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The Iron Jung #3: Maybe It's Time To Tag Out: The Truth Behind WWE Tag-Team Wrestling



26 April 2008

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Welcome one and all again to the finest pro wrestling column around, The Iron Jung. Now I’ve had some complaints. Shocking, I know. Now obviously it’s got nothing to do with my brilliant grasp of the English language nor my God given ability to dress a sentence with such beauty and style that even Oscar Wilde would blush like a schoolgirl with braces. It’s to do with my opinion. Now as I once learnt from Oscar-worthy actor Jack Black “It’s an opinion I can’t be wrong!” yet I’ve received emails, phone calls and even a message from a skywriter, saying “Iron Jung, you’re too cynical, overly negative and never happy”. Now in a way I could understand it, in another way I’d say you’re too easily pleased. I don’t say every decent meal I have is fantastic, nor is every good film I see, a potential award winner.

As I stated last week I merely have a pursuit of perfection. I’m not going to watch Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels have a decent contest and call it fantastic, because I’ve seen hundreds of matches better. That’s not negative or indeed cynical, just realistic. As the late Mr Perfect said (later known as “Mr. Isn’t that bothered, kind of phones it in really”…by the end of his career) to Bret Hart at Summer Slam 91 “You may be excellent…but you’re not Perfect”. And that’s how I view the world of wrestling.

Anyway lets move on and away to the nitty gritty. After covering singles wrestlers over the past few weeks, I’d like to turn to that forgotten art in WWE wrestling. No not John Cena delivering serious promos, that remind you he’s not a poor man’s Bobby Davro. Or even Shawn Michaels, selling moves without looking like he’s covered in coiled springs. It’s the wonderful world of tag-team wrestling.

Now when I was growing up, there was an absolute goldmine of superb tag teams. Arn and Tully, The Steiners, The Road Warriors, Demolition, The Rockers, The British Bulldogs, The Hart Foundation and the brilliant high flyers Men On A Mission. Now while these teams may not have always been brilliant wrestlers (ok lets cut to the point, The Road Warriors) they had that look, image and connection that made them a truly memorable team.

So surely then with this great history of tag team wrestling, today’s companies would have developed the tag format onto an even greater level. I wish. Lets remember those names I just mentioned. Shut your eyes and relive those memories. Damn you Martel you overly tanned terd, Tito didn’t deserve that! Now let’s look at today’s finest. Bob Holly and Cody Blows…Flippy and Floppy…Cade and Murdoch…Cryme Tyme (named after the segments they are involved in, cause morally, somebody should be locked up for it) and those greasers on Smackdown who nobody can remember. Good lord it’s a tragedy. Nearly makes me yearn to see Oscar rapping and Mabel waving his arms in the air like he’s in Earth, Wind & Fire. I mean you know it’s bad when The Godwinns can chuckle and say “Jesus, that’s a poor line-up”.

And the fact is as bad as the 1995/1996 tag division was (The Godwinns, Smoking Guns, The Blu Brothers, Owen & Yoko, Shawn Michaels & His Ego etc.) at least they got a PPV match every month for the people in the arena to go get popcorn in. We have women’s matches for that now meaning that these days the likes of Paul London and Brian Kendrick are happy if they lose to The Great Khali in 4 seconds on Raw, cause hey at least they made the main show!

Yet the irony is, the teams are actually alright. I’ve always had a soft spot for Cade and Murdoch, it reminds me of 1980’s NWA in good hick way. London and Kendrick are both pretty decent workers and would have done well against contemporaries like Max Mini 10 years ago. Cryme Tyme are…ok Cryme Tyme make The Godwinns look like The Freebirds, but 2 out of 3 ain’t bad eh?

My point is, does WWE care in the slightest about tag team wrestling? I mean with cruiserweights, we’ve always known that Vince couldn’t give a damn about watching scrawny midgets fly around like tennis balls. But Vince has always cared about tag team wrestling. I mean the first WrestleMania, lest we not forget, was headlined by a tag team contest. Those names I mentioned at the beginning of the article. They headlined shows, they were given major angles, they were stars. Even as recent as 8 years ago, the likes of Edge & Christian, The Hardys & The Dudleys were putting tag teams back into the limelight. But now all we get are talented guys, but jobbers nonetheless, fighting over a worthless set of titles in matches so short even SD Jones could mock them. So what next? What is the answer to this problem?

It’s simple.

I’d fire them all.

And after the cries from “how dare you!” from the smark communities died down, I’d tell you why. Well what’s the point of keeping them around? They don’t mean anything, the titles don’t mean anything and the crowd are so silent you’d almost think it was an empty arena or MVP’s entrance. Fire them all, they are worthless. Cruiserweights can go too. You can say all you want about “I thought you wanted perfection?” but sometimes you have to just let go and say this is too much to claw back. Your 5-0 down and you aren’t going to get Old Trafford injury time either. Hit the showers, it’s over.

They are un-saveable now. One day they may bring in some new tag teams or new cruiserweights and we may see a tag division like late 80’s NWA or a cruiserweight division like 1996 WCW. But re-starting the scene with anyone currently in those divisions now? Hell no. They are damaged beyond repair. There’s only so many times you can present wrestlers to look like losers, for the crowd to always remember that they are a loser, whatever major thing you may do with them (see Paul Roma). Throw them on the slagheap or chuck them to TNA so they can misuse them too. Tag wrestling in the WWE is dead.

Iron Jung

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