Team Finisher
Originally Posted: 12-3-02

Hello, my intended...

Well, it's your old buddy Bobo once again to share some of the wondrous wisdom that rattles about in the ol' pate with those of you who choose to enrich yourselves... This pleases me.

So, where shall I begin that I won't have put in the Monday Night Sucks column? Well, in all honesty, with Zenk already off until the end of the year to crow about how right he is, someone's gotta step up with the acid cannon, and I actually have one... or two... niggling little points about the current direction of the WWe. Note the small 'e' to denote how little it's been entertaining of late... Like I had to clue you to that subtle dig... Oh well.

It seems their booking has been bouncing about like the proverbial pinball here lately. Honestly, the Tag Division has never been thinner, and yet each show insists on giving us at least two tag matches, and this is with cruisers just about coming out of the woodwork, we have to watch the 'lame' shows in syndication to see them. Let's examine the tag picture first...

The Clan Dudley: D'Von, Bubba Ray, and Spike used interchangeably since the 'roster split' and then brought back together because... Well, D'Von couldn't get over with a preacher gimmick. Yeah, like anyone CAN. So they're back and pretty much the only viable tag team out there... Yet instead of pushing them AS such, they're robbing them of that old fashioned menace that put them over so well in the ECW by involving them in goddamn comedy angles... Ass Cream? Oh for chrissakes. They need to put their heads together and get some new team moves, because the Wassup Crotch Headbutt, Get the Tables, and 3-D are about it for the arsenal between long brawl sessions, and it's wearing a mite thin.

The Hard Luck Canucks - Chris 'Bad Luck' Jericho Canuck and Christian 'No Luck' Canuck. Y'know, they're insistance to break up Edge and Christian to push them as singles stars went over about as well as when Marty Jannety went solo... Maybe not even that well... These guys have a bunch of talent, and impressive technical and aerial moves, and are on the show with BRAWL teams. Yeah, that makes sense. Jericho is grea on the stick and is slowly coming into his own as a crazy heel, and Christian, you're the drummer... Hey, I wonder who'll pick up on THAT obscure little joke? First one to say where it's from gets a Horowitz. And as for Christian's alleged catchphrase "I ain't not no sucka neither." Someone tell him that four negatives means a positive... or not. He seems to like saying it; and I like agreeing.

The Not At All Minute Men - Yeah, Rikishi really did us all a favor getting these guys in, didn't he? No, clearly not. How the hell are they gonna push them as monsters for the first month, and then the Jobb Mobb after one loss to the False-Alarm Flamers? The only teams I ever see these guys go over are the ones that added up don't weigh as much as either of them. Oh, they whooped Spike and the Hurricane... Look, they beat Jeff Hardy and Spike... Uh, anyone else? Don't even get me started on that Rico tourette, because he's running around stealing Ernest Miller's old clothes and dares call himself a 'style consultant'. Yeah, I haven't seen anything THAT ridiculous since Ed Leslie tried to give me tips on grooming... ED friggin' LESLIE of ALL people... When you're drawing comparisons to Brother Bruti, Rico, I wouldn't be too surprised at working to the Sounds of Silence... Back to the dark matches for you. (Hello, darkness, my old friend...)

Team CanEurism - Steve Regal possesses the 'powerful striking' style of the 'old school shooter' and 'tough guy brawler'; and is teaming with the technical expertise and excellence of execution that IS Bre- (ahem) Lance Storm. I know Barbwire Mike believes the BS about Regal being tough based on a brawl he had with Fit Finlay they cut away from because 'it got too violent' for WCW, but honestly, did anyone expect anything else when an Irishman got his mitts on a Brit? So we have to believe this pudgy wanker that used to push his finger against his arm to look like he had a bicep is suddenly the baddest badass since Dave 'Tank' Abbott? It only proves that Storm can work with anyone...

The Dusty Books - This team really could do something. But everytime they start to one of them does a singles feud, and the team 'goes on the shelf'. Lil Dust is pretty decent in the ring and semi-funny on the stick when they let him talk - which they only do about fifty seconds every other week. Booker T on the other hand is VERY good in the ring when they don't force him to be 'What Rock would be if he were Black'. Can you tell I hate the Book-End? I don't even like it as a Uranage. So what does that leave? Kicks and a Spinneroonie. The sad part is that we KNOW the man CAN work, but they just won't let him for (makes Triple H look bad) some unknown (makes Triple H look clumsy) reason that I (is a positive role-model for young blacks) just can't (is black) figure out...

Jeff Hardy and Anybody - This always puzzles me. How the hell can a guy excel as a singles wrestler after being a tag team sensation when the only singles matches he gets are squash-jobs? Moreover, why the hell is he always in Tag Matches lately? He teams with Hurricane, Dreamer, etc. and generally gets his ass kicked THEN, too. And would it kill us to have ONE Raw where the little fingerpainted fidget WASN'T on? A night off wouldn't kill him, and considering how badly he gets his head handed to him when he IS on, it might actually do him some good.

Smackdown's roster is even thinner.

Dos Hombres Dos - Eddy and Chavo Guerrero are a pretty decent heel team, although as an ex-WCW viewer I've seen this a million times and am waiting for Chavo to turn a crazy face on a shaved head and ride off with Pepe to sell AmWay. Good technical ability and Eddy doing a hellacious Cheech Marin impersonation over lukewarm heelishness. The problem, though, is they're a bit on the small side to do much as a 'force to be reckoned with', as Chavo is a cruiser and Eddy is barely a heavy. But then again, that's the setup for ALL the SD teams...

