WWE’s tag team division has seen somewhat of a rebirth recently and for many fans it’s been a long time coming. The fact is that tag teams have not been on the company’s priority list in a number of years but now we’re seeing a renewed emphasis on them.
On one hand, we want to see a return to prominence for tag teams in the company. It’s a topic that we have debated and discussed for several years now and the fact is that it just never goes away. All fans can think of is the Hardy Boyz versus the Dudleys, versus Edge and Christian. This is what we want and this is what we feel we deserve.
But all we have been fed is one tag team mash-up after another. Two guys who have nothing in common, not even a manager, are thrown together. WWE gives them a name, a little spotlight and that’s it. When it’s time to split, they split and then it’s right back to where we started before.
Right back to square one.
So, we want something more. We want real tag teams, with clearly defined roles and reasons for working together to begin with. We want guys that are teams first and teams last. And now, we finally have them.
The Prime Time Players, the Usos, the Real Americans, the Wyatt Family, Tons of Funk and yes, even Los Matadores. We now have what we wanted. We now have a loaded tag team division. This is what we’ve been asking for, what we’ve been waiting for.
And they’re all working for nothing.
The fact is that Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins have proven to be unbeatable. It doesn’t matter how much trouble they find themselves in, or how much of a disadvantage they may be facing, they always come up with a win.
They have been tested time and again, in one match after another, but they never lose. Non-title matches, six-man tag matches with Dean Ambrose, that’s another matter. Under those circumstances, anything can happen.
But when the gold is on the line, Roman and Seth are money. They cannot be touched.
And it’s not just the fact that they win all the time. Look at how incredibly strong their booking is. Very rarely do they have to cheat to win. Ambrose has been known to get involved of course, but when he does it usually leads to the match breaking down and leading to a disqualification.
But more often than not, Roman nails the spear and we have a three count. And most of the time, both Shield members end the match on their feet.
Speaking of strong booking, when was the last time that the Shield actually backed down from a fight? The answer is never, not one time. They stare down every challenge as if they cannot lose and most of the time they don’t.
So if you don’t cheat to win, you never run from trouble and you win the majority of the time, how does that make you a heel? Doesn’t that make you John Cena?
Here’s the thing. I don’t really mind that the Shield is not your typical heel faction. After all its 2013, maybe it’s time for some new ideas and a new approach. I’m good with that.
And honestly I also don’t have a problem with Roman and Seth being dominant, at least not to a point. They are the champions, they should look as strong as possible and be fully capable of beating any team they come into contact with.
But for the other teams in WWE, there is no drama for them. And when we see number one contender’s matches, there should be some drama. There should be that sense of “man, I hope my team wins this, I want to see them get those belts!”
And it’s just not happening.
Rollins and Reigns win on such a consistent basis, rarely ever finding themselves in any real danger of losing the gold and I just don’t know how believable that is. Ric Flair made a career as perhaps the most well booked, strongest World Champion in NWA history. He was also very dominant as well as being heads and shoulders above many of his opponents.
But the great thing about Flair was that he made you believe he could lose the belt at any moment. The way he worked in the ring and the way he was booked lead you to believe that on any given night, someone could best him. And every time he almost lost, the more fans wanted to see their favorites come back and challenge him again. However, unlike the Shield, Flair actually did lose his championship from time to time.
Does the Shield look great all the time? Yes. Are Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns doing a very good job in the ring, playing their roles to the hilt every time they step through the curtain? Absolutely. But is it making for an exciting, dramatic tag team division? Not at all.
We can’t have it both ways. But some of us are still trying.
Follow Tom on Twitter @tomclarkbr
Tom Clark is a WWE Featured Columnist & Consultant for Bleacher Report and a Contributor for JBL’s Layfield Report