Wrestling is a very unique industry, as no one can truly predict what and who is going to get over with the crowd, so when the WWE finds two performers who aren’t doing so well on their own and bring them together for a common goal, it can be very hit-or-miss, and today we are going to look at both sides of that situation.
The success of such a thrown together tag team depends on so much, from the booking, the reason they come together and sometimes it’s just simply a matter of timing, and some of these teams had all of that working for them. On the flip side of that, some guys can be just thrown together with no intention of WWE caring about their success, and it just being a way to pass time, and that’s very noticeable to the WWE Universe.
Regardless of the company's intentions, some teams just click, while others are just way too odd and different to work, so let’s look at 10 thrown together tag teams that worked, and 5 that never did.
15 SUCCEEDED: Booker T And Goldust
On paper, a lot of the teams we will discuss on this list make sense, as the characters are similar or are in similar places in their careers, but no matter how you look at it, the pairing of Goldust and Booker T is just incredibly weird. Somehow, the charismatic duo managed to make it work, and were one of the best odd couples in WWE history. Goldust on his own was a very unique character, but mixed with the comedy and charisma of Booker T, the duo soared, and they ended up winning the World Tag Team titles together. However, cracks started to appear. Goldust became the weak link when compared with the incredibly talented "five-time" Champion, and their breakup story was told beautifully, to be fair. Still, they remain one of the most beloved and wacky thrown together tag team in WWE history.
14 SUCCEEDED: Breezango (aka The Fashion Police)
The team consisting of underutilized stars Tyler Breeze and Fandango are currently doing amazing work on SmackDown Live, and although their comedy may not be to everyone’s taste, it is objectively hilarious, and has made the team relevant, even when it seems like WWE doesn’t want them to succeed. The team may not win the SmackDown Tag Team Championships, as they face serious opposition from the New Day, American Alpha and the current champion The Usos, but if they continue to entertain and get the spotlight, the WWE will have no choice but to push the talented duo to the top. Other performers on this list have come together at a time when the company had nothing for them, but they were still used well. In the case of Breeze and Fandango, the company had no interest in doing anything with them, so while their characters may be absolutely ridiculous and very unique, Breezango/The Fashion Police is working for them, forcing management to take notice.
13 FAILED: AJ Styles And Chris Jericho
We all knew that when rivals AJ Styles and Chris Jericho came together as a tag team dubbed "Y2AJ," it was never going to last, as their rubber match was all but a certainty for WrestleMania 32. So when thinking of whether this was a success or not, we have to look on the negative side. In another time and place, the pairing of the legendary Jericho and Styles would have made a fantastic team, and probably would have had several reigns as Tag Team Champions, but the duo of Y2AJ lasted mere weeks before Jericho turned on his partner. They did get a Tag Team title shot, but as the stint together was so short, this one has to go under a failed tag team for sure.
12 SUCCEEDED: American Alpha
NXT has managed to produce some amazing stars, but until the past few years, they were struggling to produce solid tag teams, and one of those men who were struggling to find their place was the immensely talented Jason Jordan, who never clicked as a singles star. Soon, the quirky young Chad Gable came along and saved the day. The duo didn’t click immediately, but with both of them coming from amateur wrestling backgrounds, American Alpha were born, and no team in NXT could do it better. They may be struggling with poor booking on the main roster, but the one-time NXT Tag Team Champions are definitely still one of the best tag teams in the world today. Let’s just hope that the two can gather momentum similar to that of their NXT days, so they can fulfill all their expectations on the main roster.
11 SUCCEEDED: Rhyno And Heath Slater
Who could have imagined that Rhyno would have been successful in the WWE in the year 2016? If you are saying you saw that coming, then I’m sorry, but you are a liar. His success came almost entirely on the back of Heath Slater, who took advantage of the increased TV time and exposure with the brand extension, as he battled to gain a contract to either show. To do that, he needed to win the tournament to crown the first-ever WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championships. To do this, he enlisted the help of the former ECW star, and together they became known informally as Beauty and the Man Beast, and were successful in their endeavors for those tag team titles. They have almost fallen off the face of the earth now that they were moved to RAW, but for a time in 2016, these two were the hottest thing in the WWE, and that’s proof that even a thrown together tag team can succeed beyond everyone’s wildest expectations.
10 FAILED: Koko B. Ware And Owen Hart (High Energy)
Both of these men are legends within the WWE, with Koko being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame and Owen deserving a future induction if not for his widow's grudge against the WWE, but this tag team was never going to work, as it suited neither man's character. They were just at different stages of their careers with the company, and it showed in how long they lasted and the success they had. Koko wasn’t treated too well within the WWE, and placing him in this tag team was an example of that, but putting someone like Hart in it proved the WWE were lacking creative direction at the time, as he would become one of the most impressive professional wrestlers in history before his tragic passing. Their high energy (name drop!) and enthusiasm wasn’t enough to amount to anything, as the duo disbanded after just one appearance on PPV, and probably won’t be remembered by many, if anyone at all.
9 SUCCEEDED: JeriShow
Chris Jericho and The Big Show are two of the biggest icons in the wrestling industry, and late in the 2000s, it looked like the two of them were being phased out of the spotlight in the WWE, but they came together to form the classic tandem of giant and small, athletic performer, and surprisingly they were an absolute hit. Working in their natural heel state, the duo drew genuine heat from the audience, while battling teams like DX, and although we knew they were never going to last, it was very fun while it did. It proved yet again that Chris Jericho was the master of reinvention, and anything he does in WWE is bound to succeed, and it brought the duo a WWE Tag Team Championship reign, which is much more than anyone could have expected when they joined forces.
