If you browse over to WWE.com at the moment, you would be informed that The Shield are now the 5th longest reigning tag team champions in WWE history. That kind of surprised me, and I was curious to see the full list. Spoiling the surprise, the long gone duo of Paul London and The Brian Kendrick clocked in at number one. But wait…growing up, a WWE/WWF fan, I know full well that teams like Demolition and The Hart Foundation had longer reigns, and they didn’t even make it on the list.
Then I had the “a ha” moment. This is one of those times where, for whatever silly reason, WWE has chosen to differentiate from the older belts. And, whether you agree with the split or not, it is a disservice to the quality teams from the past, and it allows for a really sad top 5 longest reigns. You can argue that Team Hell No, as much as I despise the name, was a good team. The Colons have talent as well. But none of these teams should belong in a top 5 tag title reigns on the WWE site. None can hold a candle to the talents that have come before them.
What’s actually just as depressing for me is that there are a number of tag teams the WWE has enjoyed, whom held the titles but never were given a long enough reign to crack the top 10. Such teams include the Hardyz, the Dudley Boys and Edge and Christian. As strong as those three teams were, I find it amazing that none was ever considered worthy to hold the gold longer than the previously mentioned London/Kendrick team, or even the 9th team on the list of John Morrison and The Miz. There is no way you could argue (and keep a straight face) that those two teams are better than or even close to the talent of any one of the three not on the list.
Is this WWE trying to build up The Shield as an impressive modern day tag team? Perhaps. But I think they’ve managed to shine a bright light on just how largely mediocre the tag ranks have been for a long time. What I actually found sad was that, even when all the tag title reigns in company history were properly cataloged, the London/Kendrick duo still sits (barely) on the top 10 reigns. How weak was tag team wrestling at that point, that Vince and WWE writers could find no one better to hold the gold?
Yes, I understand WWE is differentiating these belts from those that the New Age Outlaws and others held. But, it just makes no sense. Especially as WWE is playing up its Hall of Fame, and how it is constantly trotting out legends. Many fans watching the product today can at least recall the Outlaws, if not Demolition and the Harts. They may not remember Mr. Fuji as a wrestler, or the brilliance that was Money, Inc. To push a list that blatantly ignores those contributions is disappointing as a fan.
I couldn’t care less about cleanliness of records for WWE’s sake. For me, its all about the legacy of the WWF/WWE tag team championship belts. Any time WWE has a top 5 list for tag team champions, and it cannot remind viewers of the tag team greatness that the company employed at one time, is not a wise move. At the end of the day, I am resigned to the notion that, quite frankly, for reasons I don’t fully understand or agree with, WWE has, for some time now, not cared near enough about the tag division. It is an afterthought. Go ahead. Take a look at the top 5 list on their own site right now. Hard to look at that list and tell me they care.