Tag team wrestling has seen its fair share of ups and downs over the years. There have been some really great tag teams and strong tag team divisions and there have also been awful tag teams and extremely weak tag team divisions. Ironically, it has been the bigger wrestling companies who have struggled a bit more when it comes to quality tag team wrestling. WWE and WCW have gone from having teams like Demolition and The Road Warriors holding the gold to teams like Men on a Mission and David Flair & Crowbar being on top of the tag team championship mountain.
Sometimes fans need to turn to smaller promotions like Ring of Honor or over seas in Japan to get their tag team wrestling fix. The last ten years have been no exception. There have been some really impressive duos and other teams that seem to just take up space. It’s not hard to figure out why good teams stay together for a long time but it’s puzzling when they split up so quickly. They leave fans wanting more. On the other hand, it’s really puzzling when bad teams stick around for a long time. It sometimes puzzling why some teams are even put together. Let’s take a look at the ten best and ten worst tag teams of the last ten years.
20 Worst: Hunico & Camacho
Hunico & Camacho teamed in WWE from 2011-2013. Their story was of two kids who fought their way out of the Barrio to make it to WWE. However, most fans knew that Camacho was Tongan and the son of former WWE Superstar Haku. Their ring entrance included a low-rider bicycle which some might view as a negative Latin stereotype. On top of the problems with their gimmick, the team didn’t click. Camacho was a bit inexperienced at that time and his skills didn’t compliment Hunico’s skills. The team did little to put a dent in the thin WWE tag team division. They weren’t even able to take advantage of the makeshift championship team of R-Truth and Kofi Kingston. The two did find tag team success after the team broke up. Hunico took over the Sin Cara character and had a successful run as a part of the Lucha Dragons with Kalisto. Camacho aka Tonga Roa formed a successful tag team with his brother Tama Tonga called Guerillas of Destiny. They are two time and current IWGP Tag Team Champions in New Japan Pro Wrestling.
19 Best: Killer Elite Squad
The Killer Elite Squad is the tag team combination of Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Lance Archer aka Lance Hoyt. This unlikely tag team was formed in 2012 and has been very successful both in the United States and in Japan. KES are two-time NWA Tag Team Champions, two-time New Japan Pro Wrestling IWGP Tag Team Champions, and former Pro Wrestling NOAH GHC Tag Team Champions. They were double champions on two separate occasions holding the NWA and IWGP titles and then the NWA and GHC titles. KES have battled some of the top tag teams in the world such as The Dudley Boyz, Anderson & Gallows, War Machine, and Tencozy. It could be only a matter of time before this international powerhouse follows the blue print of Anderson & Gallows and joins WWE.
18 Worst: Rybaxel
Rybaxel was a tag team comprised of Ryback and Curtis Axel. They took up space in the WWE tag team division from 2013-2014. The biggest problem with this team was Ryback. Some wrestlers just don’t have the in ring psychology to work well in tag teams. Ryback seems to be one of those wrestlers. He never appears to be comfortable in tag team situations. On the other hand, Axel appears to be a wrestler, given the right partner, that could be a tag team superstar. Rybaxel had very little success in a WWE tag team division that was ripe for the picking. They were unable to thrive in a division that included several makeshift teams. The team came to an end after an awkward but funny backstage segment between the two. They agreed to go their separate ways but left the door open for a reunion because “all the great ones” get back together like “Legion of Doom… New Age Outlaws… Earthquake & Bastion Booger”. Earthquake & Bastion Booger?
17 Best: The Addiction
The Addiction aka Bad Influence are two-time TNA Tag Team Champions and two-time Ring of Honor Tag Team Champions. Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian began teaming in 2012 after a strange storyline with AJ Styles. The story initially had Daniels controlling Kazarian against his will before the two settled into a more traditional tag team partnership. The team of two former X Division superstars has been better than anyone could have expected. In TNA, they defeated top teams such as Samoa Joe & Magnus, AJ Styles & Kurt Angle, and James Storm & Gunner. In ROH, they downed the likes of The Decade, reDRagon, and War Machine. The Addiction were also named Wrestling Observer Newsletter Tag Team of the Year in 2012. Daniels & Kazarian is another veteran tag team that WWE should be taking a closer look at.
