The 25 Greatest Tag Teams of All Time

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by Howie Decker @HowardTheDeck

in Lists, WWE

The Thanksgiving season is upon us, and for wrestling fans that means one thing: Survivor Series.

Since 1987, fans of the WWE have gathered on a Sunday near Thanksgiving for the annual event, which initially pitted teams of 5 against each other in elimination-style matches. While the WWE has gotten away from that format, they still traditionally include at least one team-centric match on the card. This year that match is Team Foley vs. Team Ziggler.

While these 5 man Survivor Series squads are fun, most wrestling conversations revolving around the team dynamic are more likely to involve the more traditional and historically significant tag team.

Once again we’ve dusted off our tried and true ranking method – this time with the most panelists and contributors we’ve ever engaged for one list. Twelve people individually ranked what they considered the 25 best tag teams of all time. The results were tallied by Tank, and we present them here, for your discussion.

The panelists:

Bloggers & podcasters:

Wrestling superfans:

  • Count Marzo
  • Alan Tanski
  • Todd Hess
  • Mike DiGiorgio

and from UnderScoopFire:

After you’ve seen the list – we’d love to hear from you! Leave us a comment with your favorite tag team of all time, who you’d add or subtract from this list, or who you’d move up or down!

 

25. The Hollywood Blonds

We’ve seen it numerous times, two guys a fed really didn’t have plans for are put together and made into a makeshift tag team- but never did lightning strike quite like it did for the Hollywood Blondes! Up to that point Steve Austin and Brian Pillman were considered great young talents but they weren’t given a chance to shine with guys like Sting, Vader, Rude, and Flair on the bloated WCW roster.

image courtesy Ring Time Pro Wrestling

When the Blondes were paired up suddenly the focus of The Tag Team Division was theirs! There would never have been an “Austin 3:16” or “The Loose Cannon” without the formation of this team. – TB

 

24. The World’s Greatest Tag Team

Why did I choose the WGTT? Simple – these guys were technicians. They weren’t going to talk your ear off, weren’t going to be flashy – they were going to come in, outwork you, and leave with the belts.

The fact that they got better when first splitting from Kurt Angle, and later going to ROH speaks volumes to their talent level. – JM

 

23. Rock n’ Sock Connection

The King of Hardcore together with The People’s Champ. Mrs. Foley’s baby boy united with the most electrifying man in sports entertainment. Socko and The People’s Strudel. You get the picture.

Two of the most colorful personalities in the history of pro wrestling, these two discovered a great in-ring rapport and played it to the hilt. Foley treating The Rock to a “This is Your Life” segment is one of the best spots of the time. That said, Rock and Foley were too important as singles’ wrestlers to keep them together as a team for very long.

 

22. The Powers of Pain

The Warlord and The Barbarian were put together in the NWA in 1987 to feud with the Road Warriors. When they left for the WWF, they became a face team, brought in by Tito Santana to even the score with Demolition (who had injured Santana’s Strike Force partner, Rick Martel).

When Mr. Fuji doublecrossed Demolition and became the Powers of Pain manager, it effectively switched the teams’ roles, with the Demos going face and Barbarian & Warlord turning heel.

 

21. APA

Originally a part of the Undertaker’s Ministry of Darkness, The Acolytes were a formidable twosome. Ron Simmons and JBL, then known as Farooq and Bradshaw, really turned the corner when they ditched the darkness for the poker table.

The Acolytes became the Acolytes Protection Agency, setting up shop backstage at WWE events, with a hilarious door frame that potential clients HAD to knock on and enter through. The APA were no longer interested in matches and titles, their focus was now on beer, cards, and money. Superstars in need could hire the APA as bodyguards, and for a time much of their on screen action took place backstage and at local bars.

 

20. Beer Money

Beer Money accomplished the unthinkable during their existence.  They not only became one of the biggest acts in professional wrestling- they did it while a tag team. In TNA. James Storm and Robert Roode were thrown together because the writers didn’t know what else to do with them. Magic happened.

The team went on to win four world tag team titles, and headlines events as both heels and faces.  Their split led to not one, but two TNA World champions.  There is no “Marty Jannetty” in this group.  They are both champions. -KH

 

19. DX (Shawn Michaels & HHH)

Degeneration X helped the struggling WWE into the Attitude Era with its careless antics, sophomoric humor and breaking down the fourth wall called kayfabe. DX was founded by Shawn Michaels and Triple H (still after all these years have trouble taking the name ‘HHH’ seriously).

