Where have all the tag teams gone?
Informative views and insights on the wrestling world from SLAM! Sports.
By JOHN POWELL -- SLAM!
Davey Boy Smith and The Dynamite Kid, The British Bulldogs.
I feel damn sorry for the World Tag Team Champions in either the WCW or
WWF. The historic belts once held by distinguished teams such as The Hart
Foundation, The British Bulldogs, Demolition, The Andersons, The Four
Horsemen, The Road Warriors and The Steiner Brothers aren't worth a cup of
coffee and a week-old donut at a downtown greasy spoon.
Once a cornerstone of the biz granted main event status, today's tag team
wrestling scene is mired in mediocrity. As this is a mainstream media site
I can't use the words that would aptly describe the booking skills involved
in contemporary tag bouts but suffice it to say that a freshly painted park
bench has more imagination.
The token federation champs - the WWF's New Age Outlaws and WCW's The Giant
and Scott Hall - are afterthoughts bungling through forgettable title
defenses against whichever two saps the feds can slap together as the
"rightful challengers" three minutes before bell time. Generating as much
heat as an ice cube dropped in a snow bank, these encounters are a fan's
version of the "rest hold".
Go ahead. Get your popcorn. Go to the bathroom. Smooch your significant
other. Hey. It's only a World Tag Team Title match. Whoopee!
If federation booking was reality-based, Greg Oliver and I would have as much
right to a title shot as the hordes of unworthy challengers. Coming to an
arena near you...the SLAM! Masters. Oh, yeah. I can dig it.
The Giant and Scott Hall team signify the very worst about modern tag
wrestling. Cut and paste tag teams. In Turner-land, WCW head honcho Eric
Bischoff purposely dismembered his promising but costly tag team division.
Bottom line: the pay didn't equal the work rate. The Steiner Brothers.
Harlem Heat. The Faces Of Fear. No experienced duo was spared Bischoff's
bloody axe. Some (Booker T. Meng. Scott Steiner.) went on to new-found
popularity in singles competition. What was the price WCW paid? The gutting
of a deep division to provide meaningful competition. The WCW tag team
belts saw their credibility disappear faster than Hollywood Hogan's hair.
Bischoff's measure to stop the slide was to utilize the tag division as a
place to feature the overflow of high-profile wrestlers under costly
contracts. Bad move. The fabled bond which develops between seasoned
partners is non-existent. Sting and Kevin Nash or The Giant and Scott Hall
are unquestionably members of the same gang but general alliances don't
establish the"well-oiled machine" concept that is a trademark of tag team
wrestling. The Giant and Hall have no special moves they've planned
together behind the scenes. There's no unique bond there. It's not two
joining as one. It's a standard singles match with the occasional tag-outs
On the flip side up North, the WWF and its prez Vince McMahon have went the
same route crowning Steve Austin a tag team champion with Shawn Michaels,
Dude Love and The Undertaker for the sole purpose of lighting a fire under
a singles feud.
Brutus Beefcake and Greg Valentine, The Dream Team.
The sudden break-up of a tag team used to mean something. Rick Martel
turning his back on Tito Santana. A enraged Macho Man going psycho on Hulk
Hogan. Shawn Michaels kicking Marty Jannetty through a plate glass window.
Memories of betrayal still fresh in our minds.
Running a polar opposite to WCW, The World Wrestling Federation continues
to build upon its tag team division. The Godwinns were re-invented. Signing
Kaientai was a stroke of genius, though we could do without Yama-gimpy-san.
This being true, why then isn't anyone gunning for the titles? The New Age
Outlaws have it easy once again. As before, no one is mounting a serious
challenge to their title reign.
What's worse laying waste to your talent as WCW did or letting your talent
go to waste as the WWF is doing?
Whichever way you slice it, the state of tag team wrestling is downright
disgraceful. The WWF and WCW's stand shortchanges fans and denigrates the
proud superstars who gave those belts their shine.
Agree? Disagree? .E-Mail me your
response at email@example.com
. Some responses may appear in the next column.
The previous SLAM! Wrestling editorial
I fail to understand why everyone has such a problem with Goldberg's inexperience and limited repertoire of wrestling holds and manouevres. Has no one been watching Hollywood Hogan for the last few years. Explain the skill and talent involved in his only two moves, the clothesline and the leg drop. Oops, I forgot his famous foot in the air while his opponent blindly runs into it, the set up move for the leg drop. Hogan doesn't even attempt the most limited of moves, much less something like the Jackhammer.
I totally agree with your Goldberg column. He is one of the worst
wrestlers I have ever seen. That match against Hogan was probably the
worst match I have ever witnessed for a Championship belt. And now,
that phrase, a lame excuse for marketing, puzzles me, "Who's Next?"
Another jobber? Bischoff killed the credibility of the U.S. title with
a jobber challenging for it every week, will he do the same for the
World title? Or can he find enough stars to job to Goldberg week in and
week out? I don't think so. Here's an original idea Bischoff, have
Goldberg fake an injury, vacate the title and comeback in a month or
two. This way he doesn't have to lose, and ratings will climb when he
returns. Now isn't that original!
I agree with you in your "Don't Try This At Home" article. Sometimes I
think Mick Foley is a better stuntman than most of Hollywood, CA has.
Much like Shawn Michaels, he was willing to drop the "Hell in a Cell"
without a helmet.
On to Goldberg. Sure he's big and strong. Just like Austin, I don't
understand his popularity. Austin flips people off, "stuns" executives
and his speeches sound like the Emergency Broadcast System. Goldberg
hits his opponet to set up the spear to set up the Jackhammer. Can he
wrestle more than 5 minutes?
Goldberg's matches are as predictable as Hogan's in th '80s, which is
why I stopped likeing him.
The best part about Slam! Wrestling is it's the only site that tells it
like is and tells both sides, WWF and WCW. As other reporters for you
have said all the other sites are nothing but fans showing biases and
lack of knowledge, or as Donnie put it "a Mark"
Personally I think Hogan will end Goldberg's streak. And I'd like to
congratulate Bret Hart on getting the US Title. I also find it ironic
that a Canadian would hold the United States belt. Guess things are
better north of the border.
First off, I think you're an idiot for dissing Bill Goldberg that way. He
actually knows many moves, and he uses them a lot. In a match against Perry
Saturn, he used a variety of holds as well as counters. So give him his due.
Secondly, I think you guys should give more attention to the talented, but
somewhat underrated wrestlers like Konnan, Psychosis, Super Calo and Damien.
And finally, as a hardcore Bam Bam Bigelow fan, please put something in about
him in the near future. He is the best underrated wrestler ever in my
Thank you for your time,
I think that Bill Goldberg's fame came way too quick. Sure he's a very
huge man, but his wrestling skills are very limited. His Spear and
Jackhammer are his only moves that he realy knows how to do. You see
people like Bret Hart, Hulk Hogan, Lex Luger and many others who wrestle
for years, starting out at the bottom and have to work their way up,
going through hell trying to get there, then some big football player
comes to WCW, and wins the World Title with his first year? It just
isn't right. No wrestler should be catapulted to stardom without taking
their licks as a rookie, and just trying to stay around in the wrestling
Pete Aiello, Fernie B.C.