Thursday, June 13, 2024
Editorial10 New Tag Teams for WWE and NXT Rosters

10 New Tag Teams for WWE and NXT Rosters

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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.

Perfect 10

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?

The Colons

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.

The Miz Needs a Bodyguard

The Miz’s feud for the Intercontinental Championship illustrated how UpUpDownDown’s “Money-Maker” has one big flaw in his schtick: he doesn’t have the bite to back up his powerful bark. The Miz is no slouch, but he’s far from the biggest dog in the yard. Pairing him up with someone like Big Show or Ryback makes him the de facto weakling, which is perfectly fine and works for him. However, if he’s going to be winning matches, he could use someone to back him up and stand up for him.

All throughout entertainment, there are examples of the mouthy small guy and the strong, silent type being paired up. Unless you’re the Joe Pesci who goes for “crazy small guy who will kill you in a second”, you’re going to find that every George has his Lennie (points to whomever can point out the reference in the comments; it’s an easy one). Since The Miz will be keeping his Hollywood gimmick for quite some time, most likely, he could use a bodyguard to help protect his face and fight his battles for him.

My suggestion for The Miz’s bodyguard is Erick Rowan. If he had been able to return from his injury sooner, he likely would have just been in The Wyatt Family, or even been the third man for Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose to team with against them. Sadly, for Rowan, he’s still on the inactive list. Whenever he’s ready to return, though, this feud will be long over with and the momentum won’t be there to pick it back up just for him. Everyone will have moved on, which means Rowan will need to find something else to do, too. I don’t think he has it in him to create a brand new character out of thin air that will connect with the audience, so if he needs help, pairing him with someone who has a surplus of character would be a nice fit.

Don’t forget just how huge Rowan is. The guy is a monster, so he could fit the bodyguard gimmick extremely well. If you cut his beard off, maybe let him grow his hair out on his head and definitely toss those janitor clothes for something else, I see no reason why it couldn’t work. Ethan Carter III has Tyrus. Shawn Michaels had Diesel and Sid. CM Punk had Luke Gallows. Chavo Guerrero had Bam Neely (okay, forget about that one). Rowan could be the next incarnation of this classic concept. What else is he going to do, put on the sheep mask again and job to Big Show?

The Pretty People

Another basis for a pairing that has been done to death but still works is when two or more “good looking” gimmicks form a union of attractiveness that the WWE Universe can just boo because they totally are jealous, right? Tyler Breeze is living the gimmick right now, but while the models that have come to the ring before to swoon over him are one thing, I think WWE can step it up to the next level by aligning him with Dana Brooke and Tough Enough contestant Amanda Saccomanno.

Right now, Dana Brooke is with Emma, but I’m not feeling it. Emma’s better now than she was when she was failing on the main roster as a babyface, but she also doesn’t strike me as a particularly mean person. Having her return to the good side could work so long as they don’t have her chopping bubbles and being Bayley-lite. Dana Brooke, on the other hand, does strike me as good at being a bitch. (Is that a compliment, an insult, or both?) She touts herself as being “The Total Diva” (yawn) who has beauty and brains, it would make sense to play up the trope of her being the type of person good enough for Tyler Breeze.

Since trio stables are in, and Dana having Emma by her side works in different ways than her with Breeze, that’s where Amanda comes in. When she was trying to be loved, Amanda was failing, but when she decided to embrace her inner bitch, she stood out as someone who could potentially have a role in the company. Right now, she’s nowhere near the in-ring level she would need to be to compete, but this stable doesn’t need to form next week. Amanda can be brought in as Dana’s friend, because of course those two would be friends if they didn’t absolutely hate each other (and you can even toy with that idea by having them be competitive and doing the “keep your enemies closer” idea). Amanda spoke often about how it was okay that she was saved because she’s hot and didn’t apologize for it whatsoever, which is exactly what Dana Brooke’s character would do, as would Tyler Breeze’s.

That takes care of the more serious half of this list, but there are still five to go. These are a bit more ridiculous and while the ones listed above could potentially lead somewhere halfway decent, the likelihood that these would be anything more than jobbers is very slim. Remember, though, just as the singles division needs jobbers, the tag team division does as well. Sometimes it’s better to be on television and losing as one half of a crappy team than it is to be losing singles matches but only wrestling on house shows.

The Legionnaires

Do you remember the last time you saw Marcus Louis or Sylvester Lefort after they split? By any chance was it in any capacity other than losing without even the slightest bit of a chance that they could win? Neither man is doing better on their own, so they should just shack back up again. There’s no harm in failing, but there’s no glory in being too prideful to go back to what worked before.

R-Truth & D-Sizzle

I’ll admit, I hate that I’m even pitching this, as I’m sure I would hate it, but just because it wouldn’t be my favorite tag team doesn’t mean it couldn’t be someone else’s. If you follow UpUpDownDown, you’ll see Damien Sandow rapping extremely poorly and referring to himself as Sizzle. Since Sandow’s been doing nothing since the Mega Powers gimmick died, he might as well pair up with R-Truth, who his equally doing nothing. R-Truth has ties to rapping and could be the “legitimate” rapper where Sandow is the joke. It’s stupid, but it could get some chuckles out of people, and there’s nothing saying these two can’t still job out in singles matches.

Bull Dempsey and Zamariah Loupe

What this basically boils down to is the idea of two overweight guys bonding over being told they need to get in better shape. Maybe Bullfit will work for ZZ, or maybe these two will just bro it out at Burger King. Either way, ZZ is someone that I don’t have a lot of faith in as a performer, and this is the only thing I could see being a good use of his true talent: being laughed at.

Hornswoggle and El Torito

El Torito is no longer with Los Matadores and hasn’t been seen since that split. Hornswoggle hasn’t been seen in a while, either. My fingers are crossed that both of these guys will just be let go, especially after Hornswoggle’s suspension, as I don’t think they have any real value to the company left, so I’d much rather look back on this list and see that this was a 100% impossibility because both of them are off doing something else in another company (and hopefully doing well, as I don’t wish bad fortune on either of them, despite not being a big fan).

However, if WWE is going to keep them on the roster and pay them to do nothing, they might as well pay them to be a tag team at house shows and the random live events here and there where they can lose to the heel teams that are still jobbers, but above them, like The Legionnaires.

Beef Mode

Where did this tag team go? Were they just backstage at some live event and then disappeared? Adam Rose and Brad Maddox teased this, but have seemingly gone in a different direction. Maddox is now Joshua Kingsley, where he’s wrestled all of one match that he lost. Adam Rose is now the party-pooper, which is beyond lame and not even to the “so lame I can laugh at it” fun level that WWE gets sometimes—he’s just too bad at it to pull it off in any entertaining fashion.

I don’t think the gimmick of fitness freaks is justified in getting much more than a “blah” reaction, but it’s better than nothing. If it doesn’t work out, neither guy is in a worse position than before.

What tag teams would you like to see formed in WWE? What do you think of the ten ideas above, especially the weirder ones? Sound off in the comments below with your tag team pitches!

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