The tag team division in the WWE has seemed to be a higher focus for the company since the brand split. While teams such as The Shield, The New Day, and The Usos were pillars of the division within the past few years, both Raw and SmackDown Live have given teams a better opportunity to shine.
Although Raw has exhibited a lesser quality of tag team action, with teams such as The New Day, Anderson & Gallows, R-Truth & Goldust, The Shining Stars, and Cesaro & Sheamus, SmackDown Live has intentionally focused on elevating the division, with teams such as American Alpha, The Usos, Heath Slater & Rhyno, and The Hype Bros (before the Zack Ryder injury). Even teams with lackluster win-loss records, such as Breezango and The Ascension, have been better showcased on SmackDown Live since the split.
Now, SmackDown Live may be introduced to another tag team. WWE teased that the team of James Ellsworth and Gillberg might be coming to a television screen near you. While many would agree that this team should be nowhere near a WWE ring, oddly enough, both competitors have managed to get their characters over with the fans.
— WWE (@WWE) February 19, 2017
For Ellsworth, playing the Scrappy Doo-style babyface who believed that “anyone with two fists has a fighting chance” helped the fans rally behind him during the beginning of the brand split. Originally playing the role of a jobber for Braun Strowman, Ellsworth was forgotten by most of the WWE Universe, until he reappeared in hopes to get a WWE contract. This prompted support from current WWE Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose, who was feuding with AJ Styles for the WWE Championship.
What appeared to be the booking catastrophe is when Ellsworth turned on his friend Ambrose during his match with Styles at TLC, causing Styles to retain the title. While his reasoning was that he already defeated Styles and felt that he had a better chance of winning the title with it on Styles, the proverbial rug was yanked from underneath him regarding fan support. Now, he is trying to find ways to appear on WWE television, with his recent endeavor of being the “boyfriend” of Carmella and undergoing a wardrobe and attitude transformation. From its lack of popularity, this angle may be extinguishing much sooner than later.
For Gillberg, he popped up during a recent episode of Raw where Chris Jericho had his Festival of Friendship for WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens. In hopes of getting Owens out of his slump as a result of Jericho booking a WWE Universal Championship match against Goldberg at Fastlane, Gillberg was brought out to play a rib on Goldberg. Unfortunately, Owens did not think it was funny, and he turned on his former best friend by the end of the segment.
For fans of the attitude era, this is certainly not the first time that WWE mocked the Goldberg character by way of the appearance of Gillberg. In fact, Duane Gill was in the Light Heavyweight Division before he transformed his character to look like a shrivelled-up version of Goldberg. Although his character played the role of a heel for a period of time, it became so popular that he kept the WWE Light Heavyweight Championship from November of 1998 to February of 2000, a total of 448 days.
While a team of Ellsworth and Gillberg would sheerly be around as a comedy act, it would be interesting to see how the similar characters of different eras can come together and create a team that would be interesting to the crowd. Both characters have shown the ability to win the crowd over, and it could very well happen again with them as a team.
[Featured Image by WWE]