Done well, a six-man tag team division in WWE would be a thrilling new venue for Superstars to flourish.
It is an unwieldy proposition, though, one that requires a lot of maintenance. Should WWE give the division its own space, rely on a more structured ranking system and introduce more stables, it has a chance to succeed.
The spoils would be added exciting tag team action and a way to use more of the roster's Superstars.
With two stud six-man squads in The Wyatt Family and The Shield on the roster, there's certainly an appeal at attempting to create a six-man tag team division now.
It's something that was a highlight of WCCW and NWA as well as a staple for Mexican promotions AAA and CMLL. CMLL has had wrestlers fight for its World Trios Championship since 1991.
The dangers include the possibility that WWE neglects its regular tag division and that it becomes another championship that doesn't get defended enough. Thanks to potential issues like those, WWE can't jump headfirst into this new division.
It would have to undergo some significant changes to make it work.
Build Up Stables
The Wyatt Family and The Shield are perfectly built for the division, but it needs more bodies.
Bray Wyatt's backwoods bruisers all share similar in-ring styles, the same haggard look and a common affinity for destruction. They make sense as a trio for those reasons. WWE would have to find more combinations like them to allow the division to succeed.
There has to be more groups tied together by belief and style. 3MB doesn't count.
This is a chance to give meandering Superstars direction.
In the mid-'80s, Krusher Kruschev joined Ivan and Nikita Koloff to form a team of Russians bent on causing havoc in the NWA.
This trio should provide inspiration for WWE, should it decide to further highlight the six-man format. WWE could add one member to NXT's The Ascension, form a European group with Wade Barrett, Cesaro and Drew McIntyre or have Zeb Colter expand The Real Americans.
The Miz, Dolph Ziggler and Zack Ryder are rumored to be forming a disgruntled group together, per F4WOnline, via WrestlingInc.com.
That's exactly the kind of pairing that will benefit guys like Ryder, who struggles to make it on the air, and The Miz, who hasn't had a meaningful feud in ages.
Should Miz be a part of a frustrated trio, it would be far easier to insert him into stories and rivalries. With the six-man tag belts as a potential goal, his crew would have plenty of motivation to knock off the company's other three-man groups.
The division would offer the underused (i.e., Yoshi Tatsu) and the misused (i.e., Damien Sandow) a place to restart.
Going up against The Wyatt Family, The Shield and WWE's other six-man combos would be a major step up for Superstars like Tatsu and Sandow. It would also lead to more exciting matches.
A struggling wrestler fighting alongside his clique to climb up the rankings certainly beats having him toil in meaninglessness at the bottom of the card. The difficulty then becomes where to cram all those matches.
Give The Division Its Own Space
Even with Raw being three hours, WWE doesn't get to shine the spotlight on all of the roster.
There is usually time for a handful of marquee stories, a comedy act or two and perhaps a select midcard story. Adding a six-man tag division would only make things harder for WWE creative. The biggest concern will be in regard to it not getting enough attention or taking away from the traditional tag teams.
WWE's best bet is to designate SmackDown as the unofficial home of the six-man division.
It wouldn't have to restrict the three-man squads to Friday nights, but it's a great place to house many of the battles for those new championships. Raw often handles the majority of the storylines, freeing up SmackDown to focus more on in-ring action.
The show has already given us a healthy share of six-man action.
If fans know that their favorite stable is more likely to compete on SmackDown, there's an added reason to tune in. It would be similar to the days of the split brands, where each show claimed a pair of tag team champs.
The Usos, the Rhodes brothers and WWE's other two-man squads could compete more often on Raw, leaving SmackDown open for the company's trios.
The overcrowded pay-per-view schedule could benefit the six-man division. Aside from a few major headline matches, Battleground could be dedicated to six-man tag matches.
The show doesn't have an identity yet. Giving it a stable-versus-stable theme makes it easier for WWE to plug in matches each year.
WWE could go as far as to host a six-man tag tournament each year at Battleground a la Chikara's King of Trios—that is, provided the company can come up with a reward at the end of it, an element that elevates the Money in the Bank and Royal Rumble events.
Rely On Structure
Another major potential pitfall with the six-man tag division is the difficulty of arranging contenders.
With less time to devote to them, the midcard championships often have either a lack of challengers or a randomness as to who gets to challenge for the title. Going to a more structured ranking system similar to the one college sports use would help alleviate that issue.
Once a champion is crowned, a WWE authority figure can name the top five six-man teams in line for those titles.
The squads' records and momentum could comprise how the teams are ranked from No. 1 to No. 5. Those rankings will then change as the teams acquire victories and defeats.
If, for example, The Wyatt Family, the No. 2-ranked team, were to lose to an unranked trio such as Ziggler, Ryder and Miz, they would drop in the rankings. Ziggler, Ryder and Miz would jump up to perhaps a No. 4 ranking.
This provides ready-made stories for WWE to tell.
Higher-ranked teams would have to fend off lower-ranked teams after their position. Rivalries would become more intense with these kinds of stakes being a part of the matches.
It's also an easy, tangible way for fans to know where all the teams stand. It's a system that would be harder to pull off on a larger scale, but for a small set of teams, it makes for taut narratives.
Even with all these additions, though, maintaining a six-man division would be trying. Failure has beset similar divisions in other companies.
If WWE is serious about instituting its own six-man championships, it has to go into the venture knowing that success must be toiled for, success that would benefit a large chunk of the roster.
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