Fixing the Tag Division in the 'E
by, 07-14-2011 at 10:37 PM (3675 Views)
I have spent the last 9 weeks studying for the Illinois BAR exam, so my posts and blogs have been put on hold. But I have given myself a couple of nights off before getting into the stretch, so here goes...
Like many of the fine wrestling aficionados that frequent this site, I enjoy and miss quality tag team and tag matches in WWE. So I'm going to to come up with a few cost-effective, yet effective ways to reinvent and reenergize the tag division.
1. It's all in the name
Bring back team names. When you think of the greatest tag teams in history, who do you think of?...The Legion of Doom/Road Warriors, The Rockers, The Midnight Express, Demolition, The Eliminators, The Pitbulls, Harlem Heat, The Bushwhackers (ok maybe I'm stretching the term great)....you get the idea. A name represents unity and camaraderie. It gives the impression that a team is competing for a title that collectively means just as much as the Heavyweight title does individually. ROH and TNA (until about 6 months ago) know the value of a name: Kings of Wrestling, World's Greatest Tag Team, Beer Money, Motor City Machine Guns, Generations Me/Young Bucks, etc. Right now the 'E has the Usos. They're good, but one team does not make a division and unless other individuals embrace tag team wrestling, the division will stay mired in mediocrity.
2. A big, main-event win
You want people to take the tag titles seriously? Have the tag-team champions beat two high-profile singles wrestlers in a PPV or a major raw. Imagine on Raw's 1,000 show, if the main event was the Usos vs. Cena & Orton for the tag titles and the Usos won clean. Wow. Even a child would be able to see that these guys need to be taken seriously. Plus, would it really hurt Cena or Orton? They're singles wrestlers, not accustomed to tag matches. They would still be the heavyweight champions of their respective brands (assuming all things stay the same). Individual wrestlers could lose straight up in a tag match without any detriment to their image or characters.
3. Tell us a story
How many times have we seen a random tag team championship match thrown together, completely at random, with no buildup or even a promo? Hell, when was the last time you've seen anything but? A feud or personal rivalry could do wonders if done right. I remember as a kid when the Steiners signed with WCW and began a feud with Harlem Heat: the NCAA, college educated Steiner Brothers vs. the badass bros from the streets of Harlem. Possible feuds are a blog for another day; but one good feud to put the tag belts in perspective could go a long way.
4. Baptism by fire
There are a lot of good young talents in the WWE: Trent Barretta, Zach Ryder, Kurt Hawkins, Yoshi Tatsu, etc., etc. One tag match can feature four young prospects. One promo gives two guys valuable experience on the mic in front of a live crowd, rather than a camera backstage or a dressing room mirror. Some guys will shine and become individual superstars, that's the nature of the business; but some will find a niche in tag team wrestling and will be able to make real and meaningful contributions by working off of another individual. Take for example Miz and Morrison. They were the most entertaining tag team over the past ten years in my opinion. Together they had a good blend of speaking, wrestling ability and chemistry that reached out of the tv and grabbed your attention. While both are probably destined for successful solo careers, their flaws are glaringly obvious since their split. Morrison appears very uncomfortable going solo on a mic without someone to feed off of and Miz is just now (after a lengthly title reign) beginning to be able to string a full match together now that he's learned a little pacing (see my other blogs for more on that).
This has gotten a bit long, so let me wrap up: these ideas that I have mentioned cost virtually nothing. No new wrestlers need to be hired, no change in the way WWE conducts or promotes it's product. All it would require is perhaps 20-25 minutes per week of tag team oriented storyline. maybe a 20 minute match on Smackdown and a 5 minute promo on raw. That's all it would take to convert the WWE tag team division from an embarrassing sideshow to potential main event material for lessor PPVs (imagine if a tag match was the main event at Capitol Punishment instead of the snoozefest that was Cena/Truth). I don't think this is unreasonable. I'm not calling for a large investment. I'm not asking Vince McMahon to fire Michael Cole, stop televising John Cena, or put Zach Ryder in the main event of WrestleMania. All I ask is that they utilize their existing talent to bring life back into a form of wrestling that is rich in history and was as much a part of the identity of the WWF/WWE as anything or anyone else. Is that too much to ask?
I accept all comments, both yah and nay. Either way I hope you enjoyed the blog.