The Beantown edition of Raw is now history and itís time to discuss between 2 Raws.
This week raw was a solid effort by the WWE in term of great in-ring action. But the creative team really dropped the ball big time with the tag team division. Even if we saw new tag team champions emerge at the Backlash PPV, the RAW tag team division is indeed, in turmoil.
Only a handful of makeshift tag teams, champions disappearing from RAW for weeks and teams getting beat down in handicap matches is bringing the RAW tag division to ridiculously low standards.
Seeing the Hurricane and Rosey leaving the ring with the straps was a pleasant surprise for me. They never hold the belts before and itís nice to see NEW tag champs for a while. But putting them in the ring against La Rťsistance left a really bad aftertaste. Like I said before, La Rťsistance has stalled a long time ago and their gimmick is pretty much dead.
It would have been interesting to bring back the Simon Dean/Rosey feud to fuel a tag bout on RAW. It would have made sense since the 4 wrestlers were all in the Turmoil match at Backlash and it would have gave Simon Dean and Maven some much needed in-ring time.
I was also dazzled that the former tag team champions, William Regal and Tajiri, were nowhere to be seen during the RAW broadcast. It was a huge mistake by the creative team to toss them aside.
Regal and Tajiri should have been really pissed off about losing their championship belts. If I remember correctly, they were extremely happy when they won the belts in Japan last February. What kind of wrestlers loose their championship belts and donít demand a rematch? Whatíz up with that?!
Also, the new champions didnít pin either Regal or Tajiri at Backlash. That technicality should have been used in some ways during RAW to generate heat between the tag teams.
The night after Backlash would also have been the perfect moment to introduce the Shane Twins in the WWE. The two power wrestlers could have came through the crowd, all dressed-up in wrestling gear, and raise some hell in the ring.
That way, they would have made an immediate impact on the tag team scene and sent a very clear message to the fans. Thereís nothing fancy about this team so no need for cheesy vignettes or lengthy interviews; only ball-to-the-wall power wrestling manoeuvres.
Itís about time to create some new rivalry in the tag team ranks and shaking things up should be the first step.
The WWE is also in need of new tag teams. The Heart Throbs and the Shane Twins are a good start but itís hardly enough to create legit competition.
Thatís why I think the WWE should take advantage of Val Venis and Chris Masters. Letís face it, Masters is going nowhere with is masterpiece gimmick and Venis has been limbering in the lower mid-card for too many years now.
The Porn Star character of Venis combine with the arrogant nature of the Masterpiece could make some sparks in the tag team ranks.
Venis is a talented worker and he could help a lot in the evolution of Mastersí in-ring development and psychology.
Masters could keep his entrance, which is the only good thing about him right now. Masters with the unveiling cape and Venis with the towel, that would put the Heart Throbs to shame.
Dusty Rhodes once said that as a wrestler, he was living on the end of a lightning bolt. But in the WWE, lightnings do strike twice at the same place, which make for a sense of dťjŗ vu way to often.
The WWE has to rethink is definition of tag team wrestling, bring back some dignity and prestige to the belts and make the division interesting to the fans for the first time since the Attitude Era.
The WWE has to once again make their tag wrestlers living on the end of that lightning bolt; because now, itís only thunder.
But these are only mere speculations, which always happen between 2 raws.
Stephane Lajoie Creator of the new 1wrestling.com logo
Stephane Lajoie is a 23 years old sports journalist. He graduated from the UQAM in August 2004 with a bachelor's degree in communication/journalism.
It's true that Regal and Tajiri definitely should've been utilized on RAW. Then again, for a few weeks even while they were tag-team champions, you couldn't see them unless you watched Heat, which, what, 47 people in the entire world do? I think the tag-team division needs to have more time in the limelight, period.
Nice to see Hurricane and Rosey with the tag straps, I agree. Simon Dean and Maven should get more television time. I even agree with you about Val Venis, he's been criminally underutilized ever since the end of the Chief Morley gimmick.
