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Thread: Tag teams that split too soon

  1. #1
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    Tag teams that split too soon

    My opinion is that almost every tag team that has split post 1996 has split months, if not years, too soon. There's a tendency to push the button just a bit too early on this stuff and the two consequences of this is that tag divisions generally get weaker, and that feuds between former partners are so frequent and so rushed that they don't really mean a lot.

    Just wondering if there's much agreement with me out there, and if so, who are the tag teams that you'd have liked to have seen get a longer run together? And have there been any moments where if they'd left well enough alone, a tag team could have made Road Warriors/Steiner levels, only to be split unnecessarily?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    Recently, American Alpha, certainly. Although I think they might be leaving doors open for them to join back together at some point in time. Gable and Benjamin just aren't doing it.

    DIY is another one. A team greater than the sum of its parts. But I don't think they'd have reached the sort of level you're talking about here.

    Part of the issue is that NXT is so self-contained that they run storylines like the formation of Alpha or the break up of DIY and that kind of gives them a solid end point. Would the fans accept if DIY reunited when/if Gargano and Ciampa made their main roster debuts? And essentially ran the same storyline as they have in NXT with them as 'underdogs'? Could they have done something similar to the set up of Alpha with Gable and Jordan on the main roster? The answer is probably no because NXT exhausts the options for a tag team before they even get to the main roster. The whole story of Alpha was Gable getting Jordan on board with him and them realising that they clicked as a duo of suplex machines. Without that history, it doesn't really translate to the main roster. But then WWE would probably be criticised for running the same storyline on the main roster as they did in NXT, so it's a bit of a catch 22.

    Historically, Edge and Christian, I personally think, split too soon to really be considered a 'great' tag team, however fondly they are remembered. They only had three years together, really, and outside of the TLCs and their comedic backstage moments I find it very hard to remember anything they did. Did they have any other great in ring matches that didn't involve one or all of a table, ladder, or chair?

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    The Greatest of All Time LWO4Life's Avatar
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    I think Edge and Christian were perfectly timed. I agree with Alpha though and DIY.

    Historically, I think that New Age Outlaws split too soon, in that they should have never split up at all. The World's Greatest Tag Team split too soon as well. Legacy's tag team of DiBiase and Rhodes split too soon. In WCW Mark Jindrak and Sean O'Haire shouldn't have split at all, as Shawn Stasiak and Chuck Palumbo shouldn't have done a partner switch with them. That really made no sense, but I guess WCW.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oliver View Post
    Part of the issue is that NXT is so self-contained that they run storylines like the formation of Alpha or the break up of DIY and that kind of gives them a solid end point. Would the fans accept if DIY reunited when/if Gargano and Ciampa made their main roster debuts? And essentially ran the same storyline as they have in NXT with them as 'underdogs'? Could they have done something similar to the set up of Alpha with Gable and Jordan on the main roster? The answer is probably no because NXT exhausts the options for a tag team before they even get to the main roster. The whole story of Alpha was Gable getting Jordan on board with him and them realising that they clicked as a duo of suplex machines. Without that history, it doesn't really translate to the main roster. But then WWE would probably be criticised for running the same storyline on the main roster as they did in NXT, so it's a bit of a catch 22.
    I think that's where vignettes and hype packages come in. More than a graphic that says "coming soon". They own all the footage, why not do a couple of hype packages that put over exactly what you so concisely explained about how Alpha came together? 30 second to one minute packages where they show goofball Gable courting serious Jordan, intercut with footage of them suplexing guys out of their boots. Re-tell that story before they make the main roster. For the NXT faithful, it's a nice little recap and way to build anticipation that a team they like are coming.

    I think they should have done the same with Bayley. Tell me why she's beloved before she comes in and don't just expect me to love her.

    There are so many of those NXT gimmicks that are just a little higher level and could really use the explanation. Where might Tyler Breeze be today if they'd taken a moment before he debuted to show us that, yeah he's a goofy model...but here's footage of him kicking guys heads into the third row.

