Hello wrestling fans! This is first of many columns by a name you will hear a lot from here on out, Johnathon LaFrance. Today’s topic is going to be the state of Tag Team wrestling on Monday nights.
Tag Team wrestling has been a staple of Pro-Wrestling for the last 50 years and in the last 5 years it has not only diminished but disappeared. Tag Team wrestling 20 years ago was a great way to build new stars. By putting two up and coming wrestlers into a team, it was possible to see the stronger member survive and move on to main stream solo success. However the teams that truly survived together could be successful all on their own.
The Rockers, The Harts, Blade Runners, and the Hardys all produced at least one world champion and helped build future stars for the business.
The , Demolition, and the Dudley Boys are 3 of the top 8 teams in the history of pro-wrestling who never broke up or had minimal break ups and truly made there names from a tag team stand point.
In today’s day in age not only are there no great teams on Monday nights, but the truly hasn't been a tag team division in years. I know what you are thinking... “Johnathon, how can you say that there are no great teams? Look at DX, Rated RKO, JeriShow, Dudebusters… How can you say they don’t work?” Well, let’s start off with what doesn't work in Tag Team professional wrestling in general. Throwing to goofballs together for the hell of it and having no plans for them to be great (Dudebusters), putting two singles wrestlers together that are already over (JeriShow, RatedRKO), bringing back a team just for nostalgia’s sake with the sole purpose to sell merchandise (DX), or putting two guys together that have no tag team finishers, come out to different music, and don't look like a team.
In my eyes, here is what makes a great team: Most of you have watched long enough that you know, it's a great tag team finishing move, coming out to the same music, and damn it dressing the same. They don't have to look identical but alike while still a little different; same color scheme.. And for the love of God, GIVE THEM TV TIME!
Who really cares when they put two guys together like Regal and Kozlov? Let me help you, NO ONE! Now if you gave them similar ring gear, a finisher, the same theme music, and common personas; people may start caring.
Quickly name 5 tag teams in the big league… You can’t because only two or three are well known. Quickly name 5 true teams over the last two years… You can't there hasn't been. We are missing quality tag wrestling and the worst part is there is so much room on both shows to have a great tag division. They buried the Usos (losing to Santino Marella?!). Smart move bury 1 of 2 or 3 teams on your roster. WHY? Is it because they weren't getting over? You booked them that way! There is a laundry list of guys not doing anything now and you can't repackage them as a team, either because they are too far buried or because that would make to much sense. I am really starting to think they like paying talent to do nothing (WCW anyone?). If you truly don't think the talent is on the roster than go get it. You’re the biggest wrestling company in the world don't pretend you don't have the resources!
Teams that would instantly improve the tag team division in the WWE:
1: The Motor City Machine Guns.
Arguably the greatest in ring working tag team of this generation. Think that title is a little too gracious? Watch them work! These to guys can make anyone look good, and there tag team maneuvers are exactly where tag team wrestling should be in 2010.. These are self made guys who have gotten themselves over. Let them run with it and they will give you something special.
2: The Briscos.
Now the Briscos may be a little different scenario for the Fed due to there look and tattoos, however they can still make this work. Once again what makes them great, THEY ARE A TEAM! There not to guys just thrown together, there moves are together and there always trying to get better as a team.
3. Ezekiel Jackson and Shad (They need to be repackaged).
This is a type of team you would have in the early 90's late 80's, to huge guys who are working on the same page. Now, neither are going to light the house on fire with their in ring work, however you would be putting them in there with teams that could carry them. Give them a look, an entrance, and a gimmick name it could work. Make them look dominant. Unbeatable. If it doesn't work, so what! You are already paying them to do less now.
4. and Tyler Black (Age of the Fall).
Give me a great heal tag team. They already have Tyler Black under contract. Hire Jimmy Jacobs, and let them run with a dark heal style tag team. You have that classic big guy little guy team, where you can hide any flaws of the bigger guy with that of a great smaller worker. If the team doesn't work out you turn Black face after Jimmy brings in more guys to beat on him. Rocket science? No.
5. Kaval and Even Bourne.
Yes Bourne is over on his own; however they keep booking him over one week and jobbing the next. These are 2 amazing workers and the high spots of Bourne mixed in with the chain physicality of Kaval could make them legit workers while protecting them in a tag team setting. Find them a great name, give them matching trucks and an amazing high spot tag team finisher and you have you next great team. What are they actually going do with Kaval anyway? Make him the Smackdown version of Bourne?
In the last few minutes of reading this you should have gotten excited about tag team wrestling again, and that what it’s all about. It is missing and singles wrestling is getting boring because we see it match after match. Give us some great tag team wrestling and tag team story lines and you can have our attention, give us garbage and we'll change that channel every time. Great tag team wrestling is imperative if you want professional wrestling to be relevant again.
Come back next time and we'll be throwing out the topic of why no one cares about the US and IC titles and how that ball has not only been dropped but thrown into a hole and buried. Until next time, kiss your girlfriend for me!