WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship
WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship.png
The SmackDown Tag Team Championship belt
Details
PromotionWWE
BrandSmackDown
Date establishedAugust 23, 2016
Current champion(s)The Usos
(Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso)
Date wonJuly 18, 2021
Other name(s)
  • Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship
    (2022–present)[a]
  • WWE Tag Team Championship
    (2022–present)[b]

The WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship is a professional wrestling world tag team championship created and promoted by the American promotion WWE, defended on the SmackDown brand division. It is one of two male tag team championships for WWE's main roster, along with the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship on Raw. The current champions are The Usos (Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso), who are in their fifth reign, which is also the longest reign for the title and the sixth longest tag team title reign in WWE history. The Usos are recognized as the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions as they concurrently hold both the Raw and SmackDown Tag Team Championships.

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

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

Up until that point, the WWE Tag Team Championship served as the tag titles for the SmackDown brand, introduced in 2002, until its unification with the Raw-based World Tag Team Championship in 2009 at WrestleMania 25 in 2009 and deactivated in 2010 in favor of the WWE Tag Team Championship lineage. The first brand split ended in August 2011.

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. 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

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 AlphaPin
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

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

Main article: List of WWE SmackDown Tag Team Champions

As of September 19, 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 428+ days for their ongoing fifth reign, and they have the longest combined reign at 808+ 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. After winning the Raw Tag Team Championship on the May 20, 2022, episode of SmackDown, The Usos were recognized as the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ In tandem with the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship.
  2. ^ In tandem with the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship.
  3. ^ 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

  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.