    Quote Originally Posted by LWO4Life View Post
    Historically, I think that New Age Outlaws split too soon, in that they should have never split up at all. The World's Greatest Tag Team split too soon as well. Legacy's tag team of DiBiase and Rhodes split too soon. In WCW Mark Jindrak and Sean O'Haire shouldn't have split at all, as Shawn Stasiak and Chuck Palumbo shouldn't have done a partner switch with them. That really made no sense, but I guess WCW.
    Jindrak and O'Haire were my favourite team there for a minute. Two dudes that looked the part, and had enough size not to be "big man" wrestlers, but at the same time weren't going to be intimidated by Kronik and the like. I liked the Natural Born Thrillers, but there was a little too much Mike Sanders for them to be truly taken seriously as a threat. They needed a promo guy, but there had to be someone more serious in the back.

  5. #5
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    I am a huge proponent of teams not splitting up unless there is a clear and definite upside and an actual plan to handle the break up. Many modern break ups seem quite pointless. Just to pick a random example, I still don't know why the Prime Time Players broke up, as they've never really had much to contribute on their own but could be quite fun together at times.

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    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    Oh man PTP should never have split. Cryme Tyme are another one, actually. Lots of these teams that never really made it to the top of the mountain but could have done quite easily.

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    This is exactly the sort of thing I'm driving at. I mean, here's a list of the teams that were judged good enough to hold tag titles in the WWE but whose split accomplished nothing and saw neither one go on to be a major singles star.

    La Resistance
    Cade and Murdoch
    The Hart Dynasty
    Priceless (more debatable, I know)
    TWGTT (Just as debatable as Priceless)
    Deuce N' Domino
    The Prime Time Players

    Obviously I'm not saying all of these guys could have gone on to be The Steiner Brothers or anything like that, but what I am saying is given how little impact their dissolution made, and how little they've done since the teams split, in most cases leaving them together could well have been more beneficial - if only because splitting them further down the line could have made it mean a little bit more. In the case of Shelton and Cody Rhodes, the two people who you can argue were major singles stars, then I think they might well have been better off staying as they were anyway, hence why they are included here.

    And this is only the guys who actually got to hold the belts, and who went on to not too much. It doesn't include the ones who never made it to the straps, the thrown together teams, or the ones who've been gotten over despite mistakes just by being forced down our throats.

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    The Greatest of All Time LWO4Life's Avatar
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    I've got to whole heartily agree with Cryme Tyme. They should have NEVER split up. Shad didn't have charisma, and JTG was annoying by himself. Enzo is like a white JTG. But you had JTG with Shad, and it was a great duo that should have won the WWE Tag Titles on Raw. I guess Cena had heat with them though, even though it was reported early that Shad and Cena use to work out together.

    That whole list, I have to agree. Had WWE kept these teams together in the 2000's, (except DND, that team sucked) then you could have saw a silver era in tag team wrestling. I'm not talking 80's WWF, but maybe a bit more than Attitude Era. Had you built up the teams for longer, you would have seen better splits with more success. David Hart Smith could have been a much bigger star had he developed better with Tyson Kidd. I think keeping Priceless together (I forgot that was their name) would have been better for Ted DiBiase Jr., TWGTT should have stayed together a little bit longer, and had more title reigns, La Resistance would have never split had I been booker, or at least not split until René Duprée was at least 25 or 26 years old. Oh I can go on and on and on with this.

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    Quick glance at the WCW tag titles in their dying days. People have mentioned Jindrak and O'Haire, but do you think that once that split was effected, that the NBT should have stuck together in the WWE longer, or was sending O'Haire to development still the right move?

    I'd pretty much completely forgotten about Mark Jindrak, actually. You've just reminded me of him and having looked him up it appears he's done great for himself in Mexico after leaving the WWE. Nice to hear he made a good go of it.

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    Yeah, I've really enjoyed rediscovering him in CMLL these past couple years as I expanded my watching to include Lucha. I remember when I first started watching they had Jindrak teamed up with Lance (then Garrison) Cade, and I thought they were a very serviceable team that only needed a gimmick to actually become contenders. They also got split for no real reason, so Jindrak could do a proto-Chris Masters gimmick on Smackdown and Cade could do literally nothing until he teamed up with Murdoch way down the line.

