Is WWE finally building up its women’s tag division?

WWE, Sasha Banks, Bayley Photo:
WWE, Sasha Banks, Bayley Photo: /

WWE has paid next to no attention to the women’s division since its inception in February 2019, but a change could be on the horizon.

If you have consumed any morsel of WWE’s television product over the last 19 years or so, you know they often treat tag team wrestling the same way the Houston Rockets treat mid-range jump shots (which is to say they frequently disregard them, for the non-basketball followers).

That disappointing reality has been doubly true for the company’s women’s tag team ranks. Since WWE reintroduced the Women’s Tag Team Championships over a year ago, it has mostly presented the belts and the division it’s built around like an afterthought that Vince McMahon and the writers only turn to once they have exhausted all their other content options for their weekly telecasts.

Even when WWE put the titles on Bayley and Sasha Banks three weeks ago, it felt like a pit stop on the road to their eventual, long-awaited main roster singles program.

Eventually, Banks and Bayley’s Two-Woman Power Trip – which has been hindered by a lack of credible babyfaces – will end and the company will need other women to fill the sizable void those two will leave behind, and, for the first time since introducing the belts, WWE has taken the proper precautions to keep the division afloat once the Banks/Bayley breakup occurs.

Since the inaugural Women’s Tag Champs regained their gold, we have seen not only an influx of title defenses – the belts were seldom defended on TV and pay-per-view in 2019 – but we are also seeing fresh teams like Tegan Nox & Shotzi Blackheart challenge for the straps and, if the last two weeks on RAW are any indication, we may see a Riott Squad reunion and maybe even a Lana and Natalya tag team partnership.

Adding them to a division that already features the consistently entertaining Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross and The IIconics – who have improved a bit in the ring – should equal a brighter future for women’s tag team wrestling in WWE.

But for that to come to fruition, WWE has to do something it is not accustomed to doing: following through. All of this progress will mean nothing if McMahon – a man whose adherence to long-term storytelling lasts as long as a Usain Bolt 100-meter sprint – and his writers push these developments to the side in favor more of  “comedy” segments or something just as frivolous to fill time on RAW and SmackDown.

Refurbishing something that WWE has told the fans was too tarnished to be worth the effort won’t happen overnight. Putting the belts on two top stars is a good start – Banks and Bayley expressing a desire to hold the gold in the first place was a huge step, too – but it will take more than that and a few good TV matches to get fans to buy into the company’s newfound interest in the division.

It would require months of building the teams up with wins and quality matches to drive home how credible they and the championships they are chasing are. And, for goodness sake, give these teams some real microphone time to express what winning or regaining the tag team titles would mean to each of them.

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None of this is that hard – not as easy as I’m making it sound, but not as difficult as WWE makes it look – but enacting this will demand a helping of patience. WWE is often in short supply of that, but if it is serious about this women’s tag division, it better have some in reserve, unless it wants a division that has taken several small steps forward to take a large one back.