We here at TheSportster love us some good old fashioned tag-team wrestling, even if it doesn’t love us back sometimes. At the end of the day, however, these are some of the best matches we can ask for, with high-octane action, and unique spots. Over the years, duos like The Road Warriors, The New Age Outlaws, and more recently, The Usos or the Young Bucks have given us countless hours of entertainment, but there are some pairings we completely forgot existed. Whether that’s two mega-stars put together for a short run, or two mismatched names forming an alliance, wrestling is filled with fascinating, yet overlooked teams. So, we’ve made a list of our favorites.
10 Santino Marella And Vladimir Kozlov
In 2008 and 2009, Vladimir Kozlov was an absolute monster, sharing the ring with some of the biggest names in the company like Jeff Hardy and The Undertaker. Yet, by 2010, WWE was less interested in presenting him as an unstoppable beast.
Instead, he was paired with the company’s biggest comedy act at the time, Santino Marella. While it was a step back from what we were used to for the Russian superstar, they were pretty fun before Kozlov was released following an attack by Mark Henry.
9 Rated RKO (Edge And Randy Orton)
Rated RKO was a really cool concept, but it’s a weird pairing when you consider why they were put together. In reality, the pairing existed so a newly reformed D-Generation X could have a high-profile feud, but by that point in their careers, both Edge and Randy Orton were established singles stars who made a name for themselves by not playing well with others. Still, it’s pretty fun to see the two biggest heels in the company at the time join forces in an attempt to kill fun. There’s nothing more dastardly.
8 Owen Hart And Yokozuna
Yokozuna may be one of the greatest heels in wrestling history, but he wasn’t exactly known for his ring-work. That’s why it was a stroke of genius for WWE to put him with Owen Hart, one of the best wrestlers to ever walk through the curtain. To make things even better, Jim Cornette worked as the mouthpiece.
It’s a shame this team had to be in WWE where tag-action isn’t taken as seriously as singles competition because this is a perfect pairing of size and skill.
7 Rene Dupree And Kenzo Suzuki
Clearly, WWE had big plans for Rene Dupree at one point in his career. Alongside Sylvain Grenier as part of La Resistance, he became the youngest superstar to win a championship in the WWE at 19 years old. While Kenzo Suzuki wasn’t placed on the same fast track as Dupree, he was still treated as a credible threat, taking the role of the foreign heel, feuding with stars like John Cena over the United States Championship.
Somehow, the duo was put together, and they achieved some success. In fact, the pair won the Tag-Team Championships after defeating Paul London and Billy Kidman. They weren’t a one defense team either, as they retained against Rob Van Dam and Rey Mysterio as well.
6 Heath Slater And Rhyno
Rhyno’s return to WWE’s main roster in 2016 was unexpected but amazing. Sure, he was the NXT gatekeeper the prior year, but a return to the big show in his 40s was a large task. Yet, he pulled off amazingly. He was quickly paired with WWE’s resident fall-guy Heath Slater, and thanks to a recently split SmackDown Live, the duo were given a lot of time to carve out a fun personality as a tag team and be the first pair to hold the brand’s exclusive championships. While we don’t expect to see them do it again, it was really fun while it lasted.
5 Judy Bagwell And Rick Steiner
Rick Steiner is a tag-team legend. He’s mostly known for his work with his brother Scott, but there was a (dark) point in time where his partner — and one-half of the tag team champions — was none other than Judy Bagwell.
Look, we love us some dumb wrestling every now and then, but this was really stupid.
4 The Rock And Undertaker
Somehow, the two biggest names in the WWE managed to work together long enough to win tag-team gold. Not only that, they beat one of the most decorated teams in company history — Edge and Christian — to do so. Sometimes, wrestling is really cool.
You'd think this would be talked about more on WWE TV when discussing great champions, but it feels like this isn't discussed nearly enough.
3 Edge And Hulk Hogan
It’s clear WWE had big plans for Edge, but didn’t know exactly what they were. By the time 2002 rolled around, the soon-to-be Rated R Superstar had done pretty much all there was to do as a tag-team specialist, but he wasn't quite ready to be a breakout singles name.
So, when Hulk Hogan returned to the company and needed something to do, they paired him with a good hand in Edge, and the two won the tag-team championships. Regardless of your opinion of Hogan these days, this was a big deal back in the day, and it really cemented Edge as someone the company could do literally anything with.
2 Air Raid (AJ Styles And Air Paris)
We haven't spoken a lot about WCW tag teams this list, so here’s another. Air Raid really isn’t all that weird, but looking back the team is just fascinating. Future WWE World Heavyweight Champion AJ Styles had a cup of coffee in WCW before the company folded, and in that time, he was in a short-lived, but fun team alongside Air Paris.
Unfortunately, they didn’t manage to do too much, debuting in February 2001, the month before the company folded. Still, they managed to sneak in an appearance on the final episode of Thunder, beating out The Jung Dragons.
1 Braun Strowman And Nicholas
Braun Strowman is so strong, he can beat two of the best wrestlers in the WWE with a child as his partner.
This was a pretty creative, or dumb — depending on your tolerance for this sort of thing — use of Strowman. On one hand, fans got a pretty memorable “WrestleMania Moment”, but on the other, it really made The Bar look weak. Pick your poison with that one, but in the moment, it was still fun.