The tag team scene within WWE hasn’t exactly been at its strongest for quite some time now, with both Raw and SmackDown Live suffering both in terms of poor storytelling and this 50/50 booking era that we seem to be stuck in. Of course it’s not all bad and there’s certainly more depth than there has been in the last few years, but you’ve got to wonder how long that’s going to last for.
But we aren’t here to talk about any in-ring exploits, and instead we want to run down some surprising facts that may catch you off guard when it comes to your favourite teams. Of course, the title suggests that you won’t know any of these "things" when in reality you might do, but let’s just forget about that for now, shall we?
From the tag team champions all the way down to the jobbers of the world, we’ve zeroed in on what these guys are really like behind the scenes, with a few of these entries being a touch more favourable than others. Still, they all put their careers on the line week in and week out, so perhaps these figures aren’t as vital as they may initially seem.
15 The Football Life
The Usos are currently experiencing something of a career rejuvenation on SmackDown Live, with their fresh heel personas breathing new life into what was a fairly dead gimmick. Plus, and we can’t stress this enough, getting them away from their childhood best friend Roman Reigns is the best thing that could’ve possibly happened for them.
Speaking of whom, Roman wasn’t the only member of the family to pursue a career in football as both Jimmy and Jey were initially interested in going down the gridiron route. Whether or not it was their father Rikishi that changed their minds we can’t be sure of, but we think it’s a decision that made sense for all parties involved.
14 The Shield... With Actual Shields?
We’re putting The Shield in here as a current tag team, simply because the reunion of Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins constitutes a comeback – at least in our minds it does. The original trio of Dean, Seth and Roman were set to make quite the impact upon debuting at Survivor Series 2012, but if rumours are to be believed, then they were on the verge of being handicapped from the very start.
Why? Because WWE thought it would be a good idea to take the "Shield" name a bit too literally, giving them all riot gear complete with their own personalised shields. It was a ridiculous thing to even suggest, given that the turtlenecks alone were embarrassing enough, and we’re extremely grateful that things worked out the way that they did.
13 The Ascension's Alternative Line-up
This one is exceptionally random, so bear with us. The Ascension haven’t exactly set the world on fire since being promoted to the main roster a few years back, which is mainly down to the god-awful booking that they’ve been given. Still, they’ve got a fascinating lineage that goes back even further beyond their initial NXT tag team championship reign.
It turns out that in FCW, "The Ascension" was a stable that was formed of Konnor, Ricardo Rodriguez, Bram, Epico and Shaul Guerrero (the daughter of Eddie and Vickie). That utterly bizarre assortment of talent actually could’ve worked if given the correct direction, but alas, we ended up with the Legion of Doom 2.0 on Raw and SmackDown Live.
12 Massaro Affection
Everyone knows the age-old story by now, but in case you don’t we’ll run through it: Matt Hardy and Lita were in a real-life relationship which came to a screeching halt when it was revealed that the multi-time Women’s Champion had been having an affair with none other than Matt’s real-life friend, Edge. Got it? Good.
What you may not be aware of is the fact that Matt had his own fling in the aftermath of this incident, as he began to date WWE diva Ashley Massaro. Many people will know Ashley for her Playboy shoot, which is hardly surprising given that she had a less than stellar in-ring career. Still, she had a WrestleMania moment of sorts, so that’s something.
11 New Day's Racial Undertones
Now we aren’t here to suggest that WWE were using racial undertones when creating The New Day’s original personas: we’re just going to heavily imply it. As the tale goes Kofi Kingston, Big E and Xavier Woods were all at something of a crossroads in their respective careers and needed something to liven up their wrestling journeys.
Vince McMahon, ever the optimist, decided to throw all three men together and put them in a "heroic black gospel gimmick" at which point fans began to completely reject the premise of the idea. It took a heel turn to really get the WWE Universe behind them, but at first it seemed like the trio were doomed to fail on the big stage.
10 Blissful Dawson
This one focuses in on one member of The Revival as opposed to both, but just think about how different things would’ve been if this story had transpired. Essentially the plan was to pair Alexa Bliss up with Scott Dawson, as seen in the above picture, with Bliss playing the role of Dawson’s Southern girlfriend. No, we aren’t kidding.
Thrusting Scott into this kind of singles role may have worked out, but in all likelihood it probably would’ve ended up being a rip off of the infamous Jamie Noble gimmick from many years ago. Nowadays Dash & Dawson are one of the hottest acts on Monday Night Raw with Bliss holding the Women’s title, so it’s fair to say that things worked out for the best.
9 Seal Of Approval
The Hype Bros coming together really did make sense a few years back, with Mojo Rawley losing momentum on NXT and Zack Ryder failing to make an impact on the main roster. As such, when Mr Woo Woo Woo was given the chance to compete at WrestleMania 32, it was an opportunity that would seriously affect the progress of the team.
