Saturday, September 3, 2011

Unity: The Necessities of Building Success in Tag Teams

Welcome to the first true, analysis piece for, The Sharp Shooter Press. Something I've always felt was very imperative to the wile world of , Pro Wrestling, is a simple tactic known as, variety. Wrestling fans can not be exposed to the same thing continuously over and over, otherwise, the product becomes stale. In, 2011, wrestling fans all over the world, who tune into the mainstream product, seem to lack variety in regards to the, in ring product.

Over the years, WWE has provided so many types of matches that offer individualism, different ways to progress storylines, and to entertain the fans in more ways than the basic one on one match.  All over the world, different gimmick matches do help develop different companies. For example, CHIKARA presents the King of Trios, a tournament for all six man tag team matches; something we do not see in WWE as prominently. Other companies pride themselves on all different kinds of matches, but one of the core match types that has really seemed forgotten in, WWE, is the tag team division.



Paul London & Brian Kendrick
Once an organization that featured, The Rockers, , L.O.D., to name a very few. Later on, even more currently, we saw fantastic teams such as London & Kendrick, Deuce & Domino, MNM, etc. The uniqueness of tag teams was evident, as the art of tag team wrestling was alive and well from almost the beginning to the years of 2007/2008. Sure, the likes of Eric Bischoff amongst several others were not a fan of teams in the 90s, but the art was always alive in some capacity on the mainstream. Was it always the standout part of the organization? No, but it was always significant and entertaining.

Something, I always wonder is, where did it all go? Why did this craft of teams suddenly vanish into thin air? Did WWE management find them boring or a failing draw? If fans truly weren't interested in multi man matches, other companies on the Indy scene wouldn't be here. Just as WWE tag team wrestling was fading, it wasn't all dead from 2007, as a matter of fact, it was thriving in an up and coming organization....TNA Wrestling *play epic music here.*

L.A.X when they were...you know? Good.
TNA Wrestling was home to Team Canada, America's Most Wanted, L..A.X.,The Motor City Machineguns, Triple X, Beer Money Inc, and that is just the cream of the crop. There were countless great tag teams, that provided the alternative to what WWE was not producing. However, soon enough, the division died as well asnd all that remains is Beer Money and the Motor City Machineguns. No, I do not count the other "teams" as they are either irrelevant or they plain and simply, suck. Alas, the art of tag team wrestling on the mainstream is seemingly dead all but four years later. Will we truly know who here all lost faith in tag team wrestling? Well, I blame Bischoff in TNA, but I don't know whose to blame in the, WWE.

(Before, I continue and if anybody notices, I'm not just referring to 2 vs 2 matches, all team matches are included....Carrying on....)

Moving on from playing, "The Blame Game," the fact of the matter is that tag team wrestling is nonexistent in, 2011. Is this necessarily a statement I am starting? No, this has been written about for what seems to be years now as people hope and wait for this tag division to be revitalized. It is no company secret that the focus has been taken away and that the only true focus of tag team wrestling is to build one of the guys to be a company star. The Rockers, are really where this all started, a Shawn Michaels went on to become arguably the best Superstar in history whilst his old partner, Marty Jannetty, became, well...You know, the rest. From that moment where Michaels kicked Marty through the glass window, tag teams all over have "the Shawn Michaels" and, "The Jannetty."

Edge, former 10 time World Champion
For years, WWE has used this tactic and for the most part, it has worked. We have seen guys like John Morrison, Jeff Hardy (don't start it), Edge, and many other stars become successful singles competitors. It seems as though no one will evolve into the next true, Heart Break Kid, but nonetheless the "tag team effect" has been somewhat successful in terms of building stars and helping them get over. Hell, sometimes both guys in a team find success. The Miz & John Morrison have both found singles success after a very entertaining tag team tandem.

Stars have been created, but is this the true purpose of tag teams at this point? It shouldn't be, but it is...Until there were rumors of the rebirth of tag team wrestling in, WWE this past year. Over the past two years, we have seen teams such as, Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov, The Hart Dynasty, The Usos, Justin Gabriel & Heath Slater, The Colons, and others who WWE has just felt the need to either let go or release. Even other teams such as Hawkins and Ryder seemed to have a reunion on Superstars a few months ago, only to be forgotten disappoints me. All these teams have shown promise and could have built a quality division, but instead, there are two legitimate teams left: Otunga and McGillicutty as well as, The Usos.

The new bronze belt champs, Air Boom..
Can someone please tell me whose bright idea it was to break up Heath and Gabriel? Two guys who had chemistry....What about Hawkins and Ryder? Who was so sure this pairing would fail? It's nice that WWE wants to branch out and make tag teams more relevant, but when you have "Air Boom" come out individually, that pretty much shows these guys will last for a matter of months. The key word is.....wait for it....Unity. Unity builds similar tag teams.That's why The Usos come off as such a great team...Because they have chemistry and look and feel like a working unit. You can't mesh two "personalities," and I use that term lightly with these bland fellows, together and expect to rebuild a tag division. Also, please save me the massacre of meshing their music together too, let's have some originality when making our team, not the Big Show tag team route where all of his partner's songs go off after "It's the Big Show...'

What we need in WWE is legitimate, long term, tag teams that will be invested in, as such. Bringing in, the Kings of Wrestling, is a very good start, but nowhere near complete. WWE has the right idea on what to get outside the company, with further rumors on signing, Beer Money, but they do not know how to make tag teams themselves. Especially with the brand extension apparently over, it should be easier than ever to create tag teams. Where would they start? A little show called, WWE Superstars. Providing the best core wrestling during the week, Superstars goes out and proves the young stars of WWE have much to offer to the business. Curt Hawkins, Trent Barreta, Jack Swagger, and others always prove, week in and week out that they have much to offer. However, they never get a chance to do so on television.

The only true tag team in WWE today
How do they fix this? Create tag teams out of them to put in this "newly revised" division. Why can't they pair up Hawkins and Tyler Reks? Trent and Justin Gabriel? Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler? Hell, they can throw Santino in a team as well as finally make Jinder Mahal and Great Khali prominent by throwing them in there as well. Is this a very pleasing to the eye set of teams? Probably not, but if they were featured, rebuilt, and hyped up properly, I don't see why they couldn't all be great tag teams. Air Boom is a start, but WWE needs to build them up as teams. Even groups of three would be refreshing. Make them come out together, give us a reason to care about them, make a team have chemistry....All these things are needed and possible to make this tag division more than the filler it has been for years.

If WWE wants to get things started in this division, they need to do it right. I don't want to see the two mid carders tagged together for two months....I want the foundation of a tag team built for the foreseeable future. They have so many opportunities, yet, when was the last time The Usos were on WWE TV? Hennig's kid and Jennifer's husband are improving, but still have a long way to go. There are just so many things to make these guys successful and make this division fun again, like it was, not so long ago. We need to be excited to watch them wrestle and enjoy programs between teams...Not just wonder who the Jannetty will be.

There seems to be many rumors here and there about WWE trying to improve there product throughout, and I love the idea, but question their logic. With Triple H having some charge, one can only hope he knows what's cool in this era....unlike Johnny Ace and Vince do in, 2011....Thank you, CM Punk for opening their eyes a tad. With the change out of the way and the promises of making wrestling "fun again," it's time to take this plan to full throttle, starting with tag team wrestling. Ring of Honor, CHIKARA, and other promotions have shown it is still a crowd pleasing attraction to this day, and WWE should take some notes of how to run things. Feel free to leave any comments and I bid you ado, with one of my favorite tag team matches below....

-Rallo




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