Tag Team Tragedy: Where did the WWE women's tag titles go wrong?
The WWE women's tag team titles have lost their prestige. Today we ask the question of why? And how can they return to their former Glory?
Women’s tag team wrestling, specifically WWE. What happened?
Let’s take it back to December 24th 2018, when these titles were first introduced on Raw. A beautiful pair of titles, with an air of prestige lingering over them. Initial reactions were positive, and it felt as if WWE had gained something in this introduction. Fast forwarding to Elimination Chamber 2019, where these titles were up for grabs in an elimination chamber match. They immediately felt important, as all teams fought hard to gain the championships. It all ended with the Boss and Hug Connection emerging victorious as your inaugural women’s tag team champions.
A great moment, with a heartfelt speech to accompany it, so when did it all change?
Returning back to the current day where our champions are Natalya and Tamina, the woman whom there is no one meaner, the titles feel about as meaningless as they could possibly be. How did this happen? We went from meaningful storylines, to meaningless filler matches, that end up being repeated over and over again. Today we analyse what exactly happened, and ask the question of will these titles ever be able to return to their former glory?
For this I have a few main examples. Let’s start with where It all began with the Boss and Hug connection. This is the main example of these titles being used effectively. They were a fantastic team, head and shoulders above the rest of the division. They were on top of the world, not only holding the tag titles, but the Raw and Smackdown women’s championships too.
With all the gold they were untouchable, but after a while tension started to mount. This continued to build and build until it all blew up after the team lost the women’s tag team titles. Bayley flipped, and attacked Sasha causing a face turn fans were not expecting; many expected Sasha to turn on Bayley, and Bayley to return to the lovable babyface she once was, but her new dick essence was only further emphasized and built upon when she turned on her partner. This was an example of excellent long-term storytelling, and the women’s tag titles played a huge part in this. So, what happened to the titles after the Boss and Hug connection departed the division?
Continuing with positives and going back a little, a fatal four-way tag team match was held at Wrestlemania 35 for the titles. With a name such as Beth Pheonix in the match, this was sure to give the winners a huge moment. The IIconics ended up being victorious, and shared a heartfelt moment after the match as they embraced on the grandest stage of them all.
All the hard work they had put in seemed worth it. This is where one of the major reasons women’s tag team wrestling has declined so much comes in. An established team such as the IIconics are staples of the division, so who in their right mind would break them up? All of the established teams get broken up, and the majority of the teams in the division are makeshift ones that end up lasting a week or two before they also disappear from television with no explanation. To return to their former glory, more teams need to be formed and stuck with for a longer period of time, and more stories need to be built off these talents.
This leads onto another major issue. The majority of the matches currently taking part for the titles have no storyline behind them. They are just used as filler, and the amount of rematches that take place is a joke. For example, the current champions have faced Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler, who I refer to as Jaxuler, again and again, none of the matches have been any different from the last, and no story is being built off all these matches.
More time must be invested in these titles in order to give them any meaning, and that means establishing a feud and building it to a big match at a PPV, like most other titles are treated. When they are being defended, it is usually for the sake of having a title match on either Raw and Smackdown. Why not NXT, I here you ask? This transitions me smoothly onto my next point.
Initially, the titles were advertised as ones that could be defended on ALL brands, including NXT. They started by keeping to this promise, with the titles being defended on a weekly episode of NXT, with Jaxula, champions at the time, facing off against the team of Shotzi Blackheart and Ember Moon. They were defended on NXT yet again, this time against Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai. So why did they stop? The NXT women’s division is stacked, with already established women’s teams and teams that are destined to be formed. They have ten times more talent than their counterparts of Raw and Smackdown, so why didn’t they utilize this? Instead NXT formed their own women’s tag team titles, which to this day have maintained their prestige.
Now this begs the question, if NXT can keep these titles fresh and important as an individual brand, why can’t Raw and Smackdown, who have combined talent so have more options?
So, where did the women’s tag team titles go wrong? For me, ever since the Boss and Hug connection disbanded, the titles were tossed aside as they felt their purpose had been fulfilled. For at least the last year they feel worthless, and I can think of very few, if any, storylines that have involved these titles in the last year. So we ask the question, can this division be saved? Or is it destined to fall to the point where the division is officially dead?
In my opinion, I can’t ever see these titles returning to how they used to be. They have been beaten down too many times by the company and to try and restore their prestige would be like trying to make the 24/7 title a serious championship. It just wouldn’t work! I think the best they can do is establish some teams and start working stories and serious feuds around them, this is the only way I can see the titles maybe start to become more prominent and then, and only then, will I start to get invested in their matches. So to sum up, can the division be saved? Yes! But it’s going to take a lot of work, a work load I’m unsure WWE has the patience to carry out.