambles since practically November 2017.
You’d think WWE would have been begging for a savior, but Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson were sitting right under their noses, getting jobbed out. Ridiculous.
Sadly, even after winning these titles, WWE still doesn’t seem to want to invest in The Revival. They continue to lose or be booked like they aren’t fully capable, which isn’t how things were done in NXT, when they were credible champions.
They’ve only held the titles for a little over a month, having won them on the February 11th edition of Monday Night Raw, and their short time as champions may not matter at all. While WWE does play hot potato with belts from time to time, title reigns typically aren’t super fast, as it reflects poorly on the champions.
However, over the past 15 title reigns, the average length of a run has been only 51 days. Before that was The New Day’s historic 483 day reign, which is actually during the time frame these belts transitioned to the “Raw” Tag Team Championship rather than just the co-branded WWE tag titles.
With this new run of the Raw-specific tag belts, the longest single reign we’ve had was The Deleters of Worlds with 79 days. The shortest was Braun Strowman and Nicholas at 1 day.
The Revival are very well within the range of losing the titles come WrestleMania, where they’ll have reached their 55th day as champions. Just saying….
Who will challenge for the title at WrestleMania?
WWE cares so little about this division that it wouldn’t surprise me at all if there are plans to not have the titles on the line at all at WrestleMania, but it does seem like if there is anything being built to, it’s Aleister Black and Ricochet.
This is disappointing to me not because I don’t like the four people involved, as I’m a big fan of those teams, but because it will be the third title match between the two. I’m not too fond of rematches that lead into a third rematch at WrestleMania. There’s nothing new to it and no selling point other than “maybe these guys will have as good of a match as they already had and won’t just copy and paste what we’ve seen before or do even less.”
But WWE could sully this even more by going to the dreaded multi-team concept that we’ve seen them do so, so many times in the past.
Bobby Roode and Chad Gable were in the mix with those two teams at Fastlane, but WWE could just say “screw it” and put them in there yet again. The same goes for Heavy Machinery possibly getting a shot at the belts after having steamrolled the tag team division recently.
Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins have been pushed aside as of late, but if they aren’t sitting on the sidelines or relegated to the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, they might make a run for the belts at WrestleMania, too. At the very least, they could be the ones to take the pinfall to keep up the loser gimmicks, right? (Note: That wouldn’t be my preference, as I actually like The Major Bros)
I’m sincerely doubting Akam will be healed up in time to return for a match at WrestleMania, so I’d rule out The Authors of Pain from making an appearance here. The same goes for The Fashion Police with Fandango’s injury, and despite how Heath Slater and Rhyno aren’t injured, they just simply don’t matter, so they won’t be in the title hunt, either. Just for the sake of completion, Lucha House Party, The Singh Brothers, The B-Team and The Ascension….nope.
My guess is Black and Ricochet are it, without the inclusion of the other teams.
What happens at and after WrestleMania?
Far be it from me to ever doubt WWE’s tendency to give a championship to someone only to turn things right around by having them lose over and over until they lose that accolade. It even happens to Money in the Bank winners, people who win the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal and so on.
To be honest, I think it’s almost a done deal that Black and Ricochet win those titles, but I also don’t know if I’d bank on it happening at WrestleMania. I wouldn’t be shocked at all if WWE tried to drag this all out even longer by having the belts change hands the Raw after WrestleMania or at the Saudi Arabia event.
It would be a means to permanently put Ricochet and Black on the main roster, as if they are tag team champions on Raw, there’s no room for them going back down to NXT. We know that they’re set for the main roster, as they already cut multiple promos about leaving, so it’s only a question of which brand they go to and whether or not they’re champions on Raw is the red brand is their destination.
Since Zelina Vega and Black are married, I would think WWE would at least ponder the idea of keeping them on the same show, and if Andrade were to stay on SmackDown, that would put a wrinkle in this whole Raw tag team title reign idea, but it wouldn’t be the first time a married couple was split between rosters. Also, Andrade could simply go to Raw in the Superstar Shake-up. Problem solved, right?
Of course, that doesn’t solve the problem of treating The Revival right and convincing them WWE is the place they ought to stay. In fact, it seals the deal that Vince McMahon will probably never truly get what they are trying to do and that they should go to All Elite Wrestling as soon as possible.
But perhaps that’s the plan. Maybe this lame, lackluster title reign was WWE’s half-assed attempt at keeping Wilder and Dawson with as little effort as possible to test to see if they really had it in them to want to leave, or if they just wanted the belts with no credibility to back it up, and if they take the titles off them at WrestleMania, it’ll be time to shit or get off the pot.