What Ever Happened To The Tag Teams"
June 20, 2005 by Brian Folan
The Hart Foundation. The Legion of Doom. The British Bulldogs. The Dream Team (Beefcake & Valentine). The Steiner Brothers. The Rock N Roll Express. The Midnight Express. Demolition. This is not meant to be a list of the best tag teams of
all time, these were just the best tag teams around in a single year (WWF & WCW combined). Where have all the tag teams gone" I can't be the only one that has noticed the distinct lack of decent tag teams in the WWE right now. Hurricane and Rosey are the World Tag Team champs right now for god's sake. MNM are the WWE tag champs. Neither of these teams would dare step into the same ring as the teams mentioned at the top. Even the Killer Bees could take these clowns. Since
Guerrero & Mysterio broke up, the only twosome even resembling a solid tag team on RAW or Smackdown! are Regal and Tajiri. The Dudley Boys are the only great tag team still on the WWE roster, but they don't seem to be around much any more. If the Dudleys do come back into this lame tag team scene, they should be immediately awarded both sets of tag team titles and never lose a match.
The great tag teams of the past had a few common characteristics; they are the "rules" of forming a tag team. First, you must have one name which refers to both of you. LOD, Strike Force, Demolition, the Hart Foundation; these are names of tag teams.
A tag team should not be introduced by the individual names of its members. This is something that always bothered me even about good tag teams like X-Pac & Kane, RVD & Sabu, and Edge & Christian.
Second, you must have the same entrance music, and be introduced together.
Third, "all-star teams" do not count as great tag teams. The MegaPowers (Hulk & Savage), King Kong Bundy & Big John Studd, and the Rock & Sock Connection do not count as great tag teams. They were pairs of individual wrestlers who were great on their own, and were paired up for a few matches for the purpose of a particular feud or angle. The same way you wouldn't say the 1992 Dream Team was the
greatest basketball team ever. Sure they were a collection of the greatest individual talents, but they weren't really a "team."
Fourth, you must have a tandem finishing move. It has to involve both partners. The Legion of Doom's Doomsday Device was a perfect example of this, or Demolition's similar move involving an elbow drop rather than a clothesline. This is something that always bothered me about the Steiner Brothers. Scott would hit the Frankensteiner and they were both big on the Steinerline, but they never really had a definite two-person finishing move.
Last but not least, when you go out, you either go out together on top, or you have a spectacular break-up. I did not like the way Demolition ended, by adding Crush and mixing and matching the partners. Same for the Dream Team, if you recall at WrestleMania III, they just kind of left Brutus Beefcake in the ring with very little
explanation. Then he showed up after the Roddy Piper/Adrian Adonis match to cut off Adonis' hair, and all of a sudden he was Brutus "The Barber" (and a babyface) and The New Dream Team was Greg The Hammer and Dino Bravo. The Rockers on the other hand, went out in a blaze of betrayal. Shawn Michaels, in one of my favorite wrestling moments, "superkicked" Marty Jannetty through a plate-glass window on "The Barber Shop." It was the first appearance of "Sweet Chin Music," and it launched Michaels' legendary solo career.
If I had to choose the best tag team of all time, I guess I would have to pick the Legion of Doom. Always dominant wherever they went (NWA, WCW, WWF), never split up to go solo. Great finishing move, unbelievable entrance (OOOHHH, WHAT A RUSHHHHH) and outrageous ring attire (I think I still have my spiked shoulder pads). Despite the "Hawk showing up to matches drunk" angle in the late '90s, I think they were the best ever, especially since, in my mind, that angle never happened. And I know that if Hawk was watching the state of WWE tag teams today, he would certainly need a few drinks.
by Brian Folan ..
Brian Folan wrote:
I just wanted to add real quick that I am very new to this site, and after going into the archives, I see that quite a few people have touched on this subject. I just want to assure you all that this column represents my own thoughts and ideas; I apologize if they are similar to others already expressed on this site. I'm glad I'm not the only one that misses real tag team wrestling. I watched the 1987 Survivor Series the other day (thank god for EBay), and I almost cried when they were able to put together a 5 tag team per side elimination match. 20 guys, all legit tag teams. If they tried to do this today, I think J.R. and the King would have to round out one team with Michael Cole and Coach on the other (Tazz would be unfair). If we can't get proper tag team wrestling, can we at least bring back the Hardyz and Dudleys and let them jump off ladders through tables for a few months until another decent tag team comes on the scene"
And speaking of 1987 Survivor Series, in the women's 5-on-5 match, the babyface team had two members that were introduced as The Jumping Bomb Angels. I didn't remember these two from back then (hey I was only five), but they were fantastic. They were a pair of Japanese women who were quick, athletic, and high-flying, just great to watch. They were pulling hurricanranas, back hand spring elbows (a la Chyna), and flying cross bodies like Ricky Steamboat. Hard to believe that a women's team from back then is better than most of the men in the tag team division today.
