Tag Team Wrestling Today
January 8, 2006 by Nick Avery
Tag team wrestling used to be, and in some cases, is still a huge part of any wrestling program or live event. Originating in Australia, a tag team match can be fast paced and exciting, featuring moves a single wrestler could not perform. A great tag team only needs a few things: the same ring attire, the same entrance music, the ability to cut a good promo together, a move set that compliments one another, and in most cases a double-team finishing move. But fans also find a tag team more enjoyable when they know that the two guys have been through a lot together, and that winning a set of tag belts would be a greater accomplishment than winning a Heavyweight Championship alone.
These reasons are why fans loved duos like the original Road Warriors/Legion of Doom, The British Bulldogs, The Nasty Boyz, The Rockers, The New Age Outlaws, The Dudley Boyz/Team 3D, The Hardy Boyz, and Edge and Christian, to name a few. Today, on the biggest wrestling stage of them all (WWE), tag teams have lately taken a back seat to juiced-up main eventers and twenty minute promos. Instead of creating tag teams by devoting time to creating a gimmick that will expose and get two young talents over with the fans, lower to mid-card wrestlers who have either been with the company a while and milked their gimmicks for everything they're worth, or been with the company for a while and never got a chance to shine, are paired together and sent to the ring in hopes of holding the audience's attention long enough for the announcer's to sell them as a "Tag Team Championship threat." But while tag team wrestling may be dying in WWE, it's heartbeat is stronger then ever in TNA.
Currently on RAW, the flagship of WWE programming, tag team wrestling is a joke. The Tag Team Champions are The Big Show and Kane, two Heavyweight competitors and former WWE Champions, and the only duo who are really capable of shining through as one of those "great tag teams" are The Heart Throbs. The rest of the competition includes Tyson Tomko with Gene Snitsky and Val Venis with Viscera. Sound thin" Probably because legitimate teams like The Super Heroes, La Resistance and T.N.T, or Cade and Murdoch, no longer function as a unit.
Over on the SmackDown! Side of things, tag team wrestling has recently received a breath of fresh air, hopefully something we will see more of on RAW, and continually on SmackDown!, even though World Heavyweight Champion Dave Batista and Rey Mysterio(two heavyweight competitors) are holding the gold. The young and hungry team of Joey Mercury and Johnny Nitro, known together as MNM, dominant the regular tag team scene for the most part, which isn't a bad thing. Their competition includes The Dicks, Nunzio with Vito, Psicosis and Super Crazy of the Mexicools, the "Legion of Doom" (if you can call it that), William Regal with Paul Burchill, Scotty 2 Hotty with Funaki, and Paul London with Brian Kendrick. There is obviously much more tag team competition on SmackDown!, and if MNM aren't prematurely split up for singles runs, I believe they can become one of the great tag teams in wrestling history. I would also throw The Dicks in the running for that same category, despite their Chippendales gimmicks. I do not mention the Mexicools here simply because although they are fantastic wrestlers and have a great gimmick, both have been in the industry for quite some time as singles wrestlers.
Ah, but alas, tag team wrestling is saved! How, you ask" Thanks to TNA, or Total Non-Stop Action Wrestling, the number two (number one in my eyes) wrestling promotion in the country. TNA features fantastic tag team wrestling action every week, showcasing teams like The Naturals, Team Canada, The Diamonds in the Rough, Team 3D (better known to some as the Dudleyz), the former team of the 3-turned-4 Live Krew members, which now seems to be headed towards a New Age Outlaws reunion, and of course the NWA-TNA Tag Team Champions America's Most Wanted. With great teams that have already proven themselves like Team 3D and the Krew members a.k.a. New Age Outlaws, and great young tag teams like The Naturals and AMW that are proving themselves today and cementing their spot in tag team history, TNA is defiantly the place to go for anyone who is looking for fast-paced, high-impact tag matches with great teams that resemble those of the past, especially if they are tired of the many slow-paced, thrown-together tag team matches of the WWE.
by Nick Avery
It is definately true that TNA provides the best action amongst the tag teams. You can now add the faction of Homicide, Apolo and Konan to the list of tag teams. However i feel that SmackDown has the most potential with their tag team division and currently that is one of their main attractions. MNM provide great matches, the Mexicools provide great action, and the recent addition of the Shane Twins to the active SmackDown roster will only deepen the tag team division. Spanky and Paul London are should also be a team to watch in 2006, so right now i would say that SmackDown's tag team roster is a major threat to TNA's tag team roster.
Jesse Lee wrote:
Even though the current tag team divisions in WWE aren't as bad as they used to be, like in the year 2005, it's still pretty bad. Some are given terrible gimmicks, some are broken before given a chance to shine, and some are just two wrestlers the writers have no ideas for.
