On SmackDown LIVE this past Tuesday, WrestleMania Host Alexa Bliss announced that as a repercussion for forfeiting in the tag team gauntlet match against the New Day they will have to defend their SmackDown Tag Team Championships against not one, not two, but three tag teams who they just competed with in the 8-man tag Tuesday night. It would be reigning, defending tag champs in The Usos taking on The Bar, the Rusev/Nakamura tandem, and the unstoppable NXT newbies, Aleister Black and Ricochet in a fatal four-way match that could simply steal the show.
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The Usos will defend the SmackDown Tag Team Championships at WrestleMania for the second straight year, however, they will look for better results this time around. The six-time tag team champions have become one of the best tag teams in the history of the WWE, and with reportedly signing brand new contracts per PWInsider, there is a great chant they manage to successfully defend their championships this time around. They have had plenty of history with one of their opponents in The Bar, even including a rap battle, however, they have very limited experience when we talk about the other two teams. Despite this, The Usos are one of the best tag teams in the world and can adapt to any style, giving them a great chance to prevent #AndNEW being said after Sunday when it comes to their championships.
The Bar have a solid resume of their own, as both Cesaro and Sheamus have done plenty together, but also in their single’s careers. While they are five-time tag team champions as The Bar, their singles runs are no joke. Sheamus is a four-time world champion in the WWE while also winning the United States Championship twice and a Royal Rumble victory to his name. He has competed on the big stage of WrestleMania plenty, winning the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 28 against the current WWE Champion, Daniel Bryan. Cesaro, on the other hand, has won the wXw Tag Team Championships three-times, their world championship twice, the ROH World Tag Team Championship two times, and the PWG World Championship all outside of the WWE. Since being apart of WWE, he has won the United States Championship once as well as a Tag Team Championship victory with his former partner Tyson Kidd before Kidd was forced to retire. It is clear that these two men’s storied careers gives them a great opportunity at succeeding and winning back the tag team championships at WrestleMania this Sunday.
While both The Usos and The Bar have held Smackdown Tag Team gold in their careers, the other two teams offer a completely dynamic. Rusev and Shinsuke Nakamura have been singles superstars for much of their careers, especially Nakamura. However, the dynamic that they bring to this match is seasoned veterans who bring a physical presence to this match. Both men also have some pretty high WrestleMania experience, as just last year Shinsuke Nakamura competed for the WWE Championship at the show of shows. Rusev has faced John Cena at the big stage as well, and while both were losing efforts by each man, it is believable their fortunes can change this Sunday. Rusev has had all of his success as a United States Champion, winning it three times as a matter a fact. On the other hand, Shinsuke’s storied career makes him the most serious single threat still to this day. While he is a former two-time NXT Champion, United States Champion and Royal Rumble winner, his career outside of the WWE is something that really makes you learn how good he truly is. Nakamura is a three-time IWGP Heavyweight Champion and a five-time IWGP Intercontinental Champion. His one tag team championship run as the IWGP Tag Team Champions with Hiroshi Tanahashi also lasted 323 days, which is another factor as to why he can be a serious threat with Rusev in this match.
The tag team of Aleister Black and Ricochet will be the wildcard of this matchup, as they have shown that they are a very good team in such a short time. The winners of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic will also compete on NXT Takeover: New York for the NXT Tag Team Championships against the War Raiders, giving them one of the busier weekends in the company. Both men have taken Raw and SmackDown by storm with victories over the likes of the Raw Tag Team Champions, The Revival, as well as former champs Bobby Roode and Chad Gable and The Bar who they face in this match. Aleister Black is a former NXT Champion while also winning a slew of tag team championships in his career prior to the WWE, including the wXw Tag Team Championships and the PROGRESS Tag Team Championships. Ricochet’s lone NXT North American Championship victory is his only under the WWE brand, however, he has also had plenty of success outside the company like his partner. “The One and Only” has won the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship three times as well as winning the PWG World Championship once as well. These two men can truly make their mark in their first career WrestleMania as they can use their incredible combination of striking and flying to win their first main roster championships together.
Again, this show truly has an opportunity to steal the show with these four incredibly different but talented teams getting the chance to work together in hopes of leaving WrestleMania as SmackDown Tag Team Champions. This will certainly be one to watch Sunday.
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