WWE Tag Team Championship

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WWE Tag Team Championship
The current WWE Tag Team Championship belt with default side plates (2024–present)
Details
PromotionWWE
BrandSmackDown
Date establishedAugust 23, 2016
Current champion(s)A-Town Down Under
(Austin Theory and Grayson Waller)
Date wonApril 6, 2024
Other name(s)
Statistics
First champion(s)Heath Slater and Rhyno
Most reignsAs tag team (7 reigns):

As individual (7 reigns):

Longest reignThe Usos
(Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso)
(5th reign, 622 days)
Shortest reignThe New Day
(Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods)
(7th reign, 3 days)
Oldest championShane McMahon
(49 years, 12 days)
Youngest championDominik Mysterio
(24 years, 41 days)
Heaviest championThe Wyatt Family
(Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, and Randy Orton)
(810 lb (370 kg) combined)
Lightest championThe Mysterios
(Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio)
(375 lb (170 kg) combined)

The WWE Tag Team Championship is a men's professional wrestling world tag team championship created and promoted by the American promotion WWE, defended on the SmackDown brand division. It is one of two male tag team championships for WWE's main roster, along with the World Tag Team Championship on Raw. The current champions are A-Town Down Under (Austin Theory and Grayson Waller), who are in their first reign, both as a team and individually. They won the title from previous champions The Judgment Day (Finn Bálor and Damian Priest) in a Six-Pack Tag Team Ladder match[c] on Night 1 of WrestleMania XL on April 6, 2024; they won the title as the SmackDown Tag Team Championship and it was renamed as WWE Tag Team Championship on April 19, 2024.

The championship was originally established as the SmackDown Tag Team Championship on August 23, 2016, and Heath Slater and Rhyno were the inaugural champions. It was introduced for the SmackDown brand as a second title for tag teams in the promotion to complement the previous WWE Tag Team Championship, which became exclusive to Raw in the 2016 WWE Draft and renamed as Raw Tag Team Championship. From May 2022 until April 2024, both titles were held and defended together as the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship, with each maintaining their individual lineages. Under the Undisputed banner, both titles simultaneously became the first tag team championships to be defended in the main event of WWE's flagship event, WrestleMania, which occurred as the main event of WrestleMania 39 Night 1 in April 2023. The titles would again be defended in the main event of a pay-per-view and livestreaming event at Night of Champions the following month. The titles were then split at WrestleMania XL in April 2024 with the SmackDown Tag Team Championship subsequently renamed as the WWE Tag Team Championship with the Raw title becoming the World Tag Team Championship.

History[edit]

The inaugural champions Rhyno (left) and Heath Slater (right), who won the title as the SmackDown Tag Team Championship

During WWE's original brand split (2002–2011), in which the professional wrestling promotion divided its roster into "brands" where wrestlers were assigned to exclusively perform on each brands' respective weekly television program, the men's world tag team championship of the SmackDown brand was the previous WWE Tag Team Championship, which was established in 2002 to be the counterpart to the promotion's original World Tag Team Championship, which was designated to Raw. At WrestleMania 25 in April 2009, the titles were unified as the Unified WWE Tag Team Championship, although both titles remained independently active until August 2010 when the original World Tag Team Championship was deactivated in favor of the WWE Tag Team Championship, which then became the sole tag team championship in WWE, available to both brands. The first brand split then ended in August 2011.[1][2]

In July 2016, WWE reintroduced the brand split and during the 2016 draft, reigning WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods) were drafted to Raw, leaving SmackDown without a tag team title. 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; the WWE Tag Team Championship was subsequently renamed Raw Tag Team Championship.[3] An eight-team tournament was then scheduled to determine the inaugural champions, culminating in a final match at Backlash on September 11, 2016.[4][5][6] The team of Heath Slater and Rhyno defeated The Usos (Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso) in the tournament final to become the inaugural champions.[7]

In 2019, WWE's 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.[8] However, this recognition was reversed when NXT reverted to its original function as a developmental brand in September 2021.[9]

During the May 20, 2022, episode of SmackDown, reigning SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos (Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso) defeated reigning Raw Tag Team Champions RK-Bro (Randy Orton and Riddle) in a Winners Take All match to claim both championships and become recognized as the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions. WWE had billed the match as a championship unification match; however, both titles remained independently active.[10] The Usos had defended both titles together across both brands as the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship, but on a couple of occasions in early 2023, they also defended the titles separately.[11][12]

