WWE: Why the Time Is Right to Bring Back the Crockett Cup

Dave Ungar@@DaveUngar68Correspondent IIIDecember 25, 2012

How Would Team Hell No Fare If The Crockett Cup was brought back? (Photo courtesy of wrestleenigma.com)
How Would Team Hell No Fare If The Crockett Cup was brought back? (Photo courtesy of wrestleenigma.com)

There was a time when some of the greatest tag teams of all time called the WWE ring home.

Teams like the Road Warriors, Demolition, The Hart Foundation, The British Bulldogs, The Brain Busters, The Hardy Boyz, Degeneration X and Edge and Christian, just to name a few.

Indeed, the tag team championship, whether it was the World Tag Team championship, the WWE Tag Team championship or the Unified championship, used to be one of the most sought-after, and hotly contested, titles in all of WWE.

For one reason or another, the tag team championship has lost a great deal of its former luster over the past few years. Similar to the Intercontinental championship, the Tag Team championship had lost something. It was no longer considered on the same level as, say, the WWE title, or the World Heavyweight championship, or even the United States championship.

There are a variety of theories as to why this is the case. In general, tag teams the past few years have been, well, kind of boring. The charisma of teams like The Hart Foundation or the Legion of Doom, or even a team like the Rock and Sock connection, just has not existed these past few years.

The WWE must have noticed this too and, to a certain extent, 2012 could be looked at as the year that the WWE decided to try and bring the tag team championship back to not just relevance, but to prominence. 

We started to see this when Kofi Kingston and R-Truth won the straps. The WWE seemed to be trying harder with the tag team division. Young, energetic and entertaining teams, such as the Prime Time Players, were being worked into the title scene quicker, for instance.

We saw the emergence of a team like Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara, whose sheer talent speaks louder than any promo they could cut. We saw some other clever pairings, like the Rhodes Scholars, come to pass, and fans began to actually take notice of the tag team division once again.

And then, of course, we have Team Hell No, the reigning tag team champions. The poster children for dysfunctionality, the unlikely pairing of Kane and Daniel Bryan has proven to be one of the most popular teams in recent years.

Not to be lost in all of this has been the arrival of The Shield, which has left a trail of destruction in its wake ever since the group burst onto the scene at Survivor Series.

Indeed, the tag team scene is fun again. With the WWE having created some definite forward momentum toward getting the tag team championship back to its rightful place in the title pantheon, one has to wonder what the WWE could do to complete the job. What could the WWE do to really take the tag team scene to a level it has not occupied in many years?

How about bringing back The Crockett Cup Tag Team Tournament?

What Was the Crockett Cup?

Unless you are a WWE historian or a child of the '80s, you probably do not remember the Crockett Cup.

The Crockett Cup was a tag team tournament that was conducted in 1986, 1987 and 1988. Jim Crockett Productions hosted the event under the banner of the NWA, the predecessor to WCW. Jim Crockett, Jr. held the tournament to honor his father.

The tournament was rather different than any typical tag team tournament we see nowadays. It was a single-elimination event contested between 24 teams over a two-day period. The winners not only received the Crockett Cup trophy, but they would also win a cool $1 million—in kayfabe money of course.

What made the tournament rather intriguing was how the prize money not only attracted established teams, but you would sometimes have traditionally singles competitors band together to try and catch lightning in a bottle and win the Crockett Cup.

For instance, at the first Crockett Cup tournament in 1986, Magnum T.A. and Ronnie Garvin, both usually singles competitors, joined forces and got all the way to the championship match before ultimately being beaten by the Road Warriors.

At the final Crockett Cup in 1988, Sting and Lex Luger teamed up for the first time and won the cup. As most know, Sting and Luger would team frequently over the years even though they both focused on their singles careers.

At the second Crockett Cup in 1987, the Super Powers, Dusty Rhodes and Nikita Koloff, solidified their status as one of the best teams in the world by winning the cup.

This is not to suggest that the Crockett Cup was all good and that the format would transfer to the present day perfectly. With so many teams involved, some of the matches were just rather boring.

Additionally, spacing things out over two days made it difficult to maintain interest on a sustained basis over the course of the entire tournament.

Nevertheless, the Crockett Cup tag team tournament created some very memorable moments and, in a modified format, it could be a very successful venture in today's WWE that could push the tag team scene to new heights.

How It Could Work Today

By modern standards, bringing back the Crockett Cup would create some unique possibilities for the fans as well as for the WWE creative team.

Story-wise, $1 million probably would not be that exciting anymore. But make it something like $25 million or so and now we are getting somewhere. It's not as if it is real money, so any appealing number could work here.

As far as conducting the actual event, we have already seen the WWE playing around with smaller tag team tournaments these past few months. We have seen tournaments to decide which team would become the No. 1 contenders for the belts, and along the way, we have witnessed some truly memorable moments not seen since the early days of the brand extension when new champions had to be crowned.

Even if 24 teams was deemed too much, a smaller tournament could be run with 16 teams and be just as exciting and effective. The great thing about the WWE today is that with Raw (now three hours long no less), SmackDown and a monthly pay-per-view, the possibilities are almost endless as to how WWE would want to conduct the tournament.

For instance, part of it could be run on Raw, another part on SmackDown, throw a match or two on the Main Event and then leave the Elite Eight or Final Four for a pay-per-view. In this way, the WWE could keep people interested and build up the drama and tension as the tournament progressed.

Where the WWE creative team can have a lot of fun, though, is coming up with the who, what, where, when and how as to certain teams in the tournament.

What singles superstars will be teaming up to try and win the cup and, perhaps more importantly, why?

Would we see a new super-team form? Would a new Super Powers be born, or perhaps the next Mega Powers? And if such a team did form, what sorts of storylines could be crafted around that?

Could we see enemies like CM Punk and John Cena decide to team up to go after the cup? What about if Big Show and Sheamus decided that if they teamed up there would probably be no one bad enough to stop them?

Would mega teams from the past, such as Degeneration X or Evolution, reform to try and make one more run at glory?

On the other hand, if the WWE wanted to legitimize an up-and-coming tag team, or perhaps solidify the reigning tag team champions as the best team in the world, what better way to do so than have them run the gauntlet that would be the Crockett Cup tournament?

And that might just be the tip of the iceberg as to what the creative team could do here. The tournament would be a natural setting for shocking betrayals, stunning alliances and fantastic opportunities for face or heel turns. The possibilities and scenarios are almost endless.

It is no secret that Vince McMahon has had his issues with the creative team the past few months (PWInsider via Wrestlezone.com). Bringing back the Crockett Cup creates multiple layers of opportunity for the creative team to do something fresh and exciting while at the same time further promote the resurgence of the tag team division.

It is as close to a win-win situation as you can find.

Despite some of the questionable directions in which the WWE creative team has gone over the course of 2012, they have done a great job at making the tag team scene, and the tag team championship, matter once again. All they need is one more really good idea to, possibly, take things to a whole new level.

A 16- to 24-team tournament that would attract the best teams and singles competitors, conducted over the course of a month, and contested on Raw, SmackDown and pay-per-view, could be just the ticket.

That is why the time is right for the WWE to bring back the Crockett Cup.

It certainly sounds like a great idea to me.


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