Originally Posted by The Lady Killer
STF = standard tag formula? That's been bugging me. Never seen that acronym describe tag work before (clearly you're more adept in the area than I).
Close, Southern Tag Formula. Was basically a tag style that dominated southern territories throughout the 80s and into the 90s and today. Basically revolves around 3 key stages:
Stage 1: Babyface shine period. This varies from the style of the babyfaces, e.g the Rockers being quick and explosive, the Hardy Boys more daring, Taker and Kane being more physical and using their power. Essentially the heels get destroyed and outmatched. The Rock n Roll Express would often employ numerous comedy spots at the expense of the Midnight Express during this period: things like the Midnight Express trying to duplicate a spot the RnR would do only to fail, the babyfaces continually having a counter for every hold the heels would lock on etc. This builds and builds until stage 2..
Stage 2: Transition spot and Face In Peril segment. Basically the heels through nefarious means manage to counter a babyface move and isolate one of the babyfaces and work an extended control segment. The babyface bumps and sells everything like death, the babyface on the apron typically works the crowd into a frenzy and the heels bust out numerous cheat tactics to draw heat: drawing the ref out of position, taunting the babyface on the apron and drawing him into the ring, making sure the ref misses a legitimate tag to the babyface on the apron, choking the babyface, entering the ring without a valid tag etc etc. They'll also tease a hot tag such as the classic spot where the babyface jumps to the corner only to be caught and dragged away. Steamboat also used to do a classic spot where he'd almost fall over the ropes and into the ring by reaching that far for a tag.
Stage 3: Hot tag and finish. The FIP manages to tag his partner in, partner cleans house and then they go into a finishing stretch with numerous counters, screwjob teases and guys breaking up pins. Occasionally they'll deviate and work 2 shorter FIP segments, but the traditional structure has one extended heel control segment.