Tag-team wrestling has become a lost art in the WWE.
There was a period where tag-team wrestling dominated the landscape, and duos like the Hardy brothers, the Dudleys and Edge and Christian would steal any show they were on.
Those days are long gone. Now, fans just ask for there to be some semblance of attention and focus given to the tag-team division.
And in recent weeks, there has been some sense of promise on the horizon, as WWE has been reminding fans there are more than two tag teams on the roster. Between the pre-show and the pay-per-view, there were actually two tag-team matches at Money in the Bank.
Tonight on Smackdown, those teams were paired up for an eight-man tag, as Tag Team Champions R-Truth and Kofi Kingston teamed with Primo and Epico to face the Primetime Players, Hunico and Camacho.
They were actually given a decent amount of time, and all eight men worked hard. The match was really good and seemed to be a continued trend of quality multi-man action.
The ending saw the heel team win, when Darren Young caught Primo with his knees as the latter leapt off the top turnbuckle. Hey, the Primetime Players get their heat back - and over the team they've really been feuding with.
This is promising.
Then Big Show's music hit, and the giant -- for no apparent reason -- came down to the ring and destroyed everyone except Titus O'Neil and Darren Young, who fled under the guidance of Abraham Washington.
I understand the need to keep Big Show looking like a monster, but why does it have to come at the expense of a fledgling tag-team division?
There is still hope for the tag-team division to get going, but booking decisions like this do little to help it. Yes, it seemed that Hunico and Camacho got the worst of Show's beating, which makes sense since they're the jobbers of the bunch, but the tag champs and two top challengers shouldn't be treated this way.
There is serious potential for a tag-team revival in WWE, but if the company continues to give the fans no reason to care about these duos, they never will.
** The four-way opening promo was standard fare, but all four men did a good job holding up their end. It was refreshing to see Alberto Del Rio and Dolph Ziggler not getting along, because all too often, babyfaces and heels are too chummy just because of their alignment. The back stage pre-match segment with Vickie Guerrro and Ricardo Rodriguez was funny. And all that led to a strong main event pitting Del Rio and Ziggler against World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus and Rey Mysterio. There are several weeks to build to SummerSlam, and these kind of matches are an easy way of promoting multiple feuds at once. It will be interesting to see what the World Heavyweight Championship match at the pay-per-view ends up being. Sheamus and Mysterio won the match by disqualification when Rodriguez interfered.
** Predictions that Daniel Bryan may be turning back to the good side may be premature. The fans seemed adamantly opposed to he and AJ's engagement and decreed that Bryan doesn't actually love AJ. The duo appeared on the Peep Show with Christian, who provoked AJ into slapping him before announcing that Bryan would face Kane, who was announced as AJ's "psychotic ex-boyfriend." Kane and AJ were never really dating, were they? Of the pairings here, it's much easier to get excited about a Bryan-Christian feud than a Bryan-Kane one. That said, Bryan and Kane had a fun match that ended with a disqualification, when AJ tried to help Bryan attack Kane. She found herself in a precarious position, almost kissing Kane, but then left with Bryan. It seems likely there may be an uninvited guest at their wedding next week on Raw.
** Zack Ryder jumped Damien Sandow before the bell rang in their match. Didn't that cause the bout between Ryback and Jack Swagger on Raw to be thrown out? Either way, it didn't work out too well for Ryder, as Sandow scored another easy and convincing win in their mini-feud. Hopefully this means it's time for Sandow to move past Ryder. I would actually like to see him feud with R-Truth in some form or fashion, as the promos could be hilarious with the differences in their intellectual styles.
** Road Warrior Animal got a good pop when he emerged to face Heath Slater. These nostalgia moments are hard to write about because they're not quality wrestling by any means, but they're just fun to watch. It's not a gimmick that can last forever, but as a way to promote the 1,000th episode of Raw, this has been a great schtick for Slater.
** Featuring Jeremy Piven in the Raw greatest moments clip was a good reminder that SummerFest is coming up in a few weeks.
Titus O'Neil, Darren Young, Hunico and Camacho d. R-Truth, Kofi Kingston, Primo and Epico
Damien Sandow d. Zack Ryder
Kane d. Daniel Bryan by disqualification
Road Warrior Animal d. Heath Slater
Sheamus and Rey Mysterio d. Dolph Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio by disqualification
While this episode of Smackdown only featured five matches, it didn't seem as if there was a lack of wrestling. The eight-man tag and the main event were given a lot of time, and most of the other material was fun. This episode was kind of a placeholder before things really heat up on Monday's historic 1,000th Raw, and it did a good job of filling that spot.