All Elite Wrestling (AEW) has created a new alignment this past week with “The Machine” Brian Cage and his manager Taz aligning themselves with “Absolute” Ricky Starks. The duo of Cage and Ricky Starks attacked Darby Allin and Robert Anthony after their match on AEW Dark and cemented their partnership this past Dynamite. Next week the two will have their first match as a Tag Team against Darby Allin and Jon Moxley. As AEW loves to pair up wrestlers together this new pairing has a ton of potential and could be intriguing for Dynamite viewers in the future. However, is this new pairing more of a case of too many stables? Rather than giving them something to do individually, it appears as though Starks and Cage are another pairing in a very long list of current AEW tandems.
Why they should team:
This writer has always been a fan of big guy/ little guy tag teams. From Kane and X-Pac to Jeri-show (Chris Jericho & Big Show) the formula of a tag team with strength and speed is always welcome. NWA fans are well aware of Ricky’s charisma and his offense and selling are always attention-grabbing, Not only does the pairing give Starks something more to do in AEW it also allows Cage, a former PWG Tag Team Champion, to have a tag team partner in case he would want to enter AEW’s already stacked Tag Division. Given Cage’s recent successful bicep surgery; entering the tag division could have him work an easier schedule to minimize the risk of injury. Brian Cage’s tenure with IMPACT Wrestling was marred by unfortunate injuries and putting a former Tag Team Champion in a Tag Team is sound logic.
Why they shouldn’t:
An argument can be made that AEW is relying too hard on grouping wrestlers together in stables. AEW currently has The Elite, The Inner Circle, Jurassic Express, SCU, Death Triangle, Nightmare Family, Dark Order, etc. These pairings, while more often than not entertaining, are repetitive and don’t lead to any tangible goals. If Taz does decide to bring in other wrestlers besides Starks it would continue to group wrestlers rather than having storylines flow naturally.
In addition, as mentioned earlier, AEW already has a stacked Tag Division full of talented teams. Starks and Cage look formidable however, there are already plenty of Tag Teams waiting in the wings for their chance to shine. While Brian Cage is a former Tag Team Champion he is known for his singles success as a former Lucha Underground Gift of the Gods Champion, IMPACT X-Division Champion, and IMPACT World Champion. The current FTW Champion arguably has more value as a singles competitor wreaking havoc across the roster.
Ricky Starks and Brian Cage have more value separate than they do together. AEW’s Tag Division is already full on bodies and another pairing will just got lest in the shuffle. If the recent rumors of an AEW Four Horsemen stable are true; then it is more proof that AEW has one too many stables than they know what to do with. That said, this pairing could still be interesting as long as they absolutely separate themselves from the pack.
Stay tuned to Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can catch AEW Dynamite Wednesday nights at 8 PM ET on TNT and AEW DARK Tuesday nights at 7 PM ET on YouTube.