James Basden wrote:
I just wanted to point out of few things. Firstly, the two teams that you singled out, the Superheroes and MNM, fit all of the criteria that you gave for teams. They have to be somewhat alike: Hurricane and Rosey are both charismatic, babyface superheroes. MNM look very much alike, and from what we've seen have similar wrestling styles. Name referring to both members: MNM and Superheroes, that pretty much sums that up. Same entrance music and introduced together: MNM has their over the top entrance, and the Superheroes both use the "There's a Hurricane coming through!" entrance and are introduced together.
All-star teams: They aren't all-star teams. Tandem finishing move: MNM has the Snapshot, their flapjack DDT. The Superheroes have several, most common is the tandem Splash, but they've also used the Eye of the Hurricane/Sidewalk slam combo and the samoan drop/neckbreaker combo. Go out with a bang:The teams are still together, so this part is impossible.
Other good teams: La Resistance-They also fill all of the requirements, and it looks like even the last one as they seem to be breaking up with a big feud. Bashams-Ever since they were introduced, they have been together... HeartThrobs-still up and coming, but they've shown a lot of potential. I agree with you that there aren't enough good tag teams with two tag divisions, but there still are at least 6 good teams.
elizabeth whyte wrote:
I agree the tag team division needs better teams although i did like the fact that MNM and the Heart Throbs came in as a unit before trying to make a name for themselves.
Tris Xavier wrote:
All I have to say is that this division is slowly being renewed. Perhaps Brian should turn to SmackDown! and see MNM, a tag team who makes me feel excited in a way no other team of motley, slapped-together superstars have done in a long long time. Even the Heart Throbs on Heat count as a vague tag team, and the Super Heroes of Hurricane and Rosey have begun to meld together as a singular identity.
You were right about the tag division death, Brian, but that perhaps sounded its last death knell at the start of 2005. MNM and the Heart Throbs are Tag Teams with Capital T's, and are here to stay and ring in a new era of tandem wrestling.
Samuel Burgess wrote:
I have to nearly agree 100% with your views on tag teams... but the Steiner Brothers did have a joint tag team move.... where one of the steiners would put the opponenet on his shoulders while his brother connects with a bulldog.
My favourite tag teams of all time have to be probaly Money Inc. or the Quebecers as I think heels carry better heat and these teams carried alot of arrogance.
I think MNM could be a strong team for the future as they carry alot of old school characteristics... for example they have a couple of things you mention modern teams lack such as a team name, a tag move that both are involved in and also the same look. --- Anyway great article
Will Gonzalez wrote:
While I am extremely fond of tag team wrestling and do think there needs to be improvements, I have to say that was one of the worst articles I've seen on this site.
First of all, your little opinions of what's a good team and what is not makes absolutely no sense. What makes Demolition better than MNM" What makes MNM a bad team" For that matter, what makes Demolition a good team other than a gimmick" The fact is, older does not equal better. Demolition are and always were an overrated duo, and nobody can face the fact that they were just two generic big man workers with a gimmick. They were about as talented as today's Chris Masters or Tyson Tomko. So how does that make them better than MNM" MNM has a gimmick and a same entrance, obvious importance in a team. But it has Johnny Nitro, who can work a decent match, and Joey Mercury (Matthews) who is a good wrestler. Yet MNM sucks compared to Demolition" Obviously you believe that older is better, and it's just plain sad that some people really think that way. You say a good team needs to have an entrance, name, etc. MNM has a team name, the same entrance and a tag team move together. What makes them worse than a generic team like Demolition" Demolition having a gimmick. Yeah, okay.
You also contradict yourself by saying Regal & Tajiri are a solid tag team. How do they fit any of your criteria" They have no name, no team entrance and no team finisher. The basis of their teaming was that they didn't get into the Royal Rumble. So somehow they're a solid team, yet Hurricane & Rosey, MNM, The Heart Throbs, La Resistance and the Basham Brothers are not" I mean, all of those teams have what you say, a team entrance, a team finisher, a team name (not so much for Hurricane and Rosey, but at this point it's not really necessary).
Were the 80s teams you listed good" Most of them, yes. But just because they were from the 80s doesn't make them better than the teams of today, especially Demolition.
That said, the tag team division will eventually get better. The WWE is at least making an attempt with the debuts of MNM and the Heart Throbs. The Shane Twins, The Thrill Seekers (Matt Cappotelli & Johnny Jeter) and the Blonde Bombers (Chad & Tank Toland) are all in OVW and will most likely be added to the roster.
