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WRESTLING COLUMNS

The State Of Tag Team Wrestling
March 21, 2005 by Ben Chapman


As WrestleMania draws ever closer it is interesting to note that at this point it features no tag team matches. Neither set of tag titles are on the line, but really it does not surprise me.

The WWE tag titles used to be special. They used to be held by top tag teams who put on top matches. Just look at WrestleMania 17. The TLC match between the Dudleyz, Hardyz and Edge & Christian was arguably the top match. A top match with established tag teams.

Since then we have seen the Hardyz go their separate ways, Edge and Christian go there separate ways and the Dudley Boyz haven't been seen in months. Not to worry we'll use other established teams. The WWE decided to bring in Haas and Benjamin, La Resistance and the Guererros stepped up. But again it was so easy to start a storyline by destroying these teams as well. Rene Dupree goes to SmackDown! and gets replaced by Conway. Eddie and Chavo kick the crap out of each other so they are out of contention and Haas rots on Velocity while Shelton is IC champ on RAW. Even teams that are thrown together at random get split after a month or so. Just look back at all the teams that have popped up overnight, win or compete for tag titles for a couple months then go into a feud beating on each other. examples include; Kidman/London, Test/Steiner, Edge/Benoit, Scotty/Albert, Kane/RVD and now it appears Eddie and Rey will do the same so they can battle at Mania. Very few teams are standing the test of time.

Given all of these destroyed tag teams it is little wonder there is nothing left. Sure we still have La Resistance but when they are not the champs they are the number 1 contenders because there is nobody else. Tajiri appears to have been an on the spot decision to replace Eugene and it seems they only one the titles to get a rise out of the Japanese audience. What have they done since then" They've been apart of pointless backstage skits including the most recent that involved Christy "training" and "accidentally" kicking Regal in the balls. They haven't been in the ring for some time on RAW simply because they have nobody to fight.

At least give them the super heroes who are somewhat of an established team. Let the super heroes win the titles then have them get squashed by Triple H and Flair after the Game loses the title at WrestleMania (fingers crossed). Then you could have some high profile matches for the tag titles and somebody might give a damn. Benoit and Jericho could join forces again and all of a sudden the tag division means something again. The tag titles are defended in main events and Regal/Tajiri will never be champions again. The RAW titles are not lost yet.

While on SmackDown! Eddie and Rey are on top of the mountain (for now). As these two are scheduled to meet at WrestleMania and Chavo has spent weeks trying to come between them it seems likely that these two will lose the titles soon most likely to the Bashams. Then what" Jindrak/Raines beat on each other which was the biggest waste of time because it seemed nobody cared. It seems the only way these belts can be saved is to bring back Bubba and Dvon. Then we can have two established teams involved in a decent series of matches but after that there may be trouble. Although there are plenty of cruiserweights sitting on the sidelines being wasted. Two of these could be combined to make a team. Maybe even take four of them and form two teams and bring some high flying action to the cruiserweight division. Failing that combined two guys like Luther and Heidenreich. Have kind of a psychotic giants tag team. You can see I'm grasping at straws here but that would save us from seeing Heidenreich wrestle singles matches so often.

The tag divisions have fallen in stature recently and unless something is done soon there may be no way back.

by Ben Chapman..


Larry Christison wrote:
There are many things tthat can be done to improve tagteam wrestling over time, but the best thing to help it quickly would be to consolidate the 2 belts into 1 division (say RAW) and bring back the Hardcore Title at the other. Thus we can kill two bird with one stone. We can gather the best tagteams together to offer a better variety to the product, and offer those 2nd tier and ignored top wrestlers a belt to chase when they can't get the top title. If the consolidated belt is at Smackdown, you have a better chance of utilizing the cruisers for tagteams, but then the midsized wrestlers would move to Raw leaving a gap between the Crusierweights and top draws, (except for the tagwrestlers). Consolidation is the best way to go. It offers variety, and storylines can focus more on the division as excitement comes from new match-ups.
BOBBY VAN SICKLE wrote:
YOU HAVE TO HAVE CHEMISTRY IN TAG TEAM WRESTLING. WHEN MICHAELS AND JENNITY WRESTLED FOR THE FIRST TIME IN YEARS IT WAS LIKE THEY NEVER STOPPED WRESTLING AS A TEAM. IN MY OPINION THE GLORY DAYS OF TAG WRESTLING WAS BACK WHEN THE ROAD WARRIORS , ROCK-N-ROLL EXPRESS , THE MIDNIGHT EXPRESS , THE FANTASTIICS AND OTHERS RULED. THE STAYED TOGETHER AND THERE WAS THAT CHEMISTRY YOU SAW. THE LAST TEAMS TO HAVE THAT WERE THE DUDLEYS, THE HARDYS AND EDGE AND CHRISTIAN. TODAYS TAG TEAM SCENE IS IN A SORRY STATE.
Christian wrote:
I recently started viewing WWE again after many years of beeing unable to. (I live in Norway and no channels over here shows wrestling, but now I have found other means *ahem* of getting the latest raw/sd and ppv's)

