Photo credit to Brett Hadley
“The Lost Art Of The Tag Team”
It appears as though 7 days seems to roll around awfully quickly these days, like life is slipping away from us and times are indeed changing far too quickly. I received an awful lot of praise and great feedback from last weeks column with a host of kind words and for that I am TRULY thankful to you all, not just to those who took the time to share the column out or to message me, but to each and every one of you who took the time to read my incredibly long winded ramblings!
So, how could I follow on from where I left off last week? Using a manager is indeed one of those forgotten arts that I truly hope will come back around, mainly down to, i’m sure, the great work still being done by Paul Heyman who just seems able to make anything seem fresh, no matter if we have seen it done time and time again before. I will certainly have my fingers crossed that he can help change people’s perceptions and bring the whole ‘manager/valet’ gimmick back to the forefront. I doubt that we will ever hit the dizzy heights again of the 1980’s and early 90’s where you had so many top managers doing fantastic work, lending such great assistance to the storylines in which their ‘clients’ were involved but it would be nice to thing that we can. The 1980’s and 90’s though were not only known for their endless stream of top managers but of course, for the wide array of Tag Team talent that was on offer. When you look back at your favourite moments in wrestling over the years and think back to the ‘golden era’, how many of your memories include some fantastic tag teams? I’m betting quite a few… like the day that The Road Warriors (aka The Legion Of Doom) donned Gold Shoulder Pads to ride motorcycles down the entrance way of Wembly Arena at Summerslam 1992 or seeing as it is almost “Rumble Season” how about that very first 30 man Royal Rumble….where Ax & Smash of Demolition drew numbers 1 & 2 respectively… I still get chills down my spine when that music kicks in and watching it as a young lad I was so excited to see how these guys would fare having to go up against each other!!
Of course, if the huge muscle teams were not your cup of tea, there were always those teams of high flyers that could wet your appetite, think no further than of course, “The Rockers”, the team that gave us “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels…and well… that Jannetty guy who always promised so much and seemed to deliver so little. When you think of The Rockers though, I would be suprised if you didn’t instantly think to what is, in my opinion, the greatest piece of wrestling television ever made. I was a HUGE Rockers fan, I LOVED them (it was the beginnings of an early man crush I think) and I was desperate to see them stay together, I couldn’t imagine my world without that team in it…so when they began having problems between them and tensions were coming out, I was pleased to see Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake help to get to the bottom of the problem, he called out both guys on his regualr spot “The Barber Shop” and metaphorically banged their heads together, telling them what we all already knew…that together, they could be unstoppable! A hand shake between the 2 quickly followed and then a hug….Yes, yes, indeed, this was a true “mark out” moment for me at the time and I remember sinking back down in my chair, safe in the knowledge that my favourite team would be together forever…… and then…. everything in wrestling as I knew it changed in an instant… that awful Shawn Michaels superkicked poor Marty Jannetty in the face!! As if that wasn’t enough, he picked him up and well…you know the rest! That for me was one of the most powerful moments I had ever witnessed and really showed for me, the value of building things up outside the ring, we hardly ever see a promotion these days use an ‘interview’ style segment to create such drama or magic. I have been lucky enough to have my own a few times at Southside entitled “The Golden Tongue” and I have to say that it has always been a lot of fun…even when Nigel McGuiness did ask me if I had borrowed my shirt from a Darts player!!
Fast forward onto 2000 or there abouts and just look at what was on offer in the Tag Team Division…The Dudley Boys, The New Age Outlaws, The Radicalz and maybe the 2 teams that really set the world on fire in that era, The Hardy Boyz and Edge & Christian, such phenomenal feuds, great matches and true, edge of your seat moments were created. You only have to look back at the TLC matches to see just how great this whole dynamic was! So, with such great memories created by Tag Teams and such impactful television being created….why the demise of yet another fantastic side to Professional Wrestling? Is it that the ego’s of today will not allow for the limelight to be shared? Who knows… fortunately, state side, you do have teams like “The American Wolves” flying the flag and making a name for themselves. I was saddened to hear that their deal with WWE didn’t seem to pan out but glad to see TNA making a good decision for once (that’s 2 in the space of a few months if you count Spud’s rise to stardom). It seems as though WWE just do not value the art of the tag team any longer though! I have a vague recollection of them, not so long ago, switching the tag titles on a HOUSE SHOW!! If that doesn’t scream “these belts no longer matter to us” then I don’t know what does!
