Not long ago, I posted a piece chronicling the worst wrestler every year since 1990. In some cases, I struck a nerve.
While a number of people disagreed with my take on some of the worst, even one of the wrestlers himself (who laughed off his inclusion on the list) it made enough noise that it was worth taking a look at the worst tag teams in wrestling since 1990.
The World Wrestling Federation or World Wrestling Entertainment has been hit and miss over the years with how much they promote tag teams. In some years the crop of talent was fantastic. In others, it was almost non-existent. Sometimes tag teams were where future superstars got their starts. In other cases, tag teams were formed as a result of failed singles careers. Either way, not every tag team is a smashing success.
In determining the worst tag team in each year, we used similar criteria to our worst wrestler since 1990 rules. First, tag teams had to have made at least 50 appearances for the company in that calendar year. Anything less and we didn’t really consider them more than an enhancement team who was never really meant to become a success.
Second, we could not use the same team twice. Some wrestlers may appear on the list more than once because they were parts of different teams, but if a team was bad in consecutive years, only one year was eligible.
Third, we didn’t specify what made them the worst and as such, there are a variety of reasons a team may have made the list.
Make your way down our list from 1990 to today. See how many names you recognize and if you’d have selected someone else.
28 Rhythm and Blues (1990)
Thrown together as a tag team when both The Honky Tonk Man and Greg Valentine's careers were starting to fizzle, the duo became a strange oldies/Elvis partnership that drove around in classic old cars and danced to the music of the fifties and sixties. It wasn't a terribly odd thing to see The Honky Tonk Man get down and boogie, but to watch Valentine try to was painful.
The most memorable part of this tag team was the fact that Valentine died his hair black (a terrible look for him) and that Diamond Dallas Page once drove them to the ring at WrestleMania VI as a yet to be discovered talent. That clip of DDP driving the car gets played repeatedly, but not because of the team he was driving.
27 The Beverly Brothers (1991)
Known as the Destruction Crew in the AWA, they were a pretty good tag team. When they came to the WWE in 1991, they weren't nearly as well received. They now wore flamboyant purple tights and capes to the ring and their gimmick was that of two spoiled rich brats. It was fun to boo them for a little while, but they were a heel tag team that got stale quickly. That 1991 year was the most over they were (which was very little) and by 1992 they were primarily a team used to put other teams over. They were done as a team by 1993.
That 1991 year was the most over they were (which was very little) and by 1992 they were primarily a team used to put other teams over. They were done as a team by 1993. Their most notable success came with a victory over the Bushwackers at the 1992 Royal Rumble.
26 High Energy (1992)
The team of Owen Hart and Koko B. Ware was an odd pairing, to say the least. Both guys could actually go in the ring and as singles wrestlers, both made an indelible mark on the WWE and wrestling. Koko B. Ware is a Hall of Famer for the WWE and Owen Hart, who passed away, will be.
Owen Hart had yet to become a real mainstay heel in the WWE as part of this team, but High Energy was a glorified duo that lost to a lot of bigger names. This was truly a case of what do we do with these two guys and the WWE plunked them together and gave them some of the worst outfits in the history of the company.
25 Men On A Mission (1993)
Made up of Mable and Mo, Men on a Mission was probably the heaviest tag team in the history of the WWE. They're recorded as being a team between 1993 and 1996, but they really weren't. Mo was pretty much non-existent after 1993 (slight appearances in 1994 and then becoming Mabel's manager) and Mable went on to develop a reputation as a terrible in-ring worker who hurt almost everyone he ever wrestled with.
They came to the ring with their rapping manager Oscar and actually had a few decent feuds, but there was something about watching them wrestle and being so big that just seemed like at any moment something could go terribly wrong. If often did.
The Quebecers got serious consideration for this year, but in the end, we stuck with Men on a Mission.
24 Heavenly Bodies (1994)
The original members of the Heavenly Bodies have actually gone on to be a couple of the most recognized and well-respected men in the wrestling industry. Dr. Tom Prichard and Stan Lane were icons. When they joined the WWE, Lane was replaced by Gigolo Jimmy Del Ray and a mutual agreement between Smoky Mountain Wrestling (SMW) and the WWE, allowed them to compete on two programs at once.
The team did much better when it came to SMW titles and in the WWE tag ranks, they didn't amount to much.
23 Well Dunn (1995)
The team of Timothy Well and Steven Dunn were pretty much terrible. We considered them for the years 1993 and 1994, but like a player who gets in on his final year of eligibility to the Hall of Fame, we finally had to include them in 1995. This was the year they feuded primarily with the Bushwackers and lost almost every match. In fact, from January of 1995 to April of 1995, they didn't win one match.
