In recent years, it seems like tag-team wrestling has taken a back seat to singles competition. Compared to the tag-team division of the late 80s and 90s, modern sports entertainment has seemed content to pair up random singles wrestlers to be partners, in a “throw it on the wall and see what sticks” mentality. And it’s been…. fine. Luckily, WWE decided to up its game in 2013. We finally got to see some lower-to-mid card acts rise as the company refocused on building legitimate teams. And, perhaps most surprisingly, WWE’s tag-team competition became more interesting than a certain other major wrestling organization. But which team rose to the top?
2013 Tag-Team of the Year
Brian Fritz: The Rhodes Brothers
At the start of the year, no one would have thought that Goldust would be back with the WWE and would end up teaming with his brother Cody. In fact, there was a much better chance that Cody and Damien Sandow would take another step forward as a standout tag-team. Once Goldust returned and paired with his brother, there was instant chemistry that played out in the ring. The duo had a fantastic match against The Shield at Battleground and they seem to have awesome matches every week on Raw whether by themselves or in six-man tags. The Shield was very good and you have to give a lot of credit to Daniels and Kazarian in TNA as well but the family bond went deeper in the ring. So much that they should stay together rather that face each other at WrestleMania 30 as has been rumored for a while.
Michael A. Wiseman: The Usos
Say what you will about my pick – these guys earned it. And unlike The Shield, or even The Rhodes Brothers, teams who were given a major platform to reach their success, the Usos had to defy expectations and pick their spots. They had to earn everything the hard way. They had to pay their dues. Jimmy and Jey stand out to me not because Michael Cole can’t remember which one is who (GDYC), but because, really, nobody expected much from these two. Yes, they shared a heritage with Rikishi. But we all assumed they’d become tag-team filler and nothing more. Instead, they delivered some of the most consistent work of the year, engaging in great match-ups with The Shield, The Wyatts, and more. Did they earn the gold? Not yet. But keep this in mind: they have matches (yes, plural) that are in the conversation for ‘Best of the Year’. If that’s not impressive, I don’t know what else is.
Steven Muehlhausen: Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins
You can make a case for The Rhodes Brothers, but going with Reigns and Rollins here. The duo has had great matches since debuting in the company in November of 2012. The won the tag titles at Extreme Rules in May over Team Hell No. The duo held the titles until the October 14 edition of Raw when they lost to The Rhodes Brothers. They had great matches with the likes of The Rhodes boys, The Usos at MITB and more.
What do you think about Brian’s, Michael’s, and Steve’s pick for ‘Tag-Team of the Year’? Tell us who you agree with, and why, in the comments below! And be sure to check back in as we wrap-up our Best of 2013: Professional Wrestling.