WWE’s gone to the odd-couple well with great success numerous times in the recent past. Booker T and Goldust, Team Hell No and, everyone’s favorite, The Rock ‘N’ Sock Connection are some of the more prominent pairings from the recent past.
Each member of those duos began as singles competitors and even rivals, or at least unwilling partners, before circumstances forced their union. This adds not only a comedy aspect, but also a new dynamic to the tag team division. Can two Superstars who don’t even want to be part of the same team coexist and succeed against more experienced and more united teams?
The WWE has seemingly been trying to recapture that magic recently. First, we got the Golden Truth. Unfortunately, the two undercard Superstars are too low on the totem pole to be seen as more than comedy fodder. Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens were next up and still remain allies, but Owens’ Universal Championship win means they can’t be a true tag team act on a weekly basis.
In a bubble, Cesaro and Sheamus’ own odd-couple pairing could experience great success. The two are obviously well-established singles stars and among the more physically impressive specimens in the WWE today. Not to mention that they’re coming off a heated best-of-seven series. That in itself leaves one to wonder just how these two will coexist.
Lastly, Cesaro and Sheamus add depth to a tag team division which is essentially a three-horse show. The New Day has defeated The Club several times over and it’s obvious that WWE wants to keep Enzo and Cass apart from them for the time being. Inserting another, formidable pair into the mix gives each of those teams a fresh foe.
But inserting the “Swiss Superman” and the “Celtic Warrior” into the tag team scene also severely weakens a mid-card that isn’t necessarily firing on all cylinders right now.
On Monday night, for instance, Sami Sayn continued to tread water in a win over Titus O’Neil. Braun Strowman, for the umpteenth week, had a match against John Doe. Roman Reigns and Rusev continued their plodding feud and talent such as Neville and Sin Cara remained off TV.
That’s not to say that Cesaro and Sheamus can fix all that ails Raw by re-entering the mid-card scene. They can’t. But removing them from it harms the overall product. Raw’s roster simply isn’t deep enough to put two stars of their caliber together. It leaves nothing for the other performers on a similar tier.
Take Zayn. He’s coming off a loss to Chris Jericho in a feud that materialized and then vanished overnight. It remains to be seen if Zayn will get his win back, but in the interim he should be doing more than beating O’Neil in three-minute matches. He could be standing toe-to-toe with Sheamus or putting on an instant classic with Cesaro. Both would do more for his career than anything he’s doing right now.
As for Reigns and Rusev, their feud should culminate with their upcoming Hell in a Cell match. Regardless of which man leaves with the U.S. Championship, they’ll be in need of a legitimate foil. Outside of Cesaro and Sheamus, the only legitimate options would seem to be Zayn, who’s severely lacking momentum, and Jericho, who could leave at a moment’s notice.
After all, nobody’s going to take Roman Reigns vs. Mark Henry seriously.
In a pre-brand split WWE, Cesaro and Sheamus could make an excellent and unusual pair. They still can now, but the cost is steep. Why not insert a duo like Rich Swann and Cedric Alexander into the tag team scene in their place? They’re fresh, exciting and could show that the cruiserweights won’t be restricted to just their division.
Meanwhile, it would free Cesaro and Sheamus up to prop up a mid-card that could use all the help it can get.