10 Reasons Why the WWE Tag Team Division Needs the Renewed Spotlight
It's easy to complain about everything that's wrong with the WWE, but let's give the company some credit for rebuilding its tag team division this year.
At the beginning of 2012, the division was in shambles, with no real sign of that changing in the future. But as we rapidly approach 2013, there's a lot to be optimistic about.
There are more tag teams and more storylines and rivalries that involve those teams than there have been at any point in recent memory.
Of course, the WWE's tag team division isn't perfect, but it never will be. It's just refreshing to see tag team wrestling become a priority again after years of irrelevance.
While tag teams will likely never be the WWE's top priority, the company is undoubtedly doing the right thing by making them relevant again.
Here are 10 reasons why the WWE tag team division needs the renewed spotlight it's been getting over the past several months.
10. We Want Variety
Think back to about a year or two ago, when, at its worst times, the WWE's tag team division had maybe two or three teams that mattered.
When the tag division was at an all-time low, most of the tag team matches we saw on TV featured four guys from two separate singles feuds. Other than that, tag team matches involving actual tag teams were very rare, and the ones that did happen were essentially glorified squashes.
Now just imagine how outrageously boring it would be if all we got were singles matches and feuds, with the few tag team matches that actually took place almost always involving nothing but singles stars.
That wouldn't be all that enjoyable, huh?
Maybe this is just a guess, but it seems like the average fan wouldn't be too pleased with seeing nothing but singles feuds and matches on WWE TV every week. After all, we love variety in pro wrestling.
Variety needs to be a big part of wrestling, and a renewed focus on the tag team division makes that possible.
9. There's Too Much WWE Programming to Fill Without It
There is a ton of WWE programming each week.
We've got Raw, NXT, Main Event, Superstars, SmackDown, Saturday Morning Slam and, on some weeks, pay-per-views as well.
Think about how difficult it would be for the WWE to fill up that many hours of weekly programming without having a formidable tag team division. Pretty difficult, huh?
The WWE has more weekly TV shows now than at any point in history, and in turn, it needs the manpower to fill those hours. The renewed spotlight on the tag team division will help the company do just that.
Instead of seeing 10-plus hours of programming consisting entirely of singles matches and feuds, we get to see multiple tag rivalries and plenty of tag team matches.
8. Not Every Wrestler Can Be a Singles Star
Let's just be honest with ourselves: Not every wrestler can be a singles star at the same time.
Although fans like to say that the WWE roster is "thin," it's actually pretty loaded. There are dozens upon dozens of superstars currently under contract with the company.
At the same time, though, there are limited spots for singles stars. Generally speaking, there are two World title feuds, two midcard title feuds and then maybe another singles feud or two.
That leaves a ton of WWE stars without much to do. Of course, that's where the tag team division comes in.
If the company had five talented guys who simply didn't fit into singles feuds at a certain time, they could easily be thrust into the tag team division. We've seen it happen plenty of times this year, most notably with Team Hell No and Team Rhodes Scholars.
The renewed focus on tag team wrestling has kept Kane, Daniel Bryan, Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes relevant without putting them in singles rivalries.
7. It's an Easy Way to Hide/Minimize a Star's Weakness
One major benefit to the increased focus on tag team wrestling is that it can help hide or minimize a superstar's weaknesses.
Take, for example, Titus O'Neil. Odds are that if O'Neil consistently participated in singles matches, he wouldn't have much success because he's still a pretty mediocre overall talent.
But because he's partnered with Darren Young in the Prime Time Players, his limitations in the ring can be hidden or at least minimized. He can do more of the talking while Young does more of the walking.
It's the same scenario with other tag teams as well.
Sin Cara's partnership with Rey Mysterio has limited his botches, Heath Slater's 3MB helps hide Jinder Mahal's blandness, and so on and so forth.
It's a smart concept, really. The tag team division highlights each individual star's strengths and then limits or hides his weaknesses, which makes each wrestler look better.
6. Many Wrestlers Thrive in Tag Teams
Many wrestlers perform extremely well in tag teams.
When you look at extremely agile and athletic wrestlers like Kofi Kingston, Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel, it's clear that they deliver the goods in tag team matches. Heck, even an established veteran like Kane and relative newcomers like the Prime Time Players have done the same.
This isn't necessarily saying that they're "better" as tag team wrestlers, just that they thrive when part of a duo.
Now, imagine if there was no tag team division (or at least not a formidable one) for these guys to participate in. Not only would that be a huge detriment to the careers of these superstars, but it would be one to the WWE as well.
