WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship

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WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship
WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship.png
The SmackDown Tag Team Championship belt
Details
PromotionWWE
BrandSmackDown
Date establishedAugust 23, 2016
Current champion(s)Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura
Date wonJuly 19, 2020

The WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship is a professional wrestling world tag team championship created and promoted by the American promotion WWE, defended on their SmackDown brand division. It is one of three male tag team championships among WWE's three main brands, along with the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship on Raw and the NXT Tag Team Championship on NXT. The current champions are Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura, who are in their first reign as a team; individually, this is the first reign for Nakamura and second for Cesaro.

Unveiled on the August 23, 2016 episode of SmackDown Live, it was created to be the counterpart title to the then-WWE Tag Team Championship, which became exclusive to Raw as a result of the 2016 WWE draft. That title was subsequently renamed after the crowning of the inaugural SmackDown Tag Team Champions, Heath Slater and Rhyno.

History[edit]

The inaugural SmackDown Tag Team Champions Rhyno (left) and Heath Slater (right)

Following the reintroduction of the WWE brand extension and subsequent draft on July 19, 2016, then-WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day were drafted to Raw, leaving SmackDown without a tag team championship. Over the course of the following month, SmackDown general manager Daniel Bryan stated that he wanted to build up the tag team division before introducing a championship. Immediately following SummerSlam on the August 23, 2016 episode of SmackDown Live, Bryan and SmackDown commissioner Shane McMahon introduced the SmackDown Tag Team Championship (Raw's title was subsequently renamed).[1] An eight-team tournament was then scheduled to determine the inaugural champions, culminating in a final match at Backlash on September 11, 2016.[2][3][4] The team of Heath Slater and Rhyno defeated The Usos (Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso) in the tournament final to become the inaugural champions.[5] In 2019, WWE's former developmental territory NXT became the promotion's third major brand when it was moved to the USA Network in September, thus making the NXT Tag Team Championship the third major tag team title for men in WWE.[6]

When the belts were introduced, they featured the same physical design as the Raw Tag Team Championship, with the differences being that the leather straps were blue as opposed to the former's original black and the plates were silver as opposed to the former's original bronze. The Raw Tag Team Championship belt design was updated on December 19, 2016, with silver plates on red straps to bring both sets of titles more in line with each other. While all of WWE's other championship belts have been updated to feature customizable side plates for the champion's logos, the Raw and SmackDown tag titles and the 24/7 Championship are the only championship belts in the promotion that lack this feature.

Inaugural tournament[edit]

Quarterfinals
SmackDown (8/23, 8/30)[2][3]
Semifinals
SmackDown (9/6)[4]
Final
Backlash (9/11)
         
American Alpha
(Chad Gable and Jason Jordan)
Pin
Breezango
(Fandango and Tyler Breeze)
10:13
American AlphaPin
The Usos 0:28
The Usos
(Jey and Jimmy Uso)
Pin
The Ascension
(Konnor and Viktor)
3:49
The Usos 10:02
Heath Slater and Rhyno Pin
The Hype Bros
(Mojo Rawley and Zack Ryder)
Pin
The Vaudevillains
(Aiden English and Simon Gotch)
2:50
The Hype Bros 7:03
Heath Slater and Rhyno Pin
The Headbangers
(Mosh and Thrasher)
2:54
Heath Slater and Rhyno Pin

† When Chad Gable suffered a storyline injury after defeating The Usos, American Alpha were removed from the final. The Usos then defeated The Hype Bros at Backlash in a second chance tag team match to replace American Alpha in the final.

Reigns[edit]

As of August 5, 2020, overall there have been 21 reigns between 13 teams composed of 24 individual champions, and one vacancy. The team of Heath Slater and Rhyno were the inaugural champions. The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods) have the most reigns at six, both as a team and individually. The Usos (Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso) have the longest singular reign at 182 days for their third reign, and they have the longest combined reign at 381 days (380 days as recognized by WWE). The team of The Miz and Shane McMahon and The Hardy Boyz (Jeff Hardy and Matt Hardy) are tied with the shortest reign at 21 days (although WWE recognizes 20 days for The Hardy Boyz). The oldest champion is Shane McMahon, winning the title at 49 years old, while the youngest is Jason Jordan when he won it at 28.

Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura are the current champions in their first reign and second for Cesaro individually. They won the titles by defeating The New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston) in a Tables match on July 19, 2020 in Orlando, Florida at The Horror Show at Extreme Rules.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ WWE recognizes The Hardy Boyz's reign as lasting 20 days.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Martin, Adam. "Daniel Bryan to reveal two new championships exclusive to Smackdown tonight from Connecticut". wrestleview.com. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
  2. ^ a b Parks, Greg. "8/23 WWE Smackdown LIVE – Parks's Complete, Real-Time Report". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
  3. ^ a b Caldwell, James. "8/30 WWE Smackdown Live Results – CALDWELL'S Complete Live TV Report & Talking Smack-cap". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved August 30, 2016.
  4. ^ a b Caldwell, James. "9/6 WWE Smackdown LIVE – Parks's Ongoing, Real-Time Report". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved September 6, 2016.
  5. ^ Caldwell, James. "9/11 WWE Backlash Results – CALDWELL'S Complete PPV Report". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
  6. ^ "Triple H Discusses NXT as a Third Brand, Putting Talent in a Position to Succeed, More – 411MANIA". www.411mania.com.

External links[edit]