There have been quite a few great tag teams in the history of the wrestling business featuring two partners with a discrepancy in between their careers. One partner breaks out on his own following a split or becomes too popular during their time together that the company has to push him as a singles star. This is often a sign of one talent having more talent than the other, but sometimes it;s just luck. Chances are that one of the two will have a stronger career once both are on their own. This article will take a look at how things shook out for the less memorable wrestlers from their teams.
We all know about the stories of Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart and Booker T. Their former tag team partners however got lost in the shuffle with less glamorous careers. We'll discuss fifteen specific wrestlers to be met with the bad luck of having a less memorable legacy than their tag team partners. All of these men once had huge success teaming but most fans forgot about them long ago. Some are still wrestling and others have left the squared circle a long time ago. These are the “where are they now stories” for fifteen forgotten tag team partners.
16 Ted DiBiase Jr.
Another instance of a wrestler failing due to WWE trying to imitate his father’s success was the career of Ted DiBiase Jr. WWE originally did right by him by having DiBiase Jr. team with Cody Rhodes under the leadership of Randy Orton in the faction known as Legacy. All three had their own identities while using their common bond as second generation wrestlers.
Legacy ending would hurt DiBiase more than the others. WWE viewed him as a future main eventer and tried pushing him with the same Million Dollar Man gimmick that worked with his father. It flopped badly and DiBiase eventually found himself out of the company. The aftermath has seen him retire from WWE for other opportunities. DiBiase is currently the Vice President of Business Development for One Life Insurance and started his own company that sells used college textbooks.
14 Ron Simmons
No one expected Ron Simmons to become part of a great tag team when he originally joined WWE. The career peak of Simmons began shortly before signing with WWE and it saw him become the first ever African-American WCW World Champion. Fans loved him in WCW and Vince McMahon signed him in hopes of pushing him as a singles star.
Following a successful run in the Nation of Domination, Simmons formed the APA with Bradshaw. Both men had similar interests coming out of college football backgrounds and loving to drink beer in between kicking ass. JBL went on to have a bigger career and Simmons quietly retired after the split. WWE still treats Simmons as part of the family. Ron joined the WWE Hall of Fame a few years ago and makes frequent appearances for the company such as roles on the recently released DVD discussing the Attitude Era.
13 Paul London
The tag team of Paul London and Brian Kendrick are one of the most underrated duos in WWE history. Both men had great talent that merged together perfectly with impressive chemistry. London and Kendrick carried the SmackDown Tag Team Division on their back for over a year. Fans supported their efforts despite WWE not putting too much effort into booking them as a major team.
Kendrick had a stronger WWE career than London that is still going today. The current role of Kendrick in the Cruiserweight Division has him featured on WWE television most weeks. London has no interest in ever working for WWE and has a new gig. Lucha Underground employs London as one of the agents putting the matches together backstage with the talents. London also wrestles occasionally in LU and on the independent circuit.
12 Charlie Haas
A similar story to Paul London and Brian Kendrick is the tag team of Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin. The duo of Haas and Benjamin went by the team names of Team Angle and World’s Greatest Tag Team during their short time together in WWE. The company saw too much potential in Benjamin to be a tag wrestler so they were split prematurely.
Benjamin never fulfilled his potential as a singles performer but delivered a strong career of results. Haas struggled to find any role with relevance and it led to his eventual release. Both men reunited in Ring of Honor before splitting due to Haas retiring. Shelton is now once again in WWE teaming with Chad Gable. Haas is still retired raising his children and running a nutrition smoothie shop with wife Jackie Gayda.
11 James Storm
The greatest tag team in TNA history may very well be Beer Money. James Storm and Bobby Roode seemed like an odd combination for a tag team at first. They instantly proved everyone wrong with great chemistry. Storm and Roode each appeared to be equals in the tag team making it a great story when they feuded with each other for the World Championship after breaking up.
Roode had a much more successful singles career in TNA. Both men received opportunities in NXT after leaving TNA. Roode signed a contract and became the NXT Champion before moving up to the main roster. Storm decided to return to TNA for a bigger contract and is still there today. Roode has claimed Storm has not talked to him since he left TNA implying there’s bad blood there. Storm has no one to blame but himself for being one of the last relevant names still in TNA/GFW.
One of the better tag teams to come from ECW featured the combination of Rob Van Dam and Sabu. The rivals in the ring were best friends behind the scenes. This allowed them to form chemistry based both on competition and friendship. WWE even allowed them to team together on special occasions during the ECW rebirth as a third brand.
Van Dam had the significantly better career due to many years of success in WWE. The big money and bigger spotlight from RVD’s time in WWE is what set him apart from Sabu. Today, it is a sadder story for Sabu as he still wrestles despite his old age and battered body. Sabu still needs to make money and puts himself through the pain on independent shows to still deliver intense matches.
9 David Hart Smith
The Hart Dynasty was meant to follow in the footsteps of their mentors in the Hart Foundation. This trio consisted of Davey Boy Smith’s son David Hart Smith, Hart family friend Tyson Kidd and Jim Neidhart’s daughter Natalya. All three young performers had potential but struggled to get over as a tag team. The idea of using an old name or gimmick typically leads to failure.
Kidd ended up having a stronger WWE career teaming with Cesaro along with some superb singles matches in NXT. Natalya had the best career of them of all as the current Smackdown Women’s Champion. Smith was released after the Hart Dynasty ended and used that as motivation. The current role of Smith in wresting sees him teaming with Lance Hoyt as a tag team in New Japan’s Heavyweight Tag Division.
