What might have been in Eve’s report on WWE’s tag team division?
As SmackDown General Manager Booker T handled the fallout of the tag team free-for-all that transpired on the Aug. 24 edition of SmackDown ( WATCH), Eve made quite a first impression as the five-time WCW Champion’s new assistant. With Booker asking for recommendations as to who should be the new No. 1 contenders to face WWE Tag Team Champions Kofi Kingston & R-Truth, the assertive Diva produced a research binder including each possible challenger’s recent win-loss record — as well as her personal recommendations, which noticeably impressed the leader of the blue brand. ( WATCH)
So who did Eve include in her report? How did she summarize the candidacy of each team as they chase Kofi Kingston & R-Truth for their championship gold? What other information did she include to ensure each potential contender receives fair consideration from the SmackDown GM?
While the results of her study were meant for Booker’s eyes only, the pairings Eve included and the criteria she deemed important remain open to speculation. As such, WWE.com dug into its own scouting reports to deduce how the former two-time Divas Champion likely classified the contenders and pretenders in WWE’s tag team ranks.
WWE Tag Team Champions Kofi Kingston & R-Truth
Notable Wins: Won the WWE Tag Team Titles from Primo & Epico on the April 30, 2012, edition of Raw ( WATCH); Def. Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger at WWE Over the Limit on May 20, 2012 ( PHOTOS); Def. The Prime Time Players at The 25th Anniversary of SummerSlam ( PHOTOS)
Notable Losses: Singles losses to The Prime Time Players — Kofi lost to Titus O’Neil on the July 30 episode of Raw ( WATCH) and R-Truth lost to Darren Young on the Aug. 3 episode of SmackDown ( WATCH)
Titles Held: Reigning WWE Tag Team Champions since April 30; Kofi Kingston (Two-time WWE Tag Team Champion, one-time World Tag Team Champion); R-Truth (WWE Tag Team Champion)
Signature Style: Since these two partnered up, Kofi and Truth have consistently found a way to drop the boom. Whether it’s with high impact strikes or high-flying aerial maneuvers, Kofi and Truth have a distinctive and daring style that is sure to excite the WWE Universe.
Wild Card: Chemistry is a key component to these champions’ successful reign. Well-matched inside the squared circle and out, Kofi and Truth’s camaraderie and familiarity carries them through challenging times when other twosomes could potentially crumble.
Exciting and energetic, fan-favorites Kofi and Truth have been WWE Tag Team Champions for four months. Despite the strange presence of the imaginary “Little Jimmy,” this dynamic duo has the in-ring talent, toughness and charisma to continue to proudly carry WWE’s twin titles for some time to come.
The Prime Time Players
Notable Wins: Def. The Usos on June 22, 2012, edition of SmackDown ( WATCH); Def. Primo & Epico on Aug. 10, 2012, edition of SmackDown ( WATCH)
Notable Losses: Lost to WWE Tag Team Champions Kofi Kingston & R-Truth at The 25th Anniversary of SummerSlam ( PHOTOS); Lost to Primo & Epico at Money in the Bank 2012 ( PHOTOS)
Titles Held: None
Signature Style: Darren Young & Titus O’Neil like to methodically bust up opponents, using a strong level of teamwork as they make great use of their size and arsenal of power moves to overwhelm any team who crosses their path.
Wild Card: “Millions of Dollars.” Both Superstars loom large over adversaries by virtue of their impressive size, but the confidence they exude reinforces their mental edge in the ring as well. They fuel their will to win on their desire to achieve greatness and obtain the money and power that comes with being the alpha dogs in WWE.
The Prime Time Players need no further introduction to the WWE Universe, having loudly and proudly fought all the way from their SmackDown debut on April 20 to a WWE Tag Team Title opportunity at The 25th Anniversary of SummerSlam. They missed their initial opportunity to clinch championship gold, but their formidable tactics and pompous personalities will garner them serious consideration as future No. 1 contenders.
Notable Wins: Def. Heath Slater & Tyson Kidd on April 13 episode of SmackDown ( WATCH); Def. Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger on May 17 episode of “WWE Superstars” ( WATCH); Def. Justin Gabriel & Michael McGillicutty on Aug. 16 episode of “WWE Superstars” ( WATCH)
Notable Losses: Lost to The Prime Time Players on SmackDown on June 22 ( WATCH) and May 25 ( WATCH); Lost 4-Way Tag Team Match to The Prime Time Players at No Way Out 2012 ( PHOTOS)
Titles Held: None
Signature Style: Hard-hitting and technical, Jimmy and Jey Uso are throwbacks to a past generation of Superstars. Their seamless teamwork is not surprising considering how close the brothers are. Combined with flawless fundamental grappling, this is a pair that must be accounted for.
Wild Card: Championship bloodlines. The sons of WWE Legend Rikishi, The Usos are members of the legendary Anoa'i family.
These brothers are each formidable opponents, but when they work together, they become that much more dangerous. With experience against all the top Superstars and tag teams WWE has to offer, Jimmy and Jey Uso appear ready for a crack at the WWE Tag Team Championships.
Primo & Epico
Notable Wins: Def. The Usos and Justin Gabriel & Tyson Kidd in a Triple Threat Tag Team Match at WrestleMania XXVIII Pre-Show ( PHOTOS); Def. The Prime Time Players at Money in the Bank 2012 ( PHOTOS)
Notable Losses: Lost WWE Tag Team Titles to Kofi Kingston & R-Truth on April 30, 2012, edition of Raw ( WATCH)
Titles Held: Primo (Two-time WWE Tag Team Champion); Epico (WWE Tag Team Champion)
Signature Style: The competitive cousins mix their speed and agility to keep opponents off-balance while displaying a cohesion and chemistry that makes the pairing look wise beyond their years in the ring.
Wild Card: Rosa Mendes. The fiery Diva stands in the corner of Primo & Epico as their friend and booster. Her highly volatile personality also gives Rosa the ability to counter the intimidating presence of other Superstars, giving her favorite tag team the ability to neutralize a war of words without losing sight of their latest foes.
Primo & Epico possess impressive wins over all of the other challengers in recent months. However, they still lost the WWE Tag Team Titles once and missed capitalizing on a rematch. That said, any side with sights on the championship gold that belongs to Kofi Kingston & R-Truth may need to go through this Puerto Rican pairing first.
Tyson Kidd & Justin Gabriel
Notable Wins: Def. Curt Hawkins & Tyler Reks on three separate episodes of “WWE Superstars” ( WATCH)
Notable Losses: Lost 4-Way Tag Team Match to The Prime Time Players at No Way Out 2012 ( PHOTOS)
Titles Held: Tyson Kidd (WWE Tag Team Champion, World Tag Team Champion); Justin Gabriel (Three-time WWE Tag Team Champion)
Signature Style: High risk, high reward. Neither Kidd nor Gabriel has shown any reluctance to go for the big move or to seize the big moment. Both are tremendous high-flyers and springboard specialists who are always looking to seal the win and steal the show.
Wild Card: Is this WWE’s dark horse duo? Both Kidd & Gabriel are well-traveled, experienced, highly technical former tag team titleholders. The fact that they aren’t being discussed more has kept them under the radar, which could work to their benefit or detriment.
As a new wave of challengers crashes into WWE’s tag team division, Kidd & Gabriel are just one of the many promising new pairs looking to capture the tag team titles. With a plethora of talent and a clean slate, they are in prime position to maximize their substantial skills and inject themselves into the title discussion.