Longevity is the enemy of Tag Team wrestling because like anything in life, when two people are working together, disagreements are bound to happen. Even during times of wild success, two parties may split ways because they feel they can do more on their own or by linking up with someone else. Although certain dynamics do keep people together. In every list of great Tag Teams, the Road Warriors otherwise known as the Legion of Doom are bound to appear.
A few teams have been together longer: the Rock N Roll Express, the Dudley Boyz and now after their resurgence the Hardy Boys/Men. And as great as those other teams are, the Road Warriors displayed a dominance over Tag Team divisions like those other teams did not. I can honestly say, I was surprised whenever they lost.
Between their size and seeming inability or stubborn refusal to sell, it just didn’t make sense for them to lose clean. Their music was loud, they were loud, they had war paint, and their finishing move, the Doomsday Device, sometimes looked like it decapitated people.
Two of Jesus’ disciples, were fishermen brothers James and John, whose father was a man named Zebedee. Together they were referred to as the Sons of Thunder. That title sounds like a wrestling Tag Team. James was one of the first Christian martyrs, who died by the sword and John was the last living of the 12 apostles. They were competitive, wanted to be great, walked closely with Jesus and were willing by their own admonition to see some people smote.
In the Gospel According to Luke Chapter 9 verse 54, a village in the region of Samaria were unwelcoming towards Jesus and his stable of disciples. So James and John decide to come to a drastic conclusion by asking Jesus, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” Jesus corrects them suggesting that perhaps mercy is better than striking a whole town with a meteoroid. The Sons of Thunder were bold, loved Jesus, but also apparently, didn’t care much about the livelihood of those who did not welcome them.
James was put to death at the order of King Herod, John carried the gospel and in many ways would not or could not be put to death. Church tradition says he survived being burned in a vat of oil and eventually died of old age on an island in jail. These men lived and died in a life of radical faith and obedience, devoted to their cause.
For a team that was as popular and formidable as the Legion of Doom, they only had 2 WWF Tag Team Title reigns 5-years apart. Somehow they tagged for a good stretch over the course of 15 years. Hawk was the more charismatic of the two but clearly struggled with his demons and died of a heart attack at age 46. Animal for his part just was not good enough to work a wrestling match on his own. He was too flat on his own but had a 30 year career. He won a 3rd Tag Title as the Legion of Doom teaming with Heidenreich, a man even more uninspiring on his own than Animal, but they made it work.
If there is one place that Theology and Tag Team wrestling definitely part ways, it is in the area of longevity. Longevity and faithfulness over the long haul in Christian faith is valuable and becomes more formidable as time goes on. Ideally love, faith, and impact increase as one remains faithful. Tag Team wrestling is typically characterized by initial success without a long term investment in Tag Teams themselves in a division that is regarded as secondary. A Tag Team feud has not main-evented a WWE PPV arguably ever. In the Kingdom of God however, Jesus thought there was something to be said in sending his followers out in pairs. They were more effective together and prevented the stories in Scripture from being about one personality other than Jesus himself.
I look forward to the day when the Tag Team division of wrestling gets a program that can sustain a Main Event run worth fans attention. I believe it’s possible, I also believe in the furtherance of the Kingdom of God through team efforts. Neither are doomed.