Tag team

Last updated
Action in a triple threat tag team match for the WWE World Tag Team Championship. Shelton Benjamin (on the mat) from The World's Greatest Tag Team has been isolated in the corner of champions Cade and Murdoch, well away from partner Charlie Haas; either of these teams can tag in the third team, The Highlanders WWE-Triple-Threat-Tag-Title-Match in progress,-RLA-Melb-10.11.2007.jpg
Action in a triple threat tag team match for the WWE World Tag Team Championship. Shelton Benjamin (on the mat) from The World's Greatest Tag Team has been isolated in the corner of champions Cade and Murdoch, well away from partner Charlie Haas; either of these teams can tag in the third team, The Highlanders

Tag team wrestling is a type of professional wrestling in which matches are contested between teams of multiple wrestlers. A tag team may be made up of wrestlers who normally wrestle in singles competition, but more commonly are made of established teams who wrestle regularly as a unit and have a team name and identity.

Contents

In most team matches, only one competitor per team is allowed in the ring at a time. This status as the active or legal wrestler may be transferred by physical contact, most commonly a palm-to-palm tag which resembles a high five.

The team-based match has been a mainstay of professional wrestling since the mid-twentieth century, and most promotions have sanctioned a championship division for tag teams.

America's Most Wanted (Chris Harris, (back) James Storm and valet Gail Kim)), a former tag team that wrestled for TNA Chris Harris, James Storm, and Gail Kim aka Americas Most Wanted at TNA Impact taping in Orlando Florida.jpg
America's Most Wanted (Chris Harris, (back) James Storm and valet Gail Kim)), a former tag team that wrestled for TNA

History

The first "World" tag team championship was promoted in San Francisco in the early 1950s. Tag matches with three-man teams were developed, and in some territories, a championship division was instituted for these teams, but the concept failed to become widely popular; outside Mexico, multi-man tag matches are seen as a special attraction.

Typically, a tag team championship is awarded to and defended by a team of two. However, during the 1970s and 1980s, a dominant trio in the NWA known as The Fabulous Freebirds won several regional tag team championship and were allowed to employ any combination of the group's members in their title defenses. In kayfabe, this made it difficult for challengers to prepare for their upcoming title fights since the challengers did not know exactly who they were facing. This was an effective gimmick and is still utilized by other wrestling companies. The stipulation has become traditionally known as the "Freebird Rule".

A common storyline is former tag team partners turning on each other, which will invariably ignite a feud. This can be used when one member is being called on to develop a new gimmick.

Tag team match rules

A tag team match in progress - Jeff Hardy kicks Umaga, while their respective partners, Triple H and Randy Orton, encourage them and reach for the tags Jeff-Hardy-Dropkick,-RLA-Melb-10.11.2007 filtered.jpg
A tag team match in progress Jeff Hardy kicks Umaga, while their respective partners, Triple H and Randy Orton, encourage them and reach for the tags

The basic tag team match has two teams of two wrestlers facing off against each other. All standard rules for singles wrestling apply to a team match. However, only one wrestler from each team, called the "legal man" is allowed in the ring at a time (although heels will often flout this rule in an attempt to gang up on a single opponent). All other members of the team wait outside the ropes (on the ring apron or the floor) in the team's specified corner. Only an active/legal wrestler is allowed to score a fall or have a fall scored against him/her. But any wrestler, legal or outside, may face disqualification for himself or his team for violating rules.

Once a tag is made, the wrestler tagging out has a grace period (typically five to ten seconds) to leave the ring before risking disqualification. Offensive cooperation from a team member is allowed during this time window; thus it is rather commonplace for both members of a team, especially heel teams, to milk this grace period and have two men in the ring simultaneously with only one member of an opposing team

The following are standard requisites for making a legal tag:

As the ultimate authority over the match, a referee may overlook any of these at his discretion, and during the frenzied action, often will be more lenient with them.

