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Tag Team Division Fixes via Sociological Experiment

I had a theory about why the tag division still isn't really picking up steam despite a popular tag team at the top of the heap...
 
I asked 5 friends of mine (varying in age and fandom) to name the first 5 tag teams that sprung to their mind, and what they remembered.  Here are the basic results:
 
Demolition - Bad asses/great finisher
Road Warriors - Bad asses/great finisher
Hart Foundation - Great team/great finisher
British Bulldogs - Great team/great finisher
Midnight Express - Best team ever/DOUBLE GOOZLE.
 
See a common trend?  Tag teams with memorable finishers seem to resonate with people.  Even Power & Glory, a nothing team with no titles to their credit, is remembered today because of the powerplex.
 
That being said (and admittedly my focus group was small), I can only think of one tag team with a double team finisher, and that's the Ascension (and they are garnering quite a cult following already).  Do you think that if each team had some unique finisher as opposed to being called TEAM (fill in the blank), it might boost the division?  Even the last time the division was good, we had the Twist of Fate into the Swanton, the 3D, etc. 
 
Your thoughts...

Hells yeah.  I'm all about the awesome tag team finishers, I think everyone knows that about me.  That's why Hell No is so frustrating, because the WWE writing guys are still stuck on Act One of the story, where they're the wacky tag team who don't get along, and there hasn't been any progression from there.  Once they won the tag belts they should have moved onto coming up with an awesome finisher (like a spike tombstone piledriver!) and gelling as a team.  Instead, it's the usual underpants gnomes booking pattern of "funny idea, ???, profit!" where we spend months in a holding pattern because they don't know where to go next.  

Comments

  1. Cryme Tyme had an awesome move, the G9, with the Samoan Drop/flip neckbreaker combo. They had personality, could work the formula, and a good finish, but just got stuck in nowheresville

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  2. Count me among those guys on the Ascension bandwagon. All that is missing is the face paint.

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  3. And cool bad ass names instead of using their lame NXT names. Would have LOD gotten over like they did if they called themselves Hegstrand and Laurinaitis instead of Hawk and Animal,

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  4. I see your point but Hegstrand and Laurinaitis kinda fit as LOD names. They sound crazy enough.

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  5. today, they'd be Colin Verdana and Laurent Joseph

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  6. About the only great team that comes to mind for me that didn't have a double-team style finisher is Tully and Arn, unless they had one that I'm just forgetting.

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  7. I think they used a spike piledriver. And that is a top 5 username.

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  8. I'm going to take the tired BOD adage of wait and see where they go and here's why.


    Months ago we heard the tired rumor of, HHH is going to rebuild the tag division. We all laughed. Since then, they've put together another 5 teams (PTP, Bryan/Kane, Sin Cara/Rey, Rhodes Scholars, Gabriel/Kidd) and I'm sure I'm forgetting some.


    Now, some of these teams have started showing up wearing the same outfits, which is the next step in the evolution of building actual teams imo.


    I think the next logical step is to give the teams some mic time (or pop up promos on the way to their matches), finishers and maybe (hopefully) re-introduce some managers/valets. A team like Gabriel and Kidd, two dudes that can't work the stick, need someone who can put them over.



    We're headed in the right direction, finally. I just hope, like some many good ideas that the WWE seem to have at times, Vince doesn't get bored and it all goes to shit.

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  9. Thanks, and right you are: Now that you mention it I do recall that the spike piledriver was their finisher, at least during their WWF run. I still can't remember if it was their signature move in the NWA.

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  10. What's Shad Gaspar doing? I'd have no problem seeing him and JTG back together.

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  11. Don't forget the Uso's. They are the most underutilized of them all, and a Samoan drop followed by a quick splash could give us this generation's powerplex.

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  12. begrudgingly upvoted cuz ur right on both fronts.

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  13. hell no/lucha libre are breaking up. im sure of it

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  14. They used a two-man gourd buster in the NWA. Arn would set the guy up with a front facelock, and Tully would sling his legs over his shoulder, so Arn could drop the guy's face on the mat with more force.

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  15. (Stupid?) question: What was the Bulldog's finisher?

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  16. Not-so-stupid question. I spent the entire article trying to figure out what it was, I honestly can't remember and am too lazy to Google it.

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  17. Davey would pick Dynamite up and press slam / throw him onto the opponent.

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  18. In the case of Demolition (especially) and LOD, they also had fucking awesome entrance music.



    Now THAT needs to come back.