By the time mid-1995 had rolled around, they were in All Japan Pro Wrestling where they began wrestling under the names the Southern Rockers. They did much better there but in the WWE, they were nothing more than enhancement talent who wrestled a lot.
22 New Rockers (1996)
In 1996, the New Rockers wrestled 62 times. This was a reincarnation of the Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty) and this version consisted of Marty Jannetty and Leif Cassidy (Al Snow). This was basically the end of things for Jannetty with the WWE and Cassidy disappeared for a while before re-emerging in ECW and becoming quite popular.
The New Rockers just didn't have the same feel as the old ones. The didn't fly around the ring as much (even though Al Snow is a very good wrestler) and that this was even attempted without Shawn Michaels was basically a plan waiting to fail. It's unfortunate too because Marty Jannetty has gone on to wrestling major personal demons in his real life.
21 Los Boricuas (1997)
We considered nods to Doug Furnas and Philip LaFon as we did the New Blackjacks, but Los Boricuas took the title in 1997. Mainly because they were the third faction meant as a throw-in faction to compete with the Disciples Of Apocalypse and The Nation of Domination.
The problem was, nobody really took them seriously, (with the exception of maybe Savio Vega) and they got more chants because of their appearance (one had an extremely hairy back) than they did their in-ring domination. They didn't last long and were completely done by 1999. They were the only group who didn't have a member go on to do bigger and better things.
20 LOD 2000 (1998)
What makes the LOD 2000 so painful was that the original Legion of Doom was so awesome. That the WWE tried to resurrect the LOD into a some tech 2000 version of the team with a new look and new attitude was insanely gimmicky and lame. To cap it all off, they were managed by Sunny, a move that made absolutely no sense.
When Sunny left, they were joined by Droz and then it got ugly. The WWE decided to play off of Hawk's real life issues with alcoholism and teased a breakup of the team. It ended when the company decided to have Hawk fake a suicide attempt off the TitanTron. It was unnecessary and in poor taste. The team had left the WWE by March of 1999.
19 DOA (1999)
By 1999, the WWE tag division was actually coming together nicely. The Hardy Boys, Edge and Christian and the Dudley's were starting to make noise. The Acolytes (Faarooq and Bradshaw) were doing well and really, for a lack of choosing a better team, we had to go with DOA (8-Ball and Skull) for the worst of that year.
DOA was on it's decline. Members of the group had left and the factions that had run the past couple years were all but done. These two were last last men standing and they were used mostly to put over the newer and improved teams. They played their role and weren't really in the picture by the latter part of the year. They weren't the worst, so much as they were the lesser of the better teams.
18 T&A (2000)
No doubt, Test and Albert were a team thrown together. They were managed by Trish Stratus and the whole idea of their names was to play off of the phrase T!t$ and @$$. They debuted in March of 2000 and by December, Albert had already turned on Test. Not long after, Stratus went on to work a program with Vince McMahon and left Test behind.
The team was really more of a way to showcase Trish Stratus who wound up being the real star of the trio. Matt Bloom (Albert) has gone on to a great career now working as the head trainer in NXT and Stratus had a Hall of Fame career. Unfortunately, Test passed away in 2009. It was a brief run for the team and not a very successful one.
17 Kai En Tai (2001)
A team that was created as a mockery to old fashioned Kung Fu films, Kai En Tai consisted of Funaki and Taka Michinoku and they somehow lasted a few years in the WWE finally fizzling out in October of 2001. Their gimmick was actually funny for a while, but the comedy wore off and they were one of the teams most to put over other teams. When they did win, it was usually a surprise.
Why the gimmick worked for so long was that the WWE would have the wrestlers mouth the words and Shane McMahon (the group and gimmick was his idea) would stand in the backstage area and say the words over the mic to simulate the voice-overs being off. Funaki only said one thing. "Indeed!"
16 nWo (2002)
In 2002, at No Way Out, the WWE brought back the NWO. It was the original trio of Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and Hulk Hogan. The idea was that Vince McMahon had lost control of his own company to Ric Flair, so in an attempt to send a virus through the heart of the WWE, he brought back the group. It was a good idea in theory.
What actually happened was that the group was wildly cheered. They came out on the pay per view and thanked McMahon for bringing them back from WCW and it didn't feel at all like the storyline was meant to. They barely lasted as group breaking up way sooner than expected and they became a group that added random members until they fizzled out.
15 The Basham Brothers (2003)
Doug and Danny Basham were twins (except that they weren't really even related). They started in OVW and were promoted to the WWE in 2003. They actually even won the tag teams titles by October of that year. By the end of that year, however, they were already on a downward slide and by 2004 had joined JBL as part of this faction The Cabinet and renamed the Secretaries of Defense (yes, not exactly the manliest of names.
