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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

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EOTR Tag Team Tuesdays: Samoa Joe and Magnus

By @MeenHendrix 

I don't think I've ever agreed with many Vince Russo decisions as of late but pairing Joe and Magnus together was like making the first peanut butter and jelly Sandwich. That's how highly I think of this team. It didn't last long but that's usually a good thing with the teams I pick. The pairings that last a short amount of time usually break up at the right time. For Joe and Magnus, they only needed 6 months in TNA.

The Deuces Wild Card tag team Tournament is one of TNA's best ideas in my opinion. It takes wrestlers out of their comfort zones and forces them to work with someone completely new. It also helps that a shot at the tag team titles hangs in the balance for the winners. In 2011, it was Magnus and Joe who would be put together. In Round Uno, Joe and Magnus took on Magnus's former British Invasion tag team partner Douglas Williams and Robbie E which ended with a Musclebuster from Joe to Williams for the Win. In Round 2, they made short work of ODB and Eric Young. The finals ended with Joe and Magnus defeating AJ Styles and Kazarian in a solid match that was really based on furthering the feud between Bad Influence (Kaz and Christopher Daniels) and Styles. However TNA had officially built their next great tag team almost overnight.

It didn't take long for the duo to reach the top of the mountain. They lost their initial tag team title Match with Crimson and Matt Morgan at Genesis, but were able to defeat them in a Buckingham Brawl match on Impact to gain another shot at the titles. At Against All Odds, Joe and Magnus were able to defeat Morgan and Crimson using their unique snapmare and flying elbow combination to win the Gold. Their next test would come in the form of The Motor City Machine Guns, Alex Shelly and Chris Sabin. Billed as "The Best Tag Team in TNA History vs The Best Tag Team Going Today" MCMG and Joe/Magnus delivered a thriller at Lockdown despite a weak crowd in Nashville. After defeating the Enigmatic Assholes, Bad Influence sneak attacked Magnus and Joe laying claim to the TNA World Tag Team Titles. At Sacrifice, Joe and Magnus would go on to drop the titles to Bad Influence, ending their reign at just 91 Days.

This pairing was really random but was also underrated. TNA took two great talents lacking in direction and gave them an opportunity to revitalize the Tag Team division and their careers. It gave Magnus the chance to learn from one of the best wrestlers in the business and he used what he had learned to become TNA World Champion. Meanwhile, it gave Joe the kick in the ass he needed to get back into the groove of things as far as putting on quality matches. They went over to Pro Wrestling Noah, became GHC Tag Team Champions and further cemented their status as one of the best teams in the world in 2012.

The Motor City Machine Guns really deserve a lot of credit for helping to get these guys over as a legitimate team. There was always this feeling that these guys were too big to be stuck in a tag team together, but after their match at Lockdown, it felt like these guys legit belonged in the Tag Team Division. They were no nonsense, ass kickers who fed off of the other's impressive power and quick strikes. 6 months isn't very long but I had a lot of fun watching these guys paired up.



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