The slow, methodical implosion of Team Hell No needs to be completed at WrestleMania 29 and bring the long-stale storyline to a merciful end.
From the moment that Kane and Daniel Bryan “graduated” from Anger Management Therapy several weeks ago, we knew that the end was coming. After all, the storyline on their rise from woefully-mismatched tag partners to the WWE Tag Team Championship had been based on their apparent inability to work well together. The graduation was the peak of that storyline, and we all know that once you reach the peak, the only direction you can go is down.
The implosion got its first big boost when both Bryan and Kane put the tag team belts on the back burner and entered the 30-man elimination match at last month's Royal Rumble pay-per-view. Bryan wound up eliminating Kane, but the big man returned the favor by dropping Bryan to the floor when Bryan was tossed over the top rope and into his arms.
The implosion went a step further earlier this month in the Elimination Chamber PPV, when, instead of watching each others back in the chamber match, they wound up fighting with each other. Then on Raw the following night, they vowed to stay away from the ring during each others singles matches…but Bryan broke the promise and caused Kane to lose.
In the meantime, the tag team titles are an afterthought, an innocent bystander of the train wreck that Team Hell No is and always has been. Sure, they defended the titles from time to time, but can you really call them legitimate defenses or just another part of their comedic act?
There is only one way to settle this: Let WrestleMania 29 be the official end of the road for Team Hell No.
It was obvious from the beginning that both Kane and Bryan are more superior as singles wrestlers than as team players. Sure, the storyline was fun and a little different than the usual simpatico tag-team union, but it went way past its expiration date.
Kane used to be a monster character who thrived on being the “Devil’s Favorite Demon.” He was someone whose heat from the fires he conjured was second to the heat he generated from the crowds.
But lately…well…maybe Randy Orton was not too far off when he recently said Kane has gone from being the “Big Red Monster” to being “Barney.”
On the other side, Bryan had captured the WWE Universe’s attention for his pure wrestling skills and mastery of submission moves. He still uses all of his skills in the ring, but they have become secondary to his spoiled-brat tantrums and his tendency to let the crowd get under his skin.
There is no question that Team Hell No was a driving force behind renewed interest in WWE’s tag team division.
The division had been on life support for years until Kane and Bryan applied their own version of CPR. Now, with the division apparently heading back into a dormant stage, it is time for these two Superstars to move on to the next phase of their careers.
At 45 and with 20 years in the industry, Kane (real name: Glenn Jacobs) might have one or maybe two good runs left before he hangs up his mask for good. With this storyline and his previous run as World Heavyweight Champion, the 31-year-old Bryan now is in the prime of his career and poised to seriously challenge for the WWE Championship later this year.
The Team Hell No partnership, as funny and fractious as it has been, needs to dissolve. And there is no better way to finally bring down the curtain on this comedy act than on WWE’s grandest stage.
Follow Bill Atkinson on Twitter at @BAtkinson1963.