I come before you today with an obituary. Tag team wrestling, for all intents and purposes, is dead. As for me, I am tiredâ<80>¦very tiredâ<80>¦of the tag team division in any wrestling promotion.
Donâ<80><99>t get me wrong. I love tag team wrestling. It has a rich history with legendary tandems ruling the roost. But, it may be time to pull the plug on this long-dying division. Dying from neglect. Dying from abuse. Dying from the creative folks who lack even the shortest of attention spans.
Enough is enough.
Oh, how it used to be. As a lifelong Minnesota resident, I cut my teeth on the American Wrestling Association (no, not the Dale GagneR version). I remember the battles between the High Flyers Greg Gagne and Jim Brunzell against the East West Connection of Adrian Adonis and Jesse Ventura for the AWA tag straps. How could I forget when Ken Patera became a Sheik and joined Jerry Blackwell to win the belts? I remember when the Road Warriors exploded onto the scene and decimated the then-champs Baron Von Raschke and the Crusher. Trust me. THAT was ugly.
Speaking of uglyâ<80>¦as a side-note, the tag straps of the AWA have always been, letâ<80><99>s just say, problematic. The ones from the late-seventies/early-eighties were like a hideous shop project gone wrong. The ones from the mid-eighties on had American Wrestling Alliance emblazoned upon them. Sheeshâ<80>¦
Pre-cable, I read the wrestling magazines that I would one-day work for and followed Captain Lou Albanoâ<80><99>s latest monster team winning the belts of the pretty boys. Down in the NWA, teams such as the Andersons, the Briscos, and Ricky Steamboat and Jay Youngblood, to name a scant few, battled for supremacy.
The tag team divisions in all promotions were rife with talent. Hell, the NWA used to have six-man tag team champions. WCW even tried cruiserweight tag team champions.
Okay, admittedly that was a crap idea.
Today, there are tag team titles, but little if anything is done with them. The WWE tag team champions John Morrison and the Miz currently wrestle in ECW. They rule a division of one team. Them. The champs on Raw, Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes? John Cena quickly disposed of them last night with the greatest of ease, didnâ<80><99>t he? Oh and did I mention that their top contenders are Jim Duggan and Jerry Lawler, the team of â<80><9c>Hoâ<80><99>s and Puppies.â<80> Smackdown? They donâ<80><99>t even bother.
And TNAâ<80><99>s tag roster consists of LAX as champs and Team 3D as perennial top contenders. Thatâ<80><99>s pretty much where it begins and ends, not counting mongrel pairings.
Tag teams donâ<80><99>t really exist anymore and if they do, the existence is short-lived. They are created from two single wrestlers with different gimmicks and then discarded. Those who share a similar gimmick are often split so they can compete in singles matches. The whole is not equal to the sum of its parts. Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch gave me hope, but now theyâ<80><99>re done. Cryme Tyme is a comedy act. What about those vignettes for the Highlanders? And how is that BG James-Kip James reunion going?
I donâ<80><99>t mean to beat the drum constantly of how things used to be. When it comes to pro wrestling, I go with the flow. Change is good for the business. New fans are needed constantly if there is ever another â<80><9c>Rock and Wrestlingâ<80> or â<80><9c>Attitudeâ<80> era. But the ongoing abuse of the tag team division has conditioned todayâ<80><99>s fans to simply not care about them.
So why bother?
I recognize that, in the end, singles wrestlers will become the superstars, headline the big shows and bring in the money. If that is the case, lose the division altogether. Keep tag teams as a special attraction for your main event stars. But the belts are worthless.
Yet, not as ugly as the AWA straps. Seriously, Google the imagesâ<80>¦