If WWE Was Being Honest About Tag Team Wrestling

Undisputedly in need of change.

Revival RAW

Vince McMahon is fundamentally disinterested in promoting tag team wrestling.

This wasn’t always the case.

As the expansion of his company’s Golden Era took shape, Vince McMahon remained threatened by competition, weakened or hapless though it was. He was not yet in a position to fashion the WWF entirely in his own preferred image. In order to convince all wrestling fans to accept the Federation as the marketed “recognised leader in global sports entertainment”, he had to make concessions to all wrestling fans.

Performers raided from the territories were portrayed as genuine stars, as opposed to the performers raided from the Independent scene today, who are portrayed, almost begrudgingly, with a lack of conviction. Tag teams, per industry standard and public demand, were presented as an essential thread within the Federation’s storytelling fabric. We remember Demolition, the Hart Foundation, the Brain Busters and the Rockers as stars because they were presented and wrestled as stars. They were not used as pawns in a p*ssing contest between Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior ahead of WrestleMania VI, as the Revival were in the build towards Extreme Rules.

Tag Team Championship matches were amongst the lengthiest attractions on pay-per-view, as the early model became the company’s most lucrative revenue stream and high-profile storyline battleground. Demolition even headlined house shows at the peak of their record-setting popularity in 1988. That is an unfathomable prospect, three decades later.

The division was scouted for future singles stars at the turn of the 1990s, at which point Vince’s true mentality surfaced. Tag team wrestling wasn’t something to promote in itself; it was a platform on which to unearth the next big singles star. From Hulk Hogan to Roman Reigns, McMahon always held a myopic gaze over the talisman.

The doubles scene was a formula to subtract by 1991.

Naturally, it lessened in value.



Michael Sidgwick is an editor, writer and podcaster for WhatCulture Wrestling. With over seven years of experience in wrestling analysis, Michael was published in the influential institution that was Power Slam magazine, and specialises in providing insights into All Elite Wrestling - so much so that he wrote a book about the subject. You can order Becoming All Elite: The Rise Of AEW on Amazon. Possessing a deep knowledge also of WWE, WCW, ECW and New Japan Pro Wrestling, Michael’s work has been publicly praised by former AEW World Champion Kenny Omega, present AEW World Champion MJF, and surefire Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Cody Rhodes. When he isn’t putting your finger on why things are the way they are in the endlessly fascinating world of professional wrestling, Michael wraps his own around a hand grinder to explore the world of specialty coffee. Follow Michael on X (formerly known as Twitter) @MSidgwick for more!