WrestleMania Preview: Raw Tag Team Championship Match

The ‘Monster Among Men’ Braun Strowman is the number one contender for the WWE Raw Tag team championships. He earned the opportunity to face ‘The Bar’ at WrestleMania by beating the Raw tag division to decide the challengers to the belts, after champs Sheamus & Cesaro campaigned online for opponents, as they had defeated all other teams and had no ‘Mania match. Eliminating all of the other teams with ease, Braun was declared the winner.

The following week he was confronted by the champions, after revealing that he had been informed by Kurt Angle that he had to find a partner to be able to contend for the titles. Braun would end up facing Cesaro one on one, in a great match that could have been the main event of any other Raw. However, this is WrestleMania season, so there are a lot of those great matches and segments. Lesnar attacking Reigns, Ultimate Deletion, Cena demanding Undertaker’s response. It was a great show all around, yet with the biggest show of the year so close, we still have no indication as to who Braun’s partner will be.

Braun went on to face Sheamus the following week, with the Bar still trying to find out who the partner would be. Curt Hawkins has campaigned online for Braun to pick him, to no avail, even coming face to face with Braun and asking to join him. Wanting his ‘big break,’ Braun threw Hawkins through a wall on the go home show, leading most to think this rules him out as a partner, I, however, believe this could be the start of a great relationship.

We all know how efficient the Bar can be at dispatching opponents given how well they work together and despite Braun’s ability to dispatch multiple men at one time on his own, two tag team champions working in perfect harmony could pose a big problem for him. Given the fact that Hawkins is the only person officially connected in any way with this storyline I believe he will be Braun’s partner this Sunday. I expect to see the champions dismantle Braun slowly but surely, with Curt itching to come to Braun’s aid but knowing he is not wanted and will likely face the wrath of Strowman.

Eventually, Hawkins will run down causing enough of a distraction that Braun wins or setting up the hot tag allowing Braun to gain enough composure to win. Hawkins defeated streak ends without him even making a pinfall, and there is a massive pop from the crowd. The two go on after ‘Mania with Hawkins following Strowman around like a lost puppy, Braun never acknowledging the part Curt played. Braun says he doesn’t need a partner and he will not like the feeling of having had assistance to win the belts. Hawkins will be faithful to the team and one day be rescued by Braun who will finally accept him as his partner, and they become as great a pairing as Sheamus and Cesaro have proved to be, after all, they began feuding with each other then were forced into a team.

If not Hawkins then I suspect that we will find out on the night of the show when the music hits, the crowd hopefully erupts, and the surprise partner shows there face. I think that it will be worth the wait.

My first choice, whom I’m sure would be eligible as they are a member of the Raw roster, is Alexa Bliss. Yes she is already in a match, yes she will likely not survive said match, but let’s be fair, Braun wouldn’t even need to tag her in, and she could be a great distraction to confuse Sheamus and Cesaro when they are trying to work together. It would involve a whole new element to the tag scene and inter-gender scene, but with their chemistry, in Mixed Match Challenge I think she would be worthy of being Braun’s partner.

My next choice is Elias. It may be an unusual pairing given how much damage the two have done to each other recently with various instruments, mostly Braun destroying Elias, yet I think they could make a good pairing. My only issue is that they would get turned into a comedy act, with them taking it in turns to sing and both having different sized guitars. It works well for Elias, the guitar strumming gimmick, but for Braun, it is only good as a one off with a purpose. It happened, it had a purpose, but it shouldn’t happen again. Not in the same kind of way I don’t think anyway. However, if done right this could be a great team.

Credit: WWE.com

I am also choosing Bray Wyatt. We have seen him get ‘deleted’ by Matt Hardy in the Ultimate Deletion. He put out a final tweet simply saying ‘Goodbye.’ This match would be a good way for Bray to return, revamped and just like Braun, out to hurt people, the two men having chemistry from their days together as ‘The Wyatt Family.’ As we are unsure of Wyatt’s true fate yet, I can’t see this partnership happen as Bray will likely return to finish his business with Matt Hardy. Here’s an interesting thought though, if Braun and Bray won the belts and The Bludgeon Brothers won the SmackDown titles, the former ‘Wyatt Family’ would leave WrestleMania the Raw and SmackDown Tag Team Champions. Bray and Braun would be a dangerous team.

Another returning superstar with big name value but no real reason to be here other than to beat Sheamus and Cesaro is ‘The Charismatic Enigma’ Jeff Hardy. We recently saw him make a cameo in the Ultimate Deletion as Brother Nero. His in-ring return is yet to happen and with there being no sign of it ending up that the Hardy Boyz contend for the title, the next best thing, Matt is busy with his current storyline, is for Jeff to turn up in this match.

Samoa Joe has to be added to this list. He is due to return at any time, after sustaining an injury that was meant to rule him out of the event. There is no connection other than one is ‘The Destroyer,’ and one is good at destroying stuff. They are both angry, foaming at the mouth and itching to hurt somebody. This would be a perfect way for the returning Joe to get back into the swing of things, and a tag title run would get him being talked about again rather quickly. This would also be a great and dangerous partnership.

Another superstar rumored to be returning is Big Cass, which would make the pair like the powerhouse teams of old. I’m not sure what reason they would give for him being the partner, but this is WWE. There was also a faint whisper of Vince McMahon being very high on the idea of Rey Mysterio returning as Braun’s partner, which I suppose could work with the ‘big guy, little guy’ dynamic, but similarly makes no sense as to why it would be him turning up.

Credit: WWE.com

My favorite choice by far though would be Neville. We haven’t seen the former Cruiserweight Champion since his contract came into dispute, him wanting to leave the company, them saying he had to wait out his contract or wrestle. It has since been said that terms have been agreed between the two parties to secure his return, and as much as he may be the King of the Cruiserweights, he deserves to be on the main shows. I do remember the two crossing paths as Braun was leaving the ring once, Neville’s music hit and he confidently walked past Strowman. It’s not much of a reason for the two to team up, I give you that much, but I think out of all of the choices it could make for one of the best pairings. I can see Neville climbing onto Braun’s shoulders after Strowman has power slammed their opponents, to jump off executing his Red Arrow finisher in their opponents, Strowman throwing Neville towards opponents for higher impact dropkicks, etc., the possibilities are endless.

My final pick, although it wouldn’t make sense as they have had their fair share of confrontations, yet WWE can sometimes make no sense at all, would be Kane.

There is something between the two men whereby one minute they can be trying to kill each other off, and the next moment Kane is trying to recruit Braun’s assistance to attack Brock Lesnar. It didn’t go well for Kane, Braun doesn’t play well with others.

Given that fact I am adding a special pick of my own that I think would make sense. Braun’s partner could very well be ‘These Hands!’. It is very plausible for Braun to simply turn up, destroy the Tag Team Champions and walk away with their titles. We all saw how he handled himself with six other men in the Elimination Chamber. I don’t see any issue with this being the final outcome, it would add a lot of fun to the division and give Braun a fresh new set of people to pummel.

A few problems exist, such as the rumored Reigns/Joe feud for the Universal title after WrestleMania, Jeff will likely rejoin with Matt, Bray is in the Battle Royal and Elias is said to be in a nonwrestling segment. There was also a preview for a Live show after ‘Mania posted online which was later deleted, that showed a graphic for The Bar defending against the Hardy Boyz, possibly revealing the result of the match this Sunday and Jeff Hardy’s plans. This could be an error, a swerve, or simply an indication that the Bar may retain or even lose then regain in the rematch.

At the end of the day, we all have to wait until the reveal is made, I think whatever that may be, we will all be happy with the NEW Raw Tag Team Champions!


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