The Lost Art of Tag Team Wrestling

If you’re new to the world of wrestling (say…within the past decade), then you’ve seen some of the worst tag team wrestling of the past 30+ years.

World's Cutest Tag TeamSure, there are some solid teams out there…The Addiction, ReDRagon, the World’s Cutest Tag Team (pictured left), the Young Bucks…but for the most part, the tag team scene is comprised of make-shift performers who have nothing better to do or can’t get over on their own. There are very few tag teams that are together specifically to do well in a tag team division.

Road WarriorsGrowing up, I was fascinated by the WWE tag team division. The British Bulldogs, the Hart Foundation, the Killer Bees, the Young Stallions, the Bolsheviks, Demolition, Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff, Strike Force, the Rockers…just off the top of my head. The NWA was almost as good with the Rock’n’Roll Express, the Midnight Express, the Road Warriors, Anderson & Blanchard, the Fantastics, the Freebirds, and the Koloffs just to name a few.

The point is that you didn’t only have tag team matches dominating a lot of the television programs, but they would main event house shows. These performers knew how to entertain and elicit responses, and the art of tag team wrestling was perfected.

Today? Well…things are a little bleak in that area.

Cesaro & Tyson KiddThe WWE has one outstanding tag team in The Usos as their champions. Everybody else are far below in terms of quality. Los Matadores? Ugh. The Ascension? They weren’t even that good in NXT despite the “Road Warrior-esque” booking. The Miz & Damien Mizdow? They’re a parody of a tag team on the verge of a break-up. The Dust Brothers have officially broken up and the Prime Time Players are potentially reuniting. Cesaro & Tyson Kidd? They have potential, but I don’t see the chemistry between them.

James Storm & AbyssIt’s not like TNA is any better, with the make-shift team of James Storm & Abyss as their champions defending against the 90s-era Hardy Boyz and undersized/overhyped American Wolves.

Is it a case of the “powers that be” not enjoying tag team wrestling? Is it too difficult to get a team over with audiences? I wish I had the answer.

What I do know is that there are teams wrestling around the world that are getting fans to jump out of their seats. Does that mean they’re all awesome? No, but it means that there is definitely a market for tag team wrestling.

I’ll go out on a limb and say that last year’s PWG event “DDT4” was one of the best wrestling shows of the year and it was nothing but tag team wrestling at its finest. Why is it so difficult for WWE to create and cultivate a couple of tag teams that aren’t meant to be jokes or second-tier athletes?

I know that I’m far from the only person who loves tag team wrestling when it’s done properly. I wish I knew why the art form is being underutilized the way it is. It’s a damn shame.


2 thoughts on “The Lost Art of Tag Team Wrestling

    • You’re absolutely right. While slightly before my time, the Andersons were a kick-ass team that dominated. They were from a different era of tag teams than the era I mentioned, along with other teams like the Blackjacks, Jack & Jerry Brisco, the original Hollywood Blondes, the Wild Samoans, Rick Martel & Tony Garea, etc.


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