8 Marty Jannetty
Marty Jannetty will always be viewed as one of the tag team partners to endure bad luck following a split. The Rockers achieved success together but WWE split them up to push Shawn Michaels as a major singles star. Michaels went on to have one of the all-time great wrestling careers and Jannetty has been a forgotten man since the early 90s.
Personal demons and poor decisions factored in Jannetty having a horrible career after the tag team broke up. Jannetty is still a train wreck today often making bad decisions. The veteran still does wrestle on independent shows in his older days. However, most of his moments in the spotlight come from making idiotic social media posts ranging from threatening Stephanie McMahon to asking if it’s okay to have intercourse with a woman he raised thinking was his daughter.
7 Scotty 2 Hotty
The tag team career of Scotty 2 Hotty saw him team with two different partners in Too Cool. Grand Master Sexay was a bit more known than Scotty due Brian Christopher being the son of Jerry Lawler with a crazy track record. The other tag team run of Scotty came after Christopher was released for being a train wreck.
Rikishi and Scotty teamed for a short time period in 2004 and even were the tag champs at WrestleMania XX. Scotty was once again the forgotten man in this team as Rikishi achieved more success as a singles wrestler. The life after WWE has seen Scotty have a few different paths. At one point, he was actually a firefighter helping save lives. Scotty now helps WWE prospects at the Performance Center as one of the trainers teaching the new generation.
6 Jim Neidhart
The combination of Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart made for a great team as the Hart Foundation. Bret had the in-ring precision and always looked like a bigger star. Neidhart was an extremely large man that added the power element. Both guys worked efficiently together become one of the best teams in WWE history. Vince McMahon eventually split them up due to spotting Bret’s star power.
Hart went on to become one of the biggest stars in WWE history as a memorable WWE Champion. Neidhart stuck around in various roles before getting lost in the shuffle of the wrestling world. Today, Jim is most known for being the father of current WWE star Natalya. You can see him living in a peaceful existence at home trying to overcome his personal demons and helping his daughter in her every day life.
5 Rick Steiner
Rick Steiner and Scott Steiner provided one of the best examples of a successful tag team featuring real life brothers. Both Steiners had backgrounds in amateur wrestling and implemented it into their wrestling work. The Steiner Brothers dominated WCW for many years and did some good work during their time together in WWE as well.
A split would come in 1998 when Scott joined the New World Order and changed his persona. The inception of the Big Poppa Pump character led to him taking off as a top singles star. Scott is still wrestling today as recently as appearing for TNA in June. Rick has gone in the other direction retiring to find a new career path. The new job of Rick sees him sell houses as a real estate agent. No word if he calls Scott to intimidate you into agreeing to buy the most expensive home....
4 Justin Credible
ECW saw the talent in both Lance Storm and Justin Credible to place them together for a highly successful tag team. Known as the Impact Players, Storm and Credible each brought something different to the table. Storm was one of the best technical wrestlers in the world delivering great in-ring work any time he stepped in the ring. Credible was more of a brawler and used the kendo stick as his weapon of choice.
Storm had the better career of the two with a decent run in WWE and his work becoming even more impressive through the years when looking back. Fans view Storm with respect and appreciation, but Credible is a forgotten man. Justin is semi-retired only wrestling every now and then. PW Torch also brings him in for occasional audio and writing content.
3 Chavo Guerrero
The tag team run of Los Guerreros provided highly entertaining content during the original brand split for the SmackDown brand. Both Eddie and Chavo worked well together as their real life relationship as uncle and nephew led to on-screen chemistry. This was the inception of the lie, cheat and steal motto of Eddie that would become synonymous with fans.
WWE pushed Eddie into the main event picture due to his popularity growing in the tag team. Chavo wouldn’t achieve similar success with his peak run coming in the Cruiserweight Division. The knowledge of Chavo is still respected within the wrestling industry. Chavo is currently a producer for Lucha Underground and trains the actresses on the hit Netflix show G.L.O.W. The wrestling intelligence and experience of Chavo has earned him multiple successful roles outside of the ring.
2 Stevie Ray
Harlem Heat was the most successful tag team in WCW during the Monday Night Wars with a total of 10 WCW Tag Team Championship reigns. Booker T and Stevie Ray were real life brothers that entered the business together. It wasn’t until 1997 that WCW noticed Booker had more potential to be a major singles star under the right situation.
The team eventual split and it saw Booker become the last major WCW main event star during their dying years and it led to a huge success when moving to WWE. Stevie struggled to continue thriving on his own and became an afterthought as WCW went under. Following a falling out that lasted years, Booker and Stevie are on good terms today. Stevie helps trains aspiring wrestlers at Booker’s Reality of Wrestling School. The podcast fad in wrestling has Stevie also hosting his weekly show trying to build an audience.
1 Joey Mercury
A highly underrated tag team that achieved great success was MNM. The combination of Joey Mercury, Johnny Nitro and Melina instantly became the best heel tag teams in the company when joining the main roster. Melina’s heel persona and Nitro’s athleticism always had their bigger priorities than Mercury. The strengths of Mercury saw him as one of the most solid in-ring performers that benefited from the unit.
Their eventual split saw Nitro achieve singles success as John Morrison and Melina went on to become a top star in the Women’s Division. Mercury did not match them in terms of personal accolades. He did have a sweet gig working as a backstage producer for WWE along with an on-screen role as one of Seth Rollins’ lackeys. Mercury was released from his WWE job recently and is now actively wrestling on the independent circuit.