DX threw caution to the wind with its anything goes, break all the rules demeanor, and amazing athletic fortitude. Its reign as the famed junior high school class trip spanned more than 15 years, mainly due to Trips and HBK’s staying power. – TH

 

18. The Foreign Legion

The Iron Shiek and Nikolai Volkoff are the perfect example of two singles wrestlers who were paired with each other and branded with a somewhat feasible team concept. That said, they kicked ass as a tag team.

Many fans remember the Iron Shiek more for his tag team run with Volkoff (or for his amazing Twitter prowess) than they do for being the WWF Heavyweight Champion.

 

17. Doom

Ron Simmons and Butch Reed were two of the great physical specimens of their time. A physically initimadating pair, they competed in the NWA & WCW from 1989 to 1991.

Managed by Woman, Doom debuted as a masked team at Halloween Havoc 1989 as a new challenge for The Steiner Brothers. It wasn’t until they unmasked and exchanged Woman for Teddy Long that they began to prosper as a tag team.

 

16. Rock ‘n’ Roll Express

Rock ‘n’ Roll Express  were in so many different promotions from the older ones to the big 3 of recent years. They are probably most known for their stint in NWA, pre-WCW, especially the Starrcade events.

Their gimmick was to be rock n’ rollers and their entrance themes fit the bill. -CM

 

15. Harlem Heat

Harlem Heat are the most decorated WCW tag team of all time, winning the WCW tag titles 10 times. Booker T used a lot of great moves (for being the size he is) such as his Scissor Kick and the Harlem Hangover.

Their double team finisher moves were really well orchestrated. Don’t forget that awesome, memorable entrance music too.

HULK HOGAN WE COMIN FO’ YOU!!! – CM

 

14. The British Bulldogs

Davey Boy Smith and the Dynamite Kid revolutionized tag team wrestling.  Sure, it seems weird that they only won the WWF tag team titles once, but this was also during one of the most competitive times in tag team history. Starting as rivals, they became one of the most spectacular teams on the planet.

Whether in England, the U.S., Japan, Canada or any points in between, the Bulldogs brought the most powerful and dynamic partnership the fans had ever seen.  Their rivalry against the Hart Foundation was the Edge and Christian vs. the Hardys of the time.  Plus, they had the greatest animal mascot in all of sports entertainment. -KH

 

13. The Hardy Boyz

When The Hardy Boys finally got their first push (when teamed up with Michael P.S. Hayes after years of jobbing on WWF’s B-Shows) I didn’t really care for them, to be honest. Soon I saw that the tag chemistry the brothers Matt and Jeff had with each other along with the teams of Edge/Christian and recent ECW defectors The Dudley Boys made for the most exciting time to be a fan of tag wrestling since the mid to late 80s.

Jeff Hardy will always be the face that pops into my head when I hear the word “Daredevil” (sorry Matt Murdock and Evel Knievel) and Matt was maybe one of the most underrated mat wrestlers from his era . . . factor in Lita and Team Extreme defines the word Highlight Reel! – TB

 

12. The Rockers

Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty may be the most influential tag team of the 80s and 90s. Once considered a ripoff of the Rock & Roll Express, this team emerged as the must-see team in the WWF. Never gaining the tag titles (damn you Jack Tunney!), they gained the respect of a whole new generation before they disbanded in 1991 in the legendary Barber Shop segment on WWF Superstars TV, where Shawn kicked Marty through the window.

People like CM Punk, Chris Jericho, The Hardys, Edge & Christian, and many others cite them among their major influences. With their moves that left such a huge impression on fans and the wrestlers themselves in their short time, it’s not hard to see why. -CY

 

11. Midnight Express

Originated by Dennis Condrey, Randy Rose, and Norvell Austin, but brought to the spotlight by Beautiful Bobby Eaton and Sweet Stan Lane along with their manager Jim Cornette. The Midnight Express would go on to feud with every team the NWA could throw at them.  Their feud with the Rock-n-Roll Express was probably the pinnacle of their popularity.  Being a heel team that often were cheered, they made the world of tag team wrestling a strong one in the NWA.

When they went on to become the ‘good guys’, the original Midnight Express showed up and they wrote a wrestling chapter that was unbelievable.  They soon ended their run after joining WCW but they were a major reason that tag team wrestling was popular in the 80s and 90s. – Cashman

 

 

Click here for the 10 Greatest Tag Teams of All Time —>

 

 

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

James November 16, 2012 at 10:39 am

Love it so far. These lists are really interesting to see how the votes tally up.

Reply

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