How to Resurrect the WWE Tag Team Division.
by, 01-27-2012 at 03:43 PM (2849 Views)
Yes I know this topic has been done to death, but it is still something that really bothers me about the current WWE product. In the past, many main-event stars were created through the use of tag-teams. It is a great platform to not only propel talented young superstars to the main-event, but also a great way just to get people on TV. Considering that we are all in an economic slump, it is natural that the WWE will want to trim their roster, however, surely it's also natural to make sure you utalise the talent you have. Thinking now, their are only around 15 wrestlers that appear full-time on TV every week. I think it's funny when I go to wwe.com and check out the 'Power 25' and find that the bottom 10 are mostly filler because they can't fill their quota. If I were to look back to any other era of wrestlers and look at their equivalent of a 'Power 25' it would be brimming with well-used and well-constructed superstars. So with so many talented wrestlers currently sitting on the sidelines except for sporadic appearances of Superstars, why not combine then and use them to revive the withering tag-team division.
So, what can be done right now to revitalise a part of wrestling that most of us remember so fondly?
1) Better Teams.
I know I've already touched on it, but please WWE put some damn thought in to these teams. Don't just chuck people together for the sake of it. I know I mentioned in the introduction that we should just chuck people together who aren't doing anything, but what I mean here is that you have to take care with the teams you're creating. Being friends outside the ring always helps and always produced better teams. Also, either similar or polarising looks is imperative, don't put a square and a triangle together. Either two squares or a circle and a octogan. Bad metaphor I know, but you get the jist. Make sure there's a reason for these guys to tag and if there isn't make one. Just like many of the current single competitors, you need to make us care about these people. The tag-team division is a one of the best ways of getting future stars on TV. Take a look at Epico, now I'm not saying he is definitely a future main-eventer, or even close, but when I first saw him I was impressed. Without this tag-team with him and Primo, would he have got on to TV?
2) Consistency and Time.
This is vitally important and is something we are missing from almost all aspects of the current WWE product. You need to give these guys time to adapt and also give them a firm base on which to start up. If you constantly chop and change teams and feuds then these guys aren't going to settle. Just because an idea doesn't work at first, does not mean it's a failure. Take Cody Rhodes as a recent example, at first I thought his old dashing gimmick was a bit ridiculous, but over time it grew on me (and many others) and was a catalyst to some of the great stuff he's doing now. Please WWE, just put some time and dedication in to the tag-team division and you might be pleasantly suprised.
3) Tag-Team Finishers.
Now I'm not saying this is a necessity, because let's face it, it isn't. But I do think that this is an untapped area of wrestling that could be very profitable. There used to be such things as tag-team finishers, the hart-attack was one, and they were very popular. Due to the fact that two people are participating in the move, there is a much wider scope for creativity, not only that, it instills the idea that the two members of the tag-team are on the same wave-length, thus getting them over as a team.
4) Treat it as a cruiserweight division.
Again, not a neccesity, but an idea. Many fans would love to see the reintroduction of the cruiserweight division, but WWE has proved in the past that they are very inept at booking such a class. Maybe treat the tag-teams as such. Air-Boom was a great team to lead such a group, but unfortunately, due to Evan Bourne's difficulties, they are no longer together. However, we still have Epico and Primo, decent wrestlers who could be considered cruiserweights, and the Usos are decent cannon-fodder (on a side note, is it just me who thinks WWE are really missing out by not bringing in Rikishi to be the Uso's manager, he would be such a great rub-off for them, plus he HAS to have a dance-off with Brodus Clay). This would also tie in to my previous point as cruiserweights usually have the most attractive move set, so combining moves would be pretty awesome. This is both innovative and interesting, why the hell not give it a try WWE?
5) More Teams.
Yes, I'm kind of starting to repeat myself, but I don't just mean more teams literally. I mean more teams in feuds and decent storylines. I remember watching old PPVs and seeing triple threat or even fatal four-way tag-team matches, hell back on one of the old Survivor Series shows, they had a 5 v 5 elimination tag-team match. That's 20 wrestlers appearing in one match, what better way to showcase your entire roster. Even back to the attitude era days, yes you had the main three of the Hardyz, the Dudleys and Edge and Christian, but they weren't the only teams, what about the APA? New Age Outlaws? Remember them? These teams don't always have to all be in feuds at the same time, but it seems clear to me that the current WWE product is lacking in feuds and matches. More teams means more opportunities to get people in storylines.
6) Keep teams together longer.
What happened to the old tag-teams that never split up? The Road Warriors for instance, they are arguably the best tag-team ever. They were put together in the mid-eighties and didn't split until the untimely death of hawk in 2003. Keep these teams together and they just keep getting better. Think of a tag-team currently in the WWE, how long have they been a team? Exactly. Why did they split Gabriel and Slater for example. I know Gabriel was always destined to be a face, but they had decent chemistry and could both wrestle pretty well, why not keep them together for a long time, because let's face it, where are they both now? It seems that we are in a time now where people cannot accept the position they are in within the company. Not everyone is destined to be a main-eventer, but that doesn't mean they cannot be entertaining. Take the previously mentioned Rikishi for example. He was so entertaining as part of Too Cool, but he was not a main-eventer and when the WWE attempted to push him there, he didn't quite live up to it. Rikishi could draw and he could do it well, but that doesn't mean he was main-event material. I personally think some wrestlers today need to realise that being part of a decent tag-team may not be covered in glory, but it's a damn sight better than being future endeavoured.
7) All or nothing.
I wrote a couple of notes for this blog and on this point I've written, no half-assed attempts. The WWE have tried in the past to recreate the tag-team division, but when they saw it wasn't going as they'd liked, they gutted it. They can't keep doing this, they need to invest in something and damn well see it out for once. Don't just take two decent stars like Edge and Randy Orton and chuck them together. Don't get me wrong, I liked Rated RKO, but they took away prestige from the tag-team championship. It was just far too easy for them to win the belt. DX is another example, of course they weren't just two superstars chucked together, but they were just given the belts. In the end, when they wanted to get rid of them, they lost to Hart Dynasty, and instead of this raising the prestige of Kidd and Smith, it was just unbelievable and no one cared about the belts any more. If the WWE is intent on putting teams together like this, make sure they only take the belts after engaging in a decent feud with a decent team. That way, when they do lose it, the team they lose it to will gain prestige and recognition.
Considering I am merely a wrestling fan and not a wrestling veteran or part of the WWE creative staff, these points should have been brought up within the company multiple times and so there must be some block as to why tag-teams are going extinct. Unfortunately I believe that it comes right from the top as Vince McMahon is apparently not the biggest fan of tag-teaming. Which is unfortunate because when I was a kid, my two favourite wrestlers were, the Rock, of course, and Jeff Hardy. I loved Team Extreme and considering the current WWE product is so kid friendly, I would've thought a couple of decent tag-teams would be the first thing on the list. Maybe Vince is as out of touch as everyone seems to think he is. Maybe, just maybe, Stephanie and HHH will take over soon and they will appreciate just how much is to be gained from a decent tag-team divison.