Some flames burn brighter than others. The fire of one will outlast the fire of another whose blaze will be extinguished without having caused any real disruption. In the competitive world, certain people are better than others. This is human nature and the only time where equality should not matter. What if every hockey player was exactly like Wayne Gretzky? The game would grow stale and eventually get boring to watch.
In professional wrestling, there is much of the same as certain performers are naturally better than others. When tag teams are formed, quite often one half of said team will outshine the other with more charisma, better promo work, more in-ring ability, or a combination of everything. When paired with a wrestler who exemplifies the “whole package” according to wrestling standards, the the other half of the team is virtually doomed.
This individual is then known as the “other guy.” The one who fell off while his former tag team partner went on to bigger and better things within the industry. Of course, such is not the case of all tag teams and in some cases the “other guy” will find a level of success just not the same level as his once tag team partner.
For example: Edge and Christian are considered one of the greatest tag teams of all time. When E&C went there separate ways, Edge would become a main event Superstar while Christian was stuck in a mid-card position. Edge would win the World Championship eleven times. However, Christian would also attain the World Championship twice in his career but with less of a spotlight. Strictly based on numbers, Christian is the “other guy” without really fitting the distinction. Edge was simply a bigger star (due to his World Heavyweight Championship reigns and ability to maintain a certain standing within WWE, Christian will be omitted from this list).
These are the top 15 “other guys” in wrestling history:
15 Darren Young
The most fitting way to begin this list is to discuss the current WWE Tag Team Champions: Prime Time Players - consisting of Titus O'Neil and Darren Young. This was a hard journey but PTP finally attainted tag team gold.
Darren Young is a solid talent but lacks greatly in the charisma department. Listen to PTP when they sit in on commentary. Titus O'Neil is clearly the star of this tag team and while PTP currently hold the straps, it is fairly evident that Darren Young is the "other guy" in this combination.
14 Matt Hardy
May the IWC go crazy. Yes, we are including Matt Hardy on this list and for all the right reasons. We understand that Matt Hardy has pieced together a nice little wrestling career therefore we will keep him lower in our compilation.
Nevertheless, Matt Hardy is the "other guy" of The Hardy Boyz tag team. Matt was always good in the ring but Jeff was always better. People always liked Matt but people loved Jeff. Not to mention, Matt (unlike Jeff) was never the WWE Champion.
13 Road Warrior Animal
The Road Warriors or Legion of Doom (whichever you prefer) were one of the most vicious tag team combinations in the history of professional wrestling. Perhaps the baddest team to ever take the ring.
While Hawk and Animal seemed equal from a psychical standpoint, there was always so much more to Hawk in terms of overall showmanship, promo ability, and uncut fear. This is why we must determine that Animal is the "other guy" of The Road Warriors.
12 Charlie Haas
The World's Greatest Tag Team were comprised of Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas; two exciting young men that aligned with Kurt Angle and found success in the WWE tag team division.
However, when separated, it became clear who was the bigger star of the duo. While Shelton Benjamin didn't have the greatest WWE career in terms of numbers and push, he certainly faired better than the "other guy," Charlie Haas.
11 Joey Mercury
Recently, Joey Mercury has assumed the role as one half of J&J Security as a member of The Authority. However, prior to the suit and bald head, Mercury was once part of a tag team known as MNM along with Johnny Nitro and managed by former WWE Diva, Melina.
Once MNM broke apart and Johnny Nitro would become John Morrison, a strong mid-card talent, while Joey Mercury would fad into obscurity and although J&J Security surprisingly grew on the WWE audience, Mercury remains the "other guy" of MNM.
10 D-Von Dudley
The Dudley Boyz first rose to tag team prominence in the land of lunatic living known as Extreme Championship Wrestling. Upon their arrival in WWE, Bubba Ray and D-Von were already an established tag team and their success would continue in the new promotion.
