It was announced on Monday night’s episode of Raw that the newly won WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships – won by Sasha Banks & Bayley at Sunday’s Elimination Chamber – would be defended across Raw, SmackDown Live and NXT (which presumably encompasses NXT UK as well), as well as any “veterans”. This would make the Women’s Tag Team titles the first WWE championships that were to be defended and challenged for by all four distinct brands of the company. With that in mind, here’s a look at the wide-open playing field for the Women’s Tag Team division, now that the other brands have opened up the division.
The Iiconics (Peyton Royce & Billie Kay)
While the Boss & Hug Connection was the odds on favorite to win the rebooted WWE Women’s Tag Team titles, there was a lot of public appeal for these former NXT Superstars to lay claim to them first. In NXT, they were top-level heels, but for whatever reason, they’ve lost a lot of the edge that made them a success in NXT in the first place. With a slight tweak, Royce and Kay could reclaim that magic and become a long time threat in the women’s tag team division.
Nia Jax & Tamina Snuka
A familial unit featuring two cousins from Anoa’i extended family, these two have been a wrecking machine of late, and perfectly built as the powerhouse heels of the division. It would be surprising if they didn’t hold the titles at least once in 2019.
Xia Brookside & Candyfloss
Okay, these two only just faced off against each other last week on NXT UK, but in a bold prediction based on just the silliness that can be WWE logic, we’re pairing them up simply because they have colorful hair. Yes, it’s childish, but we all know how WWE likes to play to the lowest common denominator. Most likely wouldn’t do much, unfortunately.
Vanessa Bourne & Aliyah
Aliyah has been a veteran of NXT since 2015 and the former Canadian indie star has had brief flirtations with the main NXT TV roster before. But last week’s pairing on TV of another longtime NXT member (since 2016) in former Mae Young Classic competitor Vanessa Borne, will most likely continue based on the events of last week. These two could produce another Shawn Michaels & Diesel type scenario where Aliyah is the cockier, athletic member, while Borne is the more physically imposing partner.
The Riott Squad (Ruby Riott, Sarah Logan & Liv Morgan)
Like the men’s tag team titles on all three brands, the WWE Women’s Tag Team titles will most likely be allowed to implement the Freebird rules, where a stable can hold a tag team championship and use any combination of two members to defend. The Riott Squad has long been splintered with Logan and Morgan doing the tag team work and Ruby Riott looking for singles gold, but it could be a good boost for Ruby’s singles push down the line and increasing the threat of Logan & Morgan if the Squad was to Freebird a run as tag team champions.
Io Shirai & Kairi Sane
NXT fans were chomping at the bit for a call-up for these two to be able to compete for the WWE Women’s Tag Team titles when they were first announced, but with the belts being defended in every brand, the transfer out of Full Sail doesn’t need to be rushed. These two have tag team chemistry from their days in Japan – they previously held the Stardom Artists of Stardom (trios) titles along with Mayu Iwatani – and their recent string of tag matches from NXT have proven the high flying duo haven’t lost a step with each other.
Dana Brooke & Natalya
These two started as an ad hoc tandem vying for entry in the Elimination Chamber match for the titles, but now they’re split with Dana Brooke trying to prove her worth to the Queen of Harts. Ultimately, this will lead to some kind of a feud between the two, but its finale could see them reunited with Natalya earning Brooke’s respect. This could create just the emotional attachment the WWE Universe needs to get behind them, in much the same way The Rock finally caving on teaming with Mankind worked in creating the Rock N’ Sock Connection.
Fire & Desire (Sonya Deville & Mandy Rose)
They’ve been teaming since their days together in Paige‘s Absolution stable, but they’ve recently acquired a legit tag team name. These two have shown great improvements over the past year and have become a solid tag team, that will most likely be one of the division’s top heel teams for the next year.
House of Couture (Jinny & Nina Samuels)
In her primary UK home of PROGRESS Wrestling, Jinny runs a stable called the House of Couture, with plenty of minions. For ages, Nina Samuels was one of them. While they’re currently now feuding again in PROGRESS, the WWE may use their past chemistry to pair them back together in NXT UK, with Samuels returning to Jinny’s side as one of her lackeys, offering NXT UK another viable candidate for the Women’s Tag Team titles.
The Bella Twins (Nikki & Brie Bella)
While they may not be permanent fixtures in the Women’s tag team division, don’t count out these two to at least challenge once this year, and most likely at a big event, like WrestleMania or SummerSlam.
LayCool (Michelle McCool & Layla)
Why stop at the Bella Twins? LayCool were the quintessential “Mean Girls” of the WWE during the Divas Era, with Michelle McCool a 4x Women’s Champion (two WWE Women’s and two WWE Divas) and Layla a two time Champ (one of each). At one time, they held both the Women’s and the Divas titles, so the imagery of the duo both wearing gold is already ingrained in the collective memories of the WWE Universe. McCool made a return at the first Women’s Royal Rumble and the two teased a WWE reunion this past January.
Team Kick (Tegan Nox & Dakota Kai)
It’s been six months since UK’s Tegan Nox (formerly Nixon Newell) went down with a second major knee injury and she recently said she was “a little ways away” from her return. By the summer, we could see Nox make a return and reunite with Dakota Kai (who’s also out with an ACL injury) in Team Kick. Both have been used by both NXT and NXT UK, but with their UK popularity, they could be NXT UK’s strongest contenders for the tag team titles.
— Tegan Nox ??????? (@TeganNoxWWE_) February 19, 2019
Divas of Doom (Beth Phoenix & Natalya)
They were one of the most popular tandems in the Divas Era, but there was nothing for them to fight for together other than pushing each other for the Divas title. With Beth Phoenix now firmly back in the WWE Universe as a commentator (not to mention her heralded appearance at the first Women’s Royal Rumble in 2018), a one-off challenge from the original Divas of Doom would be a fun moment for all.
The Horsewomen (Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke & Marina Shafir)
If the women’s tag team titles do employ the Freebird rule, there’s no stronger argument than the MMA Four Horsewomen’s trio of terror in NXT, lead by NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler and her two henchwomen, Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir. The tag matches could be a way to protect Duke and Shafir as they continue their learning and as champions would be a good segway to bring onto Raw to accompany Ronda Rousey once the impending Horsewomen war finally arrives.
Trish Stratus & Lita
Much like The Bella Twins, reuniting the Besties would be a short-lived affair, but even most fans would love to see Sasha Banks & Bayley defend their titles just once against their heroes on a grand stage. Maybe even the Grandest Stage of Them All?
Are you and Lita ready? https://t.co/YEH6NwtfcB
— Bayley (@itsBayleyWWE) February 19, 2019