Offbeat Shenanigans #10 – Rating TNA’s Tag Division

Kevin McElvaney


Greetings, loyal Shenanigans fans! Itâ<80><99>s truly an honor to be sitting here, typing out my tenth edition of this column. I hope youâ<80><99>ve enjoyed it so far, because itâ<80><99>s been a blast writing it.

I thought last weekâ<80><99>s article about WWEâ<80><99>s â<80><9c>tag divisionâ<80> turned out pretty well. Turns out, a few readers agreed with me. Hereâ<80><99>s one of the emails I received.

Hey Kevin,

I enjoy reading your columns and you put forth another good read; this time about tag teams! I agree with your opinion on its current state in the WWE. However, you did not mention your opinion on TNA’s tag team division. I feel that it still needs some improvement, but it’s still way better than WWE’s current situation. That said, TNA’s current tag champs are also a makeshift tag team like Miz and Morrison, but at least both AJ and Tomko are in a faction together which makes it slightly better.

Also a slight correction: It should be Ashton “Michael Kelso” Kutcher.

Keep up the good work.

Karthik

In my excitement, I referred to Ashton Kutcherâ<80><99>s That 70’s Show character as â<80><9c>Casey Kelso.â<80> Casey Kelso (played by Luke Wilson), was, of course, the older brother of Michael Kelso. Nonetheless, both were fine characters.

Also, Karthik, you raise a great point about TNAâ<80><99>s tag team division! In fact, I think youâ<80><99>ve just helped me come up with this weekâ<80><99>s topic. For this, you get a genuine â<80><9c>thank youâ<80> and, of course, the enjoyment of reading my take on TNAâ<80><99>s top tandems. (Boy, my alliteration skills are wonderful.) Here we go…

â<80><9c>Rating TNAâ<80><99>s Tag Divisionâ<80> (SPOILERS! Read with caution)

Iâ<80><99>d say Karthikâ<80><99>s assertion – that TNAâ<80><99>s tag division is better than WWEâ<80><99>s, yet could still use some work – is pretty close. With that said, I feel that TNA has a real problem with handling its many tag teams. Weâ<80><99>re not seeing all we could from a division full of talent.

Iâ<80><99>m going to try something a little bit different here. Iâ<80><99>ll be liberally borrowing from a feature run by my other wrestling home, Pro Wrestling Illustrated. Once a year, PWI gives â<80><9c>Report Cardâ<80> ratings to the top wrestlers in the business. Iâ<80><99>m going to apply this concept to each of TNAâ<80><99>s tag teams, by rating them in two categories. 1) Their potential and overall value, and 2) How they are utilized by TNA. Each team is rated on a scale of 1-10. Weâ<80><99>ll start with the champs.

A.J. Styles and Travis Tomko

Potential: 9

How Theyâ<80><99>re Used: 5

Styles & Tomko worked well together as a team for a while. As a unit, theyâ<80><99>ve helped Christian Cage more than theyâ<80><99>ve done anything for the TNA tag division. The company probably sees their possession of the titles as â<80><9c>spotlightingâ<80> the belts, but, really, it just keeps other deserving teams out of contention, as Styles and Tomko face off with main-eventers. The team should stay aligned, because they do add to the show, but they need to lose the titles, for the sake of the division.

The Steiners

Potential: 7

How Theyâ<80><99>re Used: 7

Rick and Scott are, by far, the most seasoned tag team wrestlers in the company. Theyâ<80><99>ve definitely brought some credibility to the tag division with their presence, but, at this point, they should focus more on putting other teams over – not necessarily by losing, though. Hereâ<80><99>s hoping.

Team 3D

Potential: 6

How Theyâ<80><99>re Used: 5

TNA Creative is trying something new by feuding Ray and D-Von with X-division competitors. Theyâ<80><99>ve got to try something because, as it stands, the former Dudleys give off an increasingly stale presence among TNAâ<80><99>s younger tag teams. Theyâ<80><99>re one of the greatest tandems ever and, frankly, they deserve better.

