The Indie Corner: Don't Expect WWE to Give You Tag Teams - Look for Them in the Indies

The PWG Tag Champs, the Super Smash Bros. (via Scott Finkelstein)

"Why doesn't WWE push tag team wrestling?"

"When is WWE going to bring back tag teams?"

"I miss tag team wrestling."

If I had a nickel for every time I heard or read something about how tag team wrestling is dead, I could retire right now. It's true, tag teams in WWE are floundering and the once-strong scene in TNA/Impact has been reduced to somewhat of an afterthought for the time being. For those who only pay attention to those two companies, obviously, things look bleak. Thankfully though, the world of professional wrestling is a lot larger than those two companies, and even more thankfully, tag team wrestling is alive and well.

The best example of this is in the Southern California promotion Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. Their tag team scene is probably the best in American wrestling right now because it's held in such high regard. There's an annual tournament, DDT4, and there are no fewer than five teams that compete there regularly that could be considered among the best in the country: The Young Bucks, the RockNES Monsters, the Fightin' Taylor Boys, Future Shock and their current Tag Team Champions, the Super Smash Bros. This isn't a recent development either. Whether it be with regular teams or temporary team-ups, the Tag Belts there have always been a huge focus, and there are always a few other tag matches on the card outside the title match. Taking it further, multi-person tag matches like trios and atomicos (eight-person tags) matches often happen, with at least two or three of the latter kind of match happening per year that end up being among their most entertaining affairs.

That's not even bringing into focus how well tag teams are treated in Ring of Honor, Chikara, Anarchy Championship Wrestling and even SHIMMER Women Athletes. Tag team wrestling is alive and well in wrestling. So, why do people keep bemoaning its demise? I account for two reasons. The first is laziness. People just don't want to seek out wrestling that they have to pay for, which is a shame. It's one thing not to have the money, which is legitimate and prevalent among some wrestling fans. It's another to have the money and not patronize these companies and still buy WWE pay-per-views to complain that the Tag Team Championship match was on the pre-show while the number one contenders were on the main telecast. Those people get no sympathy from me, mainly because they're ignoring better options to continue to pump money into a WWE machine they keep bitching about. That being said, that's a blanket argument that could be made for any complaint people have about "wrestling" in general that's mainly symptomatic of the companies on TV (more often than not lately, of just WWE in particular).

The second reason is that people want to see tag teams become a part of the big stage again. They want to see it on every level because it's a great part of wrestling that was part of their childhoods. I can see why they would want tag wrestling back, but at a certain point, is it screaming at the abyss? Why would people continue to demand something from a company that is just not giving it to them? It would be one thing if WWE was the only game in town, but there are so many other options that's it not even funny. So what if that means you have to pay money to see it? Watching WWE or Impact means you have money to pay a cable bill. Buying the PPVs means that you have disposable income to waste on them. Rather than spending $50 on a WWE PPV that doesn't give what you want, why not use that and buy 4 PWG shows from Highspots video on demand? There is so much wrestling out there that's accessible that it doesn't make sense to want something out of WWE that they're not going to give you.

I'm not saying not to complain about WWE's lack of tag teams or anything. What I am saying is that it's better to seek out what you want in addition to what you're already watching is or isn't providing to you. If tag team wrestling makes you happy, then be happy. Don't just lament that it's something WWE isn't giving you, because in the end, the only way they can get the message is by going somewhere else that does provide what they don't give you.

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