Sesame Street Posse - Yeah. I love Edge. He's right behind a sharp stick in the eye on my list of favorite things. Well, not RIGHT behind, but definitely within ten or twenty... You ever watch Sesame Street as a kid? The guy looks like BERT with long hair and a triple expresso. He's teamed up with Oscar, er, Rey Misterio Jr... Oscar because it's his real name AND he seems to like to go through the trash for his outfits and gimmickry. I can see him trading his devil horns to Yuji Nagata for Glacier's contacts... It's NOT even as cool as it SOUNDS. Oh well, at least they let him put the mask back on so I don't have to see him in the Steiner mail veil he had on in Lucha Libre.

We're Not Gay (Anymore) - Yeah, you thought I forgot they drafted Billy and Chuck as a couple. Must... Not... Laugh... Chuck is currently toiling on Velocity and Metal while Billy gets well soon... Or not. Gunn will probably be released before his shoulder heals, and Palumbo isn't really making any headway as a singles wrestler in his 'Butch' mode against the likes of Crash Holly, so they're more or less written off. They'll probably be given the blame for the whole 'turnaround' that pissed off the legitimate media and the Gay Activists before they get their pink slips and matching chamisoles... Not that it's a big loss or anything, but hey.

Can-Am Correction - Kurt Angle is easily one of the best workers they have in the company on either 'brand', and is downright hilarious on the stick when they let him talk. His team-member is 'hated enemy' Chris Benoit, who is Silent but Violent - as in not so hot on the stick, but the cat's pajamas in the ring. These two singly could be viable challengers for what was Lesnar's US title (Undisputed Sorta) before it was put on Big Show - or as I like to call him, Godzookie. Yet for SOME inane reason they're the third Smackdown Tag threat. Oh yeah, I guess the reason is that they have more than TWO tag teams on Smackdown competing for a SEPARATE CHAMPIONSHIP.

Yeah, those belts mean a PILE of prestige... Heh.

Folks, remember when tag teams MEANT something? Two guys who may or may not have been all that great by themselves formed a group that was feared or cheered FAR more than the sum of its parts. The Legion of Doom. The Rock and Roll Express. The Hart Foundation. Harlem Heat. The Midnight Express. The Minnesota Wrecking Crew. The Fantastics. The Freebirds. Doom. The Koloffs. All of these teams set the watermark that nobody is anywhere NEAR anymore. The chemistry of two people that can count on nothing except each other. The team dynamic of just having someone that you know can watch your back for more than the best place to plant a shiv. These are lost arts that the fans of today are being cheated out of constantly.

As a hint, in case any of the WWe bookers see this, it takes a little longer than three weeks to get a team over when you haven't pushed either of its members singly. I continue to think that Green Storm Rising ('Citizen' Lance Storm and 'Hurricane' Shane Helms) would have come into its own if they were just given a chance to develop their dynamic. 'Stone Face' Storm was the perfect contrast to Green Lantern's Biggest Fan, and him sighing before reluctantly humoring Helms' completely idiotic demands made them MUCH more than a comedy team. I mean, Storm seems to like playing the heel, but he sucks at it so badly that I can say Triple H makes a better one. Yes, he's THAT bad.

Tbe thing of it, bluntly, is that teaming two people doesn't mean anything anymore... Look at all the Free TV Main Events where they tease the PPV Main Events by 'giving us a taste' to the dulcet tunes of Desperate Hard Shill from the commentary team. And how do they tease? TAG MATCHES. Guys that either have no reason or business to be on the same side are generally thrown together to try and generate heat and a bigger buyrate, and we get to hit Mute on the remote before they start the 'Can They Co-Exist' boilerplate to try and ramp up some hype. Has it EVER worked? No, clearly not.

And on the other end of the spectrum, remember when breaking up a tag team was a cataclysmic event? Take the Rockers for instance... Who wasn't stunned when Michaels turned on Jannety via a vicious Superkick through the Barbershop window? Or when they turned Nikita Koloff into a GOOD GUY? These days that sort of swerve is old hat because it's been DONE TO DEATH. Anytime a team is introduced, the fans start the countdown. If they get over, they ALWAYS break up. ALWAYS. Why? Because either the bookers want to capitalize on these 'plot devices' of the past, or they don't want to negotiate with two people as a group. They broke up the Dudleyz for no reason except to show that almost anyone in hornrim glasses and urban camouflage could be sold as a Dudley. They broke up Edge and Christian and the Hardyz for the same reason. Two lukewarm singles performers come MUCH cheaper than a hot team.

So in the end, it's all about the money... Specifically, YOUR money. They're justifying doing this fustercluck because you're still paying for it. When you give them your money, they think it's the same as your approval. It reminds me of a scene in Taxi...

Tony: Darn! The apple out of the vending machine is stale! Would it kill them to put in fresh ones just ONCE?
Bobby: Well, y'know, Tony, the vending machine guy DOES put in fresh apples, but he puts them in behind the ones that are still there. So by the time we get through the ones that are still in there, the fresh ones have gotten stale, too.
Tony: ....Okay, I got it! How about we buy all the stale apples so we can get at the fresh ones while they're still fresh?
Bobby: Well, the problem with that is that if we buy all the stale apples, the vending machine guy will think we like them... And then that's all he'll ever bring us.
Tony: So... How do we get fresh apples, Bobby?
Bobby: ....We can't.

So, folks... The question is this: How do you like THEM apples?

You're welcome. See you SOON.