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WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship

WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship

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WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship
WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship.png

The SmackDown Tag Team Championship belt
Details
Promotion WWE
Brand SmackDown
Date established August 23, 2016
Current champion(s) The Usos
(Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso)
Date won July 18, 2021

The WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship is a professional wrestling world tag team championship created and promoted by the American promotion WWE, defended on their SmackDown brand division. It is one of two male tag team championships among WWE’s two main brands, along with the Raw Tag Team Championship on Raw. The current and longest-reigning champions are The Usos (Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso), who are in their fifth reign, both as a team and individually.

Unveiled on the August 23, 2016 episode of SmackDown, it was created to be the counterpart title to the then-WWE Tag Team Championship, which became exclusive to Raw as a result of the 2016 WWE draft. That title was subsequently renamed after the crowning of the inaugural SmackDown Tag Team Champions, Heath Slater and Rhyno.

History[edit]

The inaugural SmackDown Tag Team Champions Rhyno (left) and Heath Slater (right)

In July 2016, WWE reintroduced the brand extension wherein the promotion again divided its roster between the Raw and SmackDown brands where wrestlers are exclusively assigned to perform; the first brand split ended in August 2011. During the 2016 draft, reigning WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods) were drafted to Raw, leaving SmackDown without a tag team championship. Over the course of the following month, SmackDown general manager Daniel Bryan stated that he wanted to build up the tag team division before introducing a championship. Immediately following SummerSlam on the August 23, 2016 episode of SmackDown Live, Bryan and SmackDown commissioner Shane McMahon introduced the SmackDown Tag Team Championship (Raw’s title was subsequently renamed).[1] An eight-team tournament was then scheduled to determine the inaugural champions, culminating in a final match at Backlash on September 11, 2016.[2][3][4] The team of Heath Slater and Rhyno defeated The Usos (Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso) in the tournament final to become the inaugural champions.[5] In 2019, WWE’s former developmental territory NXT became the promotion’s third major brand when it was moved to the USA Network in September, thus making the NXT Tag Team Championship the third major tag team title for men in WWE.[6]

When the belts were introduced, they featured the same physical design as the Raw Tag Team Championship, with the differences being that the leather straps were blue as opposed to the former’s original black and the plates were silver as opposed to the former’s original bronze. The Raw Tag Team Championship belt design was updated on December 19, 2016, with silver plates on red straps to bring both sets of titles more in line with each other. While all of WWE’s other championship belts have been updated to feature customizable side plates for the champion’s logos, the Raw and SmackDown tag titles and the 24/7 Championship are the only championship belts in the promotion that lack this feature.

Inaugural tournament[edit]

Quarterfinals
SmackDown (8/23, 8/30)[2][3]
Semifinals
SmackDown (9/6)[4]
Final
Backlash (9/11)
                 
American Alpha
(Chad Gable and Jason Jordan)
Pin
Breezango
(Fandango and Tyler Breeze)
10:13
American Alpha Pin
The Usos 0:28
The Usos
(Jey and Jimmy Uso)
Pin
The Ascension
(Konnor and Viktor)
3:49
The Usos 10:02
Heath Slater and Rhyno Pin
The Hype Bros
(Mojo Rawley and Zack Ryder)
Pin
The Vaudevillains
(Aiden English and Simon Gotch)
2:50
The Hype Bros 7:03
Heath Slater and Rhyno Pin
The Headbangers
(Mosh and Thrasher)
2:54
Heath Slater and Rhyno Pin

† When Chad Gable suffered a storyline injury after defeating The Usos, American Alpha were removed from the final. The Usos then defeated The Hype Bros at Backlash in a second chance tag team match to replace American Alpha in the final.

Brand designation history[edit]

As its name implies, the championship was established for the SmackDown brand. However, the title is still eligible to switch brands during the annual WWE Draft.

Date of transition Brand Notes
August 23, 2016 SmackDown Championship established for the SmackDown brand. Heath Slater and Rhyno became the inaugural SmackDown Tag Team Champions at Backlash on September 11, 2016.
October 9, 2020

Raw

SmackDown Tag Team Champions The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods) were drafted to Raw during Night 1 of the 2020 WWE Draft.
October 12, 2020 SmackDown During Night 2 of the 2020 WWE Draft, Raw Tag Team Champions The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford) were drafted to SmackDown. Later that same night, WWE official Adam Pearce had The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods) and The Street Profits exchange titles to keep the branded championships on their respective brands.

Reigns[edit]

As of April 5, 2022, overall there have been 26 reigns between 16 teams composed of 30 individual champions, and one vacancy. The team of Heath Slater and Rhyno were the inaugural champions. The New Day Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods) have the most reigns at seven, both as a team and individually, and their seventh is the shortest reign for the title at 3 days (2 days as recognized by WWE); during their first six reigns, Big E was also recognized as champion under the Freebird Rule. The Usos (Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso) have the longest singular reign at 261+ days for their ongoing fifth reign, and they have the longest combined reign at 641+ days. The oldest champion is Shane McMahon, winning the title at 49 years old, while the youngest is Dominik Mysterio when he won it at 24.

The Usos (Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso) are the current champions in their fifth reign, both as a team and individually. They won the titles by defeating previous champions, Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio, on July 18, 2021 in Fort Worth, Texas during the Money in the Bank Kickoff pre-show.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ During their first six reigns, Big E, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods were all recognized as champion under the Freebird Rule, but during their seventh reign, only Kingston and Woods were recognized as champion as Big E was split from the team as a result of the 2020 WWE Draft.

References[edit]

  1. ^

    Martin, Adam. “Daniel Bryan to reveal two new championships exclusive to Smackdown tonight from Connecticut”. wrestleview.com. Retrieved August 23, 2016.

  2. ^ a b Parks, Greg. “8/23 WWE Smackdown LIVE – Parks’s Complete, Real-Time Report”. Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
  3. ^ a b Caldwell, James. “8/30 WWE Smackdown Live Results – CALDWELL’S Complete Live TV Report & Talking Smack-cap”. Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved August 30, 2016.
  4. ^ a b Caldwell, James. “9/6 WWE Smackdown LIVE – Parks’s Ongoing, Real-Time Report”. Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved September 6, 2016.
  5. ^ Caldwell, James. “9/11 WWE Backlash Results – CALDWELL’S Complete PPV Report”. Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
  6. ^ “Triple H Discusses NXT as a Third Brand, Putting Talent in a Position to Succeed, More – 411MANIA”. www.411mania.com.

External links[edit]


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