Tag teams are like a marriage, and in some cases, partners spend more time with their wrestling significant other than their wife, husband, girlfriend or boyfriend. Arn Anderson has stated he spent every waking minute with Tully Blanchard during their late 1980s heyday. It built a bond between the two that was unfortunately broken later on. But the fact remains that tag teams have to get along inside and outside the ring, if they are to be successful.
It takes a lot of work and communication to make a good tag team. Unfortunately, wrestling duos can grow to hate each other from spending too much time together. It is a shame, but some of the best wrestling tandems have broken up due to personal issues.
Wrestling tag teams may refuse to work with each other in the future due to a variety of reasons. From hating on someone for being a vehicle to sell WWE merchandise or for loathing a partner due to drinking on the job, plenty of issues can come between to wrestlers.
Over the years, wrestling fans have been robbed of seeing some of the greatest tag teams continue due to their issues. Time doesn’t heal all wounds, and few of the duos to break up will ever get back in the ring together. However, on the bright side, it is professional wrestling, and anything can happen. So, never say never.
15. CM Punk And Colt Cabana
At one time, Colt Cabana and CM Punk were indie darlings. The two were both great opponents and great tag team partners. However, those days are over thanks to legal problems caused by Punk’s December 2014 appearance on the Art of Wrestling podcast. Punk outlined his numerous problems with the WWE during the two-part episode, and it has cost Cabana dearly since it hit airwaves. WWE Dr. Chris Amann wasn’t happy about what Punk said, and filed a defamation lawsuit against the former tag team. According to a recent Live Audio Wrestling interview with Cabana, he stated Punk’s claims that Amann forced him to work with a concussion is, “costing him a lot of money”. In 2016, due to the fall out of the lawsuit and the stress that it has caused the two wrestlers, Cabana and Punk are “no longer friends”.
14. John Cena And Batista
Batista left the WWE in 2010, two years after winning the tag team belt with John Cena. Batista moved to the world of film, and became successful with Guardians of the Galaxy. He also fought in his one and only mixed martial arts fight. He returned to the WWE in 2013, but it failed immediately as fans booed him with every appearance. A few months later, Batista once again quit the company due to differences of opinion when it came to being booked. In 2016, Batista took several shots at his former tag partner John Cena. Although the two had broken in together in OVW, Batista didn’t hold back in an interview with WrestlingInc. One of the highlights during his anti-Cena rant included: “I didn’t come out with 25 f***ing wristbands and a different t-shirt every week that I was trying to shove down their … throats.” Chances are they wouldn’t team up again if asked.
13. Hulk Hogan And Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake
After the Mega Powers exploded in 1989, Hulk Hogan turned to Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake as the only man he could trust. The duo had actually been friends for some time, and worked the territories together before Hogan got Beefcake into the WWE. In fact, Beefcake has said in interviews that he wasn’t a trained wrestler when Hogan took him as his kayfabe brother through the southern wrestling territories. In the 1990s, Beefcake was able to get a solid paycheque from WCW on the back of Hogan. The two even headlined Starrcade 1994; an extreme low point in WCW’s history. However, the relationship the former tag team possessed has now turned sour. In 2015, Beefcake was caught selling Hogan merchandise with the former champion’s signature on it. The only problem was that Beefcake had forged Hogan’s name. Hogan was unaware his former friend was selling bogus merchandise.
12. 2 Cold Scorpio And Buff Bagwell
In 1993, WCW paired a red hot 2 Cold Scorpio with (pre-Buff) Marcus Alexander Bagwell. It was a chance for the two newcomers of the company to get over, and they did. With Scorpio’s high-flying, in-ring work and Bagwell’s good looks, the team were well received by WCW fans. The duo even had a short WCW tag team title reign. Since the closure of WCW, both wrestlers have gone their separate ways, and Scorpio has been very vocal about his dislike for Bagwell. Scorpio has labeled Bagwell as a “bagboy” for the stars of early 1990s WCW; and according to the high-flyer, carry Sting’s and Lex Luger’s suitcases enabled him move up in the company. Scorpio has also made several more accusations about Bagwell and his wife. Meanwhile, Bagwell has responded by saying he doesn’t understand why his former tag team partner is so angry.