As always, I seem to have started to divert off on a tangent and this is again getting long, so maybe I should hurry along to my actual point! As many of you will know, I am not really a big fan of the international stuff anymore, my knowledge and passion lies at home and it is here that I truly believe we hold a massive key in our hands at the moment when it comes to showing the world that Tag Teams can again play a huge part in the future. I want to start close to home, as obviously, when it comes to teams, I have spent A LOT of time working closely with The Predators, Paul Malen and Joseph Conners, two men that should have been featured in the UKFF Top 50 but were some how omitted from the final draft which is just absolutely criminal. The team dynamic offered by The Predators is one of classic style, think “The Brain Busters” and you wouldn’t go far wrong. The sheer aggression shown and the pairing, who when out together as a unit always give off that impression of a cohesive and well oiled machine make it blazingly obvious that the standard of tag teams in this country at the moment is probably as great as it has ever been. Then of course you have to look at Project Ego, living proof that 2 guys can emulate the individual success like “The American Wolves” enjoy and yet still come together and be right up there as arguably the best tag team in the UK today. You take Kristoffer Travis (who I extend my congratulations to for being featured front and centre on ROH’s website today with news of the upcoming tour of the current ROH Champion and how he is looking forward to facing the best that we have to offer) and Martin Kirby and there you have 2 guys that no card is fully complete without. Everywhere you look in the UK, there are teams popping up and showing that what they can offer to a show is something entirely different than a singles match.
If you want big teams, we have them, take The London Riots as your classic example, a modern day Demolition, pounding their opponents without remorse or of course the current PCW Tag Team Champions “Team Single” whom I will come onto in a few moments. We have high flying teams as well, sticking with London, you need look no further than “Swords Of Essex” – Paul Robinson and Will Ospreay who can always go that extra “Hardy-esque” direction to make you stand open mouthed at what they will dare to attempt. In Scotland, the standout teams are of course Fight Club and The Bucky Boys, soon to make their Southside and indeed England debut as a team, trust me when I say that these guys are not to be missed. You have The Bhangra Knights, who when not flogging merch by the bucket load, have proven time and time again that they can get the job done. With the annoucnement late last year that this will be RJ Singh’s final year for a while, I would urge everyone to see these guys before it is too late. Then of course, no column of mine on such a subject would be complete without finding my modern day ‘Rockers’, with their long flowing brown locks and cohesive style, The Hunter Brothers have really set the UK alight over the past 18 months or so, their battles with The Predators both in Southside and in LCW have been some of my favourite matches to be involved in…and the fact that they happen to be 2 of the most genuinely nice guys you will ever come across just makes them even more awesome.
“Awesome”, now that is a funny word isn’t it? What makes something ‘awesome’? Well, its slightly convenient that I have found myself leading on to such a subject… you remember that I mentioned PCW’s “Team Single” above, well, Team Single have issued an open challenge that is raging on facebook at the moment, this has been done in the form of a ‘fan vote’ to decide which UK team deserves a shot at the PCW Tag Team Titles. The prize not only carries with it this prestigious chance to cause the biggest upset in British Wrestling History but also the opportunity to be on the same show as being headlined by the amazing “AJ Styles” – so you could say, this stakes are high! It just so happens that one such Nottingham based Tag Team, who originally hail from the “United States Of Awesome” and their mysterios sidekick “Tasselman” feel that they are upto the challenge. “Adrenaline” Danny Chase and “Diamond” Dave Andrews have recently had a makeover…and the result is awesome….”Battle Squad : Awesome” to be exact. Sporting super hero persona’s and the ability to hang with the very best of them, BS:A have answered the challenge issued by Team Single!! This is a match that very much deserved to happen, you know the old saying…. ‘The Bigger They Are, The Harder They Fall’ and with that in mind, T-Bone and Rampage must have a very long way to fall!!!
I close today’s column asking for YOUR help to make this epic encounter happen…. this is something that will take you 10 seconds to do, but could make all the difference when the voting closes. The video put out by BS:A & Tasselman has been entered into the competition and I myself have shared it on the PCW page. So what do I need from you?
Please click on this link : https://www.facebook.com/PrestonCityWrestling
On your computer (you will not be able to do this from a phone) – please scroll down and you will see the section called “Posts By Others”
There you will find my name “Harvey Dale” and see the link to where th video has been shared. All you need to do, if you believe that BS:A have what it takes to chop down the two huge tree’s that are currently in posession of the PCW Tag Team Titles is click on “Like” on the video link.
It is as simple as that!!! I thank you in advance for affording me the 10 seconds to do what is required and make this happen! As always I thank The Indy Corner for their continued support in allowing me this time to speak my mind. You can of course find me on facebook by clicking the following link https://www.facebook.com/HarveyDaleTheManWithTheGoldenTongue or find me on my twitter @TheHarveyDale
Many thanks for reading