For as much as AEW boasts about their tag division, there aren’t many credible threats to take the belts from the Young Bucks. This isn’t saying that the division is bad, far from it. Rather it’s that, at the time of writing, it’s difficult to see a legitimate threat.
It’s been a long ol’ run for the Bucks, and the end doesn’t seem to be in sight. So let’s break down the division to see who may be the most likely to grab the gold next.
The Run So Far
There is nothing in wrestling today more conflicting than the Young Bucks. They are completely unbearable and yet often put on steller matches. Well, when they show some semblance of logic anyway -grumble, grumble Double or Nothing grumble.
Fan sentiment falls into two camps:
- You want this title reign to end quickly and feel it’s already gone on far too long. You’re thinking it’s been painful to sit through and just want to see tag ropes again.
- You never want it to end. You wish every move was a Canadian Destroyer off the top rope and Being The Elite is your favourite show.
I’m personally very much in camp ‘A,’ obviously. Though it’s hard to explain why. The Lucha Bros are basically the exact same as the Bucks, and they’re great. Anyway.
AEW’s website has the title reign at ‘243 days+’ at the time of writing. In that time, they’ve had great matches, such as the one that split up SCU and the initial title change against FTR at Full Gear 2020. The problem is their character, mannerisms, and forced references have been more irritating than anything. Kenny Omega has a similar cocky, arrogant character at the minute, but the fact that he’s playing the role as an over-the-top comic book villain makes it more fun than irritating. Cody’s doing it, too; it just seems he doesn’t know that yet. While you could say that being annoying is exactly the point, remember, there’s a difference between an effective heel and ‘go away heat.’ I think we could all do with a break from the bucks for a while.
So, who could realistically win it? Based on the recent rankings as of July 7th, 2021, Eddie Kingston and Penta are top-ranked, but they’ve just lost to the Bucks, so they’ll undoubtedly slip out of contention. Second is the Varsity Blonds, though they’ve recently lost a title match too, so it’s odd that they’re so high up -there’s not been that many episodes of Dark since their last shot, right?
The problem is, the Blonds don’t fit the billing of AEW tag champs. AEW has made a habit of long title reigns, and you’d struggle to see Garrison and Pillman in that role. The likes of The Acclaimed and Private Party have all the hallmarks of future champions, being basically the tag equivalents to Jungle Boy and Darby Allin in the AEW hierarchy, but now doesn’t feel like the right time.
Based on how they’ve been portrayed, Ethan Page & Scorpio Sky, FTR, Best Friends, and Santana & Ortiz all seem like the top contenders, but none of them are near the title scene at the minute. So if the titles were to change hands soon, it’s a wonder as to who’d fill that role.
What Should & Could Happen
Should and could are two very different things. Firstly, what could happen.
AEW likes building future stars; it’s what they’re best at. Considering that every tag title reign so far has been under established talent, you could easily see them going for a surprise underdog to coincide with the return of fans. It’d likely not last a particularly long time, breaking their ‘long reigns’ streak, but seeing the annoying Young Bucks get their surprise comeuppance at the hands of, let’s say, the Varsity Blonds, well, that’d be a crowd-popping moment. Chances are they’d lose it within a month or two to the likes of FTR, though it’d be a nice, unexpected run while it lasted.
What should happen is more a conversation of hindsight. Based on the fact that AEW sticks quite firmly to their ranking system, it’s too late to see someone else get built up for a switch in the not too distant future. You’ve got to think that the best option was Mox and Kingston, but considering that Jon Moxley has recently become a father, it’s likely those plans have been put on hold for the foreseeable. Instead, surely it wouldn’t take too much to get Best Friends up the rankings? The return of fans needs some beloved babyfaces with the tag gold, and frankly, there are few finer options than Sexy Chuckie T and Trent?