Our next pair of featured matches are of the Tag Team variety. Tonight I look at two matches, no championships, but could potentially be great matches, or some unfortunate snoozers.
The Dudley Boyz vs. The Usos
As of this writing, there are no stipulations or special attractions to this match. Which, in this case might be alright. We have a feud between the recently heel-turned Dudleys and the Usos about the use of tables. I think. To be honest this one has been a bit on the confusing side. They taunted each other for a while, had some matches, then we didn’t even see the Dudleys or Usos on the same show or have anything to do with each other. Suddenly, whamo, Dudleys strike again and the feud is back on.
Here is the Dudley point of view. They aren’t heels. They just don’t want to use tables anymore. Fair enough. Bubba Dudley cut a promo about a month or so ago about how their legacy isn’t just about tables, but about the championships, the matches, the “Mania Moments.” As a fan, I agree. Sure, the table gimmick is great, but being tag title holders in every promotion they stepped foot in is a pretty big deal. They want to be remembered for their legacy, something many wrestlers, past and present hope to accomplish.
It’s always about the tables. Gimmicks sell, and gimmicks is what brings popularity. The Dudley Boys, while fantastic champions, made their mark in WWE with the table bombs, table plants, table slams… You get the point. While the “tables” make a good Macguffin to turn them heel, I would rather just seem them maul everyone and not reduced to old geezers who show up once in a while.
Now, we have The Usos. A few years ago they were a hot team. Fans cheered the crap out of them, and many times they were primed for the titles, but didn’t win when the fans wanted them too. Finally, they did. Then the injuries hit. Even with a few reigns, the Usos started to slow down, and the dreaded “spot syndrome” set in. I was on the Uso bandwagon for a while, but once they turned into spot-fest-players, I can imagine, many lost interest in the Samoan duo. Don’t get me wrong, I think they are a great team, but best in the company? Not quite.
Tragically, their association with Roman Reigns have done them no favors. The fans already started to turn on them, because even a Heel-Dudley duo still get fan love. A few segments with their “Samoan Brother” might a well have been a coffin rolling in.
We should get a decent match between them, and something crazy has to happen. Dudley Boys have teased the no more table bit for this long, this streak will come to an end on Sunday.
The League of Nations vs. The New Day
Who would have thought, this would be an anticipated match. If you are going to say you don’t care about this one, you must be lying. Booty-Os are going to be promoted, Big E. is going to gyrate all over Texas, Kofi Kingston will MVP himself, and Xavier Woods will promo the laughter out of us. I am more interested in the antics, but we know these guys can put on a show.
Let’s get rid of the pink elephant. The League of Nations is a horrible, horrible gimmick. Rusev went from beast to bland, Sheamus is doing what he can to remain relevant, my best friend in the whole wide world, Wade Barrett is lucky for even being granted a spot since he made no secret about leaving the company come this summer. This leaves Alberto del Rio who, in my not-so-humble opinion, is the best damn wrestler of the bunch, and before any of you jerks make a “well, he’s the best of the worst” comment, Alberto del Rio is a damn good wrestler who can carry a match for 10 minutes or 45 minutes. Is he the best in the company? No, but he can sell and bump for anyone. He performs. Is he happy with his current position? Likely not, but the guy still works.
I love Barrett, I really do. Let’s face the facts. He has been injured too many times, his gimmick ran stale, and being paired in awkward fashion doesn’t help. If he really does leave, I think he might be done for good.
Rusev. I never was a big fan, but at least he drew deserved heat during his undefeated streak and reign as United States Champion. Hell, his feuds with Jack Swagger were actually watchable. Since his predictable loss to John Cena and the doghouse dwelling due to being publically engaged to Lana, the character also has become a shadow of what it once was, and honestly does not pose any sort of intimidation factor like he used to.
Sheamus. I side with the Celtic Warrior, though he might not be the best wrestler, he is a solid in-ring performer. He works hard to make a match look good, and that gets a lot of credit, because some people *cough* Randy Orton *cough* tend to sleepwalk through if they don’t like where things are heading.
On paper, this should be a solid stable. They way they formed and the awkward nature of the team just doesn’t work for me. At least their entrance music is cool.
Their opponents, The New Day are enjoying the most success I have seen in a team since Team Hell No. From Booty-O-Antics to the musical serenade of Francesca II, Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston, and Big E. Langston have cut loose the serious tones and let their comedic energy take over.
Xavier Woods. The former Consequences Creed (in Impact Wrestling) was often touted as a potential main eventer but never got the chance. His time in WWE was mostly unnoticed until his debut as a preacher type gimmick who used a wordly attractive persona grab hold of Kingston who at the time was tired of losing, and Big E., who seemed to flounder in mid-cardville following a stint as Dolph Ziggler’s bodyguard. Being on his own garnered a lot of fan attention, but there was something missing to boost the young athlete. Woods became the microphone man for the New Day.
Kofi Kingston, indeed was floundering. Aside from being used as a stuntman in Royal Rumble or Ladder matches, there was zero opportunity. Constantly losing, no singles titles, no hope. This was a great experiment, watching Kofi, for the first time in his career switch from face to heel when joining with Woods. Not only did this unlock a new persona, but allowed Kofi some creative freedom to separate himself from a gimmick he had since joining WWE.
Who would have thought, the Church Choir/Preacher gimmick would turn into the most entertaining team in years. As always, part of the thanks go to the fans for embracing the changes, and a big kudos to all three members of New Day for proving that gimmicks do not have to be stale.
With this in mind, we have an innovative, entertaining team going against a team who, appear to be a “rough and tough” stable, but can potentially deliver a solid showing.
This one is tough to call, but I have faith we can get a good match out of this.