Tag Archives: Southern Tag

(04/26) Matt & Jeff Hardy vs. Jay & Mark Briscoe

Union Pines High School (Cameron, North Carolina) 

The pre-match hype and commentary put over this match between the two brother tag teams as a dream match.  Certainly on the dream match spectrum, the Hardy Boys versus Briscoe Brothers falls somewhere.  A case could be made (and the lead announcer attempts to make it) that this is a pairing of the two most successful brother duos in recent memory suggesting that not since the Steiner Brothers versus Harlem Heat endless series of matches in WCW have two brother tag teams as talented as these squared off.  I don’t know if anyone views Steiners/Harlem Heat series as a historically notable series, but I think his main point might be true.  I am hard pressed to think of any brother tag teams over the past 15 years that were more successful or more high-profile than these two.  Fans of the Young Bucks might disagree but they are at least a notch below these two teams.

With the dream match hype machine in full effect, the Hardys and Briscoes laid out a decidedly epic match.  I came away with the feeling that they crammed a three or four match series into one bout.  I understand why – the desire to get in all of their ideas in what might be the only time the match is run – but the match probably went in too many directions to truly be effective.

The opening is standard – but well executed – fare.  The Hardys come out hot before the Briscoes take over and work on Jeff.  Mark looked particularly good in this match combing his usual fun offense with some nice athletic moves and bumping.  In ROH, Jay has looked the better of the two over the last year but I am starting to think that is more due to positioning than anything else (Jay has had featured singles matches while Mark has been stuck mainly wrestling multi-man matches and lower card singles matches).  Jeff eventually gets the hot tag to Matt who cleans house.  This felt  like the ending of match #1 (the traditional southern tag formula).

Jeff gets taken out on the floor shortly after the hot tag to Mark.  He is helped to the back by referees and Shane Helms.  Matt gets worked over for a while.  The Briscoes’ offense during this segment is decent and Matt is very good at fighting back here and there.  The added background of this match was that Jay and Matt are (or at least were) feuding in ROH with Jay feeling that Matt (who is the heel in ROH) cost him the World championship.  The idea was that the Briscoes took out Jeff so they could get their revenge on Matt.

After an extended beating that included chair shots and with the official knocked, Willow the Whisp emerges from the back with his trusty umbrella in hand.  Like a deranged Mary Poppins, he whacks the Briscoes with the umbrella evening things up for Matt before disappearing.  This felt like the end of Match #2.

Several minutes later – with Matt now on slightly more equal footing – Jeff staggers from the back looking woozy.  Shane Helms implores Jeff to not go to the ring, but he does anyway.  The third “match” begins at this juncture.  Jeff gets the hot tag and later does the same to Matt.  They do a prolonged finishing stretch that would have not felt as long had so much not proceeded it.  The Briscoes kick out of a bunch of signature Hardy moves and the Hardys escape defeat continually before the Hardys pull it out with a victory roll.

There was a lot in the match that I really liked this.  These are two teams that get tag team wrestling better than most going today.  There were fun double teams, good face in peril segments, good use of the legal man, and a bunch of drama.  As mentioned earlier, the main issue was that it was really three matches in one and as such I was feeling burnt out by the end.  I think they could have taken the three distinct parts of this match and had a great three match series.

Match #1 – The first part of this match through the hot tag to Jeff, ending with a DQ when Jeff gets taken out.

Match #2 – Jeff is still not cleared to wrestle so Matt goes it alone.  Second part of this match takes place with Willow the Whisp coming out to even the sides.  Jeff comes in against doctor orders, the Briscoes win or the match ends in a no contest, and the third match is set up.

Match #3 – Essentially the third part of this match with maybe an opening tacked on.  Hardys finally get their revenge and the win after a near fall heavy, grudge-match sprint.

All of that was basically crammed into this one match.  While it was still a good match, they could have given everything a little more breathing room by spreading it out over multiple shows or simply leaving some ideas on the shelf.

