Tag team wrestling is a staple of the pro wrestling business. When done well, tag matches can be incredible and steal the show. The trouble is you could argue that tag team wrestling is harder to get right than when Superstars are just competing one on one. Not only do the competitors inside the ring need to have chemistry with who they're facing, but they also need to have even more of it with the man or woman that's in their corner. The trick of getting that balance just right is likely why the success and popularity of tag team wrestling is never a constant in WWE.
A lot of the time creating that perfect team isn't as simple as putting together two Superstars that seem like a good fit for one another. Yes the likes of Edge and Christian and D-Generation X were always going to work, but sometimes you need to take a very different route. Throughout the history of tag team wrestling there have been some down right odd couples that have enjoyed success. Superstars from opposite ends of the roster teaming up or a seven foot monster collaborating with a man half his size. Sometimes that truly works, other times we may be remembering those instances more fondly than we perhaps should.
Either way, here are 20 of the strangest pairings in pro wrestling history.
20 Kane And Rob Van Dam
Kane is the undisputed king of being mismatched with various Superstars, as you will soon discover while you make your way through this list. Since his debut in WWE over 20 years ago The Big Red Machine has won tag team gold an incredible nine teams with an even more impressive six different partners, and one of those partners was Rob Van Dam. RVD's high flying and ECW background was hardly something you would have ever paired with Kane's unhinged, monster mentality, yet in 2003 the two men from different worlds made quite the formidable pairing. Kane's unmasking later that same year would push the already unstable monster over the edge however, and it was that which drove a wedge between him and RVD.
19 William Regal And Tajiri
William Regal is also a man who is all too familiar with having to wrestle alongside some odd tag team partners. The former WWE commissioner once had to partner up with the unconventional Eugene, and even teamed with WWE turned ESPN presenter Jonathan Coachman for one match. The Regal-led team that makes this run down though is his much loved coupling with Tajiri. In 2001 the Japanese star acted as a sidekick to Regal when the Brit was commissioner, but a couple of years later the two of them would reunite to become a full fledged tag team. Not only that but the international stars made such a good team that they would hold the Tag Team Championships for a period.
18 Big Show And The Miz
The Miz isn't exactly the kind of person you can imagine paying well with others. Yes he currently has Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel following him around as a part of his Miztourage, but they're hardly equals to The Awesome One. There was a time however when Miz was very much considered a tag team wrestler and has a number of tag team titles to his name. One odd couple that he was the smaller half of was ShowMiz. You guessed it, a tag team made up of himself and the Big Show. During an episode of Raw in 2010 ShowMiz defeated both D-Generation X and The Straight Edge Society, led by CM Punk, to become the unified Tag Team Champions. Pretty good work and an accomplishment that is often forgotten.
17 The Rock And The Undertaker
That's right, two of the biggest names in the history of professional wrestling were once paired together as a tag team. It wasn't before the pair of them made it big either. The two of them were forced to team together in December of 2000, just 24 hours after The Rock and The Deadman had competed inside Hell in a Cell with four other men at Armageddon. Not only did they team up, but on their first night as a team they defeated Edge and Christian for the Tag Team Championships. Well turns out their first night as a team was quickly followed by their last a day later. Edge and Christian were awarded their rematch on SmackDown the very next night and won the titles back from the two sure fire Hall of Famers.
16 Owen Hart And Yokozuna
One odd couple that lasted a lot longer than the 24 hours Rock and Undertaker managed is Owen Hart and Yokozuna. Considering the history that former WWE Champion Yoko had with Owen's brother Bret you wouldn't have thought these two men would have been able to co-exist on the same page. They did though, and they were pretty successful to boot. The teaming of the two began when Owen revealed that he would be joined by a mystery partner at WrestleMania XI to take on The Smoking Gunns for the Tag Team Championships. That man turned out to be Yokozuna and the pair of them won the titles on their first go. They would hold the belts for five months before losing them to Shawn Michaels and Diesel.
15 Booker T And Goldust
One of the strangest pairings that the WWE Universe has ever been treated to is Goldust and Booker T. When it comes to tag teams it seems like WWE often throw Superstars together simply because they have nothing else for them at that particular moment in time. Nine times out of ten nothing will really come of it, but with Booker and Goldust they created something memorable and worth watching. Their contrasting personalities made for some extremely entertaining television and the two of them teaming together is remembered fondly by fans to this day. Despite how long it felt like the two were together their tag team run actually only lasted a matter of months. Their longevity in fans' memories just goes to show how much of a success they were.