But I think that if they feel the need to have to use Chris Masters, it's better that they keep him in the Masterlock Challenges where he can't hurt anybody (except the brain cells of everyone watching) than to put him in matches where he can break people's noses and shit.
I have a few ideas about who'd make a good tag-team partner for Venis, though, who I 100% agree should be used by WWE in a better position than he is now. Steven Richards, when he returns from injury, is also another guy who's been hardly ever used by WWE and would make a good fit with Val. Or how about Rob Conway? Maybe draft Grenier over to SmackDown! to get Conway out of the old La Resistance gimmick (and maybe re-form the original team on the blue side), and Conway could start a team with Venis. I'd watch that.
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According to wwe.com, Regal and Tajiri will be battling the Heart Throbs for the titles on July 2nd in Honolulu (perhaps more interestingly, Don Muraco is also scheduled to appear on the event), possibly suggesting that Regal/Tajiri may regain their titles. Of course, cards are "subject to change".
There's tons of things that they could do to revamp the moribund tag team divisions, but they seem not to care. It's really a shame that they don't care about the Women's, Cruiserweight, or Tag Team divisions, because they can be real assets if used properly. Not to say that they'll turn the company around, but they can help to stop people from always having to think, "Oh, great, more of the same!"
For instance, Simon Dean & Maven have kind of entertained me the few times I've seem them do things together, but instead of building on that by making them an "official" tag team (you know, team name, music, etc.), they'd rather have Simon Dean do his same schtick and get squashed by Viscera.
I agree that a guy like Val Venis could really do well in a tag team rather than as cannon fodder, because I think everyone agrees that he has some talent, even if he'll never be a main eventer. And why not give him a partner like Masters who can't work, but would have a chance to get over.
I really think that they missed an opportunity to do something cool with William Regal & Tajiri. Those are two mid-card guys who are really over, and if they would have put them on Raw every now and again, they could have gotten over, but instead they buried them on Heat for weeks at a time.
I've thought for a while that it may be better to have all of the real, long-term teams on one brand to go after the titles, and then on the other brand, you can have teams of main eventers and upper mid-carders hold the Tag Titles, even if they are make shift teams or at least not full time teams (I'm thinking of when Benoit & Edge had the straps and when Flair & Batista had them).
Maybe with the influx of MNM, the Hearthrobs, possibly the Arab Americans tagging mroe often, and with the Shane Twins set to be called up and the Dudley Boyz set to return any day now, as well as current teams such as Simon Dean & Maven, William Regal & Tajiri, La Resistance, Hurricane & Rosey, Basham Brothers and Hardcore Holly & Charlie Haas, we'll see a little resurgence in the division.
Given that we are stuck with Masters, why not stick him in a tag team where he can tag in, do some power moves, and tag out? Give the green guys partners or out them in stables to build them slowly and protect them, rather than tossing them out there with no safety net.
I'd argue that Stevie Richards would have more of a chance of getting over and of getting non-Heat TV time if you could find a way to partner him with Masters rather than Val Venis. They could even do the non-sensical turn where a returning Richards, you would think, runs in on Masters' first match to get the guy who injured him, only to join forces and make use of the classic strong man, cowardly litle man heel tag team vibe (especially if Christian/Tomko isn't going to fill that role). Of course, that's just the fantasy booker in me. I fear the WWE's long term plan is for a submission match between Masters and Benoit.
Actually, I think part of the problem is that the writers don't have anyone they want to write for in the tag team ranks. If Eugene hadn't been injured, Regal/Eugene would have kept the tag titles in the spotlight. If you put Viscera in a tag team with a female manager and a chock load of sexual tension, the tag team division will remain in the spot light. (Viscera-Venis...that's an interesting combo that might excite the writers.)
I'm pretty sure that the 'real life' douchiness of JBL is fabricated or overblown, given that he coaches a rugby team of disadvantaged children in Bermuda, and is climbing mountains to raise money for charity.