Posted by Ric Santos
There was a time when tag team wrestling was a respected division. It was a division where teams would battle and prove wrong those who believe the world heavyweight championship picture was the only one that mattered. In time, it would appear that those individuals were right.
Does anyone remember Generation Me? Does anyone remember America’s Most Wanted? How about The Motor City Machine Guns? I remember watching these teams. I remember when the tag team division in TNA wrestling, along with the Knockouts Division, was the best of the televised wrestling programs. It held weight because each team was hungry and that came from the drive these men had to help put TNA wrestling on the map. When other companies pushed the idea of a serious tag team division to the side, TNA made a point to be different. They let the wrestling world know that tag team wrestling is cool and as important as the world heavyweight championship. TNA even developed a Knockouts Tag Team Championship, with Taylor Wilde proclaiming that no other company would have done that when she became a Knockouts Tag Team Champion. It broke boundaries. Sadly, in this day and age, things have drastically changed.
I’ll give it a good 95% of the time that tag teams break up as one or both have aspirations to become a singles competitor and hunt the world title. The other 5 percent include those who remain tag teams throughout their careers or usually end a tag team because of contract disputes, leaving for higher pay elsewhere, injury, etc. An elephant in the room, so to speak, in regards to the TNA tag team scene is the vision Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff had/ has for TNA wrestling.
When these two got on board, with that 80′s and 90′s old school mentality as it pertains to finding that one big star or making that one big star, things changed. Aside from the Machine Guns, were there really anymore legit tag teams left? TNA eventually did what the WWE did and put two singles competitors together, who have nothing for themselves, and book them just to fulfill contractual obligations or to give them some kind of story to work with. And sadly, the Knockouts Tag Team Championship became a prop for Eric Young… Eric Young. And now, it looks like the belts are no more.
Fast forward through the pain until now and we currently have only 3 tag teams in TNA, which is hardly a division: Kazarian & Daniels, Chavo Guerrero & Hernandez and Boddy Roode & Austin Aries (who are currently the tag team champions). They all share the fact that they were put together after being singles competitors and were not brought in as tag teams. Austin and Roode are out of the title picture because of Hardy and the Aces. Chavo and Hernandez can’t draw as singles competitors so they’re put together to appeal to the Latino fan base (I’ve said it previously that I am Latino and I could care less about these two as a tag team). Kazarian and Daniels have become more of a legit tag team for this day and age and they aren’t even champions. The Machine Guns are gone. Generation Me is gone. America’s Most Wanted split a long time ago, along with Beer Money. So, what happened?
The world tag team championship would never main event at a pay-per-view time and time again so the championship became irrelevant. If the belt is irrelevant, why would anyone care for those in the division? Let’s look over at WWE and ask yourself, do you really get excited to see The Uso’s face Justin Gabriel and whoever his tag partner is for that week? The only entertaining tag team over there are The Primetime Players but they won’t get the titles soon because they are busy being props to Kane & Daniel Bryan. Same in TNA where Roode and Aries have those belts as their props for their comedy schtick. Both promotions have also emphasized heavy on singles and world title stories in a very unbalanced formula.
Tag Team titles are props. There are no tag teams left, only two guys booked together so they have something to do until the writers get them back in the world title hunt. A tag team is Generation Me, The Motor City Machine Guns, America’s Most Wanted, LAX, The British Invasion, need I go on? In order to fix the problem, much like the X-Division, there needs to be an overhaul. I’ve mentioned it before in one of my previous articles, but I have an idea that can possibly bring back some prestige in the tag division. Stay tuned for my next piece looking at the TNA tag team title scene to find out what that is.
Thanks for reading. Please comment and let me know how you feel about the tag team seen in TNA (or anywhere else if you like) and remember to stay tuned later in the week for my second take on this. Until next time: “Don’t hate the playa, hate the game”.
Follow me on twitter: @RealRicSantos
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