The WWE’s tag-team division is booming at the moment. With the exception of a few throwaway names on the roster, there are a whole host of teams on the payroll that could easily find themselves as candidates to take over the entire division, regardless of brand, over the next few years. As with any promotion, you’re going to see a few lower-tier teams in there too, but the company more than makes up for them with some of the best tag-teams in all of professional wrestling, not to mention the impeccable alliances being groomed to take over action down in NXT.
Even with complaints that the WWE have put the majority of the company’s most experienced and popular tag-teams on Monday Night Raw, the fact that American Alpha are being pushed to the moon on SmackDown Live should give you an idea that WWE still has big plans in place for the blue brand. Throw in the fact that the concept of introducing brand new tag-team championship gold on Tuesday nights is being discussed and hope for the roster isn’t too grim at all.
If the company plays its cards right, the brand extension might be the WWE’s opportunity to make Raw, SmackDown Live and NXT a hotspot for tag-team competition, which will provide everyone in the division with a phenomenal opportunity to shine. With that being said, where do each of the WWE’s tag-teams lie in the ranks? In this list we’ll analyze every single tag-team on the WWE roster, discussing each of them in order from worst to best.
18 The Shining Stars
Let’s face it, the WWE has tried to make Primo and Epico an interesting tag-team for years and they’ve failed once again in their latest attempt. Take nothing away from the two men as athletes, their in-ring ability is extraordinary. But the company is simply trying too hard.
They were far more interesting when they were being themselves, flanked by the gorgeous Rosa Mendes, and they just went out there and put on a show. We just don’t care about the silly characters they keep introducing. They failed as bullfighters and they’re currently failing as Puerto Rican travel agents. You know you’ve hit rock bottom when you lose a match as a result of Pokémon Go.
If these two were lucky, they’d be allowed to drop the ridiculous gimmicks and fight without the need for “comedy” holding them down, but until that day comes, it looks like The Shining Stars will have to slum it in obscurity for the unforeseeable future.
17 The Ascension
It almost seems trivial at this point to point out The Ascension’s success before they reached the main roster. Their days as the longest reigning tag-team champions in NXT history seem so distant. They were booked to destroy every team in their path and it worked like a dream. People watched NXT to see if this would be the day that Konnor and Viktor got knocked off their throne.
But the second they hit the main roster, they were instantly plastered as wannabe Road Warriors, and got buried at the hands of some of WWE’s best and brightest tag-teams from days gone by. It’s no question that had WWE put the work in, The Ascension could have recreated their domination on Raw and SmackDown Live, and we’d be looking at them now as one of the company’s most riveting duos. Instead, they’re barely even worth mentioning on this list.
It’s a pity, but there’s virtually zero chances that The Ascension will ever be holding tag-team gold as members of the WWE roster. The best they could hope for is the occasional victory on SmackDown Live, just so they could be used as enhancement talent by another rising team later on.
16 The Hype Bros
Even though they may be the most enthusiastic alliance on WWE’s payroll, there are quite a few problems with Mojo Rawley and Zack Ryder as a tag-team – the most predominant of which being the simple fact that Zack Ryder is likeable, and Mojo really isn’t.
Okay, so he does go out there and try to make people smile, which is great to an extent, but we have been rooting for Ryder for so long, that to see his alliance with Rawley continue after the man got called up from NXT is just a disappointment. We have watched Ryder literally climb the ladder of success in this company, only to be knocked off merely twenty-four hours later. To put that kind of potential with a guy like Mojo Rawley, who despite having enthusiasm in spades, is extremely lacking in terms of in-ring ability, is just setting “The Long Island Iced Z” up for more failure.
He should be challenging for the Intercontinental Championship if anything, but he’s getting embarrassed by the likes of American Alpha instead. The time to break this team up is now and although that may mean bad news for Mojo Rawley’s first months on the main roster, it’s a necessary sacrifice that Ryder needs to make for his own career before it’s too late.
