Friday, February 17, 2006

The A1E Tag Team scene

It used to be that A1E had bar-none, the best tag team scene around. From the division's inception all the way up through and including the hot, three-way tag feud with Euclid/Druid, Chip/Bellview and Big Dog/Gladiator, there wasn't a tag division that was hotter.

Things have changed drastically since then, and especially recently, there hasn't been much action in the division and not a whole lot of credible challengers to the Champions, Torment and Haven. Honestly, I have to give them their props, because anyone who holds onto a championship that long is/are a deserving champ(s). But title reigns don't normally last this long anymore, especially when you have so many handlers putting out really good stuff.

So why have Torment and Haven been able to hang onto the Tag Belts for this long? I think it's two-fold. First, the A1E Tag Division hasn't been hopping exactly with the lack of solid, regular teams. It got so bad that the only team that was there to challenge them, the MidWest Mafia, had to be continually fed to Torment and Haven for a prolonged amount of time because no other team had stepped forward. Aside from the MwM, there were only mongrel teams that were just thrown together at the last second to be put in contendership matches. That's not a good way to groom challengers for the Tag Titles.

That method actually might work for singles titles, but let's be real here, singles divisions and tag divisions have totally different dynamics to them. You basically only have to rely on yourself in a singles division, but in a tag division, you're going to have two handlers on a team needing to connect for the most part, especially in A1E. Most of the teams I've seen come through have been two-handler teams, especially when holding the Tag Team titles. If you asked me off-hand what single handler team has won the straps, I can only give you the Weston Outlaws. After looking it up, only two other single handler teams have won the A1E Tag Titles out out about 20, I guess? (They were the Fallen Angels and the Collective)

The second reason is sort of tangent to the first reason. Because they've been able to hold the titles for so long, they've built up this inertia you get with a long title reign. I'll explain more clearly. They have so much momentum behind them that you can't just be better than them in one match to beat them for the title. You have to be SUBSTANTIALLY better than them to beat them. I think that's a big reason why the MwM couldn't get the job done. I thought they were better than the Champs in at least one of their matches towards the end of the feud. But I always thought it was close. Now, I voted for the MwM in the last match of their feud (or at least I would have if I did vote... I can't really recall whether I voted in that match or not right now), but I know some people will side with the Champion in a close match.

When you're a team that's just gotten together and started tagging together within the last one or two cards, it's going to take a lot to get over that inertia. I think that's a big reason why Big Dog and Dan Ryan didn't win the titles at BNY. They haven't been tagging together for very long, and even if they were better than the Champs (which I thought they were and reflected as such in my votes), I'm bettign there were voters who couldn't give the titles to a "mongrel" team just like that. It's too WWEish, and the one thign we know about e-fedders is that sometimes, they don't want anything to do with those crackpots in Stamford.

Still though, I can't help but think that a title switch right now would be the bestt hing possible for the tag division. Be it to Dog and Ryan or The Best Friends, it would do wonders to inject some life into the tag division and maybe draw some more folks in when they see that, hey, maybe the Tag Titles aren't impossible to win.

Now what I'm not advocating is irresponsible voting. If you honestly think that Torment and Haven are RPing better than both Dog and Ryan and Chip and Slambo, then by all means, vote for them. But what I would discourage is voting for the Champs just because the match is too close and you can't decide.

Vote on the side of change if it's close. I mean, if Torment and Haven lost their titles now, they wouldn't be out of the scene, and I wouldn't advocate they should be out either. If anything, it might inject some life into a stagnant tag division and maybe bring about a renaissance of Euclidian (and Doggian and Chippian) proportions.

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