This duo of bosom buddies have found their way to ECW and are sharing their excellent adventures through tag team wrestling with the masses who will watch them. They are incredibly cocky, incessantly garish, and virtually joined at the hip. When it comes to tag team wrestling, they work in a synergy that's reminiscent to the olden days of the 1980s (even though they look like jobbers). It's actually quite refreshing to see this, as tag team wrestling has been rather uninteresting and lacking. So, who are these two fellas that we are getting to know and, well, hate? Let's find out! Thanks, Wikipedia
Trent Barreta's real name is Greg Marasciulo. He made his professional debut in 2004 as part of the New York Wrestling Connection (NYWC). He debuted under the ring name, Plazma, and lost his first match to Dan Barry. He would later team with Dan Barry and start a regular tag team with him as they made their way to various wrestling promotions, including Jersey All Pro Wrestling, where they were literally beaten down by teams like the Hit Squad. I can still remember seeing them get thrown into the wall of the arena. He would then be welcomed into the WWE training facility of FCW, where he would meet up with Caylen Croft after a failed stint at becoming the "queen of FCW". Yes, that's what happened. They then found their way to ECW as a tag team and have been their since.
Caylen Croft's real name is Kris Pavone. After leaving Youngstown State University as an art major, he studied under Danny Davis and Nick Dinsmore, learned his craft as a wrestler, took part in the ECWA Super 8 tournament in April 2003, and later joined Ohio Valley Wrestling as part of the WWE's original training facility. In OVW, he wrestled under the name, "Hitman" Chris Cage, and was involved in many a feud in the promotion. After teaming with Nova, he teamed with Tank Toland to become the OVW tag champions with him in 2003 and 2004. He then won the OVW World championship from Matt Morgan, before losing the belt to Chad Tolad, Tank's cousin. To obtain retribution, Cage teamed with Mike Mizanin (the Miz) to beat the Tolands for the OVW tag titles. He was later released from OVW and his WWE developmental contract for behavior problems, allowing him to tour other promotions, including Ring of Honor and Cleveland All-Pro wrestling to hone his craft. He made a few appearances in OVW, despite not having a WWE contract during that time period. He was given another WWE contract, but this time with FCW. That's where he met Trent Barreta. They became a team and went on to win the FCW tag titles. After this, they found their way to ECW, and the rest is recent history.
Now, say they get past this creative development problem. Now, they have to contend with the tag division stars. This brings us to their biggest problem: the tag team champions are D-Generation X. They wouldn't put anyone over if their careers depended on it. Sadly, their careers never do. If they can, they'll bury any tag team they choose. If it means to make the team look virtually incompetent in the ring or outside, they'll do it, simply by not giving them the proper credit or even the attention the team is looking to get. Triple H loves squashing and discrediting stars he doesn't see as a big deal, or does see as a threat, while HBK loves to do what Triple H is doing as long as their friendship is intact. Throw in their midget mascot, Hornswoggle, and Barreta and Croft have a better chance of winning the Powerball. All Hornswoggle is good at doing is making wrestlers look like incompetent fools, as he is, for some reason, impossible to beat up, even though he's half the size of the wrestlers, and very slow. People have to suspend logic and give this a level of believability. If that's the case, then on wrestling standards, most of the wrestlers that have lost to, or have been befuddled by Hornswoggle aren't capable of being top stars. Interesting enough, that's what is the adopted mindset by everyone who sees this happening. Trent, Caylen: if you want the tag belts, you better kiss some serious butt, otherwise, you'll be lucky to win even a staring contest against D-X. If it works for them, then sucking up should work for you.
Now, say that the first conditions are not an issue. Say that Barreta and Croft become tag champions. The question is this: who cares? Thanks to the WWE, tag team wrestling means as much to anyone these days as paint drying. Every legitimate tag team has been split up, every upcoming tag team is discredited, and every major tag match involves 4 main eventers instead of actual teams. Gone are the days of the Hart Foundation, the Rockers, Demolition, and even the Legion of Doom. Instead, we get cookie cutter and cop out tag teams put together for the sake of furthering feuds, and putting over singles champions. Whatever happened to having the best matches on the cards being tag matches? I'll tell you what happened: wrestling changed in 2002 and the WWE couldn't afford to or didn't want to put over any more tag teams. Every major team of that era was split, and tag wrestling was lost to the foolishness of the creative teams of the WWE. I kind of mentioned something along these lines about a year ago (see the ECW analysis on the Miz and Morrison: best team of the 21st Century. Sure, I like these guys, but they aren't as great as the stuff I've seen). Being a top tag team is equivalent to, well, winning a carnival game or the crane game or receiving a cardboard crown from a fast food restaurant. If Trent Barreta and Caylen Croft do the unthinkable, the first question on everyone's minds won't be "Where will these two go from here?". It will be "Who are these guys and why should I care?" If you're a budding tag team in this industry, steer clear of the WWE.
Be all of this as it may, Trent Barreta and Caylen Croft have a ways to go before becoming as good as their ECW predecessors, the Miz and John Morrison. However, if they want to be big, they have to want it. They have to take the steps to get noticed. They have to work on their delivery, perfect their move execution, and become the best at what they do in and out of the ring. No, that won't be easy on a dead-end show like ECW (which shouldn't be called that, quite honestly), but if any team can do it, I'm sure they could. In a world where tag team wrestling is non-existent, these two can breathe life back into it, along with other teams on other brands. They've got ego, chemistry, and a life-long "brotherhood" that few teams can say they have. They have all the keys needed to be a top tag team. All they have to do is get the ball rolling in their favor and make some noise in a quiet environment like ECW. Perhaps a few rounds of Guitar Hero can prepare them for that. I'd suggest some Quiet Riot or Twisted Sister.