There was a time when tag teams were as a big of a draw as the biggest singles stars. Promoters would work hard to find the two perfect guys to pair together. From the Brisco Brothers to the Midnight Express and The Freebirds, the best tag teams were able to fill stadiums by offering the people that occupied those seats something a little different. They were a cohesive unit that would never, ever split up. That changed somewhere along the way. Promoters realized that the only thing hotter than a tag team are former tag team members feuding. Once that happened, many people started looking at tag teams solely for the purpose of trying to figure out which member was going to go on to become a star.
That leaves the “other guy.” The wrestler who wasn’t anointed as a singles competitor. The most notable other guys in history never really started their career as the other guy. They were just an equal contributor to a team. Eventually, though, they were outed as the weak link. Once that happened, they might as well have disappeared from the face of the Earth. Since they didn’t, though, here is what the 15 “other guys” of famous wrestling tag teams are up to now.
15 Tugboat/Typhoon - The Natural Disasters
Fred Ottman had to work some truly awful gimmicks in his day, but he always seemed to find a way to make them memorable. While we’re still not sure why Vince McMahon though that a wrestling tugboat captain would get over with fans, Ottman did manage to make Tugboat seem like a likeable babyface and credible heel. Still, as a member of The Natural Disasters alongside Earthquake, Ottman was clearly second fiddle. Earthquake was coming off of a main event program with Hulk Hogan and managed to do much of the team’s heavy lifting when it came to their actual matches. Following Ottman’s infamous turn as The Shockmaster in WCW, and a brief return to WWE, Ottman went on work the indies before finally retiring in 2001. He currently resides in Florida where he serves as safety manager for a cleaning service and coaches little league baseball.
14 Charlie Haas - World’s Greatest Tag Team
While they were never really the “World’s Greatest Tag Team,” Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin did make the case for being the best tag team on the WWE’s roster in the early 2000s. The duo’s amateur wrestling style was a far cry from the high-flying antics of the Hardy Boyz or the brawling style of the Dudleys. While both Haas and Benjamin were accomplished workers in their own right, Benjamin was almost always the star of the show. Haas remained in WWE until 2010 even though Sports Illustrated outed him as a steroid abuser in 2007. Haas went on to team up with Shelton Benjamin again in Ring of Honor but eventually decided to retire in 2013.
He’s currently married to former diva Jackie Gayda, and the two have four children together. They also operate a number of health and fitness ventures - including a smoothie shop - and Haas was last seen working as a medical supply specialist in Dallas.
13 Brian Christopher - Too Cool
Given that he’s Jerry Lawler's son, perhaps it was inevitable that Brian Christopher would find his way into the wrestling business. His success was less of a guarantee. WWE tried to push Christopher as a light heavyweight contender, but fans didn’t really buy into him as a real threat. It wasn’t until Christopher and tag team partner Scott Taylor formed Too Cool that Christopher got a taste of stardom. Even then, most fans came to see Scotty 2 Hotty and Rikishi.
Christopher was released from WWE after the company found out he had illegally transported drugs. Aside from a couple of brief returns to the company, Christopher did most of his wrestling on the independent scene. Regardless of where he worked, Christopher couldn't keep his demons at bay. He was arrested three times in 2009 for a series of disorderly conduct charges and is still trying to fight a history of substance abuse issues.
12 Paul London - London And Kendrick
There was a time when you could make the argument that Paul London was more talented and successful than his partner Brian Kendrick. As time goes on, though, it’s becoming more and more clear that Kendrick is the superior star whose wrestling abilities and influence on the industry far outstrip what London has accomplished. It probably didn’t help that London was unceremoniously tossed out of WWE after he accidentally infuriated Vince McMahon during a backstage segment. London went back to the indies after that and spent a great deal of time telling anyone who would listen just what an awful place WWE truly is. London never quite achieved superstar status on the indie circuit again but has put on some great matches as a member of the Pro Wrestling Guerrilla roster. He also debuted for Lucha Underground during the show's third season as the leader of a psychedelic trios team.
11 Zip - The Bodydonnas
WWE history is filled with instances of the company finding a way to ruin incredibly talented wrestlers with bad gimmicks/booking. The company should have been able to turn the incredibly talented Chris Candido and his real-life girlfriend Sunny into a power couple, but instead saddled them with an awful fitness gimmick that was entertaining for about two weeks. WWE eventually decided to pair Candido with his kayfabe cousin Zip - Tom Prichard - and the two formed the Bodydonnas. Despite Candido’s best efforts, the two’s success didn’t last long. So what happened to Zip after the Bodydonnas disbanded? Well, on-screen, he stuck around as a masked jobber known as Dr. X. Behind the scenes, though, Prichard began training the next wave of WWE superstars. He eventually replaced Bill DeMott as head trainer of FCW. Oddly enough, DeMott then replaced Prichard as head trainer in 2012.