11. The Dicks
When you are given a gimmick name like The Dicks, the shelf life of your career isn’t long lasting. In 2005, the WWE’s genius writers gave Tank Toland and Chad Wicks the gimmick of two Chippendales dancers. The two would walk to the ring and strip down to their wrestling gear before the match. It was a lame gimmick and it lasted a whole five months in the company. But it wasn’t just the stupid gimmick and fan reaction that killed the team. Wicks had a lot of heat with the boys in the locker room, which began to cause tension between the duo. It resulted in a fight between the pair when Wicks sucker punched Toland. The fight isn’t what got the team released, according to Toland. In his opinion, the company went soft on The Dicks due to the poor chemistry between the wrestlers.
10. Young Stallions
The Young Stallions were a late 1980s jobber tag team in the WWE. Paul Roma and Jim Powers were put together in 1987, and thanks to their muscular physique, the team looked like legitimate contenders to the WWE tag straps. Unfortunately, the tag scene was littered with great duos, and the two never made it past the mid-card. Not only were the Young Stallions unable to get it together in the ring, Roma and Powers didn’t get along outside of it. According to Roma, the two rarely traveled together and trust issues meant neither man knew if the other would be at a show. In interviews, Roma has claimed Powers was difficult to work with and always disagreed with the direction of the team. On Steve Austin’s podcast, Roma stated Powers was drunk during many of the team’s matches together. It is no wonder they were much happier once the team was disbanded.
9. New Midnight Express
In 1998, at the height of the Monday Night Wars, Vince McMahon and Vince Russo decided an NWA angle was the missing component of the WWE. In truth, it was a rib on former manager and creative team member Jim Cornette, and what resulted was a short-lived storyline that went nowhere. As part of the NWA’s rebirth, a new Midnight Express was born under Cornette’s tutelage with “Bombastic” Bob Holly and “Bodacious” Bart Gunn comprising the team. As Cornette says, it got over like a fart in church, and the team did very little outside of winning the NWA tag titles. They were mostly used to put over other tag teams. Holly and Gunn weren’t the best of friends away from the ring, and were simply two former tag champions re-packed. After the failed new Midnight Express, the wrestlers went their separate ways, and both found some success.
8. The Rockers
The Rockers were one of the coolest tag teams to form in 1980s wrestling. The gimmick was based on the extremely popular Rock ‘n’ Roll express, which was made famous by Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson. The two were southern babyface gods, and Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty would be their AWA, and later WWE, equivalents. The two were perfect for each other both inside and outside the ring. The team lasted for seven years until a kayfabe break up on Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake’s “The Barber Shop” saw them go their separate ways. Off-screen, the two had been having physical and verbal altercations for some time. In interviews by both Michaels and Jannetty, have spoken about being unable to trust the other. After the split, Michaels went on to wrestling super stardom, while Jannetty has had a myriad of problems. Although the two have teamed up as recently as 2007, there is still plenty of animosity between The Rockers.
7. Air Boom (Kofi Kingstom And Evan Bourne)
In 2011, Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne formed the short-lived tag team Air Boom. The two were fan favourites with their exciting, high-flying style, and in August, the team won the tag titles. Five months later, Air Boom dropped the tag straps following a 30-day suspension Bourne served thanks to failing the WWE’s Wellness Policy. Two days after dropping the belts, Bourne was suspended once more for failing a second test. It killed the momentum Air Boom had built, and it left Kingston a drifter in the WWE. He recovered, but Bourne left him high and dry. Bourne has gone on to have further issues including being arrested while trying to enter Japan for a tour with New Japan Pro Wrestling.
6. Terry Taylor, Tommy Rich And Ricky Morton
In the early 1990s purgatory of WCW, the geniuses in charge introduced the York Foundation. It was a stable of modern, 1990s computer savvy wrestlers led by Alexandra York (the future wife of Dustin Rhodes). They were basically a stable of wrestlers who used metrics to their advantage. Yet, it rarely helped them win. The trio were put together to win the WCW six-man tag titles. The belts were only around for nine months before they were disbanded. All three went on to other things, and never worked together again. Taylor moved to the WCW office, and has been in and out of the WWE and TNA since. It is alleged he is a major snitch in the office, and that is why he has kept his job for so long. Rich moved to ECW and became part of the FBI. Morton re-united with former partner Robert Gibson to reform the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express.