I hope they don't break up Ray/Eddy because they are the most genious coupling for a tagteam I have seen since I started watching again. I hope they resolve it by giving Chavo a beating or something ;) The Basham's I personally don't like, probably because they are affiliated with JBL, which I absolutely don't like and I hope Cena kixx his a** at WM21. *ahem* Back to the problem at hand. Ray/Eddy should be given an opportunity to defend their title at WM21. Possibly against the Bashams. I can't see anyone else in a team unless some befriending storylines comes up.

But like I mentioned. I just started watching again this year, so I havent seen many of the tagteams the last couple of years. (I actually havent watched regularly since the WCW days)

The bottom line is that I hope they don't break up Ray/Eddy because they are the best working team right now.
BJunior1985 wrote:
As I looked at this column, I will totally agree with everything. Now I been a wrestling fan all my life but only can remember the early 90's. One of the tag teams I want to mention is The Rockers. The Rockers(to me) are the uncrowned Tag Team Champions. I mean The Rockers were like one of the best high flying tag teams of the 90's They brought the element of using high flying techiques and the ring as their own weapon. The Rockers should had at least won the tag team titles at aleast once or twice. Micheals and Janetty has the chemisty to peform such moves as the the Double Cross Body Over The Ropes or when they both do a hip toss on a opponent, they drop the elbow and then flips back up. Now that was tag team wrestling.

Nowadays, you see tag teams just put together. Don't get me wrong, Rey and Eddie are good as a tag team but what tag teams are really out there" When Los Guerros(Eddie and Chavo), they work very well as a team. The World's Greatest Tag Team(Shelton and Charlie)maybe young but they did have some good moves such as when Charlie holds the opponent on the ropes and Shelton leapfrogs over him and jumps on his back. Now as far as Regal and Tajiri as World Tag Team Champions, might as well make The Hurricane and Rosey as the World Tag Team Champions(scary thought. lets hope that don't happen)

