As long time readers will know, I grew up in the Great State of Nawt Carolina, and growing up in that awesome decade of the 80s that means I have witnessed a ton of Tag Team wrestling.
There is an art form to tag team wrestling, and there is a reason why it has fallen to the level of woman’s wrestling over the past decade or so.
It is impossible for a singles match even between great wrestlers, to match the pure energy of a tag match, and with all fairness to a good heat segment chinlock, that simply doesn’t matchup to two fresh men. Even in longer tag matches, the man on the outside can provide action for the fans while the other men work on a chinlock or the always deadly abdominal stretch.
I blame two men for the death of tag team wrestling.
No, not Vince and Eric.
Shawn Michaels and Sting.
Sting was a great singles wrestler, and whenever he got bored or some other babyface needed a run with Flair, he would partner up with Lugar or someone else and take the tag titles for a bit. No matter how good the tag team champs are- they can’t stand up to Sting and Pal, right? I mean this is a multiple-time World Champ, what’s Bobby Eaton or Booker T gonna do to him? Sting is why we have champs like Undertaker/Kane, Edge/Hogan, and even Hall and Nash to a certain extent. When you see Cena with a tag title, now you know why.
Shawn Michaels is the bigger problem. When you have a duo come in that catches fire, inevitably the question comes in “Who is Shawn and who is Marty?” That mentality has killed the chemistry of quite a few up and coming teams, and continue to damage them, or, even worse, made sure that neither member is good enough to break out. (Worlds Greatest Tag Team, anyone?) The Shawn/Michaels question so ruined Miz and Morrison that it destroyed all three members of that group so much at I don’t think any reached even Billy Gunn levels. Did you really care who was better between Stan Lane and Bobby Eaton? Who was the breakout star of the Usos?
So is this fixable?
No. Wrestling is dominated by the 8 minute match, and its simply not enough time to tell a good story, and then when you blow it out to 15 minutes on PPV, all you do is add a few more cheap tags and a rest segment – more than likely out on the floor or a brawl. There is next to no chance that these times are going to return. I do think that TNA and ROH can do this to separate themselves, but its kind of like Bellator and the tournaments, it has to be pulled off the right way, or they are wasting their times. Yes I respect the Briscos- but how many new eyes did they bring?
I just don’t see that 2 men with good personalities are going to be allowed to grow for any length of time, before they are split up and forced to fight each other.
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