In some multi-man tag matches in lucha libre, a wrestler can make himself the team's legal man simply by setting foot in the ring, and his partner then leaves. This allows for action to become nearly continuous. Two referees, one stationed inside the ring and one on the floor, are employed to maintain order for this type of match.

Types of tags

Tara (right) tags her partner, Gail Kim, into the match while they isolate a Blossom Twin Tara tags in Gail Kim.jpg
Tara (right) tags her partner, Gail Kim, into the match while they isolate a Blossom Twin

In independent discussion and analysis of matches, certain terms are used to describe specific scenarios involving tag team matches. These are planned and timed to inject drama into a match.

One spot common to many tag team match is the hot tag. One member of one team is in the ring, too weakened to move or otherwise impaired, while his partner watches helplessly, struggling to reach him for a tag. The tension builds as the legal man is unable to tag out until something happens (a second wind, miscommunication between the opponents or another stroke of luck) that allows the first team to tag and reverse the momentum of the match in their favor. When done well, this results in a large audience reaction, and was the typical climax of tag matches for decades. WWE employs this tactic in nearly every tag team match to the point that they fired a referee in 2008 after a botched finish that, while the match produced the intended finish, didn't feature a hot tag. [1]

A common variation on the hot tag sees both wrestlers from the heel team attacking a face, while his partner protests to the referee about this bending of the rules (and therefore, unintentionally "distracting" the referee away from the heels). Eventually the weakened face wrestler does make the tag to his partner, who comes in as the fresh man and is able to take on both opponents quite easily.

A blind tag is a legal tag made without the legal opponent's knowledge, usually while his back is turned. This allows the team who uses it an opportunity to confuse the legal opponent, who turns to face what he assumes to be his opponent only to be attacked by the true legal man, often from behind.

Other terminology

A tag team match involving more than two wrestlers per team is often referred to by the total number of people involved (e.g. a six-man tag team match involves two teams of three), while a tag team match involving more than two teams is referred to by normal qualifiers (e.g. a triple threat tag team match involves three teams of two).

In lucha libre, the basic tag team match is referred to as Lucha de Parejas (Doubles Fight), a six-man match as a Lucha de Trios, and an eight-man match as a Lucha Atómica (Atomic Fight).

A "bookend" tag team is a (sometimes derogatory)[ citation needed ] term for a tag team where the members look and/or dress alike (e.g., The Killer Bees, the British Bulldogs, Los Conquistadores, the Hart Foundation, etc.). Bookends are common in North America, Europe and Mexico [ citation needed ], but not in Japan as the promotion of wrestlers to singles championships in that country is based in part on their work in tag team matches.

See also

Related Research Articles

Professional wrestling A form of wrestling that combines athletics with theatre

Professional wrestling is a type of athletic theatrical exhibition and entertainment involving wrestling matches whose progress and outcome are planned in advance, typically between performers with established character roles. The wrestling matches are based on classical and "catch" wrestling, with modern additions of striking attacks, acrobatics, feats of strength, fast-moving athleticism and occasionally, improvised weaponry. Professional wrestling also liberally incorporates melodrama. Much like some of the real prizefighters they imitate, the characters in professional wrestling have large egos, flamboyant personalities, and turbulent interpersonal relationships. These personas are scripted much like the matches. Performances mainly take place in a ring similar to the kind used in boxing. In televised wrestling shows, many additional "backstage" scenes are also recorded to supplement the drama in the ring.

Many types of wrestling matches, sometimes called "concept" or "gimmick matches" in the jargon of the business, are performed in professional wrestling. Some of them occur relatively frequently while others are developed so as to advance an angle and such match types are used rarely. Because of professional wrestling's long history over decades, many things have been recycled. These match types can be organized into several loose groups, in which some are more popular then others, such as a ladder match, which is more popular than an "I quit" match. Most of the time, the uncommon matches are normally at a big events, typically held as a way to end a feud.