The company has plenty of superstars who are at their best when part of a tag team, and if tag team wrestling wasn't a priority, they likely wouldn't be getting the chance to showcase their tremendous talents.
5. There's a Market for Tag Team Wrestling
Whether the WWE wants to believe it, there is indeed a market for tag team wrestling.
"Old school" fans who watched the great tag teams of the 1980s and early 1980s and still watch the WWE today are likely thrilled by the increased focus on tag team wrestling that we've gotten lately.
Similarly, fans who grew up on the epic TLC matches of the late 1990s and early 2000s are probably enjoying the renewed spotlight on tag teams as well.
Now, the fans of today's generations are getting their first real taste of legitimate tag team wrestling of the last few years. This, in turn, seems to be generating more fan interest in tag team wrestling.
The popularity of teams like Team Hell No and the rise of duos like the Prime Time Players proves that the fans are beginning to care about tag team wrestling more than they have at any point over the last few years.
The WWE is obviously a business, and if there's a market for tag team wrestling, it's best for business to give the fans what they want. Give them tag teams.
4. Teaming with One Guy Can Elevate Another
One of the biggest benefits of tag teams is that they can result in one guy elevating another or even both elevating each other.
Darren Young and Titus O'Neil probably wouldn't do much of note as singles stars, but as the Prime Time Players, they play off each other very well and have become one of the WWE's top tag teams as a result.
You can also look at the pairing between Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara. Sin Cara had really struggled with acclimating himself to the WWE style, but his partnership with Mysterio has helped him step his game up in a major way.
If the tag team division was an afterthought, you likely wouldn't see many of the tag team stars who are currently thriving have much of a presence on TV. A guy like O'Neil might have been released by now while Sin Cara might still be struggling mightily as a singles star.
Even if the WWE's newfound focus on tag teams accomplishes nothing else, using guys to elevate their partners is reason enough to keep it going.
3. It Gives Mid and Lower Card Wrestlers Something to Do
Not everyone can be a main eventer. Some guys will have to work in the midcard while others will work at the bottom of it.
Here's the thing, though: If the WWE didn't have a quality tag team division, odds are that most of those midcard/lower card workers would just be left off of TV altogether.
Just think about it this way. Would you really expect to see a singles rivalry between Tyson Kidd and Darren Young get a substantial amount of TV time? Probably not.
But because these guys are now part of a tag team, it's much easier to find a spot for them on TV, and WWE officials likely have less qualms about putting them in a TV tag team rivalry than they would if it were a singles feud.
Midcarders and lower card workers definitely have a place on both Raw and SmackDown, but with only limited TV space available for singles feuds, the tag team division is where most of these guys are going to fit in.
2. Tag Team Splits Can Lead to Great Rivalries and Storylines
A tag team is perhaps one of the easiest things in pro wrestling to book.
Two guys form a team, they eventually break up, one turns on the other and then a feud follows. While not always the case, these post-split angles can lead to fantastic feuds and story lines.
When two guys team together for so long and build up such a strong bond, their breakup should be followed by a major rivalry that's built up as a result of the intense animosity between the two.
Now that the WWE is taking its time to build up a number of tag teams, it's also (perhaps unknowingly) laying the framework for some great feuds down the line.
Potentially great Kane/Bryan and Rhodes/Sandow feuds could be coming, and some other tag team splits might surprise us by resulting in great post-split rivalries between two former partners.
It's been a while since a tag team split has led to some great TV afterward, but the more effort the WWE puts into building up its tag teams, the more likely it is that their post-breakup feuds will matter.
1. Tag Teams Help Create New Stars
How many great wrestlers got their start in tag teams? Seems like too many to count.
Just in recent years, we've seen superstars who first rose to fame as tag team wrestlers even go on to win World titles.
The Miz made a name for himself while teaming with John Morrison and eventually went on to become the WWE Champion and main event WrestleMania 27. Jeff Hardy revolutionized tag team wrestling in the late 1990s and early 2000s before becoming one of the WWE's most popular stars and the WWE Champion a few years back.
The bottom line is that without tag team wrestling guys like The Miz and Hardy may have never gotten over enough to reach the pinnacle of the WWE.
Whether the WWE realizes this, a quality tag team division is an almost surefire way to guarantee that it will create a new main-event caliber superstar.
It may not happen next week, next month or even next year, but if the tag team division continues to excel, then the WWE can rest assured that one of today's tag team stars will go on to become a major singles star in the future.
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!