Monday, 13 August 2012

Second Opinion

It's been a while since I lamented the state of WWE's tag team division. As this is something I still feel very strongly about I thought it was about time I addressed the topic again.
As I (and others) have written before tag teams are a great way of introducing new and inexperienced wrestlers to a roster. There is less pressure on them to be an instant hit but they still get to gain valuable experience working in front of crowds against established stars.
The doubles scene is also a good place to put guys that have flopped as solo acts. The New Age Outlaws were thrown together as a unit because neither was over as a singles competitor. They took the opportunity being put together offered them and became one of the most over acts of the entire company.
The roar of the crowd at RAW 1000 showed that fans not only remember them but still care about them. That's something WWE should consider next time they're booking (or not booking) a tag match.
I'm not done there. Once the Outlaws had been split the tag scene stayed relevant thanks to the efforts of the Hardys, the Dudleys and Edge and Christian. The various feuds between these units were highlights of WWF programming, helped all six men improve as performers and prepared Edge and Jeff Hardy for headliner status.
A year or two after that Paul Heyman used the tag team division to give audiences a months-long programme between Los Guerreros, Edge and Rey Mysterio, and Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit. It's another example of how tag team wrestling can be used to refresh established acts.
I think my point has been sufficiently hammered home by now.
WWE currently has numerous men on its main roster who are doing nothing but scrapping in meaningless battles on Superstars and, occasionally, getting beaten in under four minutes on RAW and SmackDown. Pairing some of these guys up would give them something to do and potentially create some acts people are willing to pay to see.
Earlier in the year Justin Gabriel and Tyson Kidd got tossed together as a tag team. While an injury to 'The Werewolf of Cape Town' meant they didn't really get to do much as a unit all indications are that they were going to be treated as yet another thrown together pairing anyway.
That they were put together just because the creative team had nothing for either in the singles ranks doesn't mean they should act like that's their reason for forming a team. It is the responsibility of any wrestler (whether they're part of a tag team or not) to do everything they can to get themselves over.

Justin Gabriel would benefit from returning to his tag work alongside Tyson Kidd
When two wrestlers find themselves put together as a unit the best thing they can do is act like a unit. That means deciding on a team name, working out some double team moves to use and, most importantly, getting some matching outfits. This will not only increase their chances of getting over with fans (because they will be seen as an actual team and not two randoms tossed together for a few weeks) but also encourage the writers to create scenarios for them.

If they show they’re making the most of the opportunity they are more likely to find themselves backed by the writing team and being accepted by crowds.

A quick scan of the roster will produce several names that could be paired up. Creating three or four new teams, encouraging them work on their gimmicks and following through on pushes could help to rebuild the tag team division, and by extension the tag team titles, back up to a position of prominence.

Drew McIntyre, Jack Swagger, Johnny Curtis, JTG, Mason Ryan, Michael McGillicutty, Alex Riley, Yoshi Tatsu, Trent Baretta, Ezekiel Jackson, and Derrick Bateman are all languishing on Superstars with nothing to do. Many of them have received substantial pushes in the past, which have been stopped because they did not immediately succeed in their roles.

A tag division would be the perfect place to put these guys. It would allow them to continue contributing to television and provide them with the chance to make themselves stand out. If the writing team could bare to be a little more hands off and simply decide who wins and loses the wrestlers could be left to come up with their own gimmicks and outfits. The best guys would rise to the top and provide WWE with new acts to utilise. It’s better than nothing, which is exactly what’s being done right now.

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