In Short, WWE should rethink about their tag team divison. Before the roster spilt, you had a tag team divison even tag teams that were formed out of the blue. Now with the roster split, you really only got like 4-5 tag teams(probably less). So WWE if you out, restructure your tag team divison
Larry.Christison wrote:
With all the articles on tagteam wrestling, I've found myself thinking about the the tagteam mentality. First the basics. 1) Tagteams are usually put together by a promoter, not by the wrestlers themselves (Rockn'Roll, Midnight Express, LOD, Freebirds). That is, unless the wrestlers are related (Steainers, Hart Foundation, British Bulldogs, VonEriks). 2) Most of the more successful tagteams take non-headliners and place them together. 3) The members accept the union and work on combined moves. 4) There must be a friendship and trust between the two. Egos must be checked at the door, and respect for the other wrestler must be present. (The difference between Christian and Edge, and Christian and Tomko, is respect on Christian's part). 5) The wrestlers usually have similar or complementing styles. For some reason, teams with totally diferent individual styles have a hard time staying together even if the crowds enjoy their novelty (ie. Tanjiri and Rhino, Iron Sheik and Volkoff). 6) Successful tagteams have a presence all their own. 7) To be a successful tagteam takes time and practice together, as well as a good portion of creativity and film watching on someones part. 8) Even with all the good tagteams now reaching retirement, there are few actual experienced tagteam trainers. So A new team still gets it's training and inspiration the way the old teams got it- from watching tapes and sharing information with other tagteams. (in the 70-80s they did this in an open tagteam tounament in the South) 9) Most if all wrestlers in the buisness join hoping to be a singles wrestler. I know, very little that you didn't know. But we have to start on some basis. Most successful longterm tagteams have been started in a lesser promotion, but if history serves, have a better chance of growing in the NWA than in the WWE. McMahan has always been loathe to hire both parts of a tagteam unless they were at the very top and could not be ignored (LOD, The Dudley's), or proved to be excellent singles wrestlers also (Edge and Christian, The Hardy's). Very few of those he has hired have proven successful or profitable for him, and he can't keep control of their name and liscences. Liscencing maximizes profits and control (two things WWE live off of). WWE writers also find long term partnerships boring unless they can come up witha successful 'you and me against the world' gimmick to use. Story is more important then consistancy (and it takes long term committment and consistancy to become a top tagteam). The NWA has always been more flexable with their tagteams because it is non central. If a team didn't like where they were going, they would just move to a different reagion and work with a different promoter and writer. These smaller promoters are more willing to work with the teams. The reagional way of things has both strengths and weaknesses. Some promotions may only have a very few teams or a vast difference in the quality of teams. But overall there are more teams to compare notes and styles, and learn from. Growth comes from travelling from reagion to reagion, plot to plot, keeping things fresh. I don't know much about the ROH, butI heard that they are a home for several developing tagteams. If they are, bully for them! The art of tagteam won't die, but will rise again.
LazyJoeD wrote:
i have to agree with everyone! the stae of tagteam wrestling has gone to as chris jericho once said K- rap look at all the great teams that wwe has broken up recently that have been listed and you will see some teams i think could have started a new list as far as great teams go, so in my opinion! larry was right about consolidating the tagteam division and puting it on one show and using the hardcore division again but i think he was wrong about where to put it. do to the fact that raw is on cable television the can get away with more such as showing blood and such so i say put the hardcore division back on raw and then put all tagteams on smackdown, and i keep hearing the rumor of another draft lottery happening so this is the perfect time to do so if they do in fact have another draft lottery after wrestlemania 21.so i think take anyone that is a singles wrestler that you think would be a good tagger and trade him with the other teams to smackdown then reinstate the hardcore title since raw is singles wrestler in majority, but! my only question to anyone and everyone is will this make raw to...... i dunno bland or out done by smackdown" cause if you look at the facts smackdowns cruiserweight division is a greater money make then raw women's division this might be another flop for raw in a way. even thou i am a 100% smackdown guy regardless
phil haller wrote:
Basically i beleive that the WWE has quite possibly the worst tag team division possible when they could quite easily make a solid division. TNA has a solid tag team division and so do a lot of indys such as CZW and ROH. The WWE have recently signed Johnny Swinger so what i am thinking is why the hell dont they bring in Simon Diamond and put the 2 back together as a unit and there you go thats one solid tag team. Tag Team number 2 You have Stevie Richards a guy with talent who is so underused its not funny and Nova(Simon Dean) reunite these 2 and make them into a solid tag team maybe a cocky gimmick or something and push them and get them over as a well oiled machine. They have Joey Matthews bring in Christian York! There you go another top tag team. Now Paul London for fuck sake when will they use him properly obviously he isnt going to have a good singles run but when they teamed him with Billy Kidman they made a good unit i suggest teaming him with Billy or even somebody like Matt Hardy as all 3 guys have talent and are underused terribly. I think this tag team would be great if they were created Chavo and Carlito i can imagine it now both good looking guys, excellent athletes, great charisma and make good cocky heels stick them together and i can imagine them going very far. If the WWE would like to bring in new tag teams even better i recomend bringing the CZWs old H8 Club of Nick Gage and Nate Hatred now this is where you are all thinking it wouldnt work but think of it like this! Vince likes his big guys, he likes monsters. The H8 Club are heavyweights Nick Gage is stiff as all hell so he is a monster without even being to big, plus they both look mean as hell and are mean as hell. Nick Gage can actually wrestle and Nate Hatred isnt that bad either with the right training Hatred and Gage could be over in the mainstream.
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