Not everyone to enter a wrestling ring is capable of succeeding entirely on his or her own, and thus the concept of tag team wrestling began. While tag team wrestling has never quite reached the heights of the solo version, at least in America, it still makes up a giant part of WWE programming, not to mention that of all other wrestling companies. For the most part, when two wrestlers team up and form a unit, they have something in common that brings them together. Similar or complementing offense is usually the bare minimum, and more often than not, something about their personalities or backgrounds will explain why the two found success working together. Of course, that isn’t always the case.
For every tag team that has worked together fluidly, there have probably been another dozen pairs that were thrown together almost completely at random. The strange thing is, given the nature of WWE, it’s pretty much equally possible for these tossed together slapdash units to become Tag Team Champions as it is for a veteran group. Looking through the lineage of belts like these can be a confusing journey, with some of the tag teams that picked up gold making very little sense in retrospect. Keep reading to discover 15 completely random pairs you forgot were WWE Tag Team Champions.
16 CM Punk And Kofi Kingston
Outside of the ring, CM Punk and Kofi Kingston had been friends for quite a long time prior to their onscreen alliance began to form. However, the two had barely interacted when cameras were rolling up until the moment they were suddenly competing for the WWE Tag Team Championships together. Sure, Kingston at least started popping up in Punk’s matches to save him from sticky situations prior to the two working together in earnest, yet this hardly explained what they were doing joining forces. Punk was the World Heavyweight Championship when the union began, and he almost instantly dropped his solo pursuits to help out Kingston when he lost that Big Gold Belt, making matters all the more curious. The final tell for how random the team was is how quickly they split up after losing the belts, parting ways almost instantly after a loss to The Miz and John Morrison.
15 The 1-2-3 Kid And Bob Holly
When the Tag Team Championships were vacated in late 1994 because Shawn Michaels and Diesel could no longer get along, WWE did what wrestling companies often do and held a tournament to crown new champions. Unfortunately, there weren’t many established teams in the promotion at the time, and thus fans were left with a very weak bracket with few viable winners. Given the full picture, it’s not that surprising the most random team of the bunch somehow became the winners. Bob Holly and The 1-2-3 Kid didn’t have a whole lot in common, but does WWE Tag Team Champions The Bushwhackers sound all that much better? That said, it still didn’t make a whole lot of sense for Vince McMahon to put the belts on the random duo, especially considering they lost them the very next night to a more established team in The Smoking Gunns.
14 Booker T And Test
During the Invasion, almost every single WWE match had some pairing or combination that looked a little random. Because they were one of the few to achieve tag team gold together, Booker T and Test stands out as one of the strangest. If nothing else, most teams in this era at least had some tenuous historical connection about how they worked for the same company. However, Test was one of several WWE wrestlers to jump ship to the Alliance without ever having actually worked for either WCW or ECW, making him an outlier to begin with. That he had nothing in common with Booker T in particular only served to make their team more bizarre. The one thing that made sense about it is they lost the Tag Team Championships a mere two weeks after winning them.
13 Kenzo Suzuki And René Duprée
To a racist old fuddy-duddy, there’s nothing random about a Frenchman and a Japanese man teaming up simply because they’re amongst the few WWE employees who weren’t born in America. Since Vince McMahon happens to fit that bill, it was only a matter of time that he would team up Kenzo Suzuki and René Duprée. This time around, the random part was what these two did when they started teaming up. Rather than act like the typical anti-American foreigners, Suzuki and Duprée became loud and proud immigrants in love with the new country they called home. Not that there’s anything wrong with this sort of adopted patriotism, but it came entirely out of nowhere, the men apparently not realizing they love the country until after they beat Billy Kidman and Paul London. By the time they lost the belts to Rey Mysterio and Rob Van Dam, their love affair with the USA was over.
12 Chief Morley And Lance Storm
Absolute power corrupts absolutely, so there were no surprises when Chief Morley made himself one half of the WWE Tag Team Championships with Lance Storm in March 2003. Storm’s previous partner William Regal had been injured and a replacement was needed, so Morley naturally felt he was best suited to take the respected Englishman’s place. Surprisingly, Storm was completely fine with this decision, despite the fact he and Morley had almost never interacted before onscreen. By the way, that’s true of Lance Storm with Chief Morley or Val Venis, or any other name Sean Morley might have used in between—the two were basically strangers, aside from perhaps a few forgotten matches. Perhaps it is for this reason that the unlikely duo of Kane and Rob Van Dam beat Storm and Morley for the belts one week after they were crowned champions.
11 Bob Backlund And Pedro Morales
Now that both men have made their way into the WWE Hall of Fame, few people would question how Bob Backlund and Pedro Morales won the Tag Team Championships together. Obviously, both men were legendary wrestlers for the McMahon family, winning plenty of gold in the solo and tag team divisions. Merely being two respected athletes from the same era hardly makes a classic tag team, though. Truth be told, Backlund and Morales had a whole lot in common when it came to their style and personality than some other duos on the list. They were both top babyfaces known for having incredibly energy, fighting the good fight on behalf of the fans. That said, especially in the era, two solo stars didn’t team up, let alone win gold together.
10 Cody Rhodes And Drew McIntyre
Some ten years ago, Cody Rhodes and Drew McIntyre could have looked like a seriously promising tag team. The one catch is that the two rarely worked together in meaningful fashion, until they suddenly won the WWE Tag Team Championships at Night of Champions 2010. Prior to that event, the one thing Rhodes and McIntyre had in common was that neither much cared for Matt Hardy or Christian. Were Hardy and Christian an active tag team, that might have made some sense, but the feud and eventually title victory were somehow entirely unrelated. The pair won the belts from The Hart Dynasty, and lost them to John Cena and David Otunga barely one month later, with neither Christian nor Matt Hardy involved in any of this whatsoever. Like with almost every pair on this list, Rhodes and McIntyre forgot about one another immediately after dropping the belts.