16 Worst: Ink Inc.
Ink Inc. was a TNA Wrestling tag team that was better known for their tattoos, piercings, and spiked mohawks. They were managed by the equally tattooed, pierced, and mohawk wearing Toxxin. Shannon Moore and Jesse Neal were more of a visual spectacle with little to offer in terms of quality tag team wrestling. Moore had previous tag team success with Shane Helms and Evan Karagias. Neal was extremely green which doomed this tag team. However, the team was able to find some success in a depleted and top-heavy TNA tag team division. They secured a number of shots at the TNA Wrestling Tag Team Championship but were unable to win them. Moore and Neal also scored wins against teams such as Eric Young & Orlando Jordan and The British Invasion. Ink Inc. broke up after Neal left TNA in 2011. Moore made his exit a year later.
15 Best: The Wolves
The Wolves have won seven major tag team championships and have toppled some of the best tag teams in pro wrestling over an eight-year period. Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards are five-time TNA Tag Team Champions and two-time Ring of Honor Tag Team Champions. They hold victories over The Hardy Boyz, The Dirty Heels, Forever Hooligans, and Steenerico aka Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn. The Wolves were named Wrestling Observer Newsletter Tag Team of the Year in 2009. If not for the injury bug, Richards and Edwards may have been even more successful. It’s hard to say what the future might hold for The Wolves but it would be a shame if they didn’t make one more run at tag team greatness. WWE has shown interest in the past and could again if they should happen to reunite down the road.
14 Worst: Tons of Funk
Tons of Funk was the aptly named tag team of Brodus Clay and Matt Bloom aka Sweet T. The team was large but hardly in charge. The team was an extension of Clay’s Funkasaurus character. Sweet T. was Bloom’s transformed character after the train wreck that was the Lord Tensai gimmick. They were accompanied to the ring by, Naomi and Cameron, The Funkadactyls. How any of this actually made it on WWE television is anyone’s guess. Bloom had tag team success in the past with partners such as Karl Anderson, Tyson Tomko, and Test. However, his tag team experience couldn’t overcome a really bad gimmick and the inexperienced Clay. They feuded with Team Rhodes Scholars (Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow) in tag team and eight person mixed tag team matches that included the Funkadactyls and The Bella Twins. The team finally came to an end when Clay turned on Sweet T.
13 Best: The Young Bucks
The Young Bucks are one of the most decorated teams in professional wrestling today. Brothers Matt and Nick Jackson are currently the Ring of Honor, Pro Wrestling Guerilla, and New Japan Pro Wrestling IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions. They also won the New Japan Super Junior Tag Team Tournament in 2013 and are three-time winners of PWG’s Dynamite Duumvirate Tag Team Tournament in 2009,2011, and 2013. The Bucks were named Wrestling Observer Newsletter Tag Team of the Year in 2014 and 2015. In addition, they were a part of a Wrestling Observer Newsletter 5 Star match in 2016. The Bucks are also members of the notorious international faction, The Bullet Club. The team has made huge strides since their failed run in TNA Wrestling proving once again that failed runs in big wrestling companies aren’t always the final curtain.
12 Worst: Slater-Gator
Slater-Gator was formed in WWE after Heath Slater found himself without a band. Slater’s partners in 3MB were future endeavored thus leaving him to fend for himself. Titus O’Neil was struggling outside of the comfort zone of The Prime Time Players tag team. O’Neil and Darren Young’s team dissolved without a chance of an immediate reunion due to a serious knee injury to Young. This was all a recipe for the birth of a monstrosity called Slater-Gator. The team did score a few upset victories over teams like Goldust & Stardust and Los Matadores but was mainly used as comic relief. Slater-Gator was mercifully put to sleep when O’Neil reunited with Young as The Prime Time Players. Slater would then have a brief run in a faction called The Social Outcasts before winning tag team gold with Rhyno on SmackDown Live.
11 Best: Bad Intentions
Bad Intentions was the team of Karl Anderson and Giant Bernard aka Matt Bloom. The team was formed in New Japan Pro Wrestling in 2008 and was a dominant force in Japan for a two-year stretch between 2010-2012. Bad Intentions won the prestigious GI Tag League in 2009, which was a sign of things to come. They went on to win New Japan’s IWGP Tag Team Championship and put a nearly two-year strangle hold on the straps. During that time, Anderson and Bernard also added Pro Wrestling NOAH’s GHC Tag Team Championship to their trophy case. They defeated some of the best teams that Japan had to offer in addition to battling some of the best from the United States such as The Dudley Boyz and Beer Money. The team was named Wrestling Observer Newsletter Tag Team of the Year in 2011. After losing both tag team titles, Bad Intentions disbanded after Bloom made the big mistake of returning to WWE to take on failed gimmicks such as Lord Tensai and Sweet T.
