Tonight, WWE announced that it’s kickoff match for the Night of Champions pre-show would pit The Prime Time Players against the Usos, Tons of Funk, the Real Americans and 3MB, in a “tag team turmoil” match. Winners go on to challenge for the titles later on during the PPV itself.
While not the fatal four way or triple threat match I thought WWE might consider-understandably, since there already is a fatal four way booked for the Diva’s strap-this is not a terribly bad consolation prize. Virtually all of the tag teams featured in the turmoil match have shown glimpses of potential over the recent past. I do wonder slightly about the inclusion of 3MB and Tons of Funk, but I suppose the thought process here is having more wrestlers in the match could provide for more action and high spots-or, if nothing else, it lets one of those teams do the job and put the eventual new number one contenders over.
I have no issues with the inclusion of any of the other teams, and I think any of them would be worthy and solid opponents for The Shield on the PPV card. Let’s review:
The Real Americans: Looking past the gimmick for a moment, Cesaro is a legitimate talent in the ring, and Swagger is no slouch, coming from an impressive amateur background. These two are coming together in solid fashion, but I think still need some time and more importantly, more chances to showcase what they can do in the ring as a team. I think this match is just that chance, or a chance at least. But in the end, I really doubt they head to the PPV as the new number one contenders. Rollins and Reigns, much like Cesaro and Swagger, are heels. Unless the WWE suddenly want to turn The Real Americans-and there’s no indication or reason to do so-it makes very little sense to give them the title shot at this point.
The Usos: They’ve had this shot before, and I am one who would enjoy seeing them earn another title match. They are rising talents in the company, they seem to exude an energy in the ring and they are a cohesive team. But are they the most over team right now? I think its close between PTP and the brothers Jimmy and Jey, but I do believe at this juncture, they are no longer the “hot” face team in the tag ranks. I think they come up just short here.
PTP: This is the new “it” team. The tag team flavor of the month, if you will. They’ve gotten enough attention and opportunity of late to get them over (enough) with the WWE Universe that I really think they go over in the contenders matchup and challenge The Shield shortly thereafter on the main card. However, here’s the downside. Unless WWE really is intent on shocking the fans, I don’t feel that the chances are strong for a PTP title victory just yet. Having to battle it out against four other teams within a couple hours of the title match puts the PTP at a disadvantage-and Rollins and Reigns are certainly one team that doesn’t need an advantage, but will gladly exploit it.
One notable missing team was the once-mentioned pairing of Mark Henry and The Big Show. Henry’s injury at a house show appeared to nix the plan, though Henry was reportedly cleared. I don’t yet know if WWE expected Henry to still be less than 100 percent for the PPV, or if creative felt that ultimately, The Big Show was better utilized in his role as Corporate number two whipping boy.
At the end of the night, however, I fully anticipate a Shield retention-though, if any belts change hands on Sunday, these are the belts I feel are most at risk.