It's not so much that the Basham's were bad wrestlers, they just weren't terribly great and they didn't have much backing from the company. They were a shiny new toy (as twins) for a while and when that shine faded, there really wasn't much the WWE could do with them.
14 La Resistance (2004)
If the first version of this tag team wasn't bad enough, when Renee Dupre got booted from the WWE, Rob Conway (not at all French) took his place. Robert Conway and Sylvain Grenier became a decent team throughout the year 2004 but battled with teams like Rosey and the Hurricane and Eugene and William Regal. Both of those teams got serious consideration for the list, only marginally escaping because Eugene and Regal were quite funny and the Hurricane went on to have a pretty decent career.
This team actually spent time as the tag team champs, but it wasn't because they were that great. It was mostly due to a lack of teams that were viable opponents. This was a year that teams were made by just throwing two guys together. Actually, this team was kind of thrown together too, they just happened to have a name.
13 Hearth Throbs (2005)
The Heart Throbs were also known as the Heart Breakers and the team consisted of Antonio Thomas and Romeo Roselli, currently wrestling on the independent circuit. Thomas and Roselli were billed as being popular "with the ladies", and typically approached the ring while performing pelvic thrusts to the accompaniment of dance music. They spent most of their time in the WWE on the Raw brand and the show Heat.
The most popular they ever got was at the end of 2005 and into the start of 2006 when they began entertaining the crowd by bringing two "hot chicks" into the ring and getting them to dance. During a WWE Unlimited webcast the Heart Throbs were sitting with the fans and they ended up being on its "Kiss Cam" segment, each kissing a girl sitting near them. But for the entire year of 2005, they were pretty much irrelevant.
12 The Highlanders (2006)
Robby and Rory McAllister were a team that perhaps could have gone somewhere, but really didn't. Brought to the WWE in a time that tag team wrestling was not in its heyday, the Highlanders were a team with a gimmick and they eventually worked their way up to being No. 1 contenders to the then champion Spirit Squad's titles.
For a while, they feuded with Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch (they almost made the list this year), but most of those matches were on Heat and other b-level shows. It ended badly for the Highlanders when Robbie decided to visit some friends at a TNA Impact taping and was put on the broadcast sitting in the crowd. He was immediately released.
11 Jesse and Festus (2007)
Jesse and Festus were a couple of hillbillies. Festus is now better known as Luke Gallows and currently wrestling in the WWE as part of the tag team Gallows and Anderson, but for a while, he played a farm boy that was insanely strong, capable of snapping at any moment (especially when he heard the bell ring) and was mentally challenged. The gimmick didn't last every long.
This team appeared and disappeared often throughout the 2007 and 2008 years and the team was eventually split up in the supplemental draft when Festus was sent to the Raw brand. He returned later as Luke Gallows and was an enforcer for CM Punk. Jesse went on to some gimmick as a white rapper named Slam Master J.
10 Finlay and Hornswoggle (2008)
2008 was not a good year for tag teams. As such, we had to scour around to find a team worthy of putting on this list. The closest we could get was Finlay and Hornswoggle who often teamed up to take on legit duos in a comedy style routine. In their defense, this partnership made the most sense for any Hornswoggle ever had as he played Finlay's little leprechaun.
It was so much better than the storyline that saw Hornswoggle named as Vince McMahon's illegitimate son. That was about the dumbest idea that the WWE ever came up with and went absolutely nowhere. This team didn't last much longer than 2009 but for a little while they were mildly entertaining. That's about the best we can say for them.
9 Cryme Time (2009)
The two members of Crime Time were JTG and Shad Gaspard and by 2009 had been around a little while. You almost knew this team was bound not to really make it big because when they debuted, their vignettes came with a warning that they were playing racial stereotype characters. The WWE must have been concerned that people would take their characters the wrong way.
They were known as a fan friendly sort of thug duo that would come to ring after stealing things during their training. They left the WWE between 2007 and 2008 and returned to feud with the Hart Dynasty. Eventually Shad turned on JTG and it was a quick decline. Shad went on to wrestle in Japan and JTG became known for a while as a guy who kept employment despite saying some interesting things about the WWE online.
8 The Hart Dynasty (2010)
The Hart Dynasty could have been something very cool but it never really gained the momentum it needed. It can be difficult to make a newer version of a classic and because the original Hart Foundation was so beloved over the years, the Hart Dynasty was born and tried to operate in a very big shadow.
