Greetings All. I hope you all had a good 4th (except you freedom haters out there)! I enjoyed my series on the 90s and I hope you did too. Now it’s back to present day. I must admit, it felt wrong not to mention Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, or Bret Hart in this week’s column?but I guess I just did.
Tag team wrestling has a rich and deep history of great teams and matches. In the last few years tag team wrestling has really gone downhill in WWE. Brian Kendrick and Paul London had an extremely lengthy title reign a few years back but by then the titles were given so little attention it mattered little in the wrestling world. Lately we have seen progress with the tag team championships from Raw and Smackdown becoming unified. When Edge and Chris Jericho won the championship at The Bash, we knew that WWE had something big up their sleeve to restore the Tag Team Titles to their former glory. However, with the unfortunate and recent injury of Edge WWE is now in a tough position as to where to put the Unified Tag Team Championship. Below I have listed a few options that WWE could utilize at this time in their current situation.
First Option: Declare the titles vacant and let them fade into the darkness. WWE could simply not address the situation and just let the titles die a quiet death, perhaps brining them back at a future opportune time. This has happened in the past with other championships such as the Women’s and European titles. If they were to do this with the Tag Team Championships, we might as well declare tag team wrestling dead. Some of you may think it already is. I would hate to see that happen and so would the fans. The sad thing is that this isn?t a highly unlikely scenario. It very well could happen.
Second Option: The titles are forfeited to Ted Dibiase and Cody Rhodes at Night of Champions. While this would be anticlimactic, it would nevertheless make sense. Chris Jericho no longer has a partner to defend the belts with so he might as well forfeit and go back into singles competition. Rhodes and Dibiase are really the only other legitimate tag team now that the teams of Morrison-Miz and Carlito-Primo have split. And with Randy Orton most likely retaining the WWE Championship at Night of Champions, all three members of the Legacy would have gold.
Third Option: Chris Jericho finds a replacement tag team partner. WWE could either let Jericho pick a partner, have Edge personally choose his replacement, or have a battle royal to determine the new champion. Dolph Ziegler may fit nicely, as would CM Punk, Jeff Hardy or John Morrison. It would all depend on where WWE wants to take Jericho. This direction will either keep him as a heel, or change him into a babyface. I actually hate this option as the other half of the tag team will have never actually won the championship. Does anyone remember the way WCW degraded their Tag Team Championship back when Rick Steiner singlehandedly won them, only to share them with Kenny Kaos and Judy Bagwell? It does nothing but devalue the titles, yet I have a feeling WWE will end up going this route just to get the belts on Dibiase-Rhodes at Night of Champions.
Fourth Option, and this is my favorite: The titles are declared vacant and a tag team tournament is held to crown the new Unified Tag Team Champions. There are endless possibilities with the tag teams that could be created and participate in a tournament such as this. The tournament itself could be spread out over a couple of months or culminate as soon as Summerslam. You could have solid teams such as Priceless and makeshift teams such as John Cena-Triple H, Jeff Hardy-CM Punk, and Christian-Tommy Dreamer. WWE could create new and expand current storylines and draw attention to the titles by going this route. The end of the tournament should come down between Priceless and Chris Jericho and his partner?Rey Mysterio. Think about the dynamic, they have different styles that would complement each other in a tag team setting. At the same time they can mesh very well together. This is not like teaming up Kane with X-Pac. It is a good blend of two superstars and their styles. Also, their recent feud against each other puts them in a position where Jericho can remain a heel, Mysterio a face, yet still hold a reluctant respect for one another. Jericho threw everything he had at Jericho by mocking him and trying to take his mask while Mysterio persevered. They brought out the best and worst in each other. It would be very similar to the Kurt Angle-Chris Benoit team of 2002 except these two have a longer history dating all the way back to 1998. It could end with either one of them fully taking the side of the other, or another big feud. Meanwhile, the tag team division will get a much needed shot in the arm.
There you have it. These may not be the only options that WWE could take, but they are the most likely that I see?Actually, the tag team tournament isn?t very likely, but a fan can dream. It will probably be that WWE gets a one night replacement for Edge so the titles can go to Dibiase and Rhodes. WWE could then start brewing the dissension between the members of Legacy, with each claiming to be a better champion. Regardless of what happens with the Tag Team titles in the next few weeks, I hope that WWE will do something to keep them alive and pave a road for a full rejuvenation of the division.
Well that is it for this week. Take care and thanks for reading.