What the WWE needs to do is have an interest in MAKING tag teams. Keep Super Crazy and Psicosis together as a Lucha Libre duo, which would be a better idea than putting them in the singles division, since Juventud (Guerrera) seems to currently be the new luchadore cruiserweight. Guys that aren't doing anything can be teamed up and repackaged. Val Venis, Steven Richards, Gene Snitsky, Mark Jindrak, Billy Kidman, Rene Dupree, Charlie Haas and Shannon Moore are all out of things to do, pair up some of them. OVW is another good way to handle the tag teams. Have two guys team up. Kid Kash and (Frankie) Kazarian would be an excellent tag team if they get called up together. Have Kenzo Suzuki be called up with the re-signed Gangrel under a new gimmick. They could also re-unite teams, such as having The Rockers team up again when Marty Janetty arrives with the WWE, and putting Jindrak and Cade back together.
And also, the WWE should be looking to the indies for tag team signings. America's Most Wanted, the Briscoe Brothers, The Naturals, the Havana Pitbulls, the Ring Crew Express and the Maximos are all teams that could add to the tag team division.
While the tag team division does need fixing, saying that every team needs to be the Legion of Doom is just wrong. The tag team division can be improved and it will be, but it doesn't mean what teams exist now and will soon are any less than the 80s teams just because they're new.
After all, praising Demolition as one of the greatest tag teams now is like saying the Basham Brothers are one of the greatest tag teams ever in 2020.
Jason Simmons wrote:
good column but your comment about the Dudley is really not that true, first off The Dudleys are really a great tag team. Second the reason they are not on TV is cause they have nothing to do with te team, they are so stale its sad. Dudleys are the HHH of the Tag Team division without the political crap they were shoved down are throats for so long that they are no longer a a draw
Tee Maaaaaaaaagic wrote:
I reason I agree with this is because all the teams is gay, or weak. I mean how in the hell do Hurricane and Rosey win those tag titles. And I'm a big fan in the tag team divison. I miss those tag teams in history of WWE, WCW, ECW, and TNA. Here some tag teams that I miss Dudley Boyz, Hardy Boyz, Team RECK, APA, Triple H and Stone Cold, Rock and Sock Connection, New Age Outlaw, Kane and X-pac, Brothers of Desturction, Kane and Mankind, The Corportaion, RVD and Sabu, The Pitbulls, The Impact players, Ken Sharmrock and Bossman, Stone Cold and Dude Love, AMW, Triple X (the original), The Natruals, 3LK, and many more. But my favoirte was the L.O.D (Animal and Hawk) in the late 90's (not when Hawk was drinking to the ring) and early 2000's. I know if these tag teams was still here Hurricane and Rosey will never win the tag belts or the HEART THORBS!!!!!!!!!!!
I wonder why whenever somebody says "Great Tag Team Era" they think of the 80s and 90s. Sure The best teams came from that time period but not to long ago we still had good teams. Just look back at WM20, ( a far better WM than WM21. Even if you multiplied WM21 by 10 and added WM19 to it, WM20 is still better) we had 10 teams competing that night! At WM21 there wasn't even a tag team match! At WM20 Too Cool (Scotty and Rikishi), Cade and Jindrak, RVD and Booker T, La Resistance, APA, the Basham Brothers, Evolution, Rock n' Sock Connection, the World's Greatest Tag Team, and The Dudley Boyz. Look at those teams. Only one team was make-shift, RVD and Booker T. I just want everyone to know that tag teams are not that far in the past. But the whole Draft Lottery separated The World's Greatest Tag Team, Cade and Jindrak, and La Resistance. Who could forget how the APA was separated."Okay you have to beat the Tag Team champs even though you couldn't do it at WM20 and if you fail, Farooq is fired." I think WWE made too many stupid choices and now we've lost the tag team division.
Ok first off, Tee Maaaaaaaaagic named some tag teams that he missed which are still around. I watched the Naturals defeat Team Canada with the help of new manager Jimmy Hart at Slammaversiry. Also in that show, AMW beat 3lk, leading to the possible revival of the New Age Outlaws. The WWE has recently stated that they plan to revive the tag team division, by bringing in some new tag teams from ECW, such as Axl Rotten and Balls Mahoney, and some of the prospects from OVW. There are also rumors about a Million Dollar inc. Revival, as both of the Million Dollar Man's sons have started wrestling, and he is now a road Agent for WWE. The state of the current Tag Team division is saddening. Wrestlemania 21 had NO tag team matches on a card that was already desperate enough to have Christy Hemme wrestle for the women's title. This is some good news that may pull WWE out of the tag team dark ages.
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