14 Kane And X-Pac
Fair warning, we did tell you that Kane would feature quite a lot in this list. Here is the second entry from the Big Red Machine, his teaming with X-Pac. Kane is such a strange, unique, and frankly terrifying character that WWE clearly saw the merit in pairing him with Superstars who were very different to him. X-Pac was the first man to enjoy that privilege and together he and Kane became two time Tag Team Champions. For those of you that recall the dubious decision for Kane to speak via an electronic device he held against his throat, it was actually X-Pac who convinced his tag partner to do that. Before that Kane had merely been the strong and silent type on WWE television.
13 Charlie Haas And Rico
Charlie Haas is certainly remembered for his tag team wrestling while competing in WWE. The athletic Superstar made up one half of The World's Greatest Tag Team, a pairing Haas formed along with Shelton Benjamin. Fans are likely recalling those times fondly as of late with the return of Shelton to SmackDown Live recently. Eventually Haas and Benjamin split thanks to the latter man being drafted to Raw. Charlie needed someone new to tag with and WWE went with effectively the polar opposite of Hass's former partner, Rico. The two of them defined the term odd couple but that didn't stop them from winning the Tag Team Titles during the two short months that they were together. Haas would also go on to marry Miss Jackie, pictured above, and they are still married to this day.
12 Rhyno And Heath Slater
The entries featured in this list up until this point may have you thinking that WWE are no longer in the business of pairing up mismatched wrestlers. Well think again. They may not have been on TV for a while but Raw's resident odd couple, Rhyno and Heath Slater, are very much still together. A brute of a man who made a name for himself in ECW during its heyday standing side by side with a man treated like so much of a joke that he went unpicked in WWE's draft last year. They're such an odd couple that when they teamed up on SmackDown Live they became an instant hit with the fans. Not only that but they became the first ever SmackDown Live Tag Team Champions.
11 D-Von Dudley And Batista
Like Charlie Haas from earlier in this list, D-Von Dudley is mainly remembered for teaming with a certain person. That person is of course his on-screen brother Bubba Ray. Again like Haas, D-Von and Bubba were broken up thanks to a WWE draft. Strangely that gave WWE the idea to introduce the world to Batista. Well actually at the time he was Deacon Batista and he acted as the under study to D-Von who had become a reverend upon his split from Bubba. It was not how we knew and loved the Dudley, and it was certainly not what we would remember Batista for. Thankfully The Animal went on to bigger and better things than merely being a Deacon to D-Von Dudley.
10 Kane And The Hurricane
Another entry from The Big Red Machine, and despite this being the third from Kane it is definitely not the worst. WWE truly have paired him with some strange bedfellows during his 20 years behind the red and black mask. To Kane's credit though every time he has been teamed up with someone the polar opposite of him he has managed to win the Tag Team Titles while by their side. In 2002 the veteran managed to do exactly that with WWE's resident super hero, The Hurricane. The fact that the two of them wear masks was where their similarities both began and ended. Their time together was short, sweet, entertaining, and above all weird. When they split Hurricane went on to feud with The Rock, but that's a topic for a different list.
9 Santino Marella And Vladimir Kozlov
When Vladimir Kozlov was first introduced to the WWE Universe the company gave the impression that they wanted the Ukrainian star to be the next big thing. Kozlov went undefeated for almost a year on WWE television and was on the road to facing The Undertaker at WrestleMania XXV when he eventually lost to Shawn Michaels. Things started to drastically changed for Vladimir after that. As you can see he eventually became a comedy act, teaming up with Santino Marella. The path to them becoming a team involved the both of them competing in a dance off against one another, likely not what Kozlov had envisioned himself doing just a year and a half after being undefeated in the company.
8 Big Show And Chris Jericho
Chris Jericho has done just about everything there is to do in the pro wrestling business. A six time World Champion, nine time Intercontinental Champion, he is now even a United States Champion after winning the title for the first time in his career recently. Y2J even has an impressive showing as a tag team wrestler. To this day Chris cites his favorite tag partner as being the Big Show, and the pair were rather unoriginally called Jeri-Show. An added twist to this one is that they technically didn't win the championships together. Jericho was actually tagging with Edge when he won the titles, but after Edge was sidelined through injury Chris cited a clause in his contract that said he could bring in someone to take Edge's place. That man was Big Show and he picked up the title reign where Edge had left off.