15 The Golden Truth
There’s nothing inherently wrong with The Golden Truth. Most will agree that Goldust and R-Truth have both amassed respectable careers in their own right, so they deserve to have a bit of fun with a comedy role every now and again. But there comes a point where their antics could be doing more harm than good. Take the Pokémon Go angle again. It was funny at first, when R-Truth was scouring the arena with his phone, getting involved in a number of backstage segments as a result of it. Continuity works, so those were welcome moments of comic relief.
But the line is drawn when The Golden Truth sways the decision of two matches because they’re too preoccupied with a smartphone app. It’s not really funny and it takes away from the competition in the ring. Again, there’s nothing wrong with Truth and Goldust as a team, despite the fact that their hopes of striking gold together are almost non-existent, but only as long as it’s done in a tasteful way that doesn’t detract from the product. Know your audience, people.
14 The Vaudevillains
When Aiden English and Simon Gotch debuted on the main roster, their potential to become two of the most entertaining characters in the WWE’s tag-team division was incredibly strong. After all, the two had achieved some tremendous levels of popularity both as babyfaces and as heels on NXT, capturing the NXT Tag-Team Titles to a humongous ovation at last year’s Takeover: Brooklyn event.
Unfortunately though, some characters that might be hugely over in Full Sail University just don’t translate well on weekly WWE programming. They had a strong enough start when they arrived after WrestleMania, even gaining a tag-team championship match against New Day at Payback, but it’s fair to say that the higher-ups got tired of them pretty swiftly.
Since the brand extension came into play, all we’ve really seen from English and Gotch is their best efforts to make American Alpha look good. Again, it’s a crying shame, because the character, the originality and the chemistry were all there, but the WWE just couldn’t make it work, instead forcing The Vaudevillains way down the ladder as one of the throwaway tag-teams of the entire roster.
Believe it or not, Tyler Breeze and Fandango might actually have some potential as a tag-team on SmackDown Live. Before the brand extension, the two were involved in comedy angles with The Golden Truth, but now that they’ve been drafted to the blue brand, where the tag-team roster is dwindling, Breezango might actually be able to become the biggest heel duo on the show.
Fandango getting beaten by Randy Orton on week two might not be what you’d hope for, but the team wasn’t involved in the moment where American Alpha sent some of SmackDown Live’s lower-tier teams packing the following week. The opportunity to benefit from that could definitely be there, if Breeze and Fandango were able to give Alpha their first official feud on the main roster.
They’d most likely lose of course, but they’re well able to do so without looking terrible in the meantime. The two men are very talented performers, and they possess a striking sense of chemistry by each other’s side, so they may actually be able to reap the benefits of SmackDown Live’s thin tag-team roster sometime soon.
If there’s any team on the WWE roster to keep a close eye on over the next year, it’s TM61. Make no mistake about it, the duo formerly known as “The Mighty Don’t Kneel” are going to be a force to be reckoned with in NXT. They may not have been able to showcase their talents just yet, but when teams like The Revival head up to the main roster, it will provide an opening for guys like Nick Miller and Shane Thorne to climb the ranks and be that much closer to the NXT Tag-Team Championship.
You can only imagine the high quality of match these two could put on against teams such as Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano. All these two need is an opportunity to show the NXT fans why they were two of the hottest commodities on the independent scene before being picked up by the WWE.
11 The Usos
Oh how the mighty have fallen. It’s unfortunate that The Usos have fallen so far from the top of the WWE tag-team division, but they were on the verge of becoming the tag-team equivalent of John Cena. Fans were sick of seeing Jimmy and Jey come out all smiles every week, doing the same old shtick and walking out victorious. Then when they weren’t involved in stories, they’d have to sink their teeth into other ones, such as John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt or Roman Reigns vs. AJ Styles.
It’s not their fault - when the two go out there and put on a show, they’re able to bring the house down with one of the night’s best matches. They’ve just grown seriously stale and it’s unsurprising that news outlets are reporting Vince McMahon’s apparent frustration with the two, even with Jimmy Uso’s recent injuries. There’s still a serious opportunity for The Usos to become major players on SmackDown Live, but with American Alpha taking over the scene on Tuesday nights, it seems unlikely at this point.
Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens may be incredible performers as individuals, but as a tag-team, it could be a whole different story. They say “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” which is how this whole alliance came about considering their mutual disdain for Enzo Amore, but while that may hold true to a point, it can also be stated that men like Jericho and Owens don’t play well with others.
It’s no coincidence that, despite being very successful in tag-team wrestling over his career, Chris Jericho will always be best known for his work as a solo artist. And it goes without saying that Kevin Owens’ entire WWE career to date has been based around how he stabbed his best friend in the back to climb the rungs on the WWE ladder at a quicker pace. Pair that with that whenever Owens has been forced to team with the likes of Rusev or Alberto Del Rio, the pairing always turns sour.
You never know – these two could easily turn around and surprise us with some impressive tag-team chemistry. But as for now, the only way this alliance is likely to end is with Jericho receiving a pop-up powerbomb as Owens continues on his journey to championship gold.
9 The Authors Of Pain
Gzim Selmani and Sunny Dhinsa have been surprisingly entertaining since their debut at NXT Takeover: The End. When they burst on the scene, decimating American Alpha and revealing the legendary Paul Ellering as the brains behind the braun, many expected The Authors of Pain to bring us the same style of big-guy action that we’ve grown accustomed to with guys like Braun Strowman.
But they’ve actually shown far more agility in the ring than we expected them to. At this rate, these two could take over the NXT tag-team division with ease, and not many people would be upset. They have a ways to go before they could be transferred over to Raw or SmackDown Live, but that’s not a bad thing at all. Seeing these two behemoths take over NXT for the next year or so would be a change from the norm, and would be the best way to groom these guys for main roster competition.
8 The Dudley Boyz
Make no mistake, Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley are, without a doubt, one of the best all-around tag-teams in the history of professional wrestling. But if you think about them in the context of their current WWE run, it’s not at all difficult to forget they’re even on the roster.
It’s all down to the fact that the men came back to the company for one reason and one reason only – to put over new talent. They may be doing that to perfection, but with all things considered, The Dudley Boyz are paling in comparison to a large portion of the roster.
Some fans are even clamoring for Bubba to strike out on his own in pursuit of a Bully Ray-esque singles push, which is the biggest inclination that The Dudley Boyz may be past it at this stage. There’s no doubt that these men will go into the WWE Hall of Fame side-by-side at some point, but as for now, they don’t seem likely to recreate some of the success they’ve had in generation gone by.
7 The Wyatt Family
The Wyatt Family may have lost some of its spark recently, considering the loss of Braun Strowman to Raw and the fact that Luke Harper is still on the shelf, but make no mistake about it, Bray Wyatt and Erick Rowan are more than enough to keep The Wyatt Family name alive.
They’re not ranked higher here because the two aren’t going to be winning tag-team gold anytime soon, especially with Bray Wyatt quickly becoming one of SmackDown Live’s biggest heels. However, with the two still by each other’s sides, The Wyatt Family remains as one of the most unique and intriguing relationships on the entire WWE roster.
There’s no denying the chemistry that Wyatt and Rowan have together after years of fighting shoulder-to-shoulder, and by maintaining their alliance on SmackDown Live, it only serves to make Bray Wyatt’s character that much more alluring and intimidating. After all, what is a cult leader without his loyal followers?
6 Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano
If there’s anybody worthy to take the NXT Tag-Team Championships from Dash and Dawson, it’s the team of Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano. They have been making their rounds lately as two of NXT’s most valuable properties, particularly after putting on a phenomenal match against one another in the opening round of the Cruiserweight Classic.
They proved that night that they will both find success as singles stars one day, but until then, they are doing an extraordinary job as a team. People were surprised when “Johnny Wrestling” was thrown into a tag-team after being hired by the WWE, but there should be nobody complaining now.
The two are really entertaining on the mic and devastating inside the squared circle, and any brand, be it Raw, SmackDown Live or NXT, would be lucky to have them as a member of their tag-team division. Their next step is to secure those NXT Tag-Team Titles and, after they accomplish that, the sky’s the limit for Ciampa and Gargano.
5 Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows
It may have taken the brand extension to do the trick, but the team of Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows are finally dominating the competition on Monday Night Raw. The fact that they’ve managed to divide and conquer members of The New Day is great for their future, regardless of whether or not it results in a reign with the WWE Tag-Team Titles over the next few months.