8 SUCCEDED: Rated RKO
On their own, Edge and Randy Orton are two of wrestling’s greatest ever stars, and in 2006 they were only on the cusp of true, main event superstardom, so they figured that their talent would be better used together to combat the skills of D-Generation X. As a duo, Rated RKO found some great success. Of course, DX consisted of two of the greatest stars in wrestling history (Triple H and Shawn Michaels), so they did get their fair share of embarrassing comeuppance, but the budding superstars managed to taste World Tag Team title gold throughout their run, making their allegiance an undeniable success. Obviously they’ve both had success in other stables or teams, and most notably as singles stars, but for the time when they were struggling to break into the main event, this was a perfect way to utilize them.
7 FAILED: Hardcore Holly And Everyone
Hardcore Holly had a great wrestling career (one that is still going on outside of the WWE), but the WWE could never quite find the right spot for him on the card, and that led to him being paired with several different performers, from Billy Gunn to Cody Rhodes (that one actually worked well) and even Bart Gunn. We mentioned his alliance with Rhodes that worked, but everything else just didn’t, and it’s unfortunate, as Holly was a great character with a lot to offer the company from an in-ring standpoint. Just because we’ve singled Holly out, that doesn’t mean he was the reason for the teams' failures. But he just has to be noted as he had more thrown together tag teams than anyone in recent memory, and unfortunately for everyone involved, the majority of them flopped.
6 SUCCEEDED: John Morrison And The Miz
John Morrison and The Miz were very similar characters at the time they came together during the days of WWE’s ECW revival, and they proved that their tandem was definitely ahead of its time, as they looked to utilize WWE’s growing internet and social media presence. They did so with tremendous success, as they produced their own show known as The Dirt Sheet on WWE.com, and it was fantastic. The arrogant, self-centered heel is a character that has definitely been beaten into the ground by WWE, but the duo put a new twist on it, and it led them to great success, as they held the WWE Tag Team Championship for quite some time. We’ve seen their careers go in drastically different directions since then, but for a way to establish both of these men as genuine stars, this tag team worked perfectly.
5 SUCCEDED: #DIY
DIY, the team of Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano, rose through the ranks of NXT in incredibly entertaining fashion, and despite their recent, heartbreaking split, they were one of, if not the best tag team in NXT history, proving that both men were more than just singles stars like they showed on the independents, but they could come together and provide NXT with a main event act in their tag division. Because of their prior experience on the independent scene, they were always destined to be singles stars in the WWE, but the team sold the audience on themselves, which is what made their break up so devastatingly heart breaking. We will no doubt see them together again in one form or another later on in their career, but for an organic coming together like this between two friends, it worked better than anyone could have ever imagined.
4 FAILED: Lex Luger And The British Bulldog (The Allied Powers)
The WWE are no strangers to inconsistent booking, and this brings about performers who rise to the top inexplicably, or those who fall from grace, and no one exemplifies the latter like Lex Luger, who was gaining a monster push around the time of WrestleMania X, as he won the Royal Rumble and challenged for the World Title (unsuccessfully). Yet a year later, he found himself in the opening match on the card, a throwaway bout against Eli and Jacob Blu, aka the Harris Twins with long hair and beards. His partner in that bout was none other than the legendary British Bulldog. The two stuck together for the majority of 1995, and despite having a shot at the WWF Tag Team titles, it looked like neither man truly wanted to be there, and the tandem were mercifully split up when Luger shockingly showed up on the rival WCW's Monday Nitro.
3 SUCCEEDED: Team Hell No
The Daniel Bryan story is well-known to WWE fans, as he came from small-time independents and a huge indie following to the top of the WWE card and a WrestleMania main event, but it wasn’t always smooth sailing for The American Dragon, as he endured his fair share of bumps in the road along the way. There were downs, including the 18-second loss at WrestleMania to Sheamus, but this partnership was definitely one of the high points, as it showcased Bryan’s ability to play a likeable, entertaining character, on top of being one of the best pure technical wrestlers the industry has ever seen. From their entertaining scenes in therapy to their “hug it out” moments in the ring, this was one of the most unlikely and hilarious partnerships we’ve ever seen in the WWE, and it truly set in motion Bryan’s “Yes Movement”, which will never be forgotten.
2 SUCCEEDED: The Revival
The Revival top this list as the best thrown together tag team in WWE history, but they would also top most people’s list as the best current tag team the company has to offer, proving that when two similar people come together to reach a common goal, anything can be achieved. Consisting of Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson, the duo came together in the early days of NXT, and the higher-ups were never featuring them like they should. But with their great character work and surprising in ring chemistry, they succeeded anyway, and had phenomenal matches with everyone from Enzo and Cass, American Alpha and most recently #DIY. Their careers are just beginning, which shows how much potential they have as an old-school tag team in todays WWE. Expect to see them topping many lists like this in the future, as they could go down as one of the greatest teams in WWE history by the time it’s all said and done.
1 FAILED: Rusev And Jinder Mahal
Recently, Jinder Mahal won the WWE Championship as a part of WWE’s desire to tap into its Indian market, but before that, Mahal and the Bulgarian Brute Rusev were being vastly underused. That's why the WWE tried to put them together as a team, and safe to say, it didn’t work out at all. Rusev has been criminally underused since he lost to John Cena at WrestleMania 31, and Mahal was treated like nothing but a jobber in return, so to set these two up in a feud with the popular Enzo and Cass was never going to work, as no one really cared about them. It seems like the WWE only paired the duo because they were both foreign (wouldn’t be the first time WWE did such a thing), and thankfully they disbanded them shortly after, as their segments on RAW were nothing but bathroom breaks for the duration of their alliance.