In the main event of WrestleMania 39 Night 1, The Usos (Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso) defended the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship against the team of Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. This subsequently made both the Raw and SmackDown titles the first tag team championships to be defended in the main event of WWE's flagship event, WrestleMania. At the event, Owens and Zayn defeated The Usos to become champions.[13] The titles would again be defended in the main event of a pay-per-view and livestreaming event at Night of Champions the following month on May 27 when Owens and Zayn retained the titles against The Bloodline (Roman Reigns and Solo Sikoa).[14]

At WrestleMania XL Night 1 on April 6, 2024, The Judgment Day (Finn Bálor and Damian Priest) defended the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship in a Six-Pack Tag Team Ladder match in which both sets of championships had to be retrieved for the match to end. As a result, the championships were split with A-Town Down Under (Austin Theory and Grayson Waller) winning the SmackDown Tag Team Championship while Awesome Truth (The Miz and R-Truth) won the Raw title.[15] On the April 19 episode of SmackDown, the SmackDown Tag Team Championship was renamed as the WWE Tag Team Championship with a new set of title belts.[16] This came just a few days after the Raw Tag Team Championship was renamed as the World Tag Team Championship with its own new title belts.[17]

Inaugural tournament[edit]

Quarterfinals
SmackDown (8/23, 8/30)[4][5]
Semifinals
SmackDown (9/6)[6]
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 Uso 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.

Belt designs[edit]

One-time champions The Bar (Sheamus and Cesaro) with the original design of the title when it was known as the SmackDown Tag Team Championship (2016–2024).

When the championship was first introduced as the SmackDown Tag Team Championship, they featured the same physical design as the 2010 to 2016 version of the previous WWE Tag Team Championship (which became 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 copper. The renamed Raw Tag Team Championship belts were then updated on December 19, 2016, with silver plates on red straps to bring both sets of titles in line with each other. While all other WWE championship belts were updated to feature customizable side plates for the champion's logos, the Raw and SmackDown tag titles were the only championship belts in the promotion that lacked this feature.[4]

In conjunction with the SmackDown Tag Team Championship being renamed as WWE Tag Team Championship on April 19, 2024, the belts also received a new design. The updated design resembles the title belts of the original World Tag Team Championship used during the Attitude Era and the 2002 to 2010 version of the previous WWE Tag Team Championship belts used during the Ruthless Aggression Era. Unlike WWE's other championship belts of the modern era, which have three plates (a centerplate and two side plates), the WWE Tag Team Championship has five gold plates on a black leather strap. At the center of the center plate is a globe with the WWE logo over it. Above the globe at the top of the plate is a crown, while below the globe are two black banners. The first black banner says "TAG TEAM" written in gold while the one below that says "WRESTLING CHAMPIONS", also written in gold. On the opposing sides of the globe are griffins facing inwards. Filigree fills in the rest of the plate, which has an ornamented border. Like all of WWE's championship belts, the two inner side plates feature a removable center section which can be replaced with the reigning champion's logo; the default side plates feature the WWE logo over a globe. The two smaller outer side plates have a shield design with two wrestlers grappling.[16]

Reigns[edit]

As of May 19, 2024, overall there have been 31 reigns between 20 teams composed of 37 individual champions, and one vacancy. The team of Heath Slater and Rhyno were the inaugural champions. The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods) have the most reigns at seven, both as a team and individually, and their seventh is the shortest reign for the title at 3 days (2 days as recognized by WWE); during their first six reigns, Big E was also recognized as champion under the Freebird Rule. The Usos (Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso) have the longest singular reign at 622 days for their fifth reign, and they have the longest combined reign as a team at 1,002 days, while individually, Jey has the longest combined reign at 1,011 days (1,010 days as recognized by WWE). The oldest champion is Shane McMahon, winning the title at 49 years old, while the youngest is Dominik Mysterio when he won it at 24.

