WWE's 2013 version of the Royal Rumble will take place on Jan. 27 in Phoenix. While most of the WWE Universe is focused on the WWE Championship match between CM Punk and The Rock or the Rumble match itself, there is another big match that needs to be on the card.
Team Hell No needs to defend the WWE Tag Team Championships against Team Rhodes Scholars.
WWE has spent the latter part of 2012 elevating the tag team belts. Putting the titles on two high-profile stars like Daniel Bryan and Kane has increased the visibility of the belts and made the tag titles seem like something worth having.
Placing the belts in a featured match on one of the Big Four pay-per-views would enhance the cachet of the tag titles and also elevate the wrestlers involved in the match.
Since the tag belts now have more importance, mid-card stars like Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow would raise their profiles by taking the titles off of Kane and Bryan. Three of the four wrestlers involved in the proposed match have held individual titles in WWE.
Kane and Bryan have each had runs as WWE's World Champion. It would bode well for Rhodes and Sandow to defeat stars of that caliber.
Not only would a match between Hell No and Rhodes Scholars elevate the wrestlers and the belts themselves, but the match would be useful for furthering future story lines. No matter which team comes out on top of the match, there are several angles that could be pursued.
If Rhodes Scholars take the titles off of Hell No, it could spark a continuing feud between the two teams. There hasn't been a really intriguing tag team feud in WWE since the Hardy Boyz, Edge and Christian and the Dudleys were trading the titles back and forth between 1998 and 2001.
Matches between those three teams, and combinations of any two of them, were featured on WWE PPVs frequently during the Attitude Era. A spirited feud could elevate both the programming and the wrestlers involved. In the past, tag team feuds were often the beginning of legendary careers.
There are also stories utilizing the wrestlers as singles competitors. If Kane and Bryan lose, they can split up and start singles feuds, possibly against each other.
Some of the biggest names in WWE history have started their climb by feuding with a former tag team partner. Shawn Michaels truly became The Heartbreak Kid when he kicked Marty Jannetty through the Barber Shop window in 1992. That kick ended The Rockers, but begat HBK.
Stone Cold Steve Austin cemented his legacy against his former Hollywood Blonds tag partner, Brian Pillman, by invading Pillman's house. Kane, or more likely Daniel Bryan, could begin a rocket ride to the top of the card with a feud like those.
If Rhodes Scholars win the title, they could begin their reign with a return match against Hell No. This would further underscore the importance of the belts. Once the belts were established, Rhodes Scholars could feud with some other up-and-coming teams like The Prime Time Players, The Usos and Justin Gabriel and Tyson Kidd.
Competing with the Tag Team Champions would thus elevate some of these younger stars, and keep the tag division fresh and interesting.
Using the tag belts to elevate mid-card acts could start a trend. Acts stuck in the mid card could be made into viable tag teams, and work their way up the ladder, eventually earning a shot at the belts.
By highlighting the tag teams on television every week, WWE would fill programming holes and give itself a chance to create new stars. These new teams could spend six months to a year battling over the tag titles, and then move on to singles feuds. Or, if they became wildly popular, they could simply remain tag teams.
With ratings down for WWE programming, creating new stars is a must. One thing that boosts ratings is the implementation of new stables. WWE saw a ratings spike in 2010 when The Nexus invaded Raw. The company seems to have high hopes for The Shield, another faction that has made itself known on recent broadcasts.
A win by Rhodes Scholars could foment the beginning of a new stable. Rhodes and Sandow, as tag champions, could recruit some other up and coming heels, either from NXT, or from the current WWE roster.
If they got current Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett and US champ Antonio Cesaro to join a faction, it'd be the most powerful group in WWE since Evolution featured Ric Flair, HHH, Randy Orton and Batista.
Team Hell No vs. Team Rhodes Scholars needs to happen at Royal Rumble 2013. The upside of such a match is clear. WWE has been trying to elevate the tag belts for much of 2012, and placing them in a high-profile match on one of the biggest PPVs of the year will only continue the trend.
All four wrestlers involved in the match, Kane, Daniel Bryan, Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow are worthy of singles pushes, and a featured match as the Rumble could be the beginning of great things for them.
While Punk/Rock and the Rumble match itself are important, they only serve WWE's short-term needs. A great match between the top two tag teams in the company could lead to long-term benefits.
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