We all love watching singles competitions – one guy against the other going blow to blow – often for some title or other. The fans get behind their wrestler, cheering every punch, drop kick, submission, and attacking maneuver until the referee counts to three and declares the match is over. But sometimes, there’s nothing better than seeing some teamwork, seeing the drama of a tag team match unfold before your eyes.
There are many wrestlers who have spent most of their careers in the tag team setup – are renowned for being part of a tag team duo -- wrestlers such as Matt and Jeff Hardy who have won titles on their own but will always be remembered for their time and success with one another as The Hardy Boyz. The Dudleyz are another tag team – kayfabe family – partnership who went on to rule the roost in the tag team division, becoming one of the most decorated tag teams in wrestling history. These guys belong together on the tag team scene.
However, sometimes you come across a really odd pairing in tag team championship wrestling – guys who don’t really belong in a tag team who have just been thrown together for the sake of competition and entertainment. These are 15 of the strangest pairings – mismatched duos – who found themselves wrestling in the tag team division at one stage or another during their respective careers.
15 CM Punk And Kofi Kingston
Aside from his outspoken, sharp-tonged and brash in-ring persona and his real life views as a straight-laced man of principals and integrity, Punk will probably be remembered for his time in wrestling for reigning supreme as WWE Champion for 434 days. With such a glittering single’s career, you could be forgiven for forgetting that once upon a time, Punk teamed up with Kofi Kingston.
They did win a Tag Team Championship together, but this was one really odd pairing; they formed a totally incompatible combination, but in the end, that was one of the draw factors.
14 Santino Marella And Vladimir Kozlov
Santino Marella compared himself and Kozlov to Rocky Balboa and Ivan Drago from the epic Rocky IV movie; their tag team matches weren’t as epic as the Rocky-Drago fight, but they still tasted a reasonable amount of success – although it was relatively short-lived – and shocked the tag team division.
13 Kane And Daniel Bryan
The menacing figure of Kane and Daniel Bryan came together to form “Team Hell No” in late 2012 – an odd tag team partnership to say the least and one that had a pretty strange backstory to it as well.
12 The Rock And Mankind
The Rock and Mick Foley had a pretty strange – and strained – relationship when they first began getting involved in storylines with one another in 1998. Before forming a cohesive unit, they had formed a fierce rivalry and faced each other many times one-on-one for the WWE Championship. It didn’t take a genius to figure out why they didn’t click – they were polar opposites. The Rock was well-spoken, charismatic, and had the looks, while Mankind was disheveled and unpredictable and kind of a deranged maniac.
11 Chris Jericho And Big Show
Chris Jericho’s a guy that has many strings to his bow. A wrestler, actor, musician, media personality, businessman and author, he’s achieved a lot in his 45 years on this planet, but one of his strangest has got to be his tag team partnership with the man-mountain – The Big Show.
10 Hulk Hogan And Edge
Hulk Hogan teamed up with a number of wrestlers during his long and illustrious career at the helm of the industry, and formed a number of alliances and a load of bitter rivalries along the way. His most notable tag team partner was “Macho Man” Randy Savage – they formed The Mega Powers along with Miss Elizabeth in 1987.
Edge had a pretty decent time of it in wrestling too, and finished his career in 2011 as one of the most decorated wrestlers of all time – as did Hogan.
9 Haku And Andre the Giant
The Colossal Connection – consisting of Haku and Andre the Giant - was one of the most feared tag teams around from 1989-1990. Both were part of the Heenan family - managed by Bobby "The Brain" Heenan – and had teamed up together here and there before they made their tag team partnership official and formed The Colossal Connection.
You probably all know about Andre the Giant, but Haku was another big guy, and together they demolished everyone standing in their way.
8 Stone Cold Steve Austin And Dude Love
Just from the names of these two guys you can tell that this was perhaps one of the oddest pairings in wrestling history. It’s the type of partnership that made a lot of people cringe – witnessing Steve Austin with his “Stone Cold” persona team up with the hippie-inspired character Dude Love was certainly one of the strangest combinations -- some imaginative writing from the WWE management!
