At this time, Team 3D is running a Tag Team Invitational Tournament in TNA. They have made comments that tag team wrestling is alive and well in TNA.
Between their various tag teams and especially after Team 3D’s recent battle with Beer Money, I have to agree. They openly criticised WWE’s tag team division, something I would like to look at here in view of this recent comments.
What happened? Just two years ago we had London and Kendrick, the exciting young high flyers.
We had Deuce ‘n’ Domino, who had a thuggish appeal, we had Regal and Taylor, the veterans with power and skill, Rated R-KO and DX, main-eventing teams that were more than just two singles wrestlers paired together.
We had Cade and Murdoch, Jesse and Festus, the Major Brothers, Cryme Tyme, the Highlanders, all for variety, The World’s Greatest Tag Team, the Hardys, both teams which had a bit of nostalgia to it, and Miz and Morrison, the cocky tag team with talent to boot.
They all had good air time and the tag team division had depth. It didn’t have great wrestling, but it was certainly entertaining.
How many teams do WWE have now? The Hart Trilogy has reformed on ECW. We have Cryme Tyme and The World’s Greatest Tag Team on SmackDown!
We have the Legacy which team up with each other on RAW and the Colóns appearing on all three brands as they are Unified WWE Tag Team Champions.
That’s definitely not as many tag teams as before. Yes, we have tag teams of two singles wrestlers, but that isn’t the same. That’s not a real tag team.
At this point in time, WWE’s tag team division is lacking, partly evidenced by the tag team championship unification, which is a way of giving the illusion of depth to a tag team division by having challengers from all three brands.
WWE needs to put renewed focus on tag team wrestling, because a successful tag team pushes two superstars, not one. A successful tag team feud pushes even more.
Since WrestleMania, WWE have been emphasised younger talent, a welcome move, though the actions of Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker at WrestleMania are proof that older talent can contribute at a high level and should be given the opportunity to do so.
My opinion is that a strong tag team division creates stars quicker than having all the focus on the singles division.
Tag teams can be popular and successful without needing the storylines singles wrestlers have. Take the examples of MNM when they first came in, or the Major Brothers, or even Primo, as part of the Colóns.
If the crowd likes what they see, those wrestlers will become more popular and eventually will become stars, especially if they wrestle with star tag teams. At the very least, they will have good exposure before getting into the singles division.
Not to mention the fact that there can only be so many people in the main-event of a singles division and if Tag Team Championships are promoted as equal alternatives to the singles championships, as opposed to subordinate titles like the Intercontinental and US titles, more people can get big boosts.
It is very understandable why WWE shut down the cruiserweight division. Rey Mysterio and Chavo Guerrero were involved with other things and they just didn’t have enough things creatively to give the cruiserweights they had the air-time they needed.
It is also understandable why the tag team division has been deemphasised. WWE have priorities (which their viewers do not necessarily agree with) they choose to follow. They cannot do everything at once.
The point is that priorities have changed. Now is a prime opportunity for a strong tag team division as it will give the benefits WWE wants at this time: the boosting of younger talent.
Technically WWE should want a more varied product that engages a broader viewer base, but they also want to stay true to WWE’s creative vision, whatever it happens to be (and whatever the general public thinks of it).
Before you go criticising that, saying promotions should listen to their fans, understand the lure. If you were a promoter, you would book things your way.
That has been proven by history, as many wrestlers, when given booking power, have used it more to their advantage than the company, or the fans.
If the crowd wanted something different, it can be hard to listen to them instead of oneself. WWE Management are human beings with feeling too. They can be tempted just as we are.
The WWE Universe can get as vocal as they want, but unless they present logical arguments that are difficult to deny and in accordance with WWE’s priorities, as opposed to idealistic wishes which WWE Management can ignore as against their creative vision and representative of a minority of fans, it is unlikely the fans can create change.
There are many who want Cena to turn heel, for example, but that’s not going to happen as it isn’t part of their creative vision.
For those that want a stronger product, you need to work on their terms. Now is a perfect opportunity. There are WWE fans that want a stronger tag team division in the WWE and it’s a great way for WWE to achieve what is part of its creative vision- a company with fresher, younger talent having greater prominence.