Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Big Heat's Hot Takes: A Good Time For Tag Teams

No time in WWE has been better for tag teams thanks to the Usos and their counterparts
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With Money In The Bank behind us on the Road to SummerSlam, it's worth noting that the card featured not one, not two, not three, but four multi-man matches. Of course the main focus was on the two ladder matches, which saw a combined 14 upper mid-carders and main eventers vying for a world championship opportunity. But there were also two tag team matches on the card, featuring actual tag teams that have been together for extended runs.

Somewhere on his way to the Impact Zone, Teddy Long is doing a happy dance. 

With this focus on tag teams, it's clear that the division is the strongest it's been in some time - at least since the tag titles have been represented by the giant pennies, and maybe even since the glory days of The Hardy Boyz/Dudley Boyz/Edge and Christian. The reason for this strength is twofold: quantity and variety. 

Look at all the tag teams active right now in WWE - and I mean tag teams, not "John Cena and Roman Reigns are teaming up against Kane and Randy Orton" tag teams. At the top of the heap is The Usos followed by - I'll say in order - Luke Harper and Erick Rowan, The Brothers Dust, Rybaxel, and Los Matadores (currently shelved due to an injury to Diego). Worst case, we can pull Zack Ryder out of catering to reform Team CoBro with Santino, if the whole Emma thing finally runs its course. 

That's five tag teams in WWE already in existence, with the possibility of another. When was the last time there were five solid tag teams around at the same time? Go ahead and tell me. Ha! You can't, because this is the golden age of tag team wrestling in WWE. Back when the Hardyz, Dudleys, and Edge and Christian ruled the tag division, it was really just those three teams trading the titles back and forth, with no other major teams getting involved. Even when WWE bought out WCW and ECW and had a huge influx of talent, were there ever more than three or four tag teams?

What about variety? Remember those days of crazy TLC tag matches, how the Hardyz were Team Extreme, and the Dudleyz were EXTREME, and Edge and Christian were entertaining? Sure, you had a little variety of styles, but all three teams were basically the same. But today? The Usos turned their last name into a catchphrase, painted half their faces, and now literally fly across the arena. Harper and Rowan are backwoods cult members who look like they don't shower, and one of them wears a sheep mask. Now that Cody Rhodes has transformed into Stardust, The Rhodes Brothers are just Goldust Squared - not a bad thing, mind you. Rybaxel are a couple of schoolyard bullies - one of them runs his mouth and always sounds stupid, but the other one will literally tear you apart. And Los Matadores have a little bull! HE'S TWERKIN', MAGGLE!

With the amount of teams in the division, coupled with the unique characters portrayed by the members of each team, we've reached a zenith of sorts, and there's nowhere to go but down. There really isn't a whole lot to improve on in the tag division, folks. 

Well, as long as randomly thrown together tag teams aren't given the spotlight over well-established groups like these. Like the main event on Raw, or the classic Teddy Long "FOUR PEOPLE IN THE RING MAKE A TAG MATCH" match. But that would never happen, right?