The End of a Tag Team Legacy: TNA Breaks Up Team 3D on Impact

Ken DrabekCorrespondent IINovember 12, 2010

Team 3D hitting their trademark finisher through a table.
Team 3D hitting their trademark finisher through a table.

Ever since “they” were revealed at Bound For Glory last month, TNA has faced its fair share of criticism from the Internet Wrestling Community.

The problems that fans seem to have with TNA these days revolve mostly around the inconsistent booking and the promotion’s continual focus on the likes of Eric Bischoff, Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair. Instead of shining the spotlight on the bevy of talented young stars on the TNA roster, the creative team has found a way to incessantly jam the “Immortal” group down our throats.

For many, it has not been an easy pill to swallow.

This week on Impact, the head-shaking booking decisions continued as TNA gave us the break up of one of, if not the most, legendary tag teams in professional wrestling.

At Turning Point, Team 3D wrestled their supposed final match as a team against the current TNA World Tag Team Champions, the Motor City Machine Guns. It was the highlight match of what has been called a below average pay-per-view, to put it nicely.

Team 3D, or the Dudley Boyz as they have been known for the majority of their career, are the most decorated tag team of all time. They have held tag team gold everywhere they have gone, from ECW to the WWE, around the world and finally in TNA.

For fifteen years, Brother Ray and Brother Devon or Bubba Ray and D’Von Dudley, have dominated as a team, regardless of their tag team name. In a business overrun with teams who eventually split with each other and feud, the longevity of Team 3D was a cornerstone of their legacy.

Aside from a brief time apart during their WWE tenure, which saw them very briefly feud, the two “brothers” have spent the majority of their careers working together.

It made sense for them to finally call it a career as a tag team and going out in a great match with, perhaps, the best active tag team in wrestling today seemed like a fitting end for Team 3D.

Instead of riding off in the sunset and going back to Dudleyville with their heads held high and a great career behind them, the creative team of TNA had other plans for them.

After delivering a heartfelt goodbye speech on this week’s Impact, Brother Ray laid out Devon from behind, picking up on the forgotten storyline of Ray’s heel turn from several months ago.

It seemed as if TNA was going to set this feud between Team 3D up earlier this year, but decided to put it on hold once the Hardcore Justice pay-per-view took shape. Ray made his peace with Devon after spending weeks running down their protégé, Jesse Neal and arguing about it with his “brother.”

Things once again seemed to be kosher between Team 3D, as they joined up with the EV2 group and did battle with Fortune. The story of Ray’s heel turn was more or less forgotten, thankfully, but apparently someone remembered and TNA made the call to officially destroy a legendary tag team.

Does anyone really want to see Brother Ray and Devon go at it against each other? Is this what TNA thinks is going to bring in new fans and increase the ratings?

When they announced their retirement at Bound For Glory, Team 3D stated that they had nothing left to accomplish as a tag team. They were right and, as a fan, it made sense that they were going to close out their outstanding career as a team.

In the end, it obviously made too much sense for the brain trust behind TNA because they have taken it in the complete opposite direction. Not only are they not retiring, but they are now going to feud with each other.

At this point in their careers, Ray and Devon are undoubtedly slowing down. They can still go, as evidenced by the praise given to their match with the Guns at Turning Point, but neither man has ever been able to stand on their own as a successful singles wrestler.

Now is not the time for that to happen either, as age and time are working against them. Do the folks who run TNA think that one of these two will shine on their own?

If not, then why place the spotlight on them? Sure, the story of Team 3D splitting up and fighting each other sounds decent on paper, but what is it really going to accomplish for TNA in the long run?

It feels a bit like change for the sake of change. The old cliché of “it it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” has once again been completely ignored by TNA.

Perhaps this is what Team 3D wants and, maybe, it was why they decided to re-sign with TNA when their contracts expired recently. Regardless, that does not change the fact that the split of this team and their impending feud are not the answer for TNA right now.

Inevitably, Team 3D will reunite again and chances are they will actually retire as a team, which makes this entire thing that much more frustrating. Knowing the back-and-forth booking that TNA has been doing recently, it’ll likely end up coming sooner than later.

The break-up of Team 3D comes off as another short-term answer for the long-term problems of TNA. Perhaps a feud between the tag team legends will draw a bit of new interest and, maybe, help raise the ratings by a few thousand viewers if they are lucky, but it’s doubtful.

If anything, this angle will likely be yet another example of the illogical booking that has left a sour taste in the mouth of many fans.