World Class Championship Wrestling American professional wrestling promotion

World Class Championship Wrestling(WCCW), later known as the World Class Wrestling Association (WCWA) (1986–1991) was an American professional wrestling promotion headquartered in Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas. Originally owned by promoter Ed McLemore, by 1966 it was run by Southwest Sports, Inc., whose president, Jack Adkisson, was better known as wrestler Fritz Von Erich. Beginning as a territory of the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), it went independent in 1986 in a bid to become a major national promotion, but was unsuccessful in its attempts and eventually went out of business in 1990. Rights to the pre-1989 WCCW tape library belong to WWE and select episodes from 1982 to 1988 are available on the WWE Network.

Smash (wrestler) American professional wrestler

Barry Allen Darsow is an American retired professional wrestler who performed as Smash, one half of the tag team Demolition. He also wrestled as Krusher Kruschev, Repo Man, The Blacktop Bully and "Mr. Hole in One" Barry Darsow.

<i>Lucha libre</i> Mexican style professional wrestling

Lucha libre is the term used in Mexico for professional wrestling. Since its introduction to Mexico in the early 20th century, it has developed into a unique form of the genre, characterized by colorful masks, rapid sequences of holds and maneuvers, as well as "high-flying" maneuvers, some of which have been adopted in the United States and elsewhere. The wearing of masks has developed special significance, and matches are sometimes contested in which the loser must permanently remove his mask, which is a wager with a high degree of weight attached. Tag team wrestling is especially prevalent in lucha libre, particularly matches with three-member teams, called trios.

A championship or title in professional wrestling is a recognition promoted by professional wrestling organizations.

Brad Armstrong (wrestler) American professional wrestler

Robert Bradley "Brad" James was an American professional wrestler, better known by his ring name, Brad Armstrong. He is best known for his appearances with the promotion World Championship Wrestling in the 1990s. He was the son of wrestler "Bullet Bob" Armstrong and brother to professional wrestlers Steve, Scott and Brian.

Michael Hayes (wrestler) American professional wrestler

Michael Seitz is an American retired professional wrestler and former musician. Seitz is best known for leading The Fabulous Freebirds under the ring name Michael "P.S." Hayes and for his role as an announcer under the name Dok Hendrix in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). He is currently employed with WWE as Vice President, Creative Writing & Booking and is also a senior producer.

The Fabulous Freebirds were a professional wrestling tag team who attained fame in the 1980s, performing into the 1990s. The team usually consisted of three wrestlers, although in different situations and points in its history, just two performed under the Freebirds name. The Freebird version of Hayes, Roberts, and Gordy was inducted into the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2015, and members Hayes, Roberts, Gordy, and Garvin were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2016.

AAA When Worlds Collide Professional wrestling pay-per-view event

When Worlds Collide was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event that took place on November 6, 1994, at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena in Los Angeles, California. It was scripted and produced by the Mexican lucha libre company Asistencia Asesoría y Administración (AAA), now known as Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide, and their American partner, International Wrestling Council (IWC). The show was produced by the technical staff of World Championship Wrestling (WCW). WCW Executive Vice-President Eric Bischoff had helped AAA secure the show to be broadcast by American pay-per-view providers, marking the first time a non-US-based wrestling promotion was shown live on US PPV television. The show was broadcast in both English and Spanish. Chris Cruise and Mike Tenay called the action in English, while Arturo Rivera and Andrés Maroñas handled the Spanish announcing. This event also marked Tenay's first commentating role in professional wrestling. It is one of the few pay-per-view events not made available for streaming on the WWE Network service.

Professional wrestling has accrued a considerable amount of jargon throughout its existence. Much of it stems from the industry's origins in the days of carnivals and circuses. In the past, professional wrestlers used such terms in the presence of fans so as not to reveal the worked nature of the business. In recent years, widespread discussion on the Internet has popularized these terms. Many of the terms refer to the financial aspects of professional wrestling in addition to in-ring terms.