7 Bret Hart And Goldberg
A lot of you probably won’t realize that Bret Hart and Goldberg were ever paired together. That’s because today, when their names are mentioned together, it’s normally in reference to the events of Starrcade 1999 – that infamous event which saw Goldberg kick Hart on the head, one that ultimately ended “The Hitman’s” wrestling career. They had plenty of animosity towards each other throughout their careers, feuding earlier in 1999. Just before Starrcade, they actually formed a tag team partnership and got together to defeat Creative Control for the WCW World Tag Team Championship.
6 The Rock And The Undertaker
Today these two have cemented their legacy in the industry – they’re some of the most decorated wrestlers to have stepped in the ring. But once upon a time – during the Attitude Era – they were still perceived to be rookies and were still carving out careers for themselves in the world of wrestling entertainment. Mark Calaway had been around for some time but still hadn’t achieved legendary status whereas Dwayne Johnson was still a baby in the wrestling industry.
5 William Regal And Tajiri
Tajiri and Regal had their first interaction when Tajiri made his debut for WWE back in 2001. He was Regal’s assistant, but formed a bond that lasted pretty much throughout their respective careers. Regal, who was the WWE Commissioner at the time, helped Tajiri – giving him plenty of opportunities – during the initial stages of his career. But they didn't get together in the ring until four years later, teaming up at the Saitama Super Arena in Tajiri’s homeland of Japan. It was during an episode of RAW that they won the World Tag Team Championship – it was certainly a memorable occasion. Tajiri had come home and it was an emotional homecoming. They entered the ring to rapturous applause, with the Japanese fans welcoming one of their nation’s favorite wrestling sons back to his home country. The celebrations were just amazing; you’d have thought the diminutive figure of Tajiri was actually The Rock or Hulk Hogan!
4 Owen Hart And Yokozuna
Yokozuna’s another Japanese wrestler – well, at least he represented Japan, despite having no connections to the country whatsoever. Unlike the cruiserweight Tajiri, Yokozuna was a heavyweight in every sense of the word. He weighed 650 pounds at his heaviest – a weight that ultimately hampered his career and led to his death.
3 Kane And X-Pac
Waltman became known as X-Pac in 1998 due to his association with D-Generation X. Kane, at the time, was portraying a loner – an angry social outcast who barely uttered a word. X-Pac got talking to Kane, formed an allegiance with him, and they made it official by forming a tag team together and winning the coveted Tag Team Championship twice. This was a really odd couple for obvious reasons.
2 Tripe H And Stone Cold Steve Austin
Yes, these two legends of the industry did once join forces to form a tag team partnership. They teamed up in the early 2000s to form The Two-Man Power Trip, and boy were they successful. They were as good in the ring as they were on paper, to the delight of the wrestling fans around the world.
Their teaming up doesn’t make this list because they were incompatible or anything like that; in fact, you couldn’t think of any two wrestlers more suited to each other. However, their ideologies were so different – Triple H being the company’s main villain whereas Austin had been the top face for so long. Just a few months before this partnership, Austin and The Game were in just about the most personal feud of the Attitude Era, with Triple H having plotted for Stone Cold to be run over by a car.
1 Booker T And Goldust
In at number one is the Booker T-Goldust partnership – possibly the most mismatched tag team ever. Watching these two decorated wrestlers together was comedy at its best; they formed a bromance that will live long in the memory for being bizarre but effective and mightily entertaining.
It was a strange pairing – the tough streetwise Booker T persona combined with the enigmatic, flamboyant figure of Goldust - and together they wreaked havoc in WWE. They won the World Tag Team Championship at Armageddon in 2002, but then months later, due to differences with general manager Eric Bischoff, had to split up.
Their in-ring performances were entertaining, but it was their backstage antics that really propelled them to the forefront of the tag team division – Booker T with the lightsaber, or Booker T and Goldust at the movies. Their gimmicks were strange but their work will be remembered for years to come.
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