With Friday’s news that WWE finally granted the release to The Revival, many fans of the 5x WWE Tag Team Champions (2x Raw, 2x NXT, 1x SmackDown) were curious where the talented duo would end up. By the end of the day on Friday, Scott Dawson had renamed to Dax Harwood and Dash Wilder had become Cash Wheeler, so they’ve already begun preparations for life after the WWE. While they can’t use the name “The Revival”, early rumors are that recent trademarks #FTR or Top Guys may become their collective name.
Since their NXT days, where they became the first two-time NXT Tag Team Champions, The Revival have been considered one of the best tag teams in the industry, where their old school psychology drew heavy comparison to the Four Horsemen‘s classic combo of Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard. With the newly minted Harwood & Wilder now free agents, they will likely become part of a bidding war between all of the major companies. While they’d most likely take advantage of being able to work various indies as well, like Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG), Beyond Wrestling, Game Changer Wrestling (GCW) and others, assumedly it will only be a matter of time before we see them back on television. With their future “home” now up in the air, Last Word on Pro Wrestling will take a look at the depth of each company’s tag-team division and how The Revival could fit in to a brand new division.
Where’s Next?: Breaking Down Tag Team Divisions For The Revival
All Elite Wrestling
Current Tag Teams: Kenny Omega & Adam “Hangman” Page (c), The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson), SCU (Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian & Scorpio Sky), Proud N’ Powerful (Ortiz & Santana), Lucha Brothers (Pentagon Jr. & Rey Fenix), Best Friends (Trent Baretta & Chuck Taylor), Private Party (Marq Quen & Isiah Kennedy), Dark Order (Evil Uno & Stu Grayson), Jurassic Express (Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy & Marko Stunt), The Butcher & The Blade (Pepper Parks & Andy Williams), Hybrid2 (Jack Evans & Angelico), Stronghearts (CIMA, T-Hawk & El Lindaman), Natural Nightmares (Dustin Rhodes & QT Marshall), Alex Reynolds & John Silver
AEW is the most obvious destination for the Revival post-WWE – after all, the Revival and the Young Bucks have had somewhat of a “rivalry” for years on Social Media and through the Bucks’ web series Being The Elite. But upon closer inspection, they would be joining a tag team division that is larger than the WWE’s – AEW currently has 14 tag teams on their roster. For most of them, it’s a struggle to get television time and even harder to get into a storyline. AEW took the two hottest tag teams in the world in 2018 – LAX (Santana & Ortiz) and the Lucha Brothers – and have made them lackeys to former WWE Superstars. While the Revival would no doubt debut in a big fashion, there’s no guarantee they’ll be used any better than LAX or Lucha Brothers. While there’s plenty of dream matches for the Revival to have in AEW, the tag team locker room is over-crowded as it is. AEW has also recently signed WWE castoffs Matt Hardy and Brodie Lee (Luke Harper), so they will have to consider the potential backlash of signing every WWE Superstar who leaves the company.
Current Tag Teams: The North (Ethan Page & Josh Alexander) (c), The Rascalz (Dezmond Xavier, Zachary Wentz & Trey Miguel), oVe (Dave Crist, Jake Crist & Madman Fulton), Rich Swann & Willie Mack, TJP & Fallah Bah, The Deaners (Cody Deaner & Jake Something), Desi Hit Squad (Rohit Raju & Raj Singh)
IMPACT’s tag team division took a big hit in 2019 when both the Lucha Brothers and LAX jumped ship to AEW. The North have become the longest reigning tag team champions in TNA/IMPACT Wrestling and done a wonderful job anchoring the tag division, while the Rascalz continue to amaze with their athleticism. oVe continues to work in some form of a tag team, between the three members of the Crist Brothers and Madman Fulton, while Desi Hit Squad and The Deaners fill the lower part of the card. They’ve had some success in pairing singles stars like Swann & Mack and TJP & Bah together, but having a top-tier tag team like the Revival in the ranks would help add some fresh air into a tag team that is still trying to find its identity.
Ring of Honor
Current Tag Teams: Jay Lethal & Jonathan Gresham (c), The Briscoes (Jay & Mark Briscoe), Villain Enterprises (Marty Scurll, PCO, Brody King & Flip Gordon), La Faccion Ingobernable (Dragon Lee, Kenny King & Rush), MexaBlood (Bandido, Flamita & Rey Horus), The Righteous (Vincent Marseglia & Tyler Bateman), 2 Guys 1 Tag (Silas Young & Josh Woods), Lifeblood (Tracy Williams & Mark Haskins), Dan Maff & Jeff Cobb, Dalton Castle & Joe Henry, The Bouncers (Brian Milonas & The Beer City Bruiser)
Ring of Honor has seen their tag team division almost entirely rebuilt in the past year, with a plethora of new teams joining the veteran Briscoes. A lot of opportunity for top matches for the Revival would await in ROH, with the likes of the Briscoes, Faccion Ingobernable, MexaBlood, and others and signing with ROH would offer them the opportunity to wrestle with NJPW, CMLL, RevPro (UK) and the NWA due to current alliances.
New Japan Pro Wrestling
Current Tag Teams (Heavyweight): Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kota Ibushi (c), Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa), Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL & SANADA), FinJuice (Juice Robinson & David Finlay), CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii & Hirooki Goto)
New Japan’s heavyweight tag team division has been dominated by Bullet Club’s Guerrillas of Destiny for the past few years and in the course, has nearly stagnated. They still have some great units, like EVIL & SANADA, FinJuice, and whichever tandem from CHAOS they throw into the fray, but the Revival’s old school approach would be a great addition to the roster to provide new opponents for a small group who have fought each other far too often.
National Wrestling Alliance
Current Tag Teams: Eli Drake & “Cowboy” James Storm (c), The Rock N’ Roll Express (Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson), The Wild Cards (Royce Isaacs & Thomas Latimer), Outlaw Inc. (Eddie Kingston & Homicide), The Dawsons (Dave & Zane Dawson)
While signing exclusively to the rebooted NWA is probably the least likely scenario, it’s not far fetched to think they could still work NWA shows if they were to remain independent or sign with ROH. A potential match against the Rock N’ Roll Express is probably something that would interest these tag team history buffs, and inclusion in the Crockett Cup would be a huge coup for the company.
Major League Wrestling
Current Tag Teams: The Von Erichs (Ross & Marshall Von Erich) (c), The Dynasty (Hammerstone, Richard Holliday & Gino Medina), The Hart Foundation (Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Brian Pillman Jr.), Injustice (Jordan Oliver, Myron Reed & Kotta Brazil), Contra Unit (Jacob Fatu, Simon Gotch, Joseph Samael & Ikuro Kwon), Los Parks (El Hijo de LA Park & LA Park)
MLW was also hit with the departure of the Lucha Brothers to AEW, but they’ve slowly built up some new stars, such as current tag team champions, the Von Erichs. The Dynasty is still a threat, despite the departure of MJF, and the young trio of Injustice are always dangerous. The Revival would immediately jump to the front of the line and become top contenders and could help MLW attract a new audience as they continue to build their own legacy.