Battle royal (professional wrestling) Professional wrestling multi-competitor match type

In professional wrestling, a battle royal is a multi-competitor match type in which wrestlers are eliminated until one is left and declared the winner. Typical battles royal begin with a number of participants in the ring, who are then eliminated by going over the top rope and having both feet touch the venue floor.

Royal Rumble (1998) 1998 World Wrestling Federation pay-per-view event

The 1998 Royal Rumble was the eleventh annual Royal Rumble professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by the World Wrestling Federation. It took place on January 18, 1998, at the San Jose Arena in San Jose, California.

Much like the singles match, tag team professional wrestling matches can and have taken many forms. Just about any singles or melee match type can be adapted to tag teams; for example, hardcore tag team matches are commonplace. Tag team ladder match and variations are also frequently used as a title feud blow-off match. Stipulations, such as "I quit" or "loser leaves town" may also be applied.

<i>WWF Raw</i> (1994 video game) 1994 video game

WWF Raw is a professional wrestling video game based on the television show of the same name produced by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), released for the SNES, 32X, Mega Drive/Genesis, and Game Boy in late 1994 and early 1995 by Acclaim Entertainment. It is the sequel to the WWF Royal Rumble game that was released in 1993, and is the final part of LJN's 16-bit WWF trilogy. Players can play either One-on-One, Tag Team, Bedlam, Survivor Series, Royal Rumble, or a Raw Endurance Match. Unlike its predecessor, WWF RAW is multitap compatible.

Josh Abercrombie American professional wrestler

Joshua Raymond, better known by his ring name Josh Abercrombie, is an American professional wrestler. He is best known for his tenures in Independent Wrestling Association Mid-South, Juggalo Championship Wrestling, Ring of Honor and the short-lived Wrestling Society X.

<i>Guerra de Titanes</i> (2009) 2009 Lucha Libre AAA World Wide event

Guerra de Titanes (2009) was the thirteenth annual Guerra de Titanes professional wrestling show promoted by AAA since 1997. The show took place on December 11, 2009 in the Ciudad Madero, Tamaulipas Convention center, a site that AAA has used for many of their major shows. Guerra de Titanes is AAA's "End of year" show and the fifth of their "big shows" they hold every year. The Main Event saw Dr. Wagner Jr. defend the AAA Mega Championship against El Mesias in a Domo De La Muerte cage match. The show also featured two AAA championship matches as Nicho el Millonario and Joe Líder defended the AAA World Tag Team Championship and Mini Charly Manson defended the AAA World Mini-Estrella Championship. Furthermore a "Mask vs. Hair", Lucha de Apuesta match between Faby Apache and Sexy Star took place as well. Finally the show featured a Six-man "Lucha Libre rules" tag team match and a four on four "AAA vs. La Legion Extranjera elimination match where the winner would receive a title match for the AAA Mega Championship as AAA's 2010 Rey de Reyes show.

WWF Capital Carnage 1998 World Wrestling Federation pay-per-view event

WWF Capital Carnage was a UK-only professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by the World Wrestling Federation that took place on December 6, 1998 at the London Arena in London, England. It was released on DVD in the UK and Europe on July 12, 2010, in a set also including No Mercy (UK) as part of the WWE's Tagged Classics range released by Silver Vision, without any edits to the original content, most notably keeping all mentions and appearances of the WWF logo intact and un-blurred.

The New Day (professional wrestling) Professional wrestling tag team

The New Day is a professional wrestling tag team consisting of Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods. The team is currently performing in WWE on the Raw brand.

Sin Escape Con Correas 2014 International Wrestling Revolution Group event

Sin Escape Con Correas was a major professional wrestling event produced and scripted by the Mexican professional wrestling promotion International Wrestling Revolution Group (IWRG), which took place on July 9, 2014, in Arena Naucalpan, Naucalpan, State of Mexico, Mexico, IWRG's home arena. IWRG has previously promoted shows using variations of the name Sin Escape such as La Guerra sin Escape but this event was not turned into a regular themed event.

References

  1. "The Miz screws up finish, but referee gets fired". Wrestling News. 23 August 2008.