  11. #11
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    I remember hearing a pretty controversial view once, that I'll share with you. I got into a long conversation with someone who was convinced that as well executed as the angle was, that The Rockers split about a year before they should have done. The theory was that to maximise what they were doing with the split, that they should have had a big title run - I think this guy was positing that they'd take the titles from The Nasty Boys around the time LOD did, hold them for the best part of a year and beat all the tag teams that they could, then run about a three month break-up angle that would have them finally do the barbershop thing around the time of Survivor Series 1992. This guy was convinced that Michaels would have been more seasoned and able to handle the pressure of being the top guy for the WWF better, leading to fewer problems with the rest of the roster, and that it would have also done a better job of getting Jannetty over as a 2nd tier guy then they were ever able to do.

    Basically what it amounts to is when that whole turnbuckle thing happened, they should have kept to the original plan rather than just squashing their title run.

    I don't know what you guys think. I can't say I'm completely convinced by it though it was well argued at the time - probably did a better job than I have of parroting it back here.

  12. #12
    The Brain
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    It's an interesting idea. I've definitely heard that HBK wasn't quite ready for a big singles run at the time of the split, so I could see the value. I'm a couple years away from that period in the Heenan series, but I'll be watching out for that specifically now.

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    I thought this one might get a few more responses than this - figured that some Michaels fans would be up in arms about it to be honest!

  14. #14
    The Brain
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    Yeah, where's Deg or someone to defend the Boy Toy?

    Here's a big one for me: Strike Force. Rick Martel is one of the greatest fired up babyfaces in history, and turning him into a snooty heel just felt wildly unnecessary. He and Tito were easily one of the best teams of their era. I know they had to take a break because Martel had to take care of his sick wife, but when he came back I would have much rather seen them have a long run together again. Not that their breakup wasn't good, I'm just not sure it was a net gain for either guy when all was said and done.

  15. #15
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    That's a good point. I wonder if they split almost solely on the strength that Vince McMahon couldn't see someone with a French accent as a babyface?! I mean, Andre is about the only one and he's something of a special case.

    Huge Martel fan. I enjoyed the model gimmick to some degree but it also felt like a bit of a letdown compared to what he could have been. And Strike Force could probably have been the top babyface tag team of the era had the stuck together. But on the other hand, in the WWF of the time they'd maybe have gotten drowned out by some of the bigger gimmicks, so who really knows.

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    I think they would have been ok, they had a strong program with Demolition and that was the team of the era. I'm salivating at the idea of them going at it with the Brain Busters, that sounds phenomenal!

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    Going to put this out there... both the Brain Busters and the second incarnation of the Midnight Express both split too soon. Two of the greatest teams not only of their era, but of all time, and we only got about three years out of each of them. In The Buster's case there's the drugs thing to fall back on, but can you imagine if The Midnights had stayed together, or maybe even moved across to take on teams like The Hart Foundation or The Rockers?

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    The Brain
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    Both were damaged by factors outside of mere booking, but if you want to talk about them then yeah, completely agree. Sadly Tully was just done after he got bounced out of the WWF, and it's really too bad because he was so phenomenal. I've just started watching Arn & Tully coming into WWF and they are head, shoulders, chest, and stomach above all but a few guys on the roster.

    Same go for the Midnights, definitely one of the stupidest things of the Jim Herd era is letting Cornette and Lane walk out, and that covers a lot of ground. MX was THE MVP of 1990 in WCW, but sadly tag teams in general were starting to take a hit around that time as the boom ended and promotions figured you might as well pay one guy instead of two.

    MAN, now I really, really want to see MX vs. Brain Busters...

  19. #19
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    If you really want to see it you can search for the Tag title change from before the busters moved to the WWE. It's not the angle they had planned but it'll give you a taster.

  20. #20
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    That's an interesting idea, I may have to try to dig that up.

    Kind of an obscure one but King Kong Bundy & Big John Studd as a prototypical Twin Towers style team was pretty damn entertaining that faded away for no real reason, with Studd suddenly going AWOL and Bundy getting depushed for having the audacity to do computer ads without sharing his paycheck with WWF.

  21. #21
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    Tag teams that should have stayed together longer.

    1) American Alpha
    2) DIY
    3) Team Angle
    4) MNM

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