Despite what Vince McMahon might have you believe, tag team wrestling is ingrained in the business and has a long and storied tradition. Even the likes of Stone Cold Steve Austin often speaks highly of the art that is being able to work as a part of a tag team. That from a man who spent the majority of his career becoming one of the biggest singles stars of all time. The popularity and quality of that division of the business often comes in peaks and troughs. The likes of The Rockers and The Midnight Express helped put it on the map during the ’80s, The Hardyz and The Dudleyz contributed to doing that ten years later, and in the present day teams such as The Usos and The New Day are bringing tag team wrestling back in a major way.
It may surprise you to know though that just because a couple of Superstars have tagged together, it doesn’t mean they’re the best of friends. As you’ll soon realize as you make your way down this list having great in ring chemistry doesn’t necessarily mean that tag team partners are hanging out with one another all day every day and are best pals. In fact some of the time tag partners end up down right hating each other. Maybe it’s because they get sick of one another through the amount of time they have to spend together, maybe it’s something else entirely. Whatever it might be, here are 15 instances of wrestling pairs that once teamed but now hate each other’s guts.
15. Bam Bam Bigelow And Vader
The partnership of Bam Bam Bigelow and Big Van Vader is one that many fans may have forgotten about or even one they weren’t aware of at all. The two super heavyweights teamed together in Japan and were a huge hit (pun very much intended) in the land of the rising sun. Two extremely talented big men teaming together was always going to work like a charm. However, one half of the team wanted all the glory as opposed to half of it. That man was Vader. Apparently the masked performer would bully Bigelow back stage in an attempt to assert his dominance over him. Ironically, that just motivated Bam Bam to be even better. Needless to say though it didn’t help their friendship very much.
14. The Eliminators
Bigelow and Vader aren’t the only team from the annals of pro wrestling history that reportedly fought with one another behind the scenes. The Eliminators of ECW fame also had that reputation. The team was made up of Perry Saturn and John Kronus and if you ask almost anybody who was working with ECW at the time they’ll tell you how great a team they were inside the ring. Apparently all was not well behind the scenes however. Saturn regularly fell out with Kronus over his bad habits as he just sat there gaining weight and clearly didn’t care much about the team. When Paul Heyman offered Perry the chance to re-form the team he quit and instead tried his luck in WCW as a singles star.
13. Scott Steiner And Buff Bagwell
You would have thought that two men with as much in common as Scott Steiner and Buff Bagwell would have gotten on like a house on fire when paired together in a tag team. Their mutual dislike of WWE alone should make the two of them best friends. In all fairness when they were tagging together neither of them had been wronged by WWE quite yet. The apparent reason behind the two of them falling out is a very strange one. Steiner naturally prides himself on having a pretty incredible physique, and Buff Bagwell’s body is nothing to be snuffed at either. When Buff would stand next to Steiner he looked almost as good as him, and as a joke wrestlers back stage would point that out. Steiner (being the egomaniac that he is) couldn’t handle that and the jokes got under his skin and drove the two of them apart.
12. Billy Kidman And Paul London
During one of the first manifestations of the WWE Draft, SmackDown managed to nab one of the most exciting tag teams on the roster, Paul London and Billy Kidman. The high flying and entertaining pair actually managed to win the brand’s Tag Team Championships and all looked well on the surface. Allegedly though neither man liked the other. Kidman believed that London had not achieved enough in the business to warrant being paired with him in a tag team. London’s gripe with his partner was pretty much the exact opposite, and that Billy believed himself to be a much bigger deal than he actually was. He also thought that the only reason they were paired together was because their finishers were similar.
11. Brain Busters
Shockingly, none of the entries on this list so far have been about disputes over pay. As Jim Ross quite rightly points out though, almost every issue in pro wrestling is over one of the two Cs, creative or cash. The tag team of Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard was tested by money problems more than once. Firstly when their manager JJ Dillon was paid three times as much for a PPV event than they were, and that’s what saw them move from the NWA to WWE and become the Brain Busters. After a short while they returned to WCW but just before they signed their contracts Blanchard failed a drug test. WCW withdrew his contract and cut Anderson’s offer in half in the process. Naturally Arn wasn’t friends with Tully after that.
10. Hulk Hogan And Brutus The Barber Beefcake
Brutus The Barber Beefcake owes a lot to Hulk Hogan when it comes to his professional wrestling career. In fact without The Hulkster he may not have made it in the business at all. Hogan took Beefcake under his wing during the 1980s even though he wasn’t a wrestler at the time. The two of them teamed together in WWE shortly after The Mega Powers exploded, something we’ll cover in more detail a little later on in this list. Despite their past, the two of them are far from on speaking terms nowadays. In 2015 Beefcake was selling Hulk Hogan merchandise with The Immortal One’s signature on, pretty cool if you’re a wrestling fan. Only trouble is The Hulkster didn’t know, and apparently the signatures were forged. Not a good look for Brutus.
9. Buff Bagwell And 2 Cold Scorpio
Before Buff Bagwell was paired with Scott Steiner (actually, before he was even known as Buff Bagwell) he found himself in a team alongside 2 Cold Scorpio. It was still in WCW but back then Buff was known as Marcus Alexander Bagwell. The two wrestlers were good looking guys and could go in the ring. It was a great idea to put them together and they even have a WCW Tag Team Title reign to their names. Since sharing a locker room however Scorpio has had some less than flattering things to say about Bagwell, basically accusing him of kissing ass back in those days in order to ascend up the card. Buff has responded that he doesn’t know why Scorpio would dislike him and why he would make those comments.
