Though tag team wrestling may have lost some of its lustre in recent years, Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley, collectively known as the Motor City Machine Guns, are doing their part to restore some of that division’s brilliance in TNA Wrestling.
“Tag team wrestling has been a little dry lately,” Sabin told SLAM! Wrestling at the company’s Fan Interaction event the day before this year’s Bound For Glory show. “We’re trying to turn things around.”
The tag specialists have been doing their part to do just that, thrilling fans with innovative double-team offense that’s as exciting as anything in the company’s X-Division. They execute their arsenal flawlessly, with a fluidity and comfort that would suggest they’ve been teaming for years. In fact, the team has only been formally together for a few months.
“We’d been teaming together for eight or nine months before TNA,” explained Shelley. “We were together in Zero-1 Max, and teamed in UWA Hardcore Wrestling in Toronto, and Pro Wrestling Guerilla. We were using the (MCMG) name well before (using it) in Ring of Honor.”
Despite making a name for itself in other promotions, it took a while before they were allowed to use their moniker in TNA. It was, said Shelley, a grassroots movement of the fans that convinced management to give their blessings to the pair.
“At first,” he recalled, “there were a lot of people who didn’t want us to team. The turning point for us was the Lockdown pay-per-view in April when we started doing a lot of tag team moves, and it struck a nerve with the fans. When you have something like that, you’ve got to strike when the iron’s hot, so they agreed to put us together.”
Since then, the team has been steadily climbing the ranks, and are now sitting among the premiere teams in the company, with teams such as Team 3-D, LAX, and the current champs AJ Styles and Tomko. While the Guns would very much like to wrestle any and all of those names, possibly even for tag team gold some day, there are even others that they would love to square off against some day.
“The Briscoe Brothers,” Shelley provided as an example, “are really good. Ricky Marvin and Kotaro Suzuki, too. There are some really great teams out there right now, in Dragon’s Gate, in Mexico.”
While those teams aren’t in TNA, who knows if the Guns might get to square off against any of them at some point in the future. For their part, both Sabin and Shelley are happy to continue with tag teaming, expressing that as their preference over singles careers.
It’s hard not to like tag team wrestling more,” said Sabin. “There’s a lot more action, there’s a lot more you can do in the ring. And I really like teaming with Alex. We’re best friends. We’re heterosexual life mates,” he laughed.
Shelley, rolling his eyes at Sabin’s comment, agreed. “When you have a great partner like Chris,” he concurred, “it’s a lot of fun.”