Tag Team Wrestling has suffered a bit over the years. What was once a highlight of wrestling faded into the background, tag titles treated as forgotten and too many great teams ignored. It has seen a comeback with the New Day boosting WWE up nicely and NXT also adding to it. TNA has had ups and downs but trying while ROH boasts some of the best teams around. It can be tricky to figure things out as you never know who can work and who can’t. Daniel Bryan and Kane were a team that never should have worked on paper but transformed into one of the best around. Ditto for Beer Money going from a random pairing to TNA’s best team.
Still, there are plenty of bad cases of teams around, pairings that never worked out, that had dumb gimmicks or bad talent. Some are cases of guys who were just horrible and got worse when paired up, other times talented guys who didn’t click over at all and failed. And then they are parings that never should have been tried at all yet even went on to hold championship gold. Here are the cream of the crop, the 15 worst tag teams since 2006 that helped bring down the quality of tag team wrestling.
15 Ezekiel Jackson and Vladimir Kozlov
There’s this baffling tendency of WWE to put the Big Show together with just about anybody and have them hold the tag titles. Sometimes it works (Jeri-Show) but this time it really didn’t. In 2010, Show and Miz were pushed together at random to take on D-X and won a Triple Threat match for the Unified Tag Team titles (Miz was also U.S. champion). Miz would do the promos with Show backing him up but they didn’t gel as well in the ring, Miz was never a crowd favorite while Show had plenty of “please retire” chants whenever he got in the ring. They would hold the belts for four months, including WrestleMania and despite a decent act, their reign wasn’t a popular one, the fans urging opponents to win more and not backing the duo.
13 Crimson and Matt Morgan
TNA seriously wanted to push Crimson as the next mega-star in 2010, giving him an unbeaten streak and hyping him up as the next Goldberg. The problem was, he had none of the actual skill or charisma Goldberg possessed and thus his push was more blatant than expected and turned fans on him (not helped by TNA actually piping in fake cheers for him). After briefly feuding, he was put in a tag team with Morgan, another guy TNA kept trying to push as a huge deal despite not working out as well as hoped. They would hold the tag titles but their mix of strength and poor charisma didn’t help get them over at all and the defenses on the lackluster side with both having issues.
12 Cryme Tyme
Despite a good reputation in OVW, JTG and Shad were pretty much doomed from the start when they jumped to WWE. The problem was their gimmick as over-the-top street hoods doing cursing, promos mocking privileged whites and parodying racial stereotypes. Sadly, the act didn’t go over well, fans not taking to them being so outlandish and it came off too insulting for viewers. It was a shame as the duo had some skill and did boost the tag scene a bit yet never won the belts themselves. Eve Torres was added as their valet but they still seemed lost, popping up now and then in backstage segments yet in-ring success eluded them, often used as jobbers for other teams.
11 Rellik and Black Reign
You have to feel for Dustin Rhodes, a fantastic worker who sadly has never come to much success beyond his Goldust persona. In 2007, Rhodes made a return to TNA where he did an interview of having a darker personality and he was ready to let it out. This was Black Reign, who was basically just Goldust with darker paint and attitude and carrying a pet rat around. How to make this dumber? Pair him up with Rellik (who, as the announcers pointed out about ten times in every match, was “Killer” spelled backward), a masked strongman with little skill.
10 The Spirit Squad
Yes, they had some success, holding the tag titles, feuding with D-X and pushed as major heels. That doesn’t erase the fact that you had a gang of enforcers made up of male cheerleaders. Ken Doane, Nick Mitchell, Nick Nemeth, Johnny Jeter and Mike Mondo all had promise in OVW and thought they hit the jackpot when they were called up to WWE. Instead, they were made to come out doing cheers and gymnastics and while not bad in the ring, the gimmick was just too distracting. Their feud with D-X consisted mainly of HHH and HBK always getting ahead despite being outnumbered five to two. The fans just hated them and not in the good way, not taking them seriously as anything but McMahon flunkies and as soon as the feud ran its course, the Squad was disbanded.
9 Tons of Funk
For some reason, WWE has been obsessed with trying to make Matt Bloom a big deal. He began in 1999 as “Prince Albert,” notable for his tattoos and piercings and later renamed “A-Train” with partnerships with Big Show and X-Pac yet remaining a pretty rough worker in the ring with fans hating his unshaven back. After time away, he returned to WWE in 2012 as Tensai with the most unlikely “Japanese” makeover imaginable. Doing nothing on his own as a heel, Tensai was paired with Brodus Clay, a man who’d been planned as a monster only to turn into a goofy dancer.
7 Jesse and Festus
Despite being the son of Terry “Bam Bam” Gordy, Ray Gordy wasn’t doing too well in WWE. Still, having him repackaged into a hillbilly character was rough as was Drew Hankinson as his partner, Festus. Their promos had Jesse boasting of excitement on something while Festus just stared off. The two tried to get ahead in the ring with Gordy’s speed mixing with Festus’ strength but it was rough as clearly Gordy had inherited little of his dad’s fantastic ability. Festus did have the somewhat clever idea of being a doofus but as soon as the bell rang, turned into a focused wrestler but WWE played it more for laughs than anything actually effective.
6 The Band
4 The Rock and Rave Infection
3 Slater Gator
2 ODB/Eric Young
1 Pacman Jones and Ron Killings
For all their faults, the other teams on this list can at least say both of their members were able to wrestle. Such is not the case with this, a standout of idiocy for TNA. In what they thought was a great publicity coup, the company hired Pacman Jones, a Tennessee Titans player who was on suspension from the NFL for his part in a nightclub shooting. Somehow, TNA failed to notice the little detail that due to his NFL contract, Jones couldn’t actually do any in-ring work. Despite that issue, TNA still had him partnered with Ron Killings to win the tag team titles. By which, Killings did all the ring work as Jones stood on the apron, doing his best to avoid any contact with the wrestlers and doing some bad promos.
It was a completely idiotic move that gave TNA no help with fans and just made them look all the poorer. They dropped the belts and Jones was soon gone, ending a “team” that just highlighted how bad TNA can get.
Leave A Comment
Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on TheSportster?Get Your Free Access Now!