One of the many shocking moments to occur at Impact’s Slammiversary event this year was the return and reuniting of Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley – The Motor City Machine Guns. Tag team wrestling fans rejoiced along with nostalgia-fuelled fans of late 2000s TNA since this was not only MCMG’s first appearance in the company since 2012, but it was also the duo’s first time teaming together since Shelley’s retirement in 2018.
During The Guns’ eight year absence from the company, the 2010 PWI Tag Team of the year went on to win the ROH tag team championships, before disbanding upon Shelley’s retirement. Impact also had its ups and downs in that time, but in these last few years the roster has become significantly stacked with talent.
There are more than a few quality feuds we would like to see the Detroit natives involved in; let’s look at 5 of them.
5. The Rascalz
Dezmond Xavier, Trey Miguel and Zachary Wentz debuted as a trio for Impact in 2018, with the team of Dez and Wentz having a number of accolades and excellent matches under their belts. Unfortunately for the boys, not much has come of their Impact tenure. They’ve had a few good matches against the likes of The North but have yet to engage in a star making rivalry; MCMG could be just the team to give them this.
Already the two former AAW tag championship-winning duos have shown great chemistry, with the returning Guns’ win at Slammiversary coming after a fast-paced, high impact match with Dez and Wentz. If the teams were to continue this feud, it would not only put The Rascalz in the spotlight and potentially elevate them back into the tag title picture, but a series of dynamic matches would remind everyone of Sabin and Shelley’s legacy and would successfully re-establish The Guns as elite players in Impact’s tag division.
4. Heath & Rhino
Also showing up at Slammiversary was the former Heath Slater – who is now going by just “Heath”. A reunion with his partner, Rhino, with whom he held the Smackdown Tag titles in 2016, was inevitable. A heart-warming moment as the two friends embraced immediately descended into comedy as Scott D’Amore reminded Heath that he is not in fact signed with Impact and so had to leave the building.
Unlike some of the opponents mentioned on this list, we’re not expecting this feud to yield 5 star calibre matches (although they did had some belters against the Usos); instead what made Heath and Rhino so compelling during their WWE run was the endearing comedy chops of Heath that were, surprisingly, matched by Rhino. MCMG have also proven that they can do comedy, as was shown in their feud with Beer Money and by Shelley in particular cutting some of the funniest, nuanced promos as an entitled heel in the late 2000s.
It’s fair to assume that MCMG may be slightly out of practice as of late, with Shelley in retirement and Sabin working in a backstage role for Impact, although fortunately no ring rust was seen at Slammiversary. Still, a more relaxed feud based around mic work and storytelling with Heath and Rhino could be the right way to start off their upcoming run with the promotion.
3. The Killer Death Machines
When Eric Young won the Knockouts tag titles with ODB in 2012, it was played for comedy. When Tessa Blanchard engaged in intergender wrestling for Impact, it was seen as controversial. When Blanchard then went on to win the Impact World championship, it was clear that Impact were willing to go all in on intergender wrestling. In my mind there are no better monster heels on the Impact roster for the babyface Machine Guns to face than Havok and Nevaeh.
Both women have competed in intergender matchups before, even challenging the above mentioned Dez and Wentz for their PWR tag titles before their Impact tenure. Havok towers over and outweighs each member of The Guns, and Sabin and Shelley play great good guy underdogs who conversely aren’t afraid to bend the rules to gain an advantage when faced with more powerful opponents.
A rivalry between the two teams could cement The Guns as faces for unfamiliar viewers and reaffirm Impact’s positive stance on intergender wrestling, which may be necessary after the unfortunate end to Tessa’s title reign. Regardless, MCMG Vs KDM sounds like a great match to me.
2. The Good Brothers
When Gallows and Anderson were released by the WWE during the COVID-19 mass firings, it was no surprise that the former Bullet Club members would be snatched up – the question was, which promotion? Fortunately for MCMG, Impact announced on the day of Slammiversary that The Good Brothers had signed with the company and would appear at the event.
Some fans would say it never quite felt like the team reached their full potential in the company, despite being crowned RAW Tag Team champions and “greatest tag team in the world” (with a rubbish trophy to prove it). Therefore the duo will no doubt have an itch to remind the wrestling world that they can really go.
Entering a programme with The Guns will produce fantastic match after fantastic match, and firmly place The Good Brothers back in everyone’s good books.
1. The North
As The Motor City Machine Guns themselves made clear at Slammiversary, The North are the absolute greatest tag team in Impact today; or at least they were until The Guns returned. This feud seems to be the direction Impact is going in and quite honestly it has the potential to be the best thing we could see from MCMG’s 2020 run.
Sabin and Shelley have proven that they thrive in matches that pit their quickness and innovate tag offence against heel teams that can’t match them in speed (although Page and Alexander are no slouches) but will use their solid tag team fundamentals, and a blind tag or two, to stand firm – see their excellent feuds with Beer Money and Team 3D.
The North arguably stand next to FTR in terms of old school tag teaming, and so a feud with The Guns will undoubtedly produce some of the greatest, psychology-driven matches of both teams’ careers, and can easily be built around the simple premise of proving who is the better cohesive unit. Have them fight for a year!
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