The Motor City Machine Guns

Potential: 10

How Theyâ<80><99>re Used: 8

Sabin and Shelley are, perhaps, the most promising young team in TNA, right now. They are seen as more of an X-division pairing at the moment, and thatâ<80><99>s their one setback. Once they get past that, the sky is the limit. Theyâ<80><99>ll be tag champs by mid-2008.

L.A.X.

Potential: 10

How Theyâ<80><99>re Used: 5

In TNA history, no team as capable has been downgraded faster than the Latin American X-change. Weâ<80><99>ve seen what these guys can do. Hernandez has the brute force, as well as quickness. Homicide can strike, grapple, and fly. Theyâ<80><99>re way over with the fans. Theyâ<80><99>ve been winning, for the past two weeks, but they are still nowhere near title contention. Whatâ<80><99>s the problem here, TNA?

Voodoo Kin Mafia

Potential: 3

How Theyâ<80><99>re Used: 1

Am I being harsh? Maybe. Two tag team legends, here, whose best days are behind them. BG and Kip would be better served working behind the scenes in TNA. As long as TNA keeps around Roxxi Laveaux – who Iâ<80><99>m strangely attracted to – then Iâ<80><99>m content. Holy crap, Iâ<80><99>ve just discovered she and I share a birthday. Moving on…

Jay Lethal and Sonjay Dutt

Potential: 8

How Theyâ<80><99>re Used: 6

Dutt and Lethal have been paired together since the Kevin Nash Paparazzi dealy. Theyâ<80><99>re good as a team, but theyâ<80><99>re better in the X-division. Splitting them up and feuding them would be beneficial to both guys and the fans.

Triple X

Potential: 8

How Theyâ<80><99>re Used: 0

Triple X has been one of the biggest names in the history of TNAâ<80><99>s tag division. However, with the news of Senshiâ<80><99>s release earlier this week, their stock has just dropped significantly. Daniels and Skipper are certainly the â<80><9c>starâ<80> tag team of the group, so they could still be used. However, after the events which will transpire on next weekâ<80><99>s Impact – Danielsâ<80><99> storyline firing – you can count on Triple X going to waste for a good while.

Lance Hoyt and Jimmy Rave

Potential: 4

How Theyâ<80><99>re Used: 3

Wow. Talk about throwing two guys together. What I really donâ<80><99>t get here is, they re-signed Jimmy Rave just to be part of this team. Not only that, but there isnâ<80><99>t any sign that TNA intends to push them. Both men are better off as singles wrestlers.

Truth & Consequences

Potential: TBD

How Theyâ<80><99>re Used: TBD

The team of Ron â<80><9c>The Truthâ<80> Killings and Rasheed Lucious â<80><9c>Consequencesâ<80> Creed. Their name reeks of 1980’s WWF, which I, for one, donâ<80><99>t mind. Theyâ<80><99>ve only teamed once, so far, which means the juryâ<80><99>s still out on this one.

So, essentially, TNA has a great tag division at its disposal. But, Iâ<80><99>ve gotta say, theyâ<80><99>re not taking advantage of it. TNAâ<80><99>s tag division was, along with the X division, one of the highlights of the companyâ<80><99>s first few years. Tag matches have main evented pay-per-views, with no one batting an eyelash.

In the divisionâ<80><99>s current incarnation, TNA chooses to ignore what it has and often overpushes veteran acts. (Tag team wrestling is a breeding ground for the main eventers of the future!) Some of the current problem stems from the simple fact that the belts are on the wrong guys. Once another team grabs the straps from Styles & Tomko, the competition might truly commence.

In the meantime, TNA, please end this ridiculous â<80><9c>firedâ<80> storyline with Daniels, and let us see him and Skipper have another run. Because youâ<80><99>re not really pushing Daniels at this point, right? Thank you in advance.

And, as for all my comments above, how do you, the readers, feel about them? Agree with me? Think Iâ<80><99>m an idiot? Donâ<80><99>t hesitate to email me at kjmcelvaney@yahoo.com. You might very well get your comments included as part of next weekâ<80><99>s column!

Kevin McElvaney is also a contributing writer for Pro Wrestling Illustrated and The Wrestler.

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