10 The Warlord - Powers of Pain
Following a successful run in Jim Crockett Promotions, the Powers of Pain made their way to WWE. The Warlord and The Barbarian were basically a watered down version of The Road Warriors, but WWE fans still fell in love with their face paint, hard hits, and power moves. To be honest, it’s hard to definitively call either man the “other guy” of the team. However, The Barbarian certainly went on to achieve greater singles success in WWE and WCW. That’s largely due to severe car crashes the Warlord endured in 1996 and 2001 which greatly hindered his ability to wrestle.
Instead, the Warlord went on to become a professional bodyguard. People he has protected include 50 Cent and Kimbo Slice. Eventually, though, Warlord decided he couldn’t leave wrestling behind and decided to make a comeback on the indie circuit. He even still occasionally teams with The Barbarian.
9 Ted DiBiase Jr. - The Legacy
Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase is rightfully remembered as one of the greatest wrestlers ever. Few performers could match him on the microphone or in the ring. Naturally, then, many people expected DiBiase’s son to eventually find a way to equal his dad’s brilliance. That never happened. Ted DiBiase Jr. quickly formed a tag team with fellow wrestling son Cody Rhodes, and fans everywhere quickly realized that Cody Rhodes was the real star of the group. WWE tried to turn DiBiase into a star, but it never quite worked out. DiBiase claims he left WWE in 2013 due to his desire to spend more time with his family, but some suspect that he was politely shown the door.
He’s been doing quite well since then. Along with spending time with his non-profit organization, the Ted DiBiase Foundation, DiBiase also serves as an executive on the board of a college book retail website called collegegaragesale.com
8 Ax - Demolition
Here’s another one where the “other guy” status is a matter of some debate. When fans talk about Ax and Smash, they tend to just refer to the two as Demolition. The two did a great job of working as a true unit. Some fans were probably only able to tell them apart because of their different face paint designs. Some years later, though, many came to the conclusion that Smash - Barry Darsow - was actually the one doing much of the legwork in the ring and a lot of the heavy lifting on the microphone. His memorable post-Demolition run as the Repo Man certainly helps his credentials.
So what happened to Ax? Well, he formed a new Demolition team in Japan before finally returning to America as a masked singles wrestler. Years later, he working occasional indie dates alongside Smash. He’s also known for his wrestling-related charity work.
7 I.R.S. - Money Inc.
While it's doubtful that Mike Rotunda could have ever reached the heights Ted DiBiase enjoyed during his WWE career, some will argue that Rotunda deserved more. After all, Rotunda was an all-American amateur wrestler who achieved singles stardom in WCW. While wrestling taxman I.R.S. was never going to be a world champion, Rotunda did enjoy a brief tag team championship run alongside Ted DiBiase. Rotunda was no slouch, but he clearly wasn’t as brilliant as DiBiase. Following his departure from WWE, Rotunda returned to WCW. Once that company went under, Rotunda wrestled for a few years in Japan. Eventually, he decided to give up wrestling altogether and open a security company with his wife.
Because nobody ever stays away from wrestling for long, however, Rotunda continued to make appearances on WWE television as a comedy character. Eventually, he became one of the company’s most trusted road agents.
6 Bart Gunn - The Smoking Gunns
During WWE’s awkward early ‘90s period, the company experimented with a number of over-the-top, cartoon character gimmicks that they hoped would attract a younger audience. For the most part, their experiments didn’t work. While The Smoking Gunns weren’t the worst characters to emerge from that period, they were a forgettable gimmick team. Looking back, though, it’s hard to deny that Billy Gunn was certainly the one Smoking Gunn to salvage his career. But what happened to Bart Gunn? Well, after he was knocked out by Butterbean and kicked out of WWE, Bart Gunn tried to wrestle in Japan and the indies but seemed to have lost his taste for the industry. Instead, he decided to become an MMA fighter. That didn’t work out well either. Eventually, Bart Gunn decided to retire to the simple life and become an electrician.
