WWE on Monday night confirmed what fans had been hoping to see for quite some time, the introduction of a tag team championship for the women's division. But after what has seemed like nearly a year of waiting for the new titles, WWE announced the major news in perhaps the least exciting way possible.
During a backstage comedy segment in which he was dressed up as Santa Claus to make a string of announcements for New Year's Eve and beyond, WWE chairman Vince McMahon matter-of-factly stated, "Coming this year, we're going to have new tag team champions of the women's division." Raw play-by-play man Michael Cole did not provide any additional information afterward, nor did WWE on its website.
That news was buried between two other announcements from McMahon: John Cena is soon returning to WWE and will appear on both Raw and SmackDown, and there will be a steel cage match between Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre on the New Year's Eve edition of Raw next week. Cena has not appeared on a WWE television show since the first week of April ahead of WrestleMania 34; he has only had two matches since, both during international special events in Saudi Arabia (Greatest Royal Rumble) and Australia (Super Show-Down).
WWE fans have a clamored for women's tag team titles for quite some time, but interest rose for the championship ahead of Evolution, its first all-women's PPV. The company has even gone so far as to team up its female superstars not currently in the title picture on the Raw and SmackDown brands.
Two of its most popular superstars, Sasha Banks and Bayley, have seemingly been stuck in a storyline that appeared to be geared toward the introduction of the titles for the better part of a year. WWE teased the dissolution of their on-screen friendship only to bring them back together to form the Boss 'N' Hug Connection on July 23; they have primarily been competing in tag team matches -- or joined each other at ringside for singles matches -- since.
There was also a stretch of about a month where printed "We Want Women's Tag Team Titles" signs could be seen throughout televised crowds. It has not been confirmed that WWE printed and handed out those signs, but the identical nature of them and lack of an online movement specifically for the signs certainly made their sudden appearance and disappearance fishy.
WWE's had multiple opportunities to announce the women's tag team titles in a more significant way, including ahead of SummerSlam, entering or during Evolution or even just last week on Raw when McMahon, his daughter Stephanie, son Shane and son-in-law Triple H opened the show in the middle of the ring promising a new era for WWE with fresh faces and matchups.
Still, the return of the women's tag team championship -- originally introduced in 1983 but discontinued by the then-WWF in 1989 after only five total reigns -- is welcome at a time in WWE's history where the women are outshining the men on a nightly basis and look poised to main event WrestleMania for the first time.