Have you guys ever heard the saying “to damn someone with faint praise”? It means when you ostensibly are saying something nice about someone but the fact it’s the only nice thing you can say ends up being way more insulting than saying nothing at all.
It’s like saying to a student “wow, A for effort” or to an actor “wow, how did you learn all those lines” or to a wrestler “And new WWE Tag Team Champions”. I’m not really kidding either.
There are no championships more defunct and heatless in WWE right now than any the Tag Team Championships.
It’s well reported that AJ Styles was disappointed to win the belts at Mania, the SmackDown belts didn’t make it anywhere near the show, and the Women’s Tag straps are more of a prop in the one-woman standup extravaganza that is Nia Jax doing something funny with her bum-area.
Hell, even the 24/7 title appeared on SNL recently. This isn’t a new phenomenon, aside from a spell in the 80s where the WWF had a bustling tag team scene, the big dub have been more than happy to chuck the titles on whoever happens to be standing closest to gorilla at the time and such a total absence of f**ks has led to some real head-scratching champs.
I’m Adam hailing from partsFUNknown and here are 10 WWE Tag Teams You Totally Forgot Were Champions.
10. Rico & Charlie Haas
On the April 20 (blaze it) episode of SmackDown in 2004, Scotty 2 Hotty and Rikishi defended their tag titles (the same ones they retained at WrestleMania 20 in Madison Square Garden no less) against Charlie Haas and a mystery partner.
Who could it be, it’s Rico, who Charlie Haas then pretended he didn’t want to tag with because Rico was gay. “A straight guy and a gay guy, can they co-exist”, said WWE, bleakly.
‘When you’re Rico everyday’s a gay-la’ sniggered Michael Cole. Rico put on chapstick before demanding to be stinkfaced, it’s like Goldust but without the nuance, and then after they win via rollup, Rico called their partnership a fabulous relationship and Haas does an ew face.
Like yes, it’s total lowest common denominator stuff, but over the next two months the two wrestlers actually become friends and some of their segments are not sweet, but sweet for WWE, just in time to drop the belts to the Dudleys before the dreadful Great American Bash 2004, you know, the one with the cement murder.
9. Kenzo Suzuki & Rene Dupree
Sticking with 2004 because it was basically SmackDown going through difficult and strange puberty, side-effects include hair growing in weird places and JBL as WWE champion.
A few months into 2004, WWE started to hype up the arrival of Kenzo Suzuki, coming out of the east, riding on the divine winds of the gods…his ancestry noble, his soul determined, his purpose conquest.
The only things of note he did in his one-year stint with the company was rap against John Cena and win the tag straps with Fellow Evil Foreigner Rene Dupree against a similar Frankenteam of Billy Kidman and Paul London.
The SmackDown tag title scene having a totally normal one in the Ruthless Aggression Era.
Suzuki and Dupree won the belts, because Kidman was having an existential crisis at the time, being unable to perform his shooting star press after botching it against Chavo a few weeks earlier.
They’d hold the belts for three uninteresting months before dropping them to…
8. Rey Mysterio & Rob Van Dam
Why not?! Can’t believe they didn’t call these guys the HIGH-flyers. Do you get it? Do you?! Sorry, the Ruthless Aggression Era is affecting my sense of humour.
On the 9th of December, more like dickcember, sorry, in 2004, Suzuki was kayfabe obsessed with Torrie Wilson, just like Tajiri was, because Torrie has terrible luck with Japanese heels, Oh WWE.
Dupree and Suzuki corner Wilson in the ring before RVD and Mysterio make the save, Teddy Long makes a tag title match player, and then for some reason, Rey Mysterio and RVD cheat to win despite being the babiest of babyfaces. Why not? It’s the tag titles, nothing matters.
Fun fact, this happened on the same episode that saw tiny The Miz battle Daniel Puder in a gladiator-style joust. Why not?
Mysterio and RVD would lose the titles a month later to the Basham Brothers, on the same episode of SmackDown that saw Joy Giovanni go missing and end up being found in the trunk of JBL’s car.
Turns out Kurt Angle kidnapped her. Again, congrats on the purchase, Peacock.