The Aug. 8 episode of WWE Raw also marked the start of the long-awaited tournament for the vacant WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship. As seen in the bracket that filled the viewers’ screens at the start of the show, eight teams (now seven) will vie for the belts that were last held by Sasha Banks and Naomi before their justified walkout.
WWE opened the tournament proceedings with Dakota Kai and IYO SKY taking on Dana Brooke (who’s astonishingly still the 24/7 Champion) and Tamina. Tasked with pulling something decent out of Brooke and Tamina, Kai and SKY flashed some of what could make them a great team en route to a convincing win and a spot in the semifinals.
This set the tone for what’s to come for Bayley’s new lackeys.
The way things are going, expect Dakota Kai and IYO SKY to win this tournament and the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship.
We are now two weeks removed from Bayley, Kai, and SKY making their grand return following Bianca Belair and Becky Lynch’s classic at SummerSlam. In that brief time, these three have established themselves as a force in Raw’s women’s division.
We’ll likely see them win the six-woman tag team match against Belair, Alexa Bliss, and Asuka at Clash at the Castle to keep that momentum going, and winning this tournament would do the same, especially considering their potential remaining opponents.
Looking at the rest of the bracket, does any other team stand out as a possible winner? Brooke and Tamina are already eliminated. Doudrop and Nikki ASH have done nothing as a team but lose over the last month or so.
Nikkita Lyons and Zoey Stark seem to exist solely for fans to poke fun at their terrible politics. And every other team is what you get when you put together a tournament at the last minute. Of all the Eldritch Abomination teams, Asuka and Bliss are the only ones who are a threat to beat Kai and SKY; they would potentially meet in the semifinals.
Simply put, it’s too soon for Kai and SKY to lose, especially in a tournament that’s light on starpower. Plus, if things go the way WWE hopes, this could build anticipation for a feud with Sasha Banks and Naomi after the tournament concludes.
The company hinging the desperate hopes of this women’s tag division on that match — as great as it would be — exposes how much damage the previous creative regime did to the roster. However, this new group Bayley is leading is a positive step toward fixing those problems.
Like a lot of things in WWE, rebuilding (or building, to be more accurate) the women’s tag ranks will take time, and the company will have to get a lot of booking decisions right to restore the fans’ belief in its dedication to women’s tag team wrestling.
The easiest way to earn that good faith back is to make the obvious choice and book Kai and SKY to win the tournament and the tag titles.