ROH Focus: The Ultimate Test of Tag Team Endurance, Tag Wars 2010

Ken DrabekCorrespondent IIAugust 24, 2010

The prominence of tag teams in professional wrestling has been on the decline over the last several years.

Despite having less and less importance in the WWE and TNA these days, it manages to remain a popular aspect of wrestling. One look through the archives here on Bleacher Report will show that fans still care about tag teams.

Lately, we have seen several articles published addressing the state of the tag team scene.

There has even been a series of pieces by various writers attempting to determine who the greatest tag team of all time is.

While the big two may not be giving tag teams the exposure that many fans would like, Ring of Honor has remained steadfast in providing top notch tag team competition for wrestling enthusiasts.

Over the years, ROH has given us some incredible tag team battles.

Teams like The Briscoes, The Second City Saints, The Prophecy, Generation Next, The Age of The Fall, The American Wolves and countless others have given it their all for the sake of holding the ROH World Tag Team Championship.

Throughout 2010, no tag team in all of professional wrestling has been as dominant as the current ROH Tag Team Champions, Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli, known simply as The Kings of Wrestling.

They have plowed through the competition in the ROH tag ranks, putting on matches that have been talked about as “Match of the Year” candidates against the likes of The Briscoes and the current TNA World Tag Team Champions, The Motor City Machine Guns.

This weekend, ROH will place their champions in a four-team “Ultimate Endurance Match” to conclude a tournament concept called Tag Wars 2010.

Over the past month and a half, 12 of the best current teams in ROH have been competing in a tournament comprised of three blocks or brackets.

The winning team from each block will then go on to face Hero and Castagnoli the next night in for the tag team titles.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, the “Ultimate Endurance Match” is an elimination style tag team match where each fall is competed under a special stipulation. As an example, the first fall could be a street fight, the second could be a ladder match, and the third could be a tables match.

ROH has given the fans the power to vote for the stipulations of the upcoming match, though the results have yet to be revealed.

ROH’s debut show in Richmond, VA this Friday will feature the three final matches from blocks A, B, and C of the Tag Wars tournament.

Block A’s final features the six-time former ROH tag team champions, The Briscoes, taking on The Embassy combination of Erick Stevens and the Necro Butcher.

Jay and Mark Briscoe want nothing more than another shot at their rivals, Hero and Castagnoli.

In order to get it, they have to make it through Tag Wars.

They are off to a good start, eliminating The House of Truth (Josh Raymond and Christin Able) in round one of the tourney.

Stevens and Necro took out the team of “Skullkrusher” Rasche Brown and Grizzly Redwood in the first round of Block A and now face perhaps their toughest tag team test to date in the Briscoes.

Will the odd couple of The Embassy be able to take down the most successful team in ROH history?

The final from block B features the team of Colt Cabana and El Generico going up against Rhett Titus and Kenny King, The All-Night Express.

Cabana and Generico have been embroiled in a bitter feud with Kevin Steen and Steve Corino since “Final Battle 2009.” Throughout the last six months of teaming together, Cabana and Generico have developed excellent chemistry with one another.

Their win over The American Wolves to advance in block B of the tournament was considered an upset. It is also concrete proof that this team is for real.

The All-Night Express has grown into a formidable team thanks to the guidance of their manager and mentor, the former (and only) two-time ROH World Champion, Austin Aries.

Titus and King are young, hungry and full of potential.

As a team, they have already picked up some huge wins. They scored their biggest victory yet by defeating The Briscoes at “Buffalo Stampede II” in June and kept the momentum going by taking out the team of Jerry Lynn and Delirious to advance in block B of the tournament.

The block C final will see The Dark City Fight Club against The Bravado Brothers, who are undoubtedly the underdogs of the tournament.

Lance and Harlem Bravado shocked many fans by picking up a first-round win over the Super Smash Brothers. No one seems to be giving them much of a chance to defeat the DCFC.

There is good reason for that though; the team of Jon Davis and Kory Chavis are much bigger, much stronger, and much more experienced than the young Bravados.

The DCFC advanced to round two of Tag Wars by defeating The Embassy’s Shawn Daivari and Ernesto Osiris.

Three teams will come out of Friday night with a shot at The Kings of Wrestling.

On Saturday night in Charlotte, NC, they will face the ultimate test of tag team endurance as they step in the ring with the most dominant tag team in wrestling today.

Will Hero and Castagnoli continue their roll as the ROH World Tag Team Champions, or will one of the six remaining teams do the unthinkable and dethrone The Kings?

Either way, ROH continues to prove that tag team wrestling isn’t dead. Tag Wars 2010 gives us all the evidence we need that it is, in fact, alive and well.

Photo courtesy of Scott Finkelstein