You would think WWE teams were made with the most compatible individuals; After all, you watch a match and see how two superstars work together to entertain the masses with synchronized moves, and you can’t help but assume good chemistry. Yet, it’s not rare to see superstars engage in such a manner inside the ring, and completely different outside of it.
In the WWE, when jealousy arises and egos clash, even the most professional tag team partners get the best of each other. In many of these entries, you will read about guys getting sick of their partners’ work ethic, becoming jealous of their popularity, or attempting to one-up each other for career advancement.
That said, here are 15 famous tag team partners that actually held disdain for each other, either for personal reasons or business reasons.
15. Bam Bam Bigelow And Vader
This story is one of the better ones from this list. The duo of Bigelow and Vader was amongst the most successful in Japanese wrestling history. The two were the most explosive 400-pound super-heavyweights, with fans loving every single time they stepped into the ring to entertain.
According to Bigelow, most of the duo’s success conceived from their pure disdain for each other. Apparently, Vader was quite a jerk behind the scenes, bullying Bigelow and attempting to overshadow him. Fortunately, this motivated Bigelow to perform better than Vader in the ring. Vader noticed this up in performance, and tried to outdo Bigelow as well.
14. The Eliminators
ECW produced some of the most exciting tag teams in the history of the wrestling entertainment, including The Dudley Boyz, The Gangstas and The Eliminators. The ladder, consisting of Perry Saturn and John Kronus, was successful at beating guys up in the ring, but behind the scenes, they often fought amongst each other.
There have been reports about Saturn having disdain for Kronus because of his habits. While Saturn worked to improve as a performer, Kronus gained weight and lazed when it came to performing in the ring.
Eventually, Paul Heyman offered Saturn the opportunity to reform the team. Disgusted with his teammate, he declined, quit the stable and left to WCW, where he earned more and never dealt with Kronus again.
13. The Rockers
There was once an old joke that said the least successful member of a tag team duo was the Jannetty of the group. It’s an unfortunate label for Jannetty himself, because when he was motivated, he was as spectacular as Michaels. Still, this inconsistency contributed to the pair’s dissolution.
Although on-stage, the duo would perform like true blood brothers, the two would sometimes go weeks without speaking to each other. Their drifting apart was further sped by Vince McMahon’s plot to separate the duo by paying them less than the other wrestlers on the roster. The realization made them want to split from the WWE, but McMahon had no intention of letting go of Michaels.
12. The Dicks
Since their entrance into the WWE, the duo of Chad Wicks and Tank Toland was received poorly by the WWE locker room. The fact that they were popularly known as jerks did not help relieve the tension. Folks from the main office deemed them as immature with attitude problems.
As such, many popular locker room names, like The Undertaker and JBL, began hazing them for their behavior. The two took to the office with their complaints; it was the wrong move. Not only was the WWE not willing to chastise their main stars in relief of the duo, but also the two began disagreeing with each other about the matter, with Toland believing they should be quiet about the hazing.
11. Tajiri And William Regal
Tajiri and William Regal are now good friends but the two didn’t get off to a great start. In a past interview, Regal talked about how difficult it was as they travelled together during their WWE run. Language barrier was one of the main issues that they had, in addition to Tajiri not being a fan of music, which would annoy Regal.
Thankfully, it didn’t affect their on-screen chemistry as they defeated La Resistance for the World Tag Team Championship in 2005. They were an odd team that surprisingly worked. Tajiri and Regal would reunite during The Cruiserweight Classic tournament, which was great to see.
10. The British Bulldogs
The duo of Davey Boy Smith and Dynamite Kid was notorious known not only for their great performances in the ring, but also their brutal acts outside of it. Quite the pranksters, the cousins’ jokes usually went beyond the borderline of what was considered mischief, with some people ending up hurt.
When you have two guys as problematic as Smith and Kid working together, a clash is inevitable. The two eventually started having personal and business issues, and when Smith copyrighted Kid’s name, the latter was unable to work under it anymore, leading to much business tension between the two.
9. Rocky Johnson And Tony Atlas
The duo of Rocky Johnson and Tony Atlas are known as the first African-American Tag Team champions in the history of the WWE. They emerged during a time when this seemed impossible, and their famed win against The Wild Samoans established them as contenders in the business.
However, the two’s disdain for each other resulted in only one title defense. Both Johnson and Atlas complained about each other being late everywhere, and there are stories of Atlas punching Johnson in the mouth at every opportunity. Johnson, on the other hand, was rumored to have distaste for working with fellow African-American wrestlers, believing it would not boost his career.
8. Heidenreich And Road Warrior Animal
When the WWE decided to bring back the Legion of Doom in 2005, they had the idea that Heidenreich could, somehow, replace the late Road Warrior Hawk’s presence. Not only were they wrong, but also Heidenreich disenchanted both fans and the legendary Warrior himself. He simply was not as charming as Hawk.
