This week’s ROH featured a 7 team tag gauntlet, with the winning team earning a future title shot against champions War Machine. Now, the eventual winners of the gauntlet (Roppongi Vice) or even the matches themselves really don’t matter for today’s column, which will be a single lesson.
Lesson: WWE doesn’t care at all about tag team wrestling.
Ring of Honor dedicated an entire hour long show to tag team wrestling. The only way that would happen in WWE is if the teams were thrown together pairings purely for storyline purposes.
Ring of Honor used 7 tag teams and didn’t even include some of their most popular duos, such as The Briscoe Brothers or All Night Express. Looking at the WWE Superstars page, I can only count 8 regularly pairing teams on the entire roster, and that includes The Matadors, who we haven’t seen in ages and The Ascension, who don’t matter one iota.
Now, I’ll grant you that ROH didn’t use their all-stars in this gauntlet. Teams like the House of Truth (sans Donovan Dijak, so what’s even the point?) or Brutal Bob and. . . the other guy. . . weren’t going to light the place on fire. Regardless, those teams were given a chance to shine. The last time we saw Diego and Fernando was in a dark match BEFORE a Main Event taping. Yeah, I know, I didn’t even know they did those.
“What about NXT?” you might be asking right now – “They have teams like American Alpha and The Revival and those guys are great!” You’d be absolutely right in saying so – They also have Enzo and Cass and the Vaudevillains. . . and I suppose Dingo and Clap Clap. . . But that’s about it. Have there been any other tandems made that we should care about? Not that I’ve seen.
Another question you might have is, “So What?” Does it really matter if WWE doesn’t care too much about tag team wrestling? Well, perhaps not to you, I suppose, and once again, that’s just fine if that’s your opinion. For guys like me, though, I think tag wrestling is an art, which is why I’m so delighted each time Dash and Dawson come on my screen.
It’s also why I’m grateful we have promotions like Ring of Honor. They are willing to devote an entire hour of programming to tag teams, just like they can tap into their New Japan connections to bring international stars to our shores that most US fans haven’t seen.
It might be a pain to watch for some of us, but if you’re not watching ROH on at least a semi-regular basis, you’re missing out.