9 Rico And Rikishi
Starting around the Attitude Era, one of the most prevalent tropes in tag team wrestling is the idea of wacky partners who hate one another. In extreme cases, these always warring partners can somehow even win the WWE Tag Team Championships together. It would take too long to list every single time this has happened, so for the purposes of this list, we decided to use one of the most glaring examples the trope has seen: Rico and Rikishi. It was already pretty random that Rikishi was feuding against Billy and Chuck, and the decision for Rico to become the Bad Man’s partner at Judgment Day 2002 made zero sense whatsoever. Barely two weeks later, after nothing but fumbling around, they lost the belts back to Billy and Chuck to solidify how pointless it all was.
8 The 1-2-3 Kid And Marty Jannetty
Being a scripted facsimile of an athletic event, professional wrestling is responsible for more underdog stories than arguably any other medium. One of the most successful underdogs in WWE history was The 1-2-3 Kid, a plucky youngster who looked smaller than the average wrestling fan, let alone the behemoths who competed in the ring. His shorter stature never deterred The Kid in the slightest, though, turning him into one of the more popular stars of the New Generation. Marty Jannetty was in a similar position as the forgotten Rocker, unable to achieve any success after Shawn Michaels turned on him and forced him into the solo division. Teaming up the two underdogs seemed like a natural fit, aside from the fact they never really worked together prior to suddenly winning the WWE Tag Team Championships from The Quebecers on an 1994 episode of Raw.
7 William Regal And Eugene
Even compared to the other teams on this list, no two wrestlers have less in common than the posh and sophisticated William Regal and arguably the most offensive character in wrestling history, Eugene. There’s no way to discuss how dichotomous these personalities were without getting into some questionable language, which is exactly what was wrong with Eugene in general. Chances are, there will never be a wrestling promoter, let alone writer, in general capable of presenting a mentally challenged character without ruffling a few feathers. If Vince McMahon saw this as a challenge, he could not have failed more spectacularly than by pairing up Eugene with one of the smartest people around, to really drive home how disabled the poor lad was. The duo winning the Tag Team Championships didn’t make things any better.
6 MVP And Matt Hardy
Although Matt Hardy was no stranger to tag teams thanks to his earlier success with younger brother Jeff, his choice of a second partner in MVP was nonetheless rather dubious. Through his name alone, MVP was presenting the idea he didn’t need any partners, be it a former Tag Team Champion like Matt or any other random wrestler. Granted, the Version One personality once used by Hardy actually did have a fair amount in common with MVP’s cocky perfectionist persona. However, their personalities also should have made them rivals, and not sudden friends, which was basically how the idea started. As often happens, though, they started to become allies instantly after winning the Tag Team gold together, something that only happened when MVP accidentally choose Hardy as his partner. Of course, they were back to fighting one another almost instantly after losing the belts, before both practically faded away completely, at least for a time.
5 Spike Dudley And Tazz
On paper, the ECW expats Spike Dudley and Tazz don’t look that out of place side by side. Both men are fairly small in stature, yet filled with tenacity, and that they both spent a significant amount of time in the hardcore Philadelphia environment crafted by Paul Heyman was more than enough for the two to team up. That said, it was still a bit strange how quickly they went from minor acquaintances to a WWE Tag Team Championship winning pair. The victory came during one of Spike’s many feuds against bigger brother Bubba Ray and D-Von, with Tazz coming to his defense. While they had the past camaraderie already mentioned, the fact Tazz had almost entirely transitioned to the announce desk made him an odd pick for the role, and could have had something to do why the duo didn’t hold the belts for long.
3 Eddie Guerrero And Tajiri
Replacement partners are always kind of strange, as this list already covered with Chief Morley and Lance Storm. At least that pair had the explanation that a power-hungry Morley giving themselves the titles. Technically, Tajiri wasn’t directly replacing a former champion by teaming up with Eddie, but rather he was taking the place of one who wished to enact his mandatory rematch clause. Originally, Eddie’s nephew Chavo was going to participate in a ladder match for the gold at Judgment Day 2003, but he was injured in the build towards the show. Tajiri was picked mainly because he and Eddie had similar styles in the ring and could make funny faces, and their similarities never quite expanded from there. In this case, though, fans were willing to accept it, because the matches at least were usually a sight to behold.
2 Edge And Rey Mysterio
It’s weird enough that these randomly tossed together teams won the Tag Team Championships together, and still, the pairing of Edge and Rey Mysterio takes the cake as the strangest due to the odd circumstances in which they won their gold. When SmackDown originally decided it needed Tag Team belts to compete with Raw, a tournament was enacted, as is often the case. Weirdly, though, this particular tournament featured a number of slapdash teams, due to just how few established ones SmackDown had at the time. Edge and Rey Mysterio didn’t win, but they had a good enough time together they kept trying after Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle did, managing to nab the belts away from them two weeks after the tournament ended. Of course, that was pretty much it for them, as they too lost the belt in a manner of days.
1 Sheamus And Cesaro
Simply because a team is still working together today doesn’t make them any less random. All right, most people reading this list probably haven’t technically forgotten about Sheamus and Cesaro yet, but that’s only because the two have yet to break up. By this same token, however, it should be especially easy to look back a mere few months into the past and realize how little the two had to do with one another until they suddenly teamed up. Sheamus and Cesaro had both been wrestling for WWE at least five years before becoming a team, without ever interacting in a significant way. That they even started a feud after that much indifference towards one another was shocking enough. However, given how often Vince McMahon relies on sheer cliché at this point, maybe it all makes sense to think wacky feuding partners was his goal all along.