5 Blackjack Lanza - The Blackjacks
Blackjack Lanza was such an “other guy” that most people don’t know that Blackjack Mulligan used wasn’t the only wrestler to carry that name. Once upon a time, The Blackjacks were once of Vince McMahon’s favorite tag teams. They enjoyed a lengthy championship run in the ‘70s under the management of Captain Lou Albano. McMahon was so high on both Blackjacks, in fact, that he promised Blackjack Lanza one world title match a month as part of his contract. So what happened to the pair? Well, Blackjack Mulligan went on to wrestle in the NWA and establish himself as a legendary singles competitor. Blackjack Lanza, however, just faded away into the background as the ‘80s wrestling boom hit.
He retired sometime in the ‘90s but stuck around the business to help train his nephew, John Bradshaw Layfield. Eventually, he became a road agent for WWE and still serves in that capacity today.
4 Rick Steiner - The Steiner Brothers
Rick Steiner and Scott Steiner began their wrestling careers on roughly even footing. In fact, it’s long been rumored that Rick Steiner was originally identified as the breakout member of the group. Some within NWA even pushed for him to be given a singles run with a shot at the championship. However, it wasn’t long before Scott Steiner established himself as the true breakout star of the brother tandem. Rick Steiner stuck around WCW after Scott became a singles star, but it was clear the company had lost all faith in him. Rick hung around the indies and did some work in TNA following WCW’s fall, but most of his bookings came as a result of promoters wanted to reunite the Steiner Brothers.
Rick still wrestles the occasional match, but spends most of his time working as a real estate broker and serving on the local school board; a position he gained by running as an unofficial write-in candidate.
3 Marty Jannetty - The Rockers
Marty Jannetty is the prototype for the “other guy” in tag teams. He wasn’t the first of his kind, but he was the man who spent years teaming with Shawn Michaels. When you’re tag team partner goes on to become one of the greatest wrestlers that ever lived and you just kind of disappear from the industry, it’s hard to avoid that dreaded "other guy" label. Of course, Jannetty didn’t really disappear from wrestling. Following his fallout with Vince McMahon and WWE, he decided to go to ECW rather than WCW. That didn’t last long, and Jannetty was forced to go to the indies. Rumor has it that WWE was interested in bringing him back long-term, but their interest never amounted to more than a few brief reunion tours in the mid-2000s.
Jannetty could just never keep his personal demons at bay which made it hard for WWE to keep him under contract over the years. Jannetty is still trying to make it as an independent wrestler. He also made waves in 2016 when he was reportedly intoxicated and thrown out of a Dallas hotel during WrestleMania weekend. He also recently claimed that much like Sunny, he was recently offered a role in an adult movie for $150,000.
2 Jim Neidhart - The Hart Foundation
When the Hart Foundation made their debut in WWE, some argued that Jim Neidhart was the real leader of the team. At the time, this viewpoint made sense. Jim Neidhart was the one who could cut a promo, had a classic WWE big man build, and even had a cool nickname. It wasn’t long, though, before Bret Hart distinguished himself as a main event player. Suddenly, Jim Neidhart looked like a glorified jobber in comparison. Neidhart would bounce between WCW and WWE all throughout the ‘90s before retiring as a full-time wrestler in 1998.
He made sporadic appearances for WWE and TNA years later but decided to pursue a career in real estate. Despite trying to live the quiet life, Neidhart was arrested in 2010 for possession and intent to distribute as well as some theft charges. He was sentenced to five months in prison in 2012 and was held in contempt of court during his trial. He has since entered rehab and is trying to stay clean. He also had a dispute with WWE back in 2015 when they forced Prowrestlingtees.com to stop selling his shirts, claiming they had exclusive rights over his merchandise.
1 Stevie Ray - Harlem Heat
Stevie Ray was always incredibly lucky that he was Booker T’s brother. That might sound cruel, but history has proven that to be true time and time again. As soon as Harlem Heat made their debut in WCW, anyone with even a little knowledge of how the professional wrestling business really works identified Booker T as the future star and Stevie Ray as a weak link. Stevie Ray’s promos and ring work were nowhere near as good as Booker's. He didn’t even have that much better of a look. Regardless, Stevie Ray remained a WCW employee until 2000 and an active wrestler until 2002. Eventually, he and his brother opened a wrestling school in 2005.
Stevie Ray and Booker actually had a falling out for a few years and didn't speak. The brothers buried the hatchet around the time Booker got inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame and they've been as close as ever since then.
Stevie Ray makes sporadic appearances on the indie circuit - often alongside his brother - but spends most of his time hosting a professional wrestling radio talk show called “Straight Shooting With Stevie Ray.”
Leave A Comment
Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on TheSportster?Get Your Free Access Now!