Beep. Beep. Beep. Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep. Flat line. The sound you are hearing is that of tag team wrestling dying in WWE. Depending on who you ask, the tag team division is already dead in pro wrestling's top company. Just take a look at this past Monday's edition of WWE Raw. Top WWE Superstar John Cena, coming off of a loss to Batista at the previous night's Summerslam, was pitted against World Tag Team Champions Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase Jr. Keep in mind that over the last few weeks Cena and Batista had already beaten Rhodes and Dibiase for the tag team titles. The fact that Rhodes and Dibiase regained the titles a week later was barely acknowledged. In fact, it was more of a tool to fuel the Cena vs Batista match at Summerslam. Fast forward to Raw this week and Cena defeated the World Tag Team Champions in a handicap match....and he defeated them rather easily.
In recent years, tag team wrestling has not been in the spotlight that it once was. These days, more than ever, it's about establishing and pushing singles stars. I agree that it's easier for fans to identify with a singles wrestler. But let's not forget that tag team wrestling has been a staple of the sport since it began. For a long while you could argue that tag team wrestling is why people watched. The Hart Foundation, Demolition, The British Bulldogs, The Rockers, The Road Warriors, The Brain Busters. Mention those names to any wrestling fan and then watch the expression on his/her face as he/she reminisces about "those days". Can you imagine if Randy "Macho Man" Savage defeated The British Bulldogs in a 2 on 1 match in about 4 minutes. Of course not! It's ridiculous to even entertain. Well, that's what happened on Raw. Cena easily dispatched the World Tag Team champions. Forget about the fact that Cena was supposed to be selling his battle with Batista from the night before. How about just the fact that the tag team champions are supposed to be the best at wrestling as a team. They are the best at beating guys in 2 on 2 competition. So, when facing a less than 100% singles wrestler in a 2 on 1 match, what should happen? Not what happened on Raw. It's this kind of careless and out of touch booking that has killed the tag team division in WWE. Why even have the titles? Why bother establishing Rhodes/Dibiase team at all? There is no point in having tag team champs if they can't manage to win 2 on 1 matches. Everything good about Rhodes and Dibiase has been undone. They have zero credibility. What makes it worse is that Cena did not need a win to establish credibility. John Cena is arguably the most over pro wrestler in the business. Women and children spend lots of money to cheer him on. Men, ages 18-35, spend lots of money to boo him out of the building. The point is, people care about John Cena. In fact, a loss to the tag champs could have furthered his recent storyline losing streak. Anything would have been better than sacrificing the tag champs.
Before the WWE tag division totally dies, here is what needs to happen:
Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase need to come out and cut a few promos similar to what they'd been doing a month ago. They need to remind everyone that they are young, dynamic, and a new force to be reckoned with in all of pro wrestling. Then, have a team like Cryme Tyme come out and challenge the champions. But have Cryme Tyme come out with a serious challenge. Forget all the faux rapping and the dancing. Have Cryme Tyme come out and issue a serious challenge. The one thing they haven't done is win gold in WWE. From there you allow the feud to build. These teams should only be involved with each other, with the occasional 6 man tag team match to gain some rub from top singles guys. Have faith in the guys and let them run with it. Don't be afraid to let a program build over time. Pull apart brawls and promos on TV, actual matches on pay per view. You'd be surprised at how the element of team wrestling can get itself over with the pro wrestling crowd.
There is a simple way to keep tag team wrestling alive, don't kill it.
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