Column – Is Their Still a Tag Team Division in WWE?

by Will Benson on 22nd July 2008

Where has the tag team division gone? The answer is the WWE has pretty much detroyed it. Sure the titles are still in the WWE and get defended from time to time but it just isn’t the same anymore. Look at the current WWE Tag Team Champions Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase for instance. They aren’t a “true tag team” in my eyes. They are just champions because WWE wants to try and build them up and have no other plans for the tag team titles. I think it is ridiculous. Yes, Ted DiBiase & Cody Rhodes are alright, don’t get me wrong but when I think of tag teams I look at the Legion of Doom, Hart Foundation, Steiner Brothers, etc. I only see a couple true tag teams like this in today’s WWE.

Finlay & Hornswoggle is different but it works for me. Jesse & Festus, two different characters all be it, but a true tag team. Highlanders were a good tag team upon arriving into the WWE, but they are nothing more than jobbers who barely appear on television anymore. I was okay with The Miz & John Morrison but wasn’t M&M a lot better? I like Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins and they are tag team material. Cryme Tyme is my personal favorite of what a true tag team is to me. There is a problem though; I only named six tag teams there. Six? The tag team division is lacking tag teams now more than ever.

Back in the glory days of WWE in the early 90’s, the tag team division was as deep as ever. Look at all the classic tag teams. Look at all these great tag teams in the WWE at one time.

  • Demolition (Smash & Axe)
  • Colossal Connection (Andre the Giant & Haku)
  • Legion of Doom (Road Warrior Hawk & Road Warrior Animal)
  • -The Orient Express (Aldo Sato & Pat Tanaka)
  • -Rhythm & Blues (Greg Valentine & The Honky Tonk Man)
  • -Natural Disasters (Earthquake & Typhoon)
  • -The Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty)
  • -Powers of Pain (The Barbarian & The Warlord)
  • -Hart Foundation (Bret “The Hitman” Hart & Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart)
  • -The Twin Towers (Big Bossman & Akeem)
  • -The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs & Jerry Sags)
  • -Power & Glory (Hercules Hernandez & Paul Roma)
  • -The Bolsheviks (Nikolia Volkoff & Boris Zhukov)
  • -The Bushwackers (Butch Miller & Luke Williams)
  • -Money Inc. (Irwin R. Schyster & “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase)

Now that was a great tag team division to say the least. I mean it had great depth with plenty of teams that challenged and contended for the gold. Don’t get me wrong, their were plenty of great tag teams throughout the rest of the decade like the Steiner Brothers (Scott & Rick Steiner), The Headshrinkers (Fatu & Tamu), The Quebecers, Men on a Mission (Mabel & Mo), Owen Hart & Yokozuna, The Smoking Gunns (Billy & Bart Gunn), The Body Donnas (Skip & Zip), The Godwinns (Phineas & Henry O’Godwinn), Owen Hart & The British Bulldog, The Headbangers (Mosh & Thrasher), The Acolyte Protection Agency (Farooq & Bradshaw) Bob & Crash Holly, New Age Outlaws (Billy Gunn & “Road Dogg” Jesse James.

This right here shows you there have been some great tag teams in the WWE in the past. I mean the tag team division was at its peak during the 90’s but it soon started fading out at the turn of the millennium. Soon the tag team division was just three teams that dominated much of the division for a few years. Sure you had teams like Right to Censor (Bull Buchanan & The Goodfather), The Acolyte Protection Agency (Farooq & Bradshaw), and Too Cool (Scotty 2 Hotty & Grandmaster Sexay) but it was ruled by The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff Hardy), Edge & Christian, and the Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von Dudley).

Even though there was a lack of depth at the time, those three tag teams had a classic feud that produced some of the greatest tag team matches in WWE history. They had historic matches that included the berth of the TLC (Tables, Ladders, & Chairs) match.

After that faded out, the tag team division went into a dump with “gay” tag team Billy Gunn & Chuck Palumbo completely dominating the division. The tag team division has been in such bad shape ever since. Their just isn’t any importance to the titles anymore, they are barely defended or change hands. It just has been in shambles.

Now don’t get me wrong, but the WWE is doing this to themselves. They have been consistently bringing in good tag teams lately like Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch and Deuce & Domino. The problem is they break them up way too quick and try and develop them into single stars and it hasn’t been so successful. It seems like every time a team loses the championships, they break them up.

Matt & Jeff Hardy are very popular getting over with the crowd big time and are having tremendous singles careers but to me, no matter how over they have been as singles competitors, they never get the pop they do as a tag team. Yeah I said it; Matt & Jeff would be more successful ruling the tag team division than they are now.

Don’t get me wrong it has been successful. Davey Boy Smith, Edge, Bret Hart, and Shawn Michaels have been much more successful after vanishing their partnerships. Three of the four have gone on to become numerous time World Champions. I cannot deny it hasn’t worked before but there are more cases where it hasn’t worked out. The reason they were successful in those cases was that the team had longevity over a few years time. They had a chance to get over with the fans as a tag team partner, and will be easier to transition over because you already are over with the fans.

Paul London & Brian Kendrick were a good tag team and were fan favorites but were not particularly over during their run. They were tag team champions for almost a year and honestly hardly ever defended the titles, let alone have televised matches. So they really didn’t get a chance over a 2 year period to really establish themselves and let the fans get to know them. After they lost the titles, they were barely seen after being moved to Raw. Now they have been split up and will have a hard time getting over as top superstars, especially because of their size.

Cade & Murdoch seemed to be a nice little tag team that was beginning to make a name for them. Someone then had a “brilliant” idea that it would be good to split them up. One of them is now out of a job (Trevor Murdoch) and the other one (Lance Cade) is stuck in a feud he has no business in and is holding him back right now.

Remember how horrible the Dudley Boyz split was? They didn’t get over as singles competitors and were paired back into tag teams with other people. That didn’t work either so they ended up putting them back together.

Deuce & Domino, I thought was a great tag team. They were a team that I hoped would help bring back the true tag teams. They seemed like the classic style tag team but another person had another “brilliant” idea and decided to split them up. Odds are it is not going to work out.

Another point I brought up in my last column about the Championship columns. There are too many people standing backstage with nothing to do, pair some of these guys up into a tag team and see if it works.

 So the question I am asking all of you is: Do you think the tag team division is gone? If so do you want it back? Please comment on the bottom and let me know what you think.

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