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Hell, as Jean-Paul Sartre once said, is other people. If anyone knows the truth of this statement, it is Kane and Daniel Bryan. The warring WWE Tag Team Champions have been just as likely to beat up each other as any potential challengers to their twin titles during their bizarre, seven-month reign atop WWE’s tandem division as Team Hell No. But at WrestleMania 29, the squabbling anger management alumni may yet realize the full scope of the famous French proverb when they put their precious championships on the line against Dolph Ziggler and Big E Langston.
At first glance, the matchup seems to be firmly in the favor of the Tag Team Champions, but Ziggler and Big E may yet hold the secret to tearing Bryan and Kane’s fragile — but effective — partnership asunder: They have the bout's proverbial x-factor on their side.
That wild card, of course, is AJ Lee, whose own metamorphosis from meek-mannered arm candy to a scheming master manipulator began at last year’s WrestleMania after her “good luck kiss” to then-boyfriend Bryan cost him the World Heavyweight Championship in 18 seconds. From then on, AJ claimed vengeance by steadily manipulating the hearts and minds of several Superstars, Bryan and Kane both among them. In fact, the rivalry that led to Team Hell No’s formation was initially borne of Bryan’s jealousy toward AJ’s affections for The Devil’s Favorite Demon. AJ was the one who, during her tenure as Raw General Manager, forced Kane and Bryan into therapy and made the decision to form them into a tag team as part of that therapy. It can be argued that Team Hell No was, in fact, her brainchild to begin with.
The threat to Hell No, then, is threefold, because dealing with Ziggler and Langston won’t be a picnic either. Bryan and Kane certainly match up size-wise against Ziggler and Big E, respectively, but The Showoff’s championship pedigree speaks for itself, and his status as Mr. Money in the Bank makes him one of the ring’s most dynamic Superstars. Langston has yet to compete in an official match, but he’s dropped everyone from John Cena to Hell No themselves in the past. With a surprising quickness belied by his massive size, he’s already shown the ability to swing a marquee contest all on his own.
And that’s all without AJ muddying the waters with her mind games. Some may say that Kane and Bryan surely know better by now then to fall for her schemes and that they’ve learned their lesson and are unified in their efforts to retain the Tag Team Titles. Some may say that, for all their differences, they’ve managed to stick together when the title gold is up for grabs and make the necessary compromises to keep the twin championships. It is true, the animosity between Bryan and Kane has grown from a (forced) marriage of convenience to something of a true friendship. A recent productive streak has claimed several of WWE’s tag teams as victims. Battling a unified Team Hell No on The Grandest Stage of Them All may seem something of a fool’s errand, especially for a duo whose teamwork is as untested as Ziggler & Langston.
Come WrestleMania 29, those theories will be put to the test. For their sakes, Kane and Daniel Bryan will need to make sure their minds and bodies are both ready for the rigors of in-ring competition against two of WWE’s most dangerous Superstars, and the mental manipulation of its most dastardly Diva. Because rest assured, attacks are coming on both fronts, and the champions had better be ready … or they’ll find themselves robbed of their titles and plunged back headlong into their own personal hells.
|WrestleMania 29 previews|
Alberto Del Rio v Jack Swagger • Chris Jericho v Fandango • Clay, Tensai & Funkadactyls v Rhodes Scholars & Bella Twins • Ryback v Mark Henry • Sheamus, Randy Orton & Big Show v The Shield • Team Hell No v Dolph Ziggler & Big E Langston • The Rock v John Cena • The Undertaker v CM Punk • Triple H v Brock Lesnar • Wade Barrett v The Miz