On the May 12, 2003 edition of Monday Night Raw, General Manager Eric Bischoff announced that the WWE Tag Team Champions Rob Van Dam and Kane would defend their titles against a returning Legion of Doom that had not been in a WWE ring in years.
Why would WWE determine that Hawk and Animal would be worthy of the titles that night? Because they are the Road Warriors. They are forever the champions regardless of who the champions on paper were.
The WWE currently has a tag team on the Monday Night Raw roster that has the potential to achieve a similar level of legendary status. Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows arrived in WWE in April with a well-documented run of success as members of The Bullet Club in both New Japan Pro Wrestling and Ring of Honor. This documentation determines that they are worthy tag team championship contenders no matter the company they happen to be in. In order to begin what should be a path towards Road Warrior-like success, they just need a win when it counts.
The Club were given a non-title match against The New Day in the hopes that a victory would get them into the WWE Tag Team Championship hunt. On top of this opportunity, Xavier Woods, The New Day member that would not be participating in the match, was not permitted to be at ringside.
Logically (logic sometimes needs to be a factor when making creative decisions), this should have given a team as experienced and crafty as Anderson and Gallows the edge necessary to get the victory. Instead, they lost the match as Anderson was distracted giving the “too sweet” hand signal to Gallows, allowing Big E to get the roll-up victory.
Again, logic is sometimes a necessary evil in professional wrestling. Having a team as “elite” (pun intended) as Gallows and Anderson lose a match in a way that allows one to perceive them as bumbling, stumbling nincompoops is beneath what their potential calls for. It is true that they took out all three members of the New Day after the match, but this comes after a clumsy loss.
Losing matches that should lead to prominence has been a common happening for Anderson and Gallows since debuting in the WWE. After defeating The Usos at their WWE pay-per-view debut at Extreme Rules, they have taken losses in nearly every high-profile match they have been in. The loss taken at Raw needs to be their last, for this routine could prove costly for the credibility of one of the world’s greatest tag teams. It is time for Anderson and Gallows to be the dominant tag team we saw in Japan, in Ring of Honor, and in April during their debut.
Let’s be honest. The ultra-entertaining New Day is not going to be a united faction forever. We at Today’s Powerbomb have long since speculated about the singles potential of the team’s singles potential (Big E in particular), a realm that Kingston and Big E have already found prior success in. Also, comedy acts in the PG-era are not given the smorgasbord of material that the Attitude Era once gave to acts such as D-Generation X.
The inevitable break-up is going to leave a void in the WWE tag team division that only a qualified tag team like Gallows and Anderson can fill. The New Day’s presence within the WWE landscape has giving the tag team division life that it had not seen since Jeff Hardy was diving off ladders at WrestleMania. This potential cannot be wasted once The New Day reaches the end of their hellacious run at the top of the WWE card.
It is understood that The New Day cannot be ignored, as the response they garner from the WWE Universe justifies their dominant position on the card. However, they are not the worldwide tag team standard-bearers that Gallows and Anderson have become in their time outside of the WWE. The path that was forged by the former Bullet Club members holds a potential for the team that eventually knocks them off from the top of the tag team mountain.
Now, WWE needs to remind themselves that they have staffed two talents that are at the top of this mountain. WWE holds within its roster an accomplished tag team that has the potential to make all those they work with in the future better by simply being in the same ring as them. However, in order to realize this potential, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows need to start being portrayed as the dominant tag team specialists that they are before they fade into the background.