Southern Tag | Worthwhile | Quality

(01/25) Dean Allmark & James Mason vs. Dave Mastiff & Doug Williams

All-Star Wrestling
The Hexagon (Reading, Berkshire, England)

The first ASW match of the year to show up online is this tag team match pitting perennial baby faces Allmark and Mason versus the veteran Doug Williams and Dave Mastiff. I could really watch these ASW matches all day long. I love the theatre settings and the increased interaction directly with the crowd that comes with it. Allmark and the other ASW regulars really have the basics of controlling a crowd and weaving a simple match around it down to a science.

This match is a good example of how basic the matches can get, but how even with the simplest of formulas they are still really fun. Allmark and Mason spend 90% of the match selling and/or leading the crowd in chants. When they aren’t, they are pulling out some good basic moves as part of their comebacks. The heels, Mastiff and Williams, might not have done anything other than choke their opponents (usually around the ropes) and jaw with the crowd. The lack of moves doesn’t matter – it all gets the desired reaction from the fans that are all too happy to play along.

Admittedly, if all ASW matches were this simplistic it would become stale rather soon, but then again that is true for most styles. That doesn’t matter because they do a great job varying match types and styles, all of which are usually pulled off extremely well – this basic tag team match included.

Southern Tag | Watchable | Quality

(01/06) The Brotherhood (Goldust & Cody Rhodes) vs. The Real Americans (Jack Swagger & Antonio Cesaro w/ Zeb Colter)

Baltimore Arena (Baltimore, MD)

Goldust and Cody Rhodes played a significant role in the rehabilitation of the once-dormant WWE tag division since teaming up last fall and winning the tag team titles in October.  At one point the plan was for the team to break up leading to a WrestleMania singles match, but such a direction feels shortsighted at this point.  The Rhodes brothers make such a good tag team and understand the baby face roles in a tag match so well, that they really are the glue that holds the division together.

Both Cody and Goldust take turns getting worked over during this match and the heat sequences are very good when Cesaro is the one dishing out the punishment.  Dustin Rhodes – the obvious 2013 comeback wrestler of the year – is just showing off at this point.  In this match, the 44 year-old veteran pulls off a middle rope hurricanrana, performs a beautiful double cross body block, and takes a nasty looking spill to the outside.  The latter event leads to a hot finishing sequence.  With Goldust temporarily out of commission on the outside of the ring, Cody appears vulnerable to the Real Americans.  The near fall teases were well done and Goldust’s return to the ring was timed perfectly as it truly felt like Cody was one move away from being pinned.

The Rhodes Brothers are so much fun to watch now that it would be a shame if they are broken up anytime soon.  Here’s hoping we are still watching Brotherhood tag team matches come April and May of this calendar year.


Southern Tag | Watchable | Quality

(01/04) Bollywood Boyz vs. Amerikan Guns

Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling
Russian Community Centre (Vancouver, British Columbia)

The Bollywood Boys are a great southern-style baby face tag team that wrestles – so it seems – exclusively in ECCW in British Columbia, Canada.  Go figure that one of the better under the radar American southern-style baby face tag teams are a brother duo of Indian descent working exclusively in the Canadian northwest.  A good baby face tag team should have energy, a likeable gimmick, be able to sell their backsides off, and have enough credible offense for comebacks and hope spots.  The Bollywood Boyz have all of that which has helped make them a very over act in their home promotion.

The match here is rather short and is simply a continuation of the Guns/Bollywood feud.  The Guns are a flag waiving, gun carrying American heel tag team – a very good gimmick in Canada or anywhere outside the US for that matter.  They are a perfectly fine team as well, even if the Bollywood Boyz are the stars.  The match starts off with a short brawl before the Bollywood Boyz get their licks in.  The Guns cheat to take over and isolate one of the Bollywood members for the body of the match before the hot tag.  That description can fit any tens-of-thousands of tag team matches over the years but that’s the point – the formula works, especially when competent teams are utilizing it.

The finish is also well-worked in a classical sense.  One of the Guns blindsides a Bollywood member with his own tag team championship belt with the referee occupied elsewhere.  The other Bollywood member grabs the belt just as the official is turning around and gives one of the Guns a taste of his own medicine, drawing the disqualification – a sure sign that this feud must continue.  In this particular case, that appears to be a good thing.


Southern Tag | Watchable | Individual Performance (Bollywood)