Former WWE Tag Team Champion Charlie Haas believes Team Angle was broken up before its time in order to highlight another faction at the time.
Team Angle formed in December of 2002 when Charlie Haas and his partner Shelton Benjamin were introduced to Kurt Angle by Paul Heyman. The team went on to win the WWE Tag Team Championships in February of 2003 and held them until May of the same year.
However, the team was cut short when Kurt Angle fired Benjamin and Haas after he blamed them for losing the Tag Team Championships and suffering a string of losses.
The pair remained together under the moniker World’s Greatest Tag Team until the WWE Draft in March 2004 where Shelton Benjamin was drafted to Raw while Charlie Haas remained on SmackDown.
Speaking to Chris Van Vliet, Charlie Haas revealed that he believes the team was broken up too soon despite having great reactions from the crowd. In fact, Haas thinks such strong reactions might be the culprit as the team’s heat took away from Evolution, another burgeoning faction at the time:
It should have been longer. What people don’t understand is at the time that we were getting hot on Team Angle [on SmackDown], who was getting hot on Raw, and that was Evolution. But when they have 4 guys and you have 3, when they do the mixed pay-per-views, we are starting to get a better reaction than them.
Charlie Haas continued that his teammates on Team Angle might not be willing to confirm his suspicions, but he stands by thinking the group was split because they had superior reactions to Evolution:
I don’t care what they say, you can ask Kurt that, Shelton may not say because he is with WWE now, but we were getting a better reaction than they were. And I think that had a lot to do with ok it’s time to split them [Team Angle], because they kept Evolution going. That’s just the way it is.
Evolution was a team comprised of the veteran performer Ric Flair, the established talent at the time Triple H, and newcomers Batista and Randy Orton. The group also formed in 2002 and would be dominant in WWE until their eventual breakup in 2005.
Speaking on his Stories With Briscoe and Bradshaw podcast, WWE Hall of Famer JBL was recently asked who he’d put in his modern day Cabinet and praised Charlie Haas’ Team Angle tag team partner Shelton Benjamin, calling him “one of the most talented guys I’ve ever been around.”
“Normally you’re trying to build people. So some of these people are already main event people, take that for granted… I’m talking about if I just had my choices.
So first of all, you need a coordinator to do everything, like Amy Weber was. That would be Sonya Deville. No doubt about it. She’s incredibly talented. She’s very articulate, she can talk, that’s what you need for that role. I think Sonya Deville would be fantastic in that role.
You need someone that’s your enforcers. I love Chad Gable and Otis. I think Chad Gable is incredibly entertaining. Now a close second would be Shelton Benjamin. Mainly because I love Shelton Benjamin. He’s one of the most talented guys I’ve ever, ever been around. So he and Cedric… may have to just put them all in.
Then you need the right hand guy. Damian Priest. Not a doubt in my mind. That guy has got a look that you couldn’t replicate in a 100 creative meetings. He’s that good. Good looking guy, he can talk, he can work. I think he’d be perfect.”
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