The Ric Says – Tag Team Wrestling: Tournament Revival

Tag team wrestling has lost its importance in today’s wrestling scene. Everyone has an opinion of how it can be brought back to its former glory. A change in style was made to TNA’s X-Division and a change in style is also needed for the tag team division in order for it to have relevance again. For the second part of my tag team wrestling report, I ask: Has anyone ever considered the tag team division as an exclusive tournament?

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Changing the TNA tag team division into a tournament style format could be a successful outing if done with the right talent. Let’s look at Bellator. TNA already has a partnership with the promotion and both share the same network on the same night. Bellator MMA is gaining in popularity with new faces and tournament style competition. If you lose, you’re out. Plain and simple. The importance is built for every single match so losing is not an option. TNA can take this as inspiration and create a very interesting atmosphere, again, with the right talent and booking.

What do I mean by talent? Not those competitors who are put together for the sake of keeping their presence felt on the card when no storyline is available. TNA needs to scout and bring up real tag teams. Teams who have partnered up for years and understand their individual strengths and weaknesses to compliment each other in the ring. Heck, even having the same wrestling attire is important. Serious teams who are driven to be the best tag team competitors. Once they have established that, create new tag teams belts. Something that shines and reflect that they are world heavyweight championship class belts that would be held proudly. Make them fresh.

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And then, we have the tournament. The system would be a traditional tournament style itself with rankings that are designated by management or, preferably, someone who has experience in tag team wrestling. Bring in someone (or more) to oversee this aspect of the show. According to the performance of a tag team in a TNA match up, those overseeing the division would give each a rank and once the rankings are decided, the matches are set for the tournament. Each winning team would advance, of course, and each losing team would be eliminated and take the lowest rank possible. This would continue until the finals. After the finals and champions are crowned, they become the number 1 ranked team and the tournament restarts with the teams placed in new qualifying matches based on their new rankings. If the champions lose at any time, they are out and new champions are guaranteed in the finals. A team can dismiss themselves from the tournament if they choose to, but they will not be able to compete for the tag teams titles unless they return to the tournament. To return, they must defeat a tag team already in the tournament. If they defeat that team, they return and take the other team’s spot.

What does this mean for the importance of the division? If your team is not in the tournament, you won’t be champions. That’s pretty clear. It also gives these men a spot to shine outside of the world title scene. New rivalries can be created within the tournament itself. Possible betrayals, underdog stories written, former champions returning to glory!

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The foundation of this tournament is the talent. There needs to be talent willing to make a career of being tag team champions. There may come a time when this may grow stale and needs another revamp, teams split and venture to new promotions or they go and chase the world heavyweight title. However, I believe the tag team division is too important to the wrestling business to have it be an attraction of men fighting for weighted gold and to feel relevant when nothing is available for them. This is a good move in order to give this division a fresh face lift. All other major sporting events follow this format or a format like it, so why can’t professional wrestling?

What do you think about a permanent tag team tournament? Sound off on the comments below and let’s get a dialogue going. Until next time, “Don’t hate the playa, hate the game”.

Follow me on twitter: @RealRicSantos

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