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Tagged for success?
Move over, Felix and Oscar. Montel Vontavious Porter & Matt Hardy may be television's oddest couple…and perhaps, after SmackDown this Friday night, the newest WWE Tag Team Champions.
Trust us, this partnership was not some mutually agreed-upon ceasefire between two sworn enemies who have spent weeks battling each other in numerous challenges. In truth, it was the combination of a big mouth and some quick thinking in Columbia, S.C.'s Colonial Center last week. The big mouth, which should come as no surprise, belonged to the United States Champion, who told General Manager Theodore Long that he was Ballin' enough to win the WWE Tag Team Championship with anyone who walked through the GM's office door. Long, seeing an opportunity that was "off the heezy fo' sheezy," declared that MVP would team with the next SmackDown Superstar to enter the room.
That Superstar, to our fans' astonishment, was none other than Matt Hardy, whose expression equaled that of SmackDown's Franchise Playa as Long announced that they would challenge Deuce & Domino for the WWE Tag Team Titles Friday night in Albany.
To hear either Superstar tell it, they'd rather partner with a case of German measles than each other. "I can't trust MVP," Matt told WWE.com. "This match for the WWE Tag Team Championship is obviously another mess that he has gotten me into. But now Teddy Long has made this match, so I'm committed to do it."
Hardy understands all too well that if he needs to make the tag while in the ring with Deuce & Domino this Friday, MVP might not be so quick to extend a helping hand. "Ultimately, I want to get MVP in the ring for his United States Title," he explained, "so he has an agenda these days to make sure that I won't be in any shape to challenge him for it. I'm in quite a predicament here."
WWE.com is inclined to agree with the North Carolinian Superstar, who's hungrier than ever to attain singles championship gold. Unfortunately, the Ballin' Superstar hasn't been so forthcoming about giving him an opportunity at his U.S. bling, even after losing his share of non-wrestling related challenges to Matt in recent weeks.
Of course, it's those very challenges which are responsible for placing Hardy and Porter in their current tag team turmoil. Both Superstars were preparing for their One-on-One Basketball Challenge last week when Long paired them together. Deuce & Domino, learning that their Tag Team Titles would be up for grabs, then broke up the hoops competition, committing more offensive fouls on their new opponents than Ron Artest in the stands at a Detroit Pistons game.
Then again, our ever-intuitive fans may know something that the bomber-jacketed champions from the Other Side of the Tracks haven't considered. Of the more than 37,000 fans who have voted on WWE.com's SmackDown poll since Sunday, more than 61 percent believe that Matt Hardy & MVP can co-exist and win the WWE Tag Team Titles -- a statistic that might not have gone so lopsided had Deuce & Domino not jumped the two Superstars.
"I'm not angry about being teamed up with Matt Hardy," proclaimed the United States Champion before heading out of the Colonial Arena last Friday night. "I'm disgusted about being teamed up with Matt Hardy. But anyone who attempts to injure me or take money out of my bank account…that makes me angry. So I'm angry at Deuce & Domino, for putting their hands on me and disrupting our basketball competition."
If one is to take the United States Champion at his word, then perhaps he can work alongside his greatest arch-rival to date, a seven-time World Tag Team Co-Champion (all with his brother, Raw's Jeff Hardy) who's expert at achieving perfect chemistry in tandem competition.
"MVP and I do have an unusual chemistry -- a great chemistry, even," Matt Hardy admitted, "but it comes from being each other's nemesis. As far as being partners…I really can't see it. I don't think it's going to happen. I have no idea what his mindset's going to be, but mine is that I've got to go into this match alone. I just hope he doesn't stab me in the back when I'm not looking. I expect it to happen; I just hope it doesn't."