8. Enzo And Cass
This one is a lot fresher than any of the others we have covered so far on this list. The break up of Enzo Amore and Big Cass earlier this year was a heart breaking one. How things have panned out since may have led you to forget that Cass was actually the heel coming out of this. Amore is very much a WWE bad guy now and you could argue that the turn started on the night that Cass injured his knee. Enzo went to town on his former tag partner and supposed best friend via social media in a Twitter tirade about how he basically deserved his very serious injury. It may have all been a part of the show but that doesn’t seem likely as there was some very strong stuff in there.
7. Stevie Richards And Raven
Many WWE fans will remember Stevie Richards for his time with WWE as the leader of the faction Right To Censor. That will become somewhat ironic as you read through this entry. Before he competed in WWE Richards made a name for himself in ECW. While there, he made friends and tagged with Raven, who was one of the promotion’s biggest stars at the time. Raven’s grunge look and persona was not just a gimmick, he lived it. Apparently Richards would basically have to take care of Raven back stage as he abused his body in various ways. Raven would later move on to WCW and asked if Richards could come along with him so that he could continue the lifestyle he’d become accustomed to in ECW. Naturally all of this led to their relationship being pretty strained.
6. Hulk Hogan And Scott Steiner
The fact that Scott Steiner hates Hulk Hogan is not one that Big Poppa Pump does a particularly good job of hiding. In recent years Steiner has not only said that The Hulkster got what he deserved when the news broke of Hogan being recorded saying racial slurs, but he apparently also told Hulk’s wife that he planned to kill him after he crossed paths with her in an airport. Where exactly this white hot burning hate for The Immortal One has come from is anyone’s guess. The two of them once coexisted as a part of the nWo and that actually helped Steiner crack his way into the main event scene. Like so many others Steiner was probably not too impressed with the politicking Hogan was doing during those days.
5. CM Punk And Colt Cabana
Another more recent occurrence for you now, and on to the curious case of Colt Cabana and CM Punk. Punk famously appeared on Colt’s podcast The Art Of Wrestling. During the two part interview The Second City Saint told all about his time at WWE and the various reasons that he decided to leave. To this day it is one of the most interesting and controversial podcasts you will ever hear. One man who didn’t take kindly to what Punk had to say was WWE doctor Chris Amann. Punk claimed that Amann forced him to work while concussed, something Amann disputes and is suing both Punk and Colt for it being said on the podcast. Cabana has said that the lawsuit is costing him a lot of money and the friends and former tag team partners apparently no longer see eye to eye.
4. The British Bulldogs
If you don’t know the entire history of this incredible and well respected tag team then you may be quite taken aback to see them on this list. The British Bulldogs are widely regarded as one of the best tag teams in wrestling history as Davey Boy Smith and Dynamite Kid were both incredible in ring performers. Not only that but the two of them were actually real life cousins which would have only helped their in ring chemistry. As time went on however the two of them began to butt heads. The final straw came when Smith actually copyrighted Dynamite Kid’s ring name meaning that he could no longer use it. Davey Boy passed away in 2002 before the pair ever got the chance to reconcile.
3. The Mega Powers
Sticking with the theme of pairings not being able to bury the hatchet before one of them passed away, on to two of the biggest wrestlers in the history of the business. Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage defined pro wrestling during an era where it felt like everybody was watching. They teamed together and dubbed themselves The Mega Powers and their split was monumental. It revolved around Hogan ‘having eyes’ for Miss Elizabeth. Ironically that’s actually what came between the two in real life. Macho Man was very protective of Elizabeth and believed there was something going on between her and Hulk. Hogan even housed her while she divorced from Savage as she was friend’s with The Hulkster’s wife at the time. So sad that the two of them couldn’t get together and build bridges before Savage passed away.
2. The Rockers
When a team as big as The Rockers splits in the way that they did and the respective wrestlers within the team take the very different trajectories that they have taken, there is always going to some animosity. Especially when all of the above leads to your name becoming a synonym in the business for the less successful half of a team. For those of you who don’t know that applies to Marty Jannetty. Marty had a mediocre career following the break up of The Rockers, especially when directly compared to Shawn Michaels. Although the betrayal was all for the purposes of an on screen angle, there were already cracks showing in real life. Both men admitted that they couldn’t trust one another and that likely sped up their break up.
1. Scotty 2 Hotty and Rikishi
A lot of fans may not realize this but Rikishi actually underwent a lot of gimmick changes while he was in WWE. Towards the beginning of his career he was quite a bit slimmer and known as Fatu so some might not even realize that they’re watching Rikshi when they see old footage. All of that aside though his most famous run was as the Rikishi most of us remember him as. The thong wearing, Too Cool member. Shockingly though when he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame there was no mention of Too Cool or the two men that made up that faction along with him, Scotty 2 Hotty and Grandmaster Sexay. Scotty in particular took offence to that and said that clearly the Samoan has forgotten those who helped further his career.
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