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  19. Egads, last weekend Demolition were at a show in my area, I didn't go but a buddy did and I saw pictures online; a sadder sight you'll never see in this lifetime. Ax looks like someone's senile grandfather got into his daughter's makeup, and Smash looked like some random bald guy with some paint on his face, and not to the proper scale either. Neither one used professional looking facepaint, it was just kind of smeared all over. Plus they were just wearing t-shirts and jeans, I don't think they even wrestled in regular gear. I'm sorry but that is just pathetic, neither one of those guys belongs in a wrestling ring anymore. That's why I didn't go, and that's why I got irritated at everyone acting like it was such a big deal to go see Demolition as though it was going to be just like the classic days.

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  20. Also, that one match where Hawkins and Reks were doing the Magic Mike gimmick, they had a pretty cool finisher: a combo powerslam/neckbreaker. Simple and effective. That could've gotten over if Reks hadn't quit wrestling.

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  21. Totally agree about the managers needed for Kidd/Gabriel. This is something that has been lacking for years, and really needs to come back.

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  22. It's always sad seeing guys you enjoyed watching try and stumble through a match years later. I got the chance to see the Missing Link just before he passed, and he looked awful and basically all he did was headbutts the whole match. Also got to meet Hacksaw a few years ago, and he was rough looking too. Of course he was drunk off his ass while meeting little kids before the match, so that could have been a big reason. At least Greg Valentine may look like a cigar store Indian, but he can still go.

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  23. Was thinking, who is currently inactive, could be repackaged under a hood without us realizing who it is? Swagger could be a good choice (don't know what his upper body looks like without the singlet) but his body type is a giveaway. Would need to have no tattoos, and a non-distinct moveset.

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  24. Seeing The Nasty Boy(Saggs had blown out his knee and wasn't wrestling, just getting drunk) and Rick Stenier in a..."steel" cage was one of the highlights/saddest moments of my wrestling fandom.

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  25. I was just thinking about this. The great teams were actually TEAMS, they not only had finishers, but a slew of signature double team moves as well. Everyone remembers The Heart Attack, but the Heart Foundations matches were made great by moment like Bret slingshotting Jim in for a shoulderblock or Jim bodyslamming Bret on an opponent. The Rockers didn't even have a single stable finisher, but they were sure to nail at least one double team move almost every time they tagged.

    Now we're in the superteam era where the closest we get to a tag finisher is both guys hitting their singles finisher in a row. There's always a definite sense that both team mates are singles guys who are just temporarily together. Even teams that get names, like Air Boom, Awesome Truth, or Rhodes Scholars, are just labeled with portmanteaus of the two guys' gimmicks. I think this all makes it very clear that these guys are just passing time until a slot opens up for a push. This lowers the stakes on any quest for the tag team gold because it makes it seem very secondary.

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  26. I don't really see the average fan being able to say "Rhodes Scholars are just a team until a spot opens up for Cody higher on the card"

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  27. I saw them at an indy show and they were doing autograph signings. It was depressing. Thy wrestled that night in a gauntlet match and was DQ (because honestly I don't think they could take the bumps.)

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  28. To begin, tag teams need matching outfits. It just sells the fact that they are a team.Tag team finishers do help but they need some double team moves as well.


    Rey and Sin Cara should be locked in a room and forced to watch Midnight Rockers videos until they not only mimic every double team move in their arsenal but go out and get high afterwards.

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  29. THey need to keep Rey/Sin Cara together if only for the fact that it would extend Rey's career.

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  30. If they're still coming out to their old ass-kicking anthem it would somehow make the display even sadder.

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  31. Maybe they wouldn't say it, but I feel like that is how the unconscious message that is being sent. All the teams listed above--none of us watched them thinking, Davey Boy Smith or Bobby Eaton is going to be awesome as a singles guy. We were able to contextualize our appreciation for them entirely within the tag team division. I don't think it feels to anyone like the Rhodes Scholars will still be together three months from now because they are still presented as separate gimmicks on separate individuals. They haven't Hollywood Blonded, if you will.

    Of course part of the problem is that Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels may have changed things irrevocably. They set the template and we've seen a number of guys follow it (notably Edge, Booker T, Scott Steiner). This all comes back to the titles being de-emphasized though. If the titles aren't treated like their important (like long reigning champs London and Kendrick losing the belts to a flavor of the week team on a nothing Smackdown) then why would anyone cast aside singles ambitions to pursue tag gold? Why would these teams stick around long enough to establish a shared identity and cooperative moveset? If they really want to rebuild the division they need to reestablish the title to the point that it makes sense for guys to want to become cohesive and master teamwork in order to win it.

