A Toast To The Tag Teams
Well I hope that everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving and have woken up from their turkey comas to read this article before you start putting up the Christmas decorations. If you have been reading my articles for the past few weeks, you know that I have been very critical of the current product that has been force fed down our throats. Whether it’s the repetitive matches, the low ratings, storylines that don’t make sense (such as an “affair” involving two single, consenting adults), making fun of a 62 year old man’s heart attack or even promos hyping the debut of a guy with a “Dancing with the Stars” gimmick, I can say that it’s pure crap that has been getting put out; the ratings and PPV buy rates show this to be true. Everyone can criticize, but numbers don’t lie at the end of the day. Today, I have something very positive that I want to talk about, something that I felt that WWE has gotten right within the past 6 months or so. I am going to talk a bit about WWE’s great job at revitalizing their Tag Team Division. Before I talk about where tag teams are going let’s talk about where they have been in my wrestling life. As a kid growing up in McKeesport, PA, I spent each week of the 80s’ and 90’s decades watching all of the wrestling that I could possibly watch whether it was WWF, WCW (Still affiliated with the NWA at the time), AWA, USWA, ECW and even GWF when it started coming on TV. While I noticed that all of the single wrestlers got the spotlight, I also noticed that there was always room for popular tag teams to also shine. I always enjoyed seeing teams such Demolition, The Steiner Brothers, The British Bulldogs, Rock & Roll Express, Hart Foundation, The Freebirds, The Nasty Boys, Doom, The Bushwackers, The Midnight Express, the Rockers, and of course, the Road Warriors, this list can go on and on and we would have about a page worth of names talking about some of the top teams of the 80’s and early 90’s alone! I can even get into the mid to late 90’s and talk about great teams such as The New Age Outlaws, The Dudley Boys, The Gangstas, The Hardy Boyz, The Public Enemy, Edge & Christian, The Acolytes, and even the Eliminators. (Hey bro, I mentioned your favorite tag team!) What made tag teams special was the fact that the teams had chemistry, awesome team finishers, and even matching outfits. It seemed like every team had that same goal and that goal was to be the World Tag Team champions, NOTHING ELSE MATTERED! By the time the mid to late 2000’s hit in WWE, the wheels had come off the wagon; we started to see less emphasis on tag teams and a lot more of an emphasis on singles matches. Sometimes, it seemed like regardless of whomever the tag champs happened to be, they only had maybe one or two other teams to compete with at one time. The tag team titles also became somewhat of a prop for two singles wrestlers who were in a holding pattern or two people who creative had nothing to do with, but didn’t want to take them off of TV. It was clear that tag teams were being put on the back burner, and it seemed that no one in WWE seemed to care about this development. Quick in 2008, name 4 tag teams that WWE had (and this was while they had two sets of tag belts!), could you name them? Neither could I! And while there were some efforts made to build on tag teams, they all seem to end up as failures. They would even split teams up for what seemed to be apparent reason (Crime Tyme, anyone?) making their tag team division even thinner than it already was. Earlier this year, there had been rumors that Triple H was going to put emphasis back on tag team wrestling. When I first heard this, I replied simply with “I have a bridge to sell if you’re interested, if you believe that!” then slowly but surely I watched as WWE truly began to rebuild their division. Now have at least 7 teams in WWE, and they are all vying for the tag team titles currently held by Kane and Daniel Bryan also known as “Team Hell No”. I have enjoyed the work of the other teams they have put together whether it be the USOs, Epico & Primo, Justin Gabriel & Tyson Kidd, Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara, Rhodes Scholars, and even the team of Zack Ryder & Santino works! But there has been one tag team that has become my person favorite, and they are the team of Darren Young & Titus O’Neil known as The Prime Time Players. I felt that their moment arrived on Raw this past week when they were on commentary. I remember making fun of both Darren Young and Titus O’Neil when they were both on the show NXT, but this week they showed that they could not only cut a great promo with a great catch phrase, but they showed how good they were on commentary too. Titus O’Neil caused me to laugh non-stop with his commentary on both Raw & SmackDown this past week. He also made it clear that he and Darren Young aren’t going to stop until they are the tag tam champions. MILLIONS OF DOLLARS! With tag teams being one of the best things that WWE has going lately, I truly hope they don’t start breaking these teams up or allow them all to get lost in the shuffle of poor booking and illogical storylines that have been running rampant in WWE. WWE has a very good thing going, and this is something that they shouldn’t ruin especially when the tag teams are starting to gain traction. I feel that there is room for even more teams to be put together. Take some of these guys that you aren’t using, or some of the folks who are constant Ryback victims are start creating some tag tams, and I am sure there are some teams in WWE Developmental who can be called up, and hell you can make the “Three Man Band” a tag team and have them do things under the infamous “Freebird Rule”. I don’t know about any of you, but I think tag teams are truly on the way back and it’s definitely something to be excited about. As always feedback is welcomed, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or if you don’t already follow me on Twitter @whosantcox. Until next, God Bless.