However, as great as these guys were together, they were much different when apart. Bubba Ray could hold his own in the WWE mid-card and would eventually rise to the main event picture in TNA but when D-Von stood alone it was clear that he was the "other guy."
What you may remember most about The Bodydonnas tag team was their controversial manager, Sunny. However, the team of Skip and Zip were once WWE Tag Team Champions.
Skip (real name: Chris Candido) was the obvious star of this team. Unfortunately, Candido would pass at the young age of thirty-three but is remembered fondly throughout the wrestling community. Meanwhile, the "other guy" Zip is virtually forgotten.
The Headshrinkers were a WWE tag team which consisted of Fatu and Samu; known as The New Wild Samoans in the National Wrestling Alliance - a large position to undertake as the original Wild Samoans were a classic duo.
Following there split, Fatu would rise to fame - albeit as a dancing man who shoved his ass in your face - but fame nonetheless as Rikishi while Samu would get lost on the independent scene as another case of the "other guy."
7 Butch Reed
The tag team once known as Doom were an intimidating force in both the NWA and WCW as Ron Simmons and Butch Reed were a mean pair of nasty gentlemen; looking to do whatever was needed to reach the top of the tag team division.
Obviously, Butch Reed would become the "other guy" of Doom while Ron Simmons would go on to become the first African-American professional wrestling World Heavyweight Champion as well as the leader of The Nation of Domination in WWE.
6 Bart Gunn
The Smokin' Gunns consisted of on-screen brothers Billy and Bart Gunn - two roughneck cowboys who managed to capture the WWE Tag Team Championship on three separate occasions.
The tag team success would not end there for Billy Gunn as he would capture the WWE Championship six times more as one half of the ever-popular tag team known as The New Age Outlaws. As for the "other guy," Bart Gunn; Japan came calling.
5 Rick Steiner
The Steiner Brothers brought their smashmouth style of tag team competition through the NWA, WCW, WWE, and ECW - leaving an impression on the wrestling world that was not soon forgotten.
Unfortunately for Rick Steiner, once the brothers parted ways, he would soon become less and less memorable as the "other guy" while Scott Steiner would become Big Poppa Pump - a far more superior version of his former self.
4 Stevie Ray
Harlem Heat were not just another run-of-the-mill tag team in WCW. They were fresh, furious, and fearless. Booker T and Stevie Ray would captivate the crowd or at least one of them would.
Booker T had star quality from the start and it seemed inevitable that he would break away from his real life brother and on to bigger things. The process of Booker T becoming a main event player would ultimately label Stevie Ray as the "other guy" of Harlem Heat.
3 Dan Spivey
The case of Dan Spivey is the only entry on our list where one man was twice made the "other guy" of the same tag team (The Skyscrapers) where two former partners of Spivey would go on to become WWE Champion.
"Dangerous" Dan Spivey was first paired with "Psycho" Sid Vicious. However, an injury would sideline Vicious and a replacement would be brought into the tag team: "Mean" Mark Callous ... known now as The Undertaker.
2 Jim Neidhart
The Hart Foundation were a prominent stable during the legendary Attitude Era. However, The Hart Foundation was once simply a tag team made up of Bret "Hitman" Hart and Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart and were managed by "The Mouth of the South," Jimmy Hart.
Bret Hart was bred to be a star and it was fairly obvious that one day he would leave Jim Neidhart behind to pursue a singles career - which would turn out rather well for Bret Hart. Meanwhile, Jim Neidhart would assume his role in the history books as the "other guy."
1 Marty Jannetty
While the thought of placing someone else at the top of this list came to mind, there was really nobody who fits the "other guy" distinction better than Marty Jannetty. Let's be honest: Marty Jannetty is the other guy.
The Rockers were an exciting tag team but everybody could see that Shawn Michaels was destined for greatness. Then, along came the Barber Shop window and Shawn Michaels would move on from that broken glass to become one of the greatest WWE Superstars of all time.