With Anderson and Gallows making a name for themselves on Raw, and their buddy, AJ Styles engaging in some huge matches as a representative of the blue brand, these men are doing a great job at keeping The Club going despite the separation. The obvious next step for Anderson and Gallows would be to secure some gold for themselves. Once that happens, it wouldn’t be too difficult to forget the poor start these two had when they arrived on the scene back in April and spent weeks as nothing more than AJ Styles’ cronies, as opposed to equally impactful WWE Superstars.
4 The Revival
Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson have been a surprisingly riveting tag-team over the last year. All they needed was a platform to show off their chemistry together and these two guys went on a tear as one of the hottest tag-teams in NXT, delivering some of the best matches at recent Takeover events against American Alpha. The reason they work so well together is because they just go out there, be themselves and compete in a style that they’re most comfortable with.
“No Flips Just Fists” is far from a catchphrase – Dash and Dawson have one goal in mind and that’s to beat their opponents to a pulp without the flashy style of action that keeps expanding as the years go by. Their throwback style is a welcome change and could be what sets The Revival ahead of the pack when they eventually drop the titles and make the move up to the main roster.
Most fans would love to see them recreate the magic they did earlier this year against American Alpha on a bigger stage like SmackDown Live and, if they do join Team Blue soon, then they’ll have no problem in becoming two of the brand’s most entertaining athletes.
3 Enzo Amore & Big Cass
Enzo Amore and Big Cass may only have about four months of main roster experience under their belts, but they’ve wasted little time in becoming two of the WWE’s most beloved tag-team. With Enzo’s endless energy and charisma, paired with Big Cass’ stature and ability to stand toe-to-toe with just about anybody inside the ring, these two make a tremendous alliance.
The two are already so popular that fans are already speculating about the successes these guys would amass if they were to break out on their own somewhere down the line. Corey Graves has even been so bold as to call Big Cass WWE Championship material,and Enzo has been making his rounds lately, getting into verbal bouts with the legendary Chris Jericho.
Whatever happens there, however, any plans to push either of these two as singles stars should be put on the backburner for at least another year. The chemistry between these two guys is far too valuable to throw away just yet and we just have to see them capture championship gold at some stage in the near future.
2 American Alpha
Speaking of chemistry, if you’re looking for two athletes who complement each other’s abilities to perfection, look no further than American Alpha. The team of Chad Gable and Jason Jordan took NXT by storm late last year and they have been bringing crowds to their feet ever since.
With their charisma, technical wrestling ability and one of the single most exhilarating hot tags in the business today, it’s no wonder why American Alpha are being pushed to the moon as SmackDown Live’s primary tag-team. It can be argued that with the majority of the roster’s most intriguing alliances on Raw, Alpha has been unfairly relegated to taking on less-than-stellar duos on Tuesday nights, but they’re making the best of it and delivering a show worth watching regardless.
Once the casual WWE audience gets well acquainted with what these two guys are capable of side-by-side, expect them to quickly become two of the most popularity men under the entire WWE umbrella. Anyone familiar with their work will agree that they’re more than “Ready, Willing and Gable” to take on that responsibility.
1 The New Day
Even with the surge in tag-team competition over the last year, with numerous great names showing up out of the blue to make WWE’s tag-team division worth watching again, one thing has remained a constant for the last twelve months, and that’s The New Day.
They had a rocky start, but it didn’t take too long for Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods to become three of the most popular characters on WWE programming. Who would have thought that the fans would take so well to catchphrases like “Booty-O’s” and “New Day Rocks”? The gimmick caught on like house on fire and the fact that The New Day have been able to find a medium between comedy and extraordinary tag-team wrestling has redefined the division in today’s generation.
Naturally, their record-setting reign as tag-team champions will be coming to an end, potentially even very soon, but the three men will take solace in the fact that they’ve done more for the tag division than they could have ever hoped. Hopefully the inevitable end of their run with the gold won’t also spell the end of their run as three of the most entertaining fixtures on Monday Night Raw.