10 Worst: The Rock 'n' Rave Infection
The Rock 'n' Rave Infection was the odd TNA Wrestling pairing of Jimmy Rave and Lance Rock aka Lance Archer. Former WWE Diva Search winner, Christy Hemme, managed the team. As easy on the eyes as Hemme was, it just wasn’t enough to make fans interested in the Rock n Rave Infection. It was the case of two talented wrestlers being saddled with an impossible gimmick to get over with fans. They became a glorified jobber team within the ranks of the tag team division before leaving TNA Wrestling in 2009. Ironically, in 2012, Archer formed one of the most successful tag teams of the last ten years called the Killer Elite Squad with Davey Boy Smith Jr. Archer was also a two time NWA Tag Team Champion with his partner Kid Cash in 2004.
9 Best: Anderson & Gallows
Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows joined forces in 2013 as a part of the Bullet Club in New Japan Pro Wrestling and haven’t looked back. Gallows was a talented but lost big man who was to a certain degree damaged by his run in the United States in WWE and TNA Wrestling. Anderson, a highly successful tag team specialist, needed a new partner and Gallows fit the bill. The team helped both superstars but especially Gallows who rose from the ashes of failed gimmicks in the U.S. Anderson & Gallows dominated New Japan Pro Wrestling’s tag team scene for close to three years. They were three-time IWGP Tag Team Champions and winners of the 2013 World Tag League. They have beaten some of the best tag teams in the world such as The Briscoe Brothers, Killer Elite Squad, and The Kingdom. Their jump to WWE has yet to produce championship gold but losing to The New Day is nothing to be embarrassed about.
8 Worst: Jesse & Festus
Jesse & Festus were a WWE tag team in 2007-2008. The team was extremely green and they just didn’t have much tag team chemistry. Their gimmick of a simple southern boy teaming with an even simpler southern boy also didn’t quite get over with WWE fans. Jesse aka Ray Gordy never lived up to the career of his father, Terry Bam Bam Gordy. Terry Gordy was a member of the legendary Fabulous Freebirds and also the Miracle Violence Connection with Dr. Death Steve Williams. However, Festus would go onto much greater success once outside of WWE. As Doc Gallows, he joined New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Bullet Club and formed a very successful tag team with Karl Anderson. That success led to Anderson and Gallows landing in WWE recently.
7 Best: The Briscoe Brothers
The Briscoe Brothers have spent the last ten years winning tag team gold in just about every organization they stepped foot in. Jay and Mark Briscoe are eight-time Ring of Honor Tag Team Champions. Six of those titles have come in the last ten years. They are also former GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions in Pro Wrestling NOAH, IWGP Tag Team Champions in New Japan Pro Wrestling, Full Impact Pro Tag Team Champions, 2CW Tag Team Champions and CZW Tag Team Champions. They hold victories over top teams such as The Wolves, The World’s Greatest Tag Team, and Guerillas of Destiny. The Briscoes were named the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Tag Team of the Year in 2007. Their redneck charisma and innovative ring style have made The Briscoe Brothers crowd pleasers for well over a decade.
6 Worst: Garett Bischoff & Wes Brisco
Garett Bischoff & Wes Brisco were a tag team and members of the Aces & Eights faction in TNA Wrestling in 2013. Bischoff is the son of Eric Bischoff and Brisco is the son of Gerald Brisco and nephew of former NWA Champion Jack Brisco. Both were given significant single pushes by TNA Wrestling that failed miserably. To no one’s surprise, their tag team was also a failure. The team also has to be a contender for one of the worst tag teams of all time. Not even the great Kurt Angle was able to help the duo get over with TNA fans. Brisco showed flashes of potential but Bishcoff looked totally out of place as a member of Aces & Eights. Bischoff also lacked the in ring ability to help make the team a success. At one point even Hulk Hogan attempted to help Bischoff get over without success. Fans knew better and realized that any push or rub was being wasted on someone who just didn’t have “it”. Bischoff & Brisco did hold a non-title victory over then TNA Tag Team Champions James Storm & Gunner before leaving TNA in 2014. The team reunited a handful of times on the independent wrestling circuit to little fanfare.