The current champions are A-Town Down Under (Austin Theory and Grayson Waller), who are in their first reign, both as a team and individually. They won the title from previous champions The Judgment Day (Finn Bálor and Damian Priest) in a Six-Pack Tag Team Ladder match[d] on Night 1 of WrestleMania XL on April 6, 2024, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; they won the title as the SmackDown Tag Team Championship and it was renamed as WWE Tag Team Championship on April 19, 2024.[16]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ In tandem with the then-WWE Raw Tag Team Championship.
  2. ^ During their first six reigns, Big E, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods were all recognized as champion under the Freebird Rule, but during their seventh reign, only Kingston and Woods were recognized as champion as Big E was split from the team as a result of the 2020 WWE Draft.
  3. ^ Both the Raw and SmackDown Tag Team Championships, which at the time were held and defended together as the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship, were defended separately in this match, with the Raw Tag Team Championship won by Awesome Truth (The Miz and R-Truth).
  4. ^ Both the Raw and SmackDown Tag Team Championships, which at the time were held and defended together as the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship, were defended separately in this match, with the Raw Tag Team Championship won by Awesome Truth (The Miz and R-Truth).

References[edit]

  1. ^ "WWE Tag Team Champions def. World Tag Team Champions (New Unified Tag Team Champions)". WWE. Retrieved May 16, 2012.
  2. ^ Schadler, Kyle (February 12, 2012). "Abandoned: The History of WWE's World Tag Team Championship, Pt. 2". Bleacher Report. Retrieved September 13, 2016.
  3. ^ Martin, Adam (August 23, 2016). "Daniel Bryan to reveal two new championships exclusive to Smackdown tonight from Connecticut". Wrestleview.com. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c Parks, Greg. "8/23 WWE Smackdown LIVE – Parks's Complete, Real-Time Report". PWTorch. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
  5. ^ a b Caldwell, James. "8/30 WWE Smackdown Live Results – CALDWELL'S Complete Live TV Report & Talking Smack-cap". PWTorch. Retrieved August 30, 2016.
  6. ^ a b Caldwell, James. "9/6 WWE Smackdown LIVE – Parks's Ongoing, Real-Time Report". PWTorch. Retrieved September 6, 2016.
  7. ^ Caldwell, James. "9/11 WWE Backlash Results – CALDWELL'S Complete PPV Report". PWTorch. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
  8. ^ "Triple H Discusses NXT as a Third Brand, Putting Talent in a Position to Succeed, More". 411Mania.
  9. ^ Currier, Joseph (December 3, 2021). "Preview and Predictions for 'NXT WarGames'". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved December 11, 2021.
  10. ^ Barnett, Jake (March 20, 2022). "5/20 WWE Friday Night Smackdown results: Barnett's review of Smackdown Tag Team Champions Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso vs. Raw Tag Team Champions "RK-Bro" Randy Orton and Riddle in a unification match, Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Sami Zayn, Xavier Woods vs. Butch". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved May 20, 2022.
  11. ^ Rose, Bryan (January 9, 2023). "Judgment Day earn WWE Raw Tag Team title match". Wrestling Observer Figure Four Online. Retrieved January 10, 2023.
  12. ^ Bath, Dave (February 10, 2023). "WWE SmackDown live results: The Usos vs. Braun Strowman & Ricochet". Wrestling Observer Figure Four Online. Retrieved October 17, 2023.
  13. ^ Powell, Jason (April 1, 2023). "WrestleMania 39 results: Powell's live review of night one with Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso vs. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn for the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Titles, Charlotte Flair vs. Rhea Ripley for the Smackdown Women's Title, Austin Theory vs. John Cena for the U.S. Title, Rey Mysterio vs. Dominik Mysterio, Seth Rollins vs. Logan Paul". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Archived from the original on April 2, 2023. Retrieved April 1, 2023.
  14. ^ Powell, Jason (May 27, 2023). "WWE Night of Champions results: Powell's live review of Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn vs. Roman Reigns and Solo Sikoa for the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Titles, Brock Lesnar vs. Cody Rhodes, Seth Rollins vs. AJ Styles for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, Bianca Belair vs. Asuka for the Raw Women's Title". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Archived from the original on May 27, 2023. Retrieved May 27, 2023.
  15. ^ Powell, Jason (April 6, 2024). "WrestleMania XL results: Powell's live review of night one with The Rock and Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins and Cody Rhodes, Rhea Ripley vs. Becky Lynch for the Women's World Championship". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved April 6, 2024.
  16. ^ a b c Lambert, Jeremy (April 19, 2024). "New WWE Tag Team Titles Given To Austin Theory And Grayson Waller On 4/19 WWE SmackDown". Fightful. Retrieved April 19, 2024.
  17. ^ Lambert, Jeremy (April 15, 2024). "New WWE World Tag Team Championships Presented To R-Truth And Miz On 4/15 WWE Raw". Fightful. Retrieved April 15, 2024.

External links[edit]