When Vince McMahon and the WWE decided to reignite the brand split concept and employ two unique rosters, one of the more common reactions from both WWE superstars and fans alike was “more opportunity.” For those mired in mid-card mediocrity, a thinner talent pool on either RAW or Smackdown might afford them opportunities they otherwise might not have received when everyone was on the same show.
One major questions fans had, which has since been answered, is how the company was going to approach the WWE Women’s and WWE Tag Team Divisions. There were many that felt the lack of depth would not allow for a split in those divisions, but that’s exactly what the WWE decided to do. There are tag teams and female superstars on both brands, but RAW is the only show so far that has championship belts for them to compete for. Smackdown has assured its fans that gold is coming to Tuesday nights in due time.
Because it’s happened in previous drafts, fans were worried that the WWE would split up some of their existing tag teams, further creating a depth issue. For the most part, however, teams remained in tact as the brand Commissioners and General Managers were allowed to draft teams together as per the kayfabe rules. Stables like the Wyatt Family and the Social Outcasts may have been divided, but the only true tag team to get split up was the Lucha Dragons, and that was certainly an amicable parting of the ways. Here is a look at how the tag team division has shaken out since the brand extension.
Monday Night RAW:
* The New Day (WWE Tag Team Champions)
* The Club (Gallows & Anderson)
* Enzo & Big Cass
* The Dudley Boyz
* The Shining Stars
* Golden Truth
* American Alpha
* The Vaudevillains
* The Usos
* The Ascension
* Hype Bros
At this stage in the game, the overwhelming consensus is that RAW is vastly superior to Smackdown in the tag team division, and the women’s division for that matter. While there may be more opportunity for a team to step up on Tuesday nights, the more over teams are certainly on WWE’s flagship show. But while there weren’t any notable break-ups aside from the Lucha Dragons, one appears to be in the wings post brand split.
As recapped by WWE.com, the Dudley Boyz lost a tag team match to The New Day on Monday’s episode of RAW. No real surprise there, as The New Day are the WWE Tag Team Champions who are set to take on Gallows & Anderson at SummerSlam, while The Dudleys haven’t had a significant program in some time. But, as evidenced by the last two weeks, it appears that may change in the form of a split of the nine-time WWE tag team champions.
Last week on RAW, the Dudleys lost to the team of Neville and Sin Cara thanks to what the WWE website called an accidental clothesline from D-Von to Bubba Ray in a bit of miscommunication. Another errant clothesline this week will continue the storyline and lead to the team’s demise, perhaps for a final time.
On the latest episode of Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer noted that the WWE might be confident enough in Bubba Ray to go out on his own by bringing out the best from his Bully Ray character from TNA. The Dudleys have stated on numerous occasions and platforms that they don’t mind being glorified enhancement talent for the younger generation of tag teams, and they’ve certainly aided in getting over The New Day, The Usos, the Lucha Dragons and the Wyatts since returning last summer. But a Bully Ray character is certainly intriguing and Bubba could become a major player on the heel side of the fence if that is the direction the company decides to take.
There has plenty of backstage buzz around many of the tag teams on the WWE’s main roster as of late. The New Day’s title reign may come to an end Sunday, or shortly after, which could lead to their split and a singles run for Big E. Enzo & Cass got popular so quickly that Vince McMahon thought about breaking them up in an effort to make more money individually. Vince is also reportedly frustrated with The Usos and their penchant for injuries. And Breezango might even be getting a more serious makeover followed by a push on Smackdown.
What are your feelings? Would you like the Dudleys to remain a team to help the younger teams ascend, or would you be more interested in a Bubba Ray heel singles run similar to that in TNA? And where would that leave D-Von?
[Image via WWE]