5. Ted DiBiase Jr And Cody Rhodes
Ted DiBiase Jr joined the WWE in 2009, and in his first night in the company, he and Cody Rhodes won the tag team titles. The team was off and running, and Randy Orton soon joined the duo to form the Legacy. According to DiBiase, the group was broken up too early, and it should have been him who was turned babyface rather than Orton. DiBiase has spoken about the group’s lacklustre break up and their three-way match at WrestleMania 26. DiBiase’s big moment was shattered by the trio’s match being cut down three times before going to the ring. By 2013, DiBiase was out of the business, and Rhodes was on to bigger and better things. Rhodes is currently the ROH World Heavyweight Champion, and there is little chance he would want to team up again with his former partner. DiBiase holds no animosity towards Rhodes, and knows the current ROH champ loved the business.
4. The Dangerous Alliance (Taz And Sabu)
In February 1995, Taz and Sabu (managed by Paul Heyman) won the ECW tag team titles. The team would lose the belts 21 days later, but the duo had already laid the groundwork as one of ECW’s top teams. In April, Taz and Sabu were scheduled to once again challenge for the belts. However, Sabu took a more lucrative booking in Japan on that night. Taz, who lived his gimmick 24/7, never forgot being left high and dry by his tag team partner. The hate on Taz’s part grew and he (shoot) called Sabu out night after night for two years. The duo finally met at ECW’s first pay-per-view, Barely Legal, in 1997. It would be the start of many matches between the rivals. It would also be the start of many injuries Taz would inflict on Sabu. Although the two speak and are cordial today, pulling on the tights and teaming isn’t something likely to ever happen again.
3. Brain Busters (Arn Anderson And Tully Blanchard)
Anderson and Blanchard began teaming together in NWA Jim Crockett Promotions, and held the NWA tag team titles on two occasions. However, the two became disillusioned after their manager, J.J. Dillion, received a larger payout for an NWA pay-per-view. How much larger? Three times larger than the team’s paycheque. Angry, the Anderson and Blanchard headed north and joined the WWE; thus, creating the Brain Busters. The tag team had success in the company and won the tag team titles from Demolition. Both Anderson and Blanchard decided to return to the NWA, which was now WCW, at the end of 1989. The duo was offered a lucrative salary by WCW president Jim Herd. However, Blanchard failed a drug test prior to leaving the WWE, and his contract was withdrawn. Herd then reneged on Anderson’s original contract, offering him half of the previous offer. The two have rarely spoken since.
2. Raven And Stevie Richards
Raven’s initial run in ECW was a thing of its time. He oozed alternative culture from his ring gear to his attitude in promos. He was everything 1990s ECW was, which is why the product doesn’t age well. In 1994, Raven made his debut in the promotion and was immediately paired with Stevie Richards. The two were together both inside and outside of the ring, and Richards was tasked with babysitting Raven during the latter’s myriad of substance abuse problems. According to a Richards’ shoot interview, he was approached to join WCW in 1997 several months after Raven’s ECW departure. Richards says Raven wanted him in WCW to be his onscreen and off-screen lackey; which would enable the former ECW World Heavyweight Champion to be “messed up”. Richards has said Raven was a “monster” at the time.
1. Enzo And Cass
In June 2017, Enzo Amore and Big Cass’s tag team officially broke up. It was the end of a very popular team that was over with fans thanks to the duo’s entrance routine and contrasting looks. After the team’s cliched break up, it was reported by several wrestling websites that Enzo had (possibly still does) heat with a lot of the boys and officials in the locker room. According to Dave Meltzer, Enzo was kicked out of the locker room and had to dress away from the rest of the boys. His head had apparently got too big. Some have dismissed Meltzer’s claims, but it seems there is some truth to them. Corey Graves and JBL have stated Enzo “rubs” people the wrong way, and due to his grating personality, Cass also got heat from his partner. Although according to Meltzer, Cass got his own heat from the locker room for being an avid Donald Trump supporter.
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