The overall effect of tag teams on the industry of professional wrestling is overlooked all too often. There are certain eras in WWE's history that simply would not have been as iconic if it weren't for the tag divisions around at the time. That applies more so to the tail end of the Attitude Era than it does to any other time in WWE history. We are talking about the battles between three teams in particular of course, The Hardy Boyz, The Dudley Boyz, and Edge and Christian. The trio of teams are the creators of the Tables, Ladders and Chairs match that now has its very own pay per view named after it.
The Canadian pair above aren't brothers like Matt and Jeff, nor do they pretend to be as Bubba Ray and D-Von used to. If anything it could be argued that the bond the two of them share is stronger than one brought about by blood. Edge and Christian have been best friends since they were children and it's frankly amazing how much their lives have run in tandem. They grew up together, became one of the most decorated tag teams in WWE history together, and even had their first daughters at pretty much the same time. To this day the two of them are inseparable.
We say that, but of course for large periods of their in ring careers the two of them were separate. Once the drafts started happening in WWE and Vince McMahon for some reason decided that the tag teams who had made him so much money for a number of years needed to be broken up, Edge and Christian had to see what they could do by going alone. Edge's success as a singles star is no secret. The powers that be at WWE saw something in the Rated R Superstar very early on and they were right to do so. After a successful tag team run he went on to have a Hall of Fame career and won an incredible 11 World Championships. That career was cut short in 2011 when Edge was forced to retire due to his injuries. Just imagine how many World Titles he may have gone on to win had he not been forced to prematurely retire.
Edge's career is all well and good and he deserves all the plaudits coming his way. The trouble is that incredible singles career almost always seems to overshadow the one of his life long best friend and former tag team partner, Christian. Captain Charisma is a six time World Champion in his own right and is wrongly seen as the lesser half of Edge and Christian. He was arguably as good an in-ring performer as Edge plus had terrific skills on the mic.
It may seem crazy to label him more important to WWE then Edge but in a lot of ways it's the truth. Strangely enough it wasn't until Edge was forced to retire that Vince McMahon began to realize exactly how pivotal a role Christian could play in the company. It began with a light bulb moment that involved Christian winning the World Heavyweight Championship that his best friend had left vacant after WrestleMania XXVII. Once Christian won the title he must have had the weight of the world on his shoulders. Not only was he WWE's World Champion, but he had to prove that he was as worthy a champion as Edge while fans were still pining after the recently retired star.
Enter Randy Orton. At that point in Christian's career the World Champion needed the best opponent of his career, and he got it in The Viper. The rivalry between the two produced some of the best matches of Christian's career and they couldn't have come at a better time. WWE took a huge risk by putting Edge's title on someone who made them think of Edge, and Christian made sure that their faith in him was not misplaced.
There was a long period of time when Christian competed in TNA and WWE even made use of that. In 2012 WWE wanted to use Ric Flair so that they could induct him into the Hall of Fame as a part of the Four Horsemen. They struck a deal with their rivals by letting them have Christian back for the night so that he could announce the number one moment in TNA history. That's one thing his life long friend could never do for WWE. It was just a little thing but one of many that proved how important Christian was to WWE. Plus proof that you don't need Edge to enjoy Christian was compounded at Raw's 25th anniversary when Captain Charisma hosted a special edition of The Peep Show all by himself.