7 Edge And Hulk Hogan
WWE Hall of Famer Edge is remembered for a lot of things by the fans during his WWE career. His legendary run with real life best friend Christian with their matches against the likes of The Hardys and The Dudleys putting tag team wrestling on the map at the time. Then after he and Christian were forced to split Edge went on an incredible singles run, becoming a multi time World Champion. In between those two eras in Edges's career however came a moment that the Rated R Superstar will never forget. In 2002 Edge teamed with Hulk Hogan and won the Tag Team Championships. Edge regularly cites The Hulkster as the main influence behind his choice to become a wrestler, so to team and win tag team gold with him must have been a pretty awesome moment.
6 Triple H And Stone Cold
The majority of the entries we've cycled through so far on this list are probably looked at with a fondness from the Superstars in them, despite how weird some of them may have been. This one might not be so much, at least by Stone Cold. Austin ruled the Attitude Era and a big part of that was his famous feud with Vince McMahon. Then at WrestleMania X-Seven Stone Cold turned his back on the fans and sided with the McMahons. A side effect of that was forming The Power Trip with Triple H. The reason Steve might regret this short period in his career is because he has said one of the few things he would change is that heel turn at WrestleMania in Houston.
5 Daniel Bryan And Kane
The fourth (and final, I promise) entry from Kane, and the one that he will likely have enjoyed the most. It's also the period in Daniel Bryan's career that will likely be recalled most fondly aside from his ascent to winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania XXX. Bryan and Kane were known as Team Hell No and were an extremely entertaining odd couple. The two of them were brought together via AJ Lee when the former Divas' Champion forced them to attend anger management together. It was there that Kane and Bryan were made to 'hug it out', and despite them continuing to bicker during their matches they would still manage to pull off wins together. They even teamed with The Undertaker one time to take on The Shield in a six man tag match.
4 CM Punk And Kofi Kingston
The success of New Day has been so massive these last few years that it's hard to imagine all three of its members had singles careers beforehand. In fact Kofi Kingston had an extensive WWE run before he became a part of New Day as is jokingly pointed out by Big E and Xavier Woods who often mock Kingston for being a fair bit older than them. One short and sweet period in Kofi's career came towards the end of 2008 when he teamed with CM Punk. It's hard to imagine a pairing from the modern era of WWE that would have been more loved by the fans than these two. Despite that their run together only lasted around two months, although they did manage to win tag team gold in that time.
3 Stone Cold And Dude Love
When it comes to weird tag team pairings they really don't get much stranger than this one. While Austin may not look back on his time with Triple H and the McMahon family very fondly, it was only in the realms of a WWE angle that he didn't want to tag with Mick Foley. Austin had actually won the Tag Team Titles with Shawn Michaels but thanks to an injury to HBK he had no one to help him defend the gold against Owen Hart and British Bulldog. Mankind offered up his services but Steve said he would rather defend the titles alone. Mick's response? To come to the ring as Dude Love instead. It worked too! Austin and Dude won the match and would remain champions until Stone Cold suffered a severe neck injury at the hands of Owen Hart.
2 Bret Hart And Goldberg
Every single one of these entries so far has happened under the WWE umbrella. However one of the strangest tag teams ever formed happened in WCW. The only reason that Bret Hart and Goldberg are ever really discussed in the same conversation is when people are talking about the latter inadvertently starting the ball rolling to end the former's career. A misplaced super kick from Goldberg that started The Hitman on the slippery slope to his retirement. However the pair of them were also WCW Tag Team Champions together during Bret's stint with the company. Hart also had the WCW Championship at the time as you can see from the photo above. Their reign with the Tag Team Titles lasted just one week, after which time they lost the belts to Kevin Nash and Scott Hall.
1 The Rock And Mankind
There really has been only one odd couple that reigns above all others when it comes to the professional wrestling tag team scene. The Rock and Mankind who made up the much loved Rock N Sock Connection. The two of them had been bitter enemies beforehand but wound up becoming an extremely effective unit. Most of the teams on this list managed to win the Tag Team Championships maybe once at best, Rock and Foley managed to complete that feat together an impressive three times. The fondest memory of this pair's run didn't involve gold however, but rather an extremely long Raw segment that will never be forgotten. Mankind arranged and hosted the famous This Is Your Life segment for his tag team partner and it unsurprisingly has become a part of pro wrestling history.