How AEW Built The Perfect Tag Team Division

In which it is and is not about holding the rope.

Scott Lesh
"It feels like tag team wrestling has become somewhat of a lost art. It's like you can't even see tag team wrestling on wrestling programmes anymore. That's all about to change. Our goal, our main objective, is to give you fans the best tag team division in the world."

- Matt Jackson, AEW Double Or Nothing Ticket Announcement Rally, February 7, 2019

The AEW tag team division was always very good. Great, even.

It actually started out perfectly before the launch of Dynamite on TNT; the classics worked between the Bucks and the Lucha Bros. at Double Or Nothing and All Out were jaw-dropping, state-of-the-art masterclasses in tag team wrestling. The tandem fare presented across Fyter Fest and Fight For The Fallen, while not on that level, was very effective in allowing Private Party and Jurassic Express to shine.

The World Tag Team Championship tournament hinted at the deft, incredible booking to come. The realistic touch of Scorpio Sky, last-minute replacement, working a match in gym shoes was such effective and well-received babyface work that it ultimately enabled some lovely dovetailing between the doubles and singles ranks via his pin over Chris Jericho. The Young Bucks proved their incredible prowess by elevating Private Party in a super match - Matt Jackson's storytelling nous made a mockery of bad takes made in bad faith - that, while not successful in the end, was the noblest of failures. The Bucks following the loss embarked on a great feud with Santana and Ortiz, the violent and gutsy climax of which didn't receive enough credit for highlighting Dynamite's uneven period post-Full Gear.

Before they regressed, Private Party worked the match of the tournament opposite Lucha Bros. This was a relentlessly exhilarating banger; a demented duel pitting Indieriffic offence against the spectacular stylings of lucha libre. There were very few tags in this tag team match.

This was divisive, even amongst AEW personnel.

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Former Power Slam Magazine scribe and author of Development Hell: The NXT Story - available NOW on!