But Mojo, being the great guy that he is, was the one who gave Zack the seal of approval to go and focus on living out his dreams on the grandest stage of them all. He would’ve known full well that it could’ve affected his own career, but that didn’t matter in the moment to Mr Rawley who would get his own Mania moment just twelve months on.
8 Tenured Veteran
You may not realise this, but there’s quite a few WWE superstars who have been around for quite some time. In fact, a lot of them have been with the company long enough to be considered veterans – and yet that’s not the title they’re given. One such example is Konnor from The Ascension, who first debuted way back in 2005.
Yup, you heard us right, 12 whole years ago. Whilst he did leave and then subsequently return within that time, it’s certainly worth noting that one half of the NXT standouts first popped up in Deep South Wrestling in the same year that John Cena won his first WWE Championship. Doesn’t that make everyone feel a little bit older?
7 WrestleMania Plans
We’re back to New Day now for another edition of “wait, what?” Now this one may be a little bit less surprising than the others if you’ve watched the WWE 24 special on WrestleMania 32, but we feel like it deserves to be mentioned. You see, that was the first Mania in which the group were properly over with the crowd, and everyone knew that a special entrance was coming.
Woods has confirmed that the initial plans would see the team come out of the back of a van that had buttocks on it, in addition to a whole host of other fun quirks. Unfortunately Triple H had other plans, with Kofi’s fake demeanour on the 24 special proving how disappointed the trio must’ve been.
6 Surpassing Themselves
Sheamus & Cesaro may not have been together all that long, but the Raw tag champs have already made quite an impression on their division. Their heel run has been so good, in fact, that they’ve ALREADY surpassed their first reign as champions in terms of how long they’ve held onto the belts.
Not only that but the duo are currently positioned 19th out of 49 teams when it comes to the all-time length of their combined title reigns, which is staggering when you consider that their shelf life has been less than a year thus far. Given their progress, who knows where the former singles stars could be in twelve months time.
5 Taekwondo Master
The Singh Brothers are arguably the best thing about Jinder Mahal’s WWE Championship reign, which is a sentence that’s a little bit embarrassing within itself. The pair have been carving out a nice career for themselves over the last few years, and now that they’re in the big time, they’re certainly going to take advantage of their opportunity.
If wrestling doesn’t quite work out, however, at least Gurv has another sport to fall back on: taekwondo. Yes, that’s right, one half of the Singh Brothers is legitimately a third degree black belt within the martial art, and isn’t that just the coolest thing you’ve heard today? Perhaps Randy Orton should think twice about suplexing them through tables in the future.
4 Poetry Without Motion
Jeff and Matt Hardy have had their problems over the years, but more often than not they occur separate from one another as opposed to together. In this instance they did in fact appear in the same car crash, and it really is as bad as you can imagine.
Jeff and Matt cut a promo on the straight edge CM Punk, with Jeff claiming that he ‘made’ Punk before Matt talks about the supposed relationship between his former girlfriend Lita and the former WWE champion. It’s messy, it’s inappropriate, and it’s actually quite interesting to look back on given their revival in the last few years.
3 Network Addicts
A lot of wrestlers don’t tend to watch professional wrestling in their time off, probably because they live it 24/7 and need a break from it all. Luke Gallows, however, doesn’t fall into that category and instead embraces his role within the industry. Why? Because his son is a wrestling fanatic and the former NJPW star is one hell of a dedicated father.
Whenever he’s back home, Gallows will sit down with his son to watch hours upon hours of footage on the WWE Network, admitting that he is indeed a fan at his core. This could come as a surprise to some who probably think Luke is just in it for the money, when in reality his passion burns deeper than many of the guys and girls on the payroll.
2 Wrestling Mad
Keeping on the topic of wrestling-crazed superstars, we switch tracks to the blue brand and The Fashion Police. The duo of Tyler Breeze and Fandango have been making quite the impact as of late, and it turns out that the latter’s fantastic character work isn’t an accident – because he’s had more than enough footage with which to study.
We’re referring to the fact that Fandango has collected more than 300 professional wrestling tapes over the course of his lifetime, from the likes of WWF, WWE, WCW and even ECW. That kind of dedication to the cause cannot be understated, and his commitment to this business deserves a great deal of recognition once he finally retires.
1 Jimmy In Trouble
We’re ending on a bit of a sour note here but much like The Hardys, it’s nice to see how far The Usos have come. Jimmy, one-half of the duo, was arrested for a DUI back in 2011 with his mug shot being released online for the world to see. Naturally, this was quite a low moment for the team, but when fast forwarding six years on, you can see how much progress they’ve really made.
Sure, they may have a way to go before becoming a truly elite tag team within WWE, but they’ve laid down a solid pedigree with some of their superb matches since debuting, and they look set to continue that trend as we continue through this new era.