    Hell No is as good a place as any to start this trend, but they need to reach the point where they actually care enough about winning to learn to get along (reach Act II as Scott has been saying). If that doesn't happen, then this tag team rejuvenation is dead in the water.

    Another thing they need to do, which probably will never happen: have a midcard team win a handicap match against a main-eventer. What a great way to show that two guys are good at working together, have them beat a guy they couldn't normally beat on their own.

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  32. YankeesHoganTripleHFanNovember 22, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    The Express didn't get high after their matches. Bobby Eaton gave booze and clothing to bums while Stan Lane had 3 ways involving baby oil. Did you read Foley's first book AT ALL???

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  33. Not the Midnight EXPRESS..the Midnight ROCKERS (Shawn and Marty)

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  34. The Prime TIme Players are currently the closest thing we have to a classic tag team. They wear matching uniforms, a joint theme music, and have an actual, official tag team name. And that's what's missing right now -- for the past few years, we've had these celebrity couple tag team names, where it's just a combination of each individual member. Like ShoMiz and JeriShow and Awesome Truth and CoBro and even Team Rhodes Scholars and Team Hell No. Air Boom and Heatseekers were on the right track (with matching color schemes and fairly original joint names), but neither of those teams exist anymore.


    It's odd....the criticism of debuting tag teams have always seemed to be that a team is less marketable in the main event scene. Yet 95% of their roster is portrayed as being completely outmatched by the main event scene....so they might as well invest in some actual tag teams.

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  35. I'm a BIG fan of The Usos, and think that they could really get over if they were allowed to look strong for more than one episode. They have a great entrance, they're really agile, and they're decent on the mic.

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  36. "Cryme Tyme" always seemed like a can't-miss prospect; JTG has always been a very good wrestler and mic-worker, and Shad was one big, scary dude. They also had a unique gimmick and great music. What the hell happened?

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  37. Supposedly they want to run Rey vs. Cara at Wrestlemaina so they can break some sort of record for most people wearing masks in one place (I assume they're going to give a free mask to everyone that walks in the door), so I think it's a safe bet they break up sometime next year. Of course, there's no reason they can't re-form the team the next night.

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  38. Who were the Heatseekers?
    You're right about the Prime Time Players. It helps that neither guy was really established before they started teaming so they didn't really have individual gimmicks to fuse together. I think managers help a lot too with tag teams, particularly heal ones. It's an important part of the formula that there's someone there to cause distractions while the heels double team illegally.

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  39. they would also sometimes win with dynamite hopping onto davey's shoulders (i think? something like that) then doing a diving headbutt

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  40. Davy would pick one of the opponents up in a firemans carry and Dynamite would jump off of the guy and give a headbutt.

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  41. That was during the WWE's time of, "Look a tag team is getting over. Let's break them up and have them feud."


    If I'm not mistaken, Shad is trying to act.

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  42. Interesting--I've always seen them finish a match with the powerslam OR the diving headbutt. I think the Bulldogs may be an exception to this rule, then.

    Another exception: the Steiners. They may have had a couple of tag-team finishers, but they killed guys dead with singles-moves just as often.

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  43. Ooh, good choice. I thought Miz was great that one night as the Calgary Kid...did he go so far as to hide he is a southpaw?

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  44. Yeah, I wasn't sure who "brak_attack" was referencing, either. The "Dudebusters" (Barreta & Croft), maybe?

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  45. I don't remember whether he switched dominant hands, but I do remember everybody being shocked at how muscular he was - NOBODY guessed it was him under the hood.

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  46. The Heatseekers was the, I guess, unofficial tag team name for Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks.

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  47. The Steiners' double-team finisher was Scott holding the opponent on his shoulders and turning his back to the corner, while Rick leapt off turnbuckle with a flying bulldog headlock. Essentially a reverse Doomsday Device, for all intents and purposes. It was a cool move but frankly, the spectacle of early 90's Frankensteiners from Scott was move than enough to act as a finisher.

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  48. I've seen that move, along with an off-the-shoulders DDT. But yeah, I've seen Scott win tag-team matches with the Frankensteiner, or even the butterfly powerbomb, just as often.

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  49. Writing comic books last I heard.

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  50. The quality's not great but you can see it here.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfdaxfDVobo

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  51. Sandow's the Golden Goose of that team, Vince & HHH love him is what I've been hearing.

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  52. Are you the bass player in a band called DeadSet?

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