5 Best: The New Day
The New Day emerged from nowhere to become one of the top tag teams of the last ten years. Big E, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods looked more likely to be on the future endeavors list than tag team champions when the team was first formed in 2014. The alliance was first teased as a heel group with Woods being the instigator of baby faces Big E and Kingston. However, they were suddenly pulled from television and some rumors had the team being completely scrapped. They returned as faces but fans soon rejected their goody-two-shoes routine. When the fans turned on them, it appears that gave them the green light to have more creative input for their characters. The rest is history. The New Day totally reinvented themselves into one of the hottest commodities in pro wrestling. They are two time and reigning WWE Raw Tag Team Champions. Their current reign is at well over 400 days and they were named Pro Wrestling Illustrated Tag Team of the Year in 2015.
4 Worst: Phi Delta Slam
Phi Delta Slam is not only one of the worst tag teams of the last ten years but maybe of all time. The behemoth frat boys debuted in TNA Wrestling in 2005 and have made occasional independent wrestling appearances in recent years in Florida. Some fans have called their match with The Harris Brothers at Destination X 2005 one of the worst in TNA Wrestling history. The duo had a second forgettable run in TNA Wrestling in 2009. They were repackaged as the personal security for The Main Event Mafia. Known as Rocco & Sal, they seldom competed in official matches and when they did, the matches usually highlighted their role as bodyguards that lacked pro wrestling ability. They somehow managed to earn a shot at the tag team titles against Booker T and Scott Steiner before leaving the promotion.
3 Best: Beer Money
Beer Money was arguably one of the best tag teams in the world for a three-year period from 2008-2011. During that stretch, the team of James Storm and Bobby Roode won four TNA Tag Team Championships. They racked up wins against top teams such as the Dudley Boyz, Motor City Machine Guns, and Bad Intentions. Roode and Storm were also in contention for the IWGP Tag Team Championship in New Japan Pro Wrestling and the AAA Tag Team Championship in Mexico. As a result, they were named Pro Wrestling Illustrated Tag Team of the Year in 2008 and 2011. In early 2016, Beer Money reunited and won a fifth TNA Tag Team Championship by defeating The Wolves. The win cemented their place as one of the best tag teams of the last ten years. Roode is currently a member of the NXT roster while Storm is under contract with TNA Wrestling.
2 Worst: Team Pacman
Team Pacman might go down as not only one of the worst tag teams of all time but one of the most embarrassing. The team was a glorified TNA Wrestling publicity stunt centering around NFL star Adam “Pacman” Jones. The team consisted of Jones and two very talented pro wrestlers; R-Truth and Xavier Woods aka Consequences Creed. Jones’ brief foray into the world of professional wrestling was made complicated when his contract with the Tennessee Titans forbid him from physical contact. Despite the contract snafu, TNA decided to concoct a plan for Jones to “wrestle” any way. At No Surrender 2007, Jones and Truth captured the TNA Tag Team Championship from Sting and Kurt Angle in a match that lasted only a little over five minutes. Jones was never touched in the match thus staying true to his Titans contract. Team Pacman then lost the titles to AJ Styles and Tyson Tomko in a match that featured Truth and Creed with Jones in their corner. Team Pacman thankfully disbanded shortly after the defeat.
1 Best: The Shield
The Shield dominated WWE from 2012-2014. The three-man team of Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, and Dean Ambrose were known for their rogue like entrance and destroying opponents with a nasty triple powerbomb. They also piled up victories over some of the best in WWE while collecting gold and awards. They beat super teams such as John Cena,Ryback, & Sheamus, Evolution, and Team Hell No. Ambrose was United States Champion for nearly a year while Reigns and Rollins captured the WWE Tag Team Championship. In addition to winning the belts, the duo was also named tag team of the year in 2013 by both Pro Wrestling Illustrated and the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Like most good things, they have to come to an end. The team was destined for solo success the minute they debuted at Survivor Series 2012. The team split in 2014 but all three have since been major players in the WWE main event scene.
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