Tag team wrestling really wasn’t a huge thing at the start of the business. It took a while before promoters realized it could be popular and soon began pushing it more but many a territory could go years without a tag team title. Once they began to take off, fans were soon enjoying some terrific teams vying for the gold and putting on terrific matches. It reached a real height in the late 1980s and ‘90s with the WWE tag scene strong and WCW having both World and U.S. tag titles. It has faltered in the last decade but still some teams strong enough to make it work and continue to entertain.
Wrestling history is filled with pairings that were just random guys thrown together only to forge a great team. But there’s a flip side. Teams that just are not worthy of a tag team title reign. Some are prepackaged teams pushed hard but falling apart while others are guys tossed together who just don’t click well. Sometimes it can be politics or bad timing and other cases terrible booking while some guys were just never meant to be a team in the first place. Sure, some guys can become great together but others just don’t and shouldn’t get a title run in the first place. That’s not to mention slews of gimmick teams that got title runs that weren’t deserved at all. It’s easy to look at WWE and especially WCW but there are slews of examples in wrestling history of teams that were undeserving of holding championship gold. Here are the 15 worst pairings to hold tag team titles and how they shamed the entire division.
15 David Flair and Crowbar
14 Rikishi and Rico
13 Men on a Mission
12 The Public Enemy