It’s no secret that WWE puts minimal to no effort when showcasing their tag team division. If you ask company officials, they might blame it on the fans’ lack of interest on tag team wrestling; if you ask fans, they might blame it on WWE’s unwillingness to promote tag team wrestling. Go figure.
Truth is, a division is created to revolve around a championship, and promotions make a division noticed by putting their championships on or involving them with performers fans care about.
There are two main reasons behind pro wrestling fans caring about a performer:
1) They like the wrestler and consequently cheer.
2) They dislike the wrestler and enjoy booing him/her.
Most articles regarding ideas to revive WWE’s tag team division claim the company should bring in more teams—from FCW, the indie scene or by putting semi-random people together. Though such statement might be true, adding more tag teams to a lacking division won’t solve the overall problem. If fans don’t give a drowning peanut about any of those new teams, the division will remain on comatose state.
On the past five years or so, we’ve seen very few tag teams that were actually promoted by the company and received a descent crowd reaction. Fans cared about Miz and Morrison because they were annoying, detestable characters. Fans cared about The Hart Dynasty because the faction hung out and was supported by Bret Hart himself. Jeri-Show and Show-Miz received nice exposure on TV and pay-per-view due to Jericho and Miz’s natural ability to be despised (sorry Show, that’s the truth).
If WWE’s willing to re-build their tag division back into notoriety, the titles need to be strapped around a team which garners fan interest. My humble opinion states it’s easier to cultivate hate than sympathy, and since the division urges for new life, WWE should consider resorting to a cheap strategy.
What does this mean?
Americans seem to have quite a talent to hate foreigners who show even the most remote sign or suggestion of hostility towards the USA and what it stands for. Nikolai Volkoff and The Iron Shiek, La Resistance and (my personal favorite) The Un-Americans are examples of teams that became successful because of their anti-USA antics; fans were disgusted when any such tandem won the tag titles and eagerly stayed tuned in order to see them get beat by other tag team (with preference for All-American pairings).
My suggestion? Sheamus and Drew McIntyre. The Celtic Warrior and The Sinister Scotsman have tagged before and showed us how well they can work as a team when wrecking havoc at 2011’s Royal Rumble. Frankly, I like the pairing and can buy them as dominant champions at the top of the division.
By entering a tag team conformed by foreigners who trash the USA into the division, letting them bulldoze through competition until the crowd notices them and finally letting them take the gold away from a well-liked team with a “we’re so above you American pigs” celebratory speech, tag team wrestling in WWE might actually come back to life.
Of course, in order for a team to bulldoze through the competition there has to be a substantial amount of opponents to demolish, and a couple worthy challengers that shall bring the fight to the dominant heel champions.
Then again, this is my take on what should be done. Let’s hope WWE has its own strategic plan, along with the willingness to spend time, effort and money to execute it.