In the words of one Dwyane Johnson, “FINALLY…”
Over the past week, rumors have begun to circulate about WWE possibly establishing another championship for the women. This championship would be in the form of a women’s tag team championship. On April 20, 2018, WWE posted the following on its Twitter account.
-WWE (@WWE) April 20, 2018
In addition to this tweet, there have also been reports that WWE has commissioned a set of women’s tag team championship belts with SummerSlam being a possible target date. This would not be the first time that WWE has experimented with a set of women’s tag team championships. Back in the 1980s, the then WWF housed the WWF Women’s Tag Team Championships for a brief six year run before abandoning the championships altogether. Since then, there has been discussions for the women’s tag team titles to return.
In 2012, an article on WWE.com looked at the possible reintroduction of the women’s tag titles and then in 2014, the Bella Twins pushed for the titles as well. One of WWE’s competitors however have had recent successes with women’s tag titles albeit somewhat marginal. TNA sanctioned the Knockouts Tag Team Championship from 2009 until 2013. While it was an innovative idea at the time, the belts were seen more of a prop rather than a set of actual titles and were later deactivated.
We just witnessed the iconic main roster debuts of Peyton Royce and Billie Kay who were very quick to make a statement after attacking then Smackdown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair. A possible Bella Twins return to the squared circle has been rumored since the moment they left and with the recent Twitter “feud” with the IIconics, a match between these two teams is not only possible, but could very well be for the inaugural set of WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships.
I have long been a proponent for a set of women’s tag titles in WWE. Honestly, women’s tag titles were something that should have been created during the late stages of the Ruthless Aggression era when the women’s division began to grow. But alas, WWE instead created the Divas Championship for its Smackdown brand in 2008 which allowed both brands their own exclusive women’s singles championship. This would continue until 2010 when the WWE Women’s Championship and the WWE Divas Championship were unified with the latter continuing to be the only women’s championship. The women’s division would have only one championship until the Smackdown Women’s Championship was created in 2016 as a result of the second brand extension which saw the women’s division split once more.
Throughout the past decade, we have seen WWE’s women’s division exponentially increase in size. Names like AJ Lee, Paige, Kaitlyn, Naomi, Natalya, Brie Bella, Nikki Bella, Alicia Fox, Kelly Kelly, Beth Phoenix, Eve Torres, Michelle McCool, Layla, and Mickie James were all fixtures of the women’s division for the past decade, at least until the recent influx of talent from NXT over the past few years. With the additions of individuals such as Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, Bayley, Alexa Bliss, Nia Jax, Carmella, Asuka, and Ember Moon, WWE has a created a division where each individual is recognizable and ready for the spotlight almost the instant they are brought up.
However, since WWE split its women’s division down the middle, it begs the question “which brand gets the women’s tag team championship?” WWE is backed into a proverbial corner with this one because if they create a set of women’s tag team championships, the title may not have a large depth of contenders. If for instance Smackdown was to be the home for the women’s tag team championships, Smackdown’s women’s roster is not large enough to warrant both a singles championship AND tag team championship. Nor can the tag title be defended over both RAW and Smackdown without it discounting the brand split which sought to create to distinct rosters in the first place.
In my perfect world, the women’s division would be on one brand and the men’s tag team division would be on the other. This is what I lobbied for when the second brand split was announced as I feared that WWE would create a second set of titles for one of the brands. Sure enough, the Universal Championship, the Smackdown Women’s Championship, and the Smackdown Tag Team Championships were created. I would have much rather WWE kept the women and tag teams on opposite brands to prevent any depth issue.
Having each division on one brand would allow for more things to be done within the divisions and give both RAW and Smackdown their own unique identity. For the sake of this article, I will give RAW the women’s division and Smackdown the men’s tag team division. Imagine a situation where RAW has the WWE Women’s Championship and adds the Women’s Tag Team Championship whereas Smackdown could have the WWE World Tag Team Championship and create a 6-man tag team championship. The important thing is to be innovative and creative. Simply having a pair of championships that serve the same purpose and are meant to appear as “equals” is not the correct answer.
Another potential problem to having a set of women’s tag team championships on the main roster is the lack of teams in the women’s division. The woman’s division has in my opinion never been better. The depth of the division is greater than in any prior point in WWE history and the ladies are getting more screen time than ever. However, with each brand having its own woman’s title, not much time or emphasis has been put on the ladies teaming up. Aside from the teams of the IIconics, the Bella twins, Alexa Bliss and Mickie James, and the on-again, off-again duo of Bayley and Sasha Banks, the remainder of WWE’s woman’s division is unaligned. Either we would see some random pairings thrown together or some overlap with the brands to create meaningful teams.
I am excited to see what happens with this as I believe the women’s tag team championships are long overdue. While there are its fair share of issues and as long as WWE finds a way around them, I do fully believe that a lot of good can come of these titles. Just in the past few years we have seen the first female Hell in a Cell match, Money in the Bank Ladder match, Royal Rumble match, WrestleMania battle royal, and the Mae Young Classic. A set of tag team championships for the ladies is the latest spoke on the wheel that is the women’s evolution.