According to Animal, Heidenreich was disrespectful, regularly late for travel, and abused drugs. In response to the latter, Heidenreich even threatened fighting him, noting that the accusations of drug abuse were not true.
Although the two won the Tag Team championship, it’s clear their relationship was never made for the long run. In regards to Heidenreich, his relationship with the WWE legend did well in disdaining his reputation as an individual. Ironically, Animal was among few that believed in Heidenreich’s potential as a WWE Superstar.
7. Raven And Stevie Richards
Raven and Richards are among few duos on this list that actually helped each other’s success despite their differences. However, their grouping started off pretty well.
Their duo consisted of two acts: One super-cool character (Richards) and one super-dense character (Raven’s). One would believe that an idiot character could never overshadow a popular character, but that’s exactly what happened. Jealous of Raven’s success, Richards started cold-shouldering Raven. Raven later on admitted that he understood why Richards felt the way he did. Due to his issues with drug addiction, he noted never noticing Richards’ efforts of uplifting his own career.
6. Buff Bagwell And Scott Steiner
When you have two egos like Steiner and Bagwell’s, you would think grouping them together made total sense. When the two were paired, they had a relatively successful run, but their egos soon started getting the best of them.
As petty as it is, Steiner was jealous of Bagwell’s physical attributes, and many of the guys in the locker room ribbed him about this. In an interview with Wrestling Inc., Bagwell recalled the matter, noting: “Everybody knows Scott Steiner had the best body of all time, but I was able to stand beside him a little bit, no doubt about it. I was Buff Bagwell and looked pretty good. I was at least able to stand beside him a little bit. Of course, the boys, they stirred that up and got us against each other somehow. I couldn’t believe it. I said, ‘Scotty, are you going to let this happen, dude?’”
5. The Mega Powers
In this list of entries, you’ve read about egos clashing because of insecurity, and also characters simply not clicking. However, this duo had issues with each other because of a woman—Randy Savage’s woman.
Not that Hulk Hogan was ever confirmed to go after Savage’s wife, but word has it that out of pure jealousy, he would lock his wife in a room until his match was over. Adding to this, he believed that she and Hogan were messing around behind his back. It didn’t help that Hogan ran around claiming himself to be the biggest star in the company. Savage believed that he, and other wrestlers Hogan fought, contributed to his rise.
4. The Gangstas
The Gangstas were actually defined by New Jack’s ability in the ring and with the microphone. After all, the other half of the duo, Mustafa, was too stiff in the ring, and most of his dialogue consisted of non-verbally agreeing with whatever New Jack said, making him look like a total tool.
This would later become a problem, as New Jack overshadowed his partner, causing some friction between the two. It also didn’t help that ECW boss, Paul Heyman, could not afford to fly Mustafa to Philadelphia, where ECW held most of its shows.
3. Billy Kidman And Paul London
Although the duo of Kidman and London won the tag team title, their relationship was defined and doomed by their egos—particularly Kidman’s. He believed that London had not done enough to earn his stripes in the WWE, while London believed that Kidman was not as big as he thought he was.
One of London’s biggest complaints about Kidman was that the two were only paired because they had similar finishers. Although London respected Kidman’s contribution to the business, it’s likely he did not respect him as an individual. Word has it that it was London who turned his back on Kidman first, thus nailing the duo’s partnership firmly into a coffin.
London was probably right about Kidman being a fading veteran, however, but it did not help the chemistry of their tag-team act. Their ego-clash eventually caused the collapse of their partnership, including their Tag Team championship run.
2. The Young Stallions
The creation of the Young Stallions by the WWE was a result of two wrestlers in their roster whose careers were not progressing. Seeing a duo between the two as a fix, Paul Roma and Jim Powers were paired together. However, the WWE had underestimated their egos.
Both men were difficult to work with, and Roma was once quoted as claiming he was a greater Superstar than Ric Flair. What the two did agree upon was that they deserved higher spots in the card.
Their mutual egocentricity eventually caused the Young Stallions to die out, and Roma created another duo called Power and Glory. Roma eventually ended up in WCW, where he made his attempt at overshadowing Flair by creating the Four Horseman. That, obviously, failed.
1. The Can-Am Connection
This duo had much potential in the 80s, and the WWE really crossed their fingers when they paired them (Rick Martel and Tom Zenk) together. However, the two would often disagree, with each having their own qualms about the other.
Martel often complained about Zenk not having thick enough skin to succeed in the entertainment business and claimed he was a pain in the a** to work with. On the other hand, Zenk believed that Martel was conspiring against him behind his back and cutting deals with Vince. However, Martel’s value was upped by his previous tenure as Tag Team champion, and Zenk simply did not understand this.
After Zenk demanded that the two leave the WWE because of their pay, Martel refused, causing Zenk to depart on his own and hold deep resentment towards his former tag team partner.
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