One year after winning the Royal Rumble Match, The Undertaker is prepared to repeat and take 29 more souls.01/05/2018 - 16:00
WWE Top 10 takes you back to this week's SmackDown LIVE to revisit the show's most thrilling, physical and controversial moments.01/10/2018 - 12:15
Keep on hatin'
We get it, we get it -- Matt Hardy and MVP hate each other. No shared tag team gold, no common enemy, no one and nothing will ever change that fact. Not even their WWE Tag Team Championship defense against Deuce & Domino on SmackDown this Friday night, just two days before No Mercy. And that's precisely why WWE.com likes their chances this week.
Yes, we can hear the collective "Huh?" coming out of our fans' mouths. And we understand, we really do. Just bear with us a minute and we'll explain.
Deuce & Domino are the former WWE Tag Team Champions. They lost their titles to Matt & MVP on SmackDown last August, then failed in a bid to recapture them at Unforgiven. OK, so they won a non-title Tag Team Match over the champs on SmackDown the following week. Non-title. As in "nothing to be gained except another opportunity for the WWE Tag Team Titles." And throughout it all, Matt Hardy & MVP were mortal enemies wearing the gold around their waist.
Yes, SmackDown's "odd couple" will never get along, especially while MVP holds the prize that Hardy truly eyes: The United States Championship. Yet in many respects, that title -- and the battles which have ensued over it -- is the common denominator that has united these two very independent states of mind. That, and their constant challenges to one-up and prove who's better.
Fate in the form of a Basketball Challenge is what motivated General Manager Theodore Long to team Matt & MVP together in a Tag Match for the titles. Deuce & Domino only sparked their opponents' resolve during that challenge, posting up offensive fouls that would shame even an Isaiah Thomas-coached team. The Ballin' Superstar took the credit for "single-handedly" winning the WWE Tag Titles the following week, even though it was Hardy who persevered past a double-team effort throughout most of the contest. Matt then reciprocated the favor at Unforgiven, tossing his own partner out of the ring to pick up the pinfall victory.
The common element? So long as they compete against each other, Hardy & MVP continue to win when it counts. And this Friday night, it counts.
Sure, it hasn't been an easy few weeks for the tussling tandem. Matt may even have placed his team in a pretty tough spot for Friday's title defense with his gift to commemorate MVP's first year on SmackDown last week -- a match against Kane. But if you don't think either Superstar is bothered by the fact that their in-ring argument two weeks ago caused a non-title loss to Deuce & Domino, then you'd be wronger than wrong. Both men live to compete, whether it's against each other or as a team.
There are going to be bumps along any road, especially when Matt Hardy and MVP are the ones debating over who gets to drive the car. But isn't this what competition's all about, gang? It's the fabric of sports-entertainment, as well as a thriving society. It's not uncommon for corporations to set their own departments against each other, all in an attempt to produce a greater end result that benefits all employees and consumers. So do we honestly believe that the only successful WWE tag teams are the ones that can blend as a cohesive unit and never clash conflict with each other? Don't kid yourselves.
MVP is the yin to Matt Hardy's yang, the antithesis of each other, who achieve perfect balance only when they're forced to work together. So here's some WWE.com advice for the WWE Tag Team Champions before they meet Deuce & Domino for the titles: Matt, you keep right on Franchise Playa-hatin'. MVP, you carry on believing that you're better than an eight-time tag titleholder. So long as you two can continue to not get along, you should be just fine this Friday night.