I wish I knew. You would think that one of the easiest ways to get a lot of the young talent acclimated with the life on the road and putting on big matches for the crowd would be to work with a partner, be it as heels or faces. Guys like Bret, Shawn Michaels, Scott Steiner, Booker T and many more achieved fame within their respective tag teams before breaking out into their own singles careers. And they had fun matches and rivalries within those tag teams! Remember the Hardy Boyz? Would Jeff or Matt been bigger stars today without the groundwork laid as a team within the WWE?
I’d love to pinpoint when this trend shifted. I’d say it had to be the Monday Night Wars between Raw and Nitro. They needed big matches, and the easiest way to book multiple feuds was to have top singles wrestlers involved in tag team matches, particularly with guys they were not aligned with or got along with (think The Rock and Mankind in the Rock & Sock Connection). The WWE has no problem with stables, but whenever it comes to sustaining any kind of angles or programs with tag teams, it’s almost a guarantee that it will go nowhere these days. Or that one guy will get fired. Or both guys will just languish on Superstars.
I will forever harp on the wealth of talent that’s untapped within the WWE. The Fatal Four Way at No Way Out to determine that #1 Contenders for the Tag Title was a step in the right direction, but this week the Prime Time Players weren’t even on TV! They have what could be a hot angle and the back and forth on twitter to at least TRY a legit program, too. If it doesn’t work, that’s fine! That’s what trial and error is about. But with so many decorated teams coming through the ranks, and a paltry number of teams to really make things work. Hell, instead of writing these wack segments, add some more tag team bouts into the weekly shows. I’m saying!
And don’t even get me started on the state of the manager!
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