In theory, a team of Big Show and Kane can be great, however, they've feuded together and have little in commn. Ok, the two are big, strong, use a chokeslam. That doesn't make a team, what makes a real tag team is the ability to look as though you read each other's minds (Rockers), act almost the same (LOD), or fill in a sort of balance (Yokozuna, Owen.)
That's my opinion, anyway.
Danny Manning wrote:
Greatest Tag Team of all Times that i have seen include The
Exacutioners(Killer Kolwalski, Big John Studd), The VAliant Brothers, The
ROad warriors, MrFuji and Tanaka, the Samoans, Brisco Brothers, Maga
Powers(Hulk Holgan and Macho man) and Gordman and Goliath.
Hey, the WWE screws up tag teams a lot. The WWE screws up every time with tag teams. La Resistance was a legitimate tag team, and they got split. The Bashams were a really good tag team, and the WWE decides to put Danny on RAW, where he never wrestles but on HEAT, and Doug on Smackdown, where he is about done. Also, the Super Heroes and Cade & Murdoch were good teams, but the moment either of them loses the gold, the WWE splits them up. Tyson Tomko & Gene Snitsky both stink, and Venis & Viscera never wrestle but on HEAT, and will never EVER make any contribution to tag team action. The Heart Throbs do have potential, because they have been together for some time now, and will make an impact, but the WWE will break them also I think. Kane & Big Show are dominant, but won't be together long after they lose the gold. Smackdown is better with MNM, Mexicools, The Dicks, & now gemini, but none of the others you mentioned are that good. The reason is because the WWE screws up every time. The Dudleyz and the Hardyz got split after the roster split, although the Dudleyz reunited. Once the Dudleyz were put on Smackdown, the WWE puts them against the Undertaker, very stupid. Also, like I mentioned, the Bashams and La Resistance, and even Kane & RVD were great together, and one of my personal favorites, but Kane lost his mask, and feuded with RVD. Too Cool was really good, but now Scotty is alone, and does nothing, because they decided to put Brian Christopher on RAW in singles, and he's gone just like that. Now, the new L.O.D sucks. I like Road Warrior Animal, but Heidenreich sucks, and the remake of the L.O.D is dumb, because that was Animal & Hawk, and Hawk was so much better than Heidenreich, it's not even funny. The Worlds Greatest tag team was good, as was the APA, which was great, but they both got split, because the WWE can be stupid. Edge & Christian was great, but the WWE tore them up too. I really liked Scotty & Albert, although they weren't that good or well known, they were possibly my favorite. So, the WWE just screws up on about every tag team, but, good article.
I agree that WWE is very lacking in their tag team ranks these days. I have to agree that TNA is BY FAR the better show to watch for exciting and interesting tag action. I even agree mostly with you list of "greatest tag teams ever" but your leaving out one VERY important and influential tag team of the WWF/WWE history books. What about the Hart Foundation. They should be up there with LOD, the British Bulldogs, The Nasty Boyz, etc. We, as TRUE wrestling fans, tend to long for the "good old days," especially in todays Tag Team venue. There just isn't much WWE has to offer, and wouldn't it be great to see a team that styles itsself after the rockers, Midnight express, the Hart Foundation, etc... and PLEASE, Road Warrior Animal, No more Heidenrich type things... Unfortunatly for us all, Hawk is gone, so please don't let vince or anyone else cheapen the Road Warriors/LOD's accomplishments by pulling another Heidenrich out of the hat. Just my opnion..
Man I'm getting really disheartened with the WWE, especially in the tag team division (if it still exists"). Only 5 years ago we had tag team champs with several title rains to their credits all going up against each other. The Dudley boyz, E&C, Hardyz, A.P.A, 2 Cool, etc. and even The Brothers of Destruction were all going up against each other and they all had at least 3 tag team title wins and in the case of the better teams 5 or 6 (didn't E&C get to about 10"). Latley the longest a tag team has been together is a few months. They gave M'N'M 3 or so titles but in a very short space of time before promptly splitting them. It seems that we got used to the good ol' days of tag teams being together for at least a year, now it seems as soon as a team wins the titles then they are split. They don't seem to be together for more than 3 or 4 months. Also there are far too many title rains with individual performers making temporary tag teams just to hold the belts for a while. It seems to me, although I don't get to see much of TNA, that they have well established and "proper" tag teams. It's not the only thing I'm getting sick of in the WWE (like the revolving door which seems to let in some good talent but then blows them off) but it is something I'm getting particularly sick off!!
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