In recent years the likes of the Usos, the New Day, the Revival, DIY, and the Authors of Pain have been amongst those to pave the way and bring some light back to a rather dark and neglected tag team division in the WWE. NXT, in particular, has raised the bar and created their own tag team evolution (something that hasn’t quite been highlighted as much as the women’s evolution). These names have shone a bright light in the WWE tag team division but in twenty eighteen an issue remains and while the talent is there, tag team wrestling is dying out in world wrestling entertainment but how? Why? And exactly who is to blame?
A Tough Act to Follow
In a time where names including Edge and Christian, The Dudley Boyz, and The Hardy Boyz existed tag team wrestling was at an all-time high. The quality of in-ring performances we were getting from such teams raised the bar and created a buzz around tag team wrestling the WWE has struggled to live up to ever since. Duos with genuine chemistry, a history, and the ability to work cohesively and in an entertaining manner created memorable historic moments that have remained In the minds of fans for many years but its exactly because of that standard that we have seen the division struggle to the point where such little interest was expressed but where did things truly go wrong?
Well, the fact remains, the WWE has always had the names. Talent has been under the wing of the WWE non-stop but the writing at a times became lazy. The focus moved from tag team wrestling and it’s become evident the WWE hasn’t been putting as much effort into the division the same way it was during the days those three tag teams, in particular, were taking the spotlight so heavily. There came a time were the division stopped getting longer matches, there wasn’t as much depth within the roster, and the storylines and creativity fell flat but there was a turnaround thanks to a brand responsible for pretty much saving the WWE.
NXT has been responsible for positive aspects in the WWE. It was the home of a true women’s evolution, the roster has only gotten stronger over the years, and the quality of matches and storylines is at a level we don’t see up on the main roster due to the difference in audience. The tag team division over in the Black and Yellow brand has also been treated far differently to what we see over on RAW and SmackDown Live. The likes of American Alpha, the Revival, DIY, and SAnitY have been amongst those to change the game and raise the bar. Dash and Dawson were, of course, true highlights amongst this movement. Going from the team fans barely paid much attention to taking the title of one of the best tag teams in the world today, the two went from strength to strength and played a major part in creating a tag team wrestling evolution here in the WWE.
It was bouts against American Alpha, DIY, and Authors of Pain that put these guys at the top. The quality of wrestling we were getting was above anything we had ever seen in the WWE tag team division. We saw these guys main event Takeover events, steal the show, and work bouts that have gone down in history as some of the best of the best. What these teams did is send a message and prove a point that the future of tag team wrestling in the WWE was very bright. They gave us a reason to be interested again and while we weren’t truly getting this standard on the main roster there was a belief that with these teams it would only be a matter of time.
Where it All Went Wrong
The WWE has struggled to main consistent, strong, must-see work within its tag team division up on the main roster for years. It’s been names such as the Usos and the New Day to really keep the standards high and the entertainment level strong but once you remove them from the picture there hasn’t been much else going on. The guys coming up from NXT provided hope. These are the names that have changed the game and sure to provide something very interesting and entertaining to the main roster. However, in a very short space of time, we saw the WWE split up several tag teams/duos that set the division back massively once again. American Alpha, Enzo and Cass, and DIY were amongst those who parted ways when arguably they probably shouldn’t of. While the work we have seen between Gargano and Ciampa has been phenomenal it’s a shame they weren’t able to bring their tag team talent to the main roster considering how much it was needed.
Splitting up these teams and many others have contributed massively to the problems the division now has. Both on RAW and SmackDown Live there is a lack of depth and what these teams above provided was exactly what past teams have; a genuine connection, fantastic chemistry, and the ability to steal the show and raise the bar. Splitting them created a huge hole and a great loss in the division that has left major problems.
The True issue on the Main Roster
There are plenty of issues the WWE face over on the main roster in regards to the tag team division. It’s evident there is such a lack of effort being made and if the WWE themselves don’t care then why should we as fans? Matches are too short, storylines have no true story, and there is a lack of consistency. Those stronger teams like the Revival barely get five minutes on-screen when they could be main eventing PPV’s and there is a lack of seriousness to the division. Of course, comedic acts like The B team create some much-needed humour and entertainment but we need those serious teams to step forward and take the spotlight. Serious champions equate to serious attention and work.
Why the Division is Dead, and Can it be saved?
What the WWE needs to do is change how the tag team division is run altogether. This means no more putting two superstars together who have little chemistry let alone make zero sense as to why they would be put together. The division needs teams who can grow, who have chemistry and the ability to grab fan attention. We need to see storyline’s that have an actual story. Take Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy; there was so much that could have been done with that angle but it just never truly went anywhere and the same could be said for Team Hell No. Seeing past tag teams that were so over back on screen is key, but it must make sense, have a sensible outcome and a storyline. The division needs stronger writing instead of teams throwing against one another leaving zero interest in the “feuds” being presented. There has got to be longer matches both on a weekly basis and on ay per views in particular and of course, consistency. We must see more effort put in, get rid of throwaway matches, less tag team bouts on RAW and SmackDown Live within the rest of the roster and focus those matches more for the actual tag team division.
Overall, I do believe things can turn around. The talent is there but the WWE needs to hold back on splitting those teams up, give champions more of a spotlight because if we are being honest, we’ve barely seen the bludgeon Brothers and what they can really bring to the table. The WWE has proven they know how to create must-see content in the tag team division, just look at NXT, and with the future so bright and full its time for a tag team evolution to really take place.