Fans were a little perplexed on Monday night (Feb. 4) when Raw’s tag team main event ended in a disqualification because Kurt Angle’s partner Braun Strowman attacked Baron Corbin, resulting in a win for Corbin & Drew McIntyre.
The idea that entering a match without being tagged and hitting the legal man on the other team is a violation of the rules didn’t surprise anyone. That WWE would actually enforce those was strange, because they never do.
This new adherence to the rule book comes at an interesting time. Rumors have been swirling about WWE putting a renewed focus on its tag teams as it prepares to compete with All Elite Wrestling (AEW), which will presumably focus on their tag scene seeing as company vice-presidents The Young Bucks will be competing in it. Specifically, there were reports Raw’s The Revival wanted out of their contracts - probably so they could go work with The Bucks in AEW - but WWE talked them out of it with a promise to emphasize pairs wrestling, and push them in their tag division.
Whether or not any of that scuttlebutt is true, Corey Graves definitely recently mentioned on commentary that each team is allowed one save per match. That and Monday’s DQ led to Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson of The Revival taking time to explain the “new” rules/old rules that will now be enforced on Twitter:
Everyone that thinks it’s a “new rule” that each team can only break up one pin attempt per tag match, shows how little the rules have been explained and how disregarded they’ve been over the years.— Dashiel Wheeilder (@DashWilderWWE) February 7, 2019
It’s not a new rule. Not even relatively new.
Are you kidding me? The illegal can NEVER hit the legal man unless it’s during the five seconds after a team has tagged, or the one save of a pin/submission. You can’t just come in as the illegal man and lunch the legal. That’s not new. https://t.co/BjceYwPPrr— Dashiel Wheeilder (@DashWilderWWE) February 7, 2019
...and don’t even get us started on a legal, physical tag!— Scott Dawson (@ScottDawsonWWE) February 7, 2019
•Both feet on the APRON. (Not the bottom rope)
•Tag your partner from the WAIST UP. (Not the foot)
•Hold the damn tag rope!
It’s simple, really. https://t.co/K3oyRNOrvV
They have five seconds after a tag. Braun didn’t tag. https://t.co/QyOddBsW7X— Dashiel Wheeilder (@DashWilderWWE) February 7, 2019
It’s still a DQ regardless of if it’s inside or outside the ring. https://t.co/su9oZk0oDY— Dashiel Wheeilder (@DashWilderWWE) February 7, 2019
Dash also sings the praises of the 2017 book The Official WWE Book of Rules: (And How to Break Them), explains when closed fist strikes became legal in WWE (2008), reviews tape on The Revival’s match against Roman Reigns & Bobby Lashley from last July to demonstrate the rules in action, and throws some serious side-eye in the direction of Halftime Heat and TakeOver: Phoenix’s Tag title match between Undisputed ERA & War Raiders for their “Lucha House Rules”-like approach to the game.
Well, if not, just tweet at the Top Guys. They may not like us, but they’re here to educate.