What the Heck Has Happened to Tag Teams in the WWE?
Although I am a lifelong, diehard fan of the WWE, I have a huge bone to pick with them. Well, actually, I have a few of those, but there is one thing in particular that is bothering me enough to take the time to write about it...And that is the tag team division—or, rather, lack thereof.
When I was a kid and started watching the then-WWF, there were so many great teams: Demolition, The Hart Foundation, the Killer Bees, the British Bulldogs, Strike Force, the Rougeau Brothers, the Young Stallions, and probably a few more I'm forgetting.
Back in those days, tag team wrestling was one of my very favorite things to watch as a wrestling fan. I was always in awe of the great teamwork and athleticism I saw in the tag matches. I even had the opportunity to enjoy some women's tag team action, mostly in the form of the Glamour Girls and the amazing Jumping Bomb Angels.
The only other time in the past I can think of where there were several terrific tag teams was the late '90s to early 2000s. We had Edge & Christian, the Hardy Boyz, the Dudley Boyz, the Radicalz, Too Cool, the New Age Outlaws, T&A, and probably a few more. Tag team wrestling was, again, exciting for this fan!
One thing that always upset me as a fan of tag team wrestling was when they would split great teams up and give them solo runs. Now, intellectually, I know this is actually a good thing for a wrestler's career—just look at what it did for Edge when Edge & Christian split up. However, it usually results in one member of the team being pushed, while the other either fades away into obscurity or gets jobbed out, or, even worse, ends up being released.
From time to time in the past five or so years, it's seemed as though the WWE has attempted to try and rebuild their tag team division.
We have seen various tag teams appear, including MNM, London & Kendrick, the Dicks, the Majors Brothers, the talented Cryme Tyme, the Highlanders, Deuce & Domino, Jesse & Festus, Cade & Murdoch, the Colons, Legacy, The Hart Dynasty, the Usos, and the Dudebusters, just to name a few.
Sadly, though, many of these teams were either split apart, with one or both members released from the company, and the very few of these teams that are still around are either misused or not used at all.
A question has been plaguing me for the longest time in regard to this topic: Why does the WWE have a habit of throwing two random guys together and calling them a "tag team?"
In recent memory, we have seen Chris Jericho as a team with Edge (although I will admit to enjoying that one, as Edge and Jericho are my two favorite superstars), then with the Big Show, and then with the Miz, MVP and Mark Henry tossed together. JTG randomly teamed up also with, oddly, MVP once he moved back to SmackDown!, and Chris Masters with whomever they deem appropriate.
Most recently, we have witnessed Cody Rhodes and Drew McIntyre as a team. Not only have they been thrown together so randomly, they also just became the new tag team champions at Night of Champions this past Sunday.
When I watched the "Rhodes/McIntyre vs. The Hart Dynasty" match on SmackDown! this past Friday, I told myself it would obviously lead to a title match at the pay-per-view, and lo and behold, that was exactly what happened. However, they had to toss in three additional teams in the form of the Usos, Santino and Vladimir Kozlov, and Mark Henry and Evan Bourne for good measure. To me, it made absolutely no sense.
The match wasn't a bad idea, mind you. I just think it would have worked better and made more sense had it involved the Hart Dynasty, the Usos, the Dudebusters (when was the last time we ever got to see them on TV?), and how about, say, a newly-reformed Cryme Tyme?
Bringing Cryme Tyme back as the team I instantly fell in love with when they debuted in 2006 would have been like both my birthday and Christmas!
Although this article is meant to be about tag teams in general, I want to focus a bit more on Cryme Tyme. I have always found them enjoyable, both in the ring and in their out-of-ring antics—minus the humiliation they dished out to Lita after her final match at Survivor Series 2006, though that wasn't their fault because they were merely doing what they were told—and have always wanted to see them get a tag team title run.
I remember them winning a tag team battle royal on RAW with the prize being a guaranteed shot at the WWE Tag Team Championship. However, they were released before this honor was ever granted to them. When they returned the following year, I was absolutely thrilled and marked out like a little girl as they appeared on my screen on RAW!
I thought for certain that this time around, they would get the gold. They started teaming up with John Cena and were receiving a decent push toward the main event because of it until they were drafted over to SmackDown! Then, they had a cute stint with Eve as their valet for several months, and a humorous backstage segment called "Word."
For a while, it seemed they were destined for a tag title shot and a run sometime later, but it never happened.
Instead, WWE decided to split Cryme Tyme up, with Shad Gaspard turning heel and attacking JTG. The two then feuded for a very short time with JTG ending up the winner in a strap match at the Extreme Rules pay-per-view. From there, each won a couple of matches until JTG was swiftly shifted into jobber status and Shad has pretty much disappeared from our TV screens.
Why is it that Cryme Tyme were split up before they ever received the tag team title reign they were promised around four years earlier? This is something that has long bothered and angered me. There seems to be zero logic in giving them a "guaranteed" shot, yet never allowing it to even take place. Then again, this is WWE we're talking about, and they often do things like this.
How nice would it be if Cryme Tyme and a few other teams were brought back to life or just generally brought back into the WWE, given pushes, and the tag team division was actually taken seriously, just as it was back in the late '80s and early 2000s? If this happened, it would shake things up, and we wouldn't have to stomach watching random guys being put together and called a "tag team."
All the WWE has to do is open their eyes and realize that the fans do in fact care about this once-beloved division!
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