The team consisted of Tyson Kidd and David Hart Smith (son of Davey Boy Smith) and they often appeared with Natalia or Bret Hart in an effort to get them over. What eventually wound up happening was that the tag team rode shotgun for storylines involving Bret Hart and that didn't really help their momentum. They eventually broke up and Kidd tried making a go of it as a heel single's wrestler. They weren't a bad team, having won the titles but they didn't amount to what most in the WWE hoped they might.
7 Air Boom (2011)
In an attempt to throw together two singles wrestlers who were high-flying guys to watch, the WWE tried to team Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne together and make them a legit tag team. The problem was, and often is when you put two guys together who don't have a lot of success on their own, is that they weren't a believable team who could win together. They were fun to watch, but no one really thought they'd do anything.
Amazingly in August of that year, they did win the tag titles when they defeated David Otunga and Michael McGillicutty of Nexus fame, but that tells you more about the tag division at that time than it does about their success as a team. It was a neat idea with some mild success, but it just wasn't a long-term idea.
6 Team Rhodes Scholars (2012)
Man, Damien Sandow got paired up with a lot of random people. In this case, his partner wound up being Cody Rhodes and thy got together near the end of 2012. The two were known as a duo that could outsmart their opponents but they often lost their matches and spent time putting over the team of Daniel Bryan and Kane.
Both Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow were viewed by fans as two wrestlers who didn't really get a fair shake in the WWE. The fact that this team wasn't given a good chance to really become a strong heel team is perhaps evidence of that. By 2013 they were pretty much out of the tag team picture altogether. Not surprising during a time that the WWE didn't really care about tag teams.
5 Tons of Funk (2013)
When Tensai (Matt Bloom/Albert/Prince Albert) flopped and Brodus Clay (the Funkasaurus) did too, they were put together by the WWE in the hopes that maybe creating two funky big guys that didn't fit their personalities would work. It didn't.
One honestly has to think they were never meant to be anything more than a couple very big dudes that were going to lose and try to make up and coming teams like The Shield or the Wyatt Family look good. And for the most part, that's what it was. They defeated teams like the Prime Time Players and the Rhodes Scholars, but that's about it. Neither wrestler lasted long in the WWE after this team didn't amount to much. Although, as mentioned earlier, Bloom is back with the WWE as a trainer in NXT.
4 Real Americans (2014)
It can be difficult to get people behind a team that is labeled the Real Americans, but one of the members of the team isn't American. That's a formula that rarely works. In the case of Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro, the theory held true. People did like Cesaro and he's gone on to be a part of many other tag teams since, but this was not one of his best.
The duo led by Zeb Colter was an enhancement team and by April of that year, they were no longer wrestling as a team. They feuded mostly with teams like the Uso's, New Age Outlaws and Cody Rhodes and Goldust. They almost were supplanted on this list by the Los Matadores, but the little bull gave their team the slight advantage.
3 The Ascension (2013)
Despite being a very over team in NXT, when The Ascension made their way to the main roster in December of 2014, they were brought in to be a scary, throwback type team to the days of LOD or Demolition. By the time 2015 rolled around, they were seen as way too much like Demolition and LOD, but crappier versions of them. It didn't help that on-air commentators were making fun of the team.
Within the first month of their main roster debut, the Ascension was being used to put over old and retired teams like the New World Order, the Acolytes Protection Agency and the New Age Outlaws. At this point, it was clear the WWE had given up on the team and were settled into making them a mockery. They still haven't found momentum and are jobbing out to pretty much every other tag team on the current WWE roster.
2 The Social Outcasts (2016)
The name of this team tells you everything. Put together because they were castoffs in every other aspect of their WWE careers, Bo Dallas, Heath Slater, Curtis Axel and Adam Rose came to the ring and claimed that because they were rejects, they made for a great team. It was basically a good way for the WWE to find four different members of the roster that could lose to bigger names and it was expected.
There was a time that this team actually had some fan support. That might have been mostly due to the fans desire to cheer for a clear underdog, but as the WWE probably should have expected, it didn't last. Members of the team have moved on to find other mild success in different ways, but most appear to be destined to put over other talent the rest of their careers.
1 American Alpha (2017)
This is the most painful entry of the entire list. American Alpha should be one of the better tag teams in the WWE for 2017, but for some reason, after winning the SmackDown titles, the WWE has lost faith in the duo and they are barely being used on SmackDown Live.
Chad Gable and Jason Jordan took NXT by storm and there was arguably no more popular tag team in both the WWE and NXT. Both are unbelievable talents in the ring and both have the potential to be huge stars both as singles competitors and a team. This group simply needs to catch a break and if they do, they could be a huge deal. That the WWE didn't align them with Kurt Angle when he debuted might have been a missed opportunity.