The state of tag team wrestling in the pro wrestling industry has been a topic of moderate debate for some time now, mostly because WWE, the business leader, has put much less emphasis on cultivating a tag division that fans will want to invest money in seeing. Could you imagine a legitimate tag team, which is to say, one that isn't simply thrown together -- like, say, John Cena and The Rock -- actually headlining a show?
I can't either.
So what's the answer? Or perhaps the question is what's the problem?
The Ministry of Slam Radio Show talked to Shawn Michaels about just that and got his insight into the subject, an insight more valuable than most considering he is one of the few wrestlers in history to have a successful run both as a tag and singles wrestler.
Here's what "The Heartbreak Kid" had to say:
"I really don't know (what the future holds for tag-team wrestling)", Michaels stated. "When we were doing it, there were a lot of talented and very different tag-teams, but I think it might be fair to say that the business is more individually-oriented now. That's why I don't know if things can go back to the way they were, as phenomenal as it was. I also think that when there was a number of different territories, it wasn't a strange thing for the tag-teams to be the main draw. Obviously that's something, perhaps from a business standpoint, people don't think can be a reasonable expectation now, so it's more focused on individuals."
"Regardless, I think a lot of it comes down to the guys themselves - I think they're more individually focused, and a lot of folks look at being in tags as a stepping stone to get towards an individual career. I know that's something I obviously did, but it was never really the intention at the time. Marty and I of course talked about it, but when he and I got together it was really our first break. That's all we thought about, how we could be the best team possible."
"As for any resurgence of tag-team wrestling? I really can't say, it's impossible for me to get into the minds of individuals, but I don't know if that's a real focus now with the guys. Not a lot of guys seem to go into tags looking to make that team the absolute best it can be. Whether the company standpoint is that guys have to be individuals in order to be successful, or that comes from the wrestlers themselves, there does seem to be more emphasis on single success now than there was back when I started."
Hard to argue with any of that, eh Cagesiders?