Throughout wrestling history, tag teams have been a huge part of the industry. Fans enjoy with great leisure, watching their favorite duo, beat up on other teams. From the Golden Era of wrestling, to the PG Era, there are some legendary tag teams who will be mentioned here today. Tag team matches are highly entertaining, and there is a large following. Tag team matches have been around as long as the sport of wrestling itself. Though it is thought to have been popularized in the United States in 1901, it has been reported that Mexico and Canada both utilized this style of match well before that.
Despite the origins, tag matches have a fairly simple concept; two people take on two people, usually with the partners alternating with each other. We could also have the occasional tornado tag match.
Tag team matches have many purposes in the world of wrestling. It can give rookies a way to learn the ropes (no pun intended) with a veteran before actually branching out as a singles competitor. On the other hand, who needs the veteran when you have two young hot talents who are hungry enough to do it all on their own. Additionally tag matches can just be used for draw power, stacking all of the top talents into a single match just for ratings or ticket selling purposes. In any of these cases, tag matches provide a break from the normal singles match storytelling that can become stale if seen to many times in a row.
Today we will be taking a look at some of the most popular tag teams of all time, and giving you an update of where they are today. These teams were selected based on merchandise sales, number of championships, Hall of Fame status, and general popularity.
Let us know if you agree with our ranking, and if you were surprised to find out where some of these tag team standouts are today in the comments below.
15. The New Age Outlaws
Formed in 1997, this tag team was very strong, and more importantly, extrememly popular. Road Dogg and Billy Gunn have teamed together in WWE and TNA, as well as in the independents since their formation. They were the 1998 Tag Team Of The Year according to Pro Wrestling Illustrated, and actually returned to win the WWE Tag Team Titles in 2014.
Despite both member of the New Age Outlaws suffering from substance abuse in the past, they have both since gotten clean. Today, Road Dogg has three kids and works as a road agent for WWE. Billy Gunn was released from WWE again in 2015 for testing positive for PEDs, but still appears on the independent circuit.
14. The Brothers Of Destruction
Kane and The Undertaker began fighting together and against each other, since Kane’s debut in 1997. While both of them are very tall, they have wrestled a style that has allowed both men to sustain a long career, without falling into the normal pitfalls that come along with being a giant in wrestling. While their teaming has been sporadic over the past 20 years, when they do link up, they form one of the most dominant duos in the history of wrestling. In 2015, the two had serious beef with the Wyatt Family. Notably, in survivor series, the Brothers Of Destruction took down the family, ending the feud.
This may be the easiest entry on this list, as you can see both of these future Hall of Famers on WWE programming pretty frequently. Kane is an active member of the full-time roster, and The Undertaker made more appearances on WWE programming in the last 12 months, than in the previous three years combined.
13. Harlem Heat
The real life brothers Booker and Lash Huffman debuted as Booker T and Stevie Ray on WCW in the early 90s. The two won the WCW World Tag Team Championships an amazing ten times as the team Harlem Heat. Shortly after their tenth reign with the titles, the duo broke up, but did reunite in 2015, when they beat New Heavenly Bodies for the ROW Tag Team Championship.
Today, Booker T is a commentator and television personality, and he owns ROW. Stevie Ray started a talk show called Scared Straight with Stevie Ray. The two brothers had a falling out during the 2000s, but have since patched things up.
12. The Fabulous Freebirds
It it cheating to put a group of three in a list of the greatest tag teams? Well it doesn’t matter, because the Fabulous Freebirds are one of the most iconic groups ever. The group consisting of Michael Hayes, Buddy Roberts, and Terry “Bam Bam” Gordy, served as one of the top heel acts of the 1970s and 80s. The group’s lasting legacy not only defined an era of heel behavior, but also created the “Freebird Rule” which stated that any two separate members of a group could defend championship gold on behalf of the team. For all of you young kids out there, this is why The New Day were the ones who inducted them into the Hall of Fame this year.
Unfortantely today only one member of the original Freebirds is alive, as both Terry Gordy and Buddy Roberts have passed away. Gordy sadly suffered from a heart attack in 2001 at the young age of 40, and Roberts died of pneumonia at 65 in 2012. Michael Hayes however is still as involved as ever in WWE, serving as one of the longest serving road agents for the company.
11. The Outsiders
Kevin Nash and Scott Hall were two guys that changed the business of professional wrestling. When they actively chose to jump from the WWE to WCW in 1996, the two known as The Outsiders to the WCW audience, solidified their place as top talents in the world of wrestling. Besides securing guaranteed contracts for wrestlers, the two also helped form the initial incarnation of the nWo. The duo is one of the few teams to have wrestled as a tag team in every major North American wrestling company.
Today both of these Hall of Famers make sporadic appearances on WWE programming. Scott Hall has finally overcome his long standing addiction issues, and Nash stars in movies in his spare time, securing a prominent role in the Magic Mike series.
10. The APA
Bradshaw and Faarooq debuted (as a team) in November of 1998 together as The Acolytes, and gained even more traction as members of Undertaker’s stable The Ministry of Darkness. As popular as the duo was under Taker’s spell,they got even more known when they eventually split off and started the Acolyte Protection Agency. The APA were an important part of WWE history, as the duo were the test team that Vince McMahon used when evaluating new talent; maybe that is why they are three time WWE Tag Team Champions.
Bradshaw is now a broadcaster, and commentator. At 49 years old, he resides in Bermuda, and is a frequent contributor on the Fox News Network. Faarooq, or Ron Simmons, lives in Georgia, where he is retired and lives with some family. Simmons does make some appearances on WWE programming, and even reunited with Bradshaw in 2015 to take out The Ascension.
9. The Rockers
Though both member were barely six feet tall, Marty Jannetty and Shawn Michaels proved to be successful as a tag team. In 1985, it all began as the two became friends at an NWA show in Kansas City. After getting signed to the WWE, they enjoyed major success, and in 1989 they were named Tag Team of the Year by PWI. The duo revolutionized the way that tag team matches were constructed, and influenced many of the teams that we see today.
After WWE, Marty promoted wrestling around the world, and worked the indies heavily. However his life has paled in comparison to Michaels. At WrestleMania weekend this year, Jannetty was shown in several photos looking heavily intoxicated. Shawn Michaels is…well he is Shawn Micahels, and I don’t think any of you need an explanation of what he has done since he was with The Rockers.
8. The Dudley Boyz
Although the Dudley Family consisted of a slew of ECW Originals, the core Team “3-D” consisted of Bubba Ray Dudley, and D-Von Dudley. The duo made their mark in the WWE by slamming unsuspecting victims through table; most famously incorporating the tables into a ladder match, and popularizing the TLC match. The Dudley Boyz are (by their own account) the most decorated tag team in the history of wrestling, winning titles all over the world.
So where is this popular team now? Well after a few stints in TNA and Japan, the Dudley Boyz are back in WWE, and look as good as ever. The two men are feuding with some of the hottest young tag teams in the industry, and doing their job as well as ever.
7. The Wild Samoans
Afa and Sika started wrestling together in 1970. Known for their beat downs and determination, together they have won 21 Tag Team Championships. The men were not talkative during their careers, and often would grunt rather than actually cut promos on opponents. What they lacked verbally, they more than made up for in raw aggression and intensity. Though they disbanded early in their careers, the duo did enough to earn an induction into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2007.
Currently Afa is a wrestling manager, and has trained many wrestlers. He lives in Florida, and enjoys the occasional acting job. Sika has two children, with his son Matt becoming a wrestler, and his other son played college football. Not bad eh?
Sika still keeps up with Afa, and the two are still good friends.
6. The Road Warriors
Arguably the most popular tag team of all-time, The Road Warriors began wrestling to in 1983. Though the Road Warriors had a ton of members over their three decade existence, most fans will remember the core members of Road Warrior Hawk and Animal. The two were so popular that they actually created a wrestling term, the “Road Warrior Pop”, which is when a performer receives the loudest cheer of the night.
Sadly, Hawk is deceased, suffering from a major heart attack in 2003. Road Animal still wrestles, and wrote an autobiography regarding his time in wrestling. In fact, Animal has even become a tag champion in WWE since Hawk’s passing, holding the title with Heidenreich. The team was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2011.
5. The Hardy Boyz
Jeff and Matt Hardy were very successful and innovative tag team who reached the height of their popularity during the Attitude Era. The two started wrestling as teenagers in 1993, and began a two man dynasty. Along with other teams mentioned on this list, the team revolutionized the Ladder Match, and later the TLC Match. Though they both reached championship runs as solo wrestlers in WWE and TNA, they will primarily be remembered for their tag team antics.
Today both men have recovered from substance abuse issues, with Jeff Hardy being more healthy than he has been in years. Matt is apart of TNA, and frequently works the independent scene. The duo also restarted their own independent promotion known as OMEGA Championship Wrestling.
4. The British Bulldogs
Dynamite Kid and Davey Boy Smith formed this squad in 1983. Up until 1990, the Bulldogs were ranked very highly in WWE, winning the WWE Tag Team Championships one time during their run. The team abruptly left the WWE in 1990, and returned to the Canadian promotion Stampede Wrestling. The duo broke up shortly after leaving WWE, but continued to wrestle independently. The two men were so popular, that their action figures are actually some of the most rare ones on the market, with any toy found in mint condition being worth at least a few hundred dollars.
Davey is passed away in 2002, due to a massive heart attack; doctors speculate that years of steroid abuse could have played a part in this. As for Dynamite Kid, he was forced to retire early, and is confined to a wheel chair following multiple back injuries. This team has one of the sadder endings on this list.
3. The Steiner Brothers
Sure Scott Steiner has become a caricature of his former self, and a walking embodiment of every bad stereotype of wrestling personified, but believe it or not he used to be great. Let’s not forget his brother Rick as well, who in his own right could have been a main event talent in WWE and WCW. The real life brothers tagged together for over ten years, and won the Tag Team Championship 20 times in eight different promotions all around the world. The team, who were both collegiate wrestlers at the University of Michigan, helped to revolutionize the quick and powerful work style that they would come to be know for. Scott Steiner in particular popularized many different powerslams and suplexes that have become staples in wrestling today.
Today both men are still somewhat active in wrestling, with Scott Steiner still traveling around the indiescene heavily. Rick on the other hand, operates a successful real estate business in Georgia. Rick also wrestles with his son Bronson from time to time at indie events.
2. The Hart Foundation
Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart and Bret Hart were a magical team in the ring. Though their reign only lasted from 1985 to 1991, they were very productive. WWE recognized this group as a definite solidified team, and one of the top five best ever in a recent countdown list. Though the Hart Foundation went through many different incarnations after this duo split, the original group were dominant during their run together, winning the Tag Team Championships two times.
Today Bret Hart has finally mended fences with the WWE, and actually having his last “match” at SummerSlam 2010, when Team WWE fought Team Nexus. He still appears sporadically on WWE television, and remains one of the most opinionated wrestling legends of all time. Neidhart’s career has been a bit more checkered. Despite still wrestling all over the world, Jim has been arrested multiple times for possessing illegal substances, and hasn’t been invited back on WWE programming since. You’ll still see him on Total Divas on occasion, since his daughter Natalya is a regular on the show.
1. Edge And Christian
Edge and Christian may very well be the most popular tag team of their time. Besides being WWE Tag Team Champions seven times in three years, the duo remains one of the few teams to have both members go on to win major championships in a wrestling promotion. Edge of course retired as a seven time WWE World Heavyweight Champion in April of 2011, and Christian became one of the few WWE Grand Slam Champions (winning every major title) in 2011.
Today, Edge acts in movies and television. He lives in North Carolina, with his children and their mother (former WWE Diva Beth Phoenix). Christian has been a bit more low key since his retirement in 2014, but has periodically appeared on WWE programming since. The duo reconnected in 2016 when they created The Edge and Christian Show That Totally Reeks of Awesomeness for the WWE Network.
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