Folks, it’s official: WWE has new Women’s Tag Team Champions.
That’s right, after the thrown-together duo of Becky Lynch and Lita secured the belts from Damage CTRL on an episode of RAW and held the belts all the way through WrestleMania 39, the slightly less improvised duo of Liv Morgan and Raquel Rodriguez secured the straps shortly after “The Showcase of the Immortals,” even if they technically didn’t face the “real” champs since Lita was injured and had to be replaced by Trish Stratus. Will this duo run with the straps well into the future? Only time will tell, but in the opinion of Corey Graves, who commented on the win on his After The Bell podcast, the division needs something to put it back over the top, as WWE hasn’t had a right proper tag team since before The IInspiration called Impact Wrestling home.
“The champions are going to drive the ship in the women’s tag division,” Graves noted via Fightful. “It was really important for Liv and Raquel to emerge victorious and, as far as the women’s tag team championships go, I’m probably going to catch h*ll for this, it’s never really caught fire. It’s never been a strong division. It’s sort of been an amalgam of thrown-together tag teams. ‘I’m going to team with this person tonight, we have a tag title match we didn’t win, okay, time to get a new partner.’ It’s always been very transient and constantly in flux. I’m talking the entire existence of the titles, since the very beginning.
“Liv and Raquel could be a duo who have what it takes to solidify the division and maybe sit on top for a while and maybe inspire some other superstars who aren’t getting the opportunities they so desire right now, who want more TV time, who want promo time, but they’re not getting it for whatever reason. Maybe somebody sitting backstage or in catering or a couple people sitting in NXT are going, ‘You know what, let me make a run for this.’ We haven’t had a serious, full-time tag team in my recollection. The IIconics (Peyton Royce & Billie Kay) are the closest we had to hold the titles because they were a full-time act together. The rest have sort of been, ‘Hey, be my partner. Okay, we’ll have a little run, okay, onto the next.’ Everything feels temporary. Raquel and Liv could be very good for the division.”
To Graves’ credit, his premonition was spot on; he was “given h*ll” for his comments online, with fans running through their favorite teams from the past few years in response. Still, it’s kind of refreshing to hear someone who works for WWE question the company’s booking of the Women’s Tag Team Championships, as, for better or worse, The Fed really hasn’t committed much time to building up new female tag teams, with Toxic Attraction in NXT one of the few exceptions.
Corey Graves evokes Dusty Rhodes in post-WrestleMania hype promo.
Elsewhere in Corey Graves’ post-WrestleMania coverage, the wrestler-turned-commentator from steely Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, decided to do what basically everyone else has over the past four months or so by evoking the name Dusty Rhodes. His insight into Dusty’s impact on Cody’s future, however, is very interesting indeed.
“Look back to a person that was (name) dropped multiple times during the lead-up to Roman and Cody, that being ‘The American Dream’ Dusty Rhodes,” Graves said. “Dusty became the common man because Dusty constantly came up short, usually due to no fault of his own. But people connected with that, people understand that. People live vicariously through WWE superstars, and there were a million people around the world in Cody’s boots with him.
“Whatever you take away from it, that’s fine. You’re not wrong. If you made a YouTube video cussing and swearing about how you’re done, you don’t like WWE anymore, good. Good, because you feel that emotion. Just wait because it’s going to get better.”
You know, Graves really does have a point there; in WWE, Dusty was an everyman who would often get in the way of his own success. Sure, he was still super over, and fans with even a passing knowledge of professional wrestling knew about his pedigree with the NWA Championships but still, when it really counted, “The American Dream” was never able to secure the big one, as his son often referenced in promos of his own. If Cody is going to find his place in the WWE Universe and bring one home for the Rhodes Family, he’s going to need to break from his family tradition and learn from his father’s mistakes.
Why was #WrestleMania a masterpiece? Let @WWEGraves explain. Listen to Graves & @kev_egan’s recap of The Showcase of The Immortals on #AfterTheBell, available now wherever you get your podcasts!
: https://t.co/h2EkE9Daxv pic.twitter.com/BzHJDIzojB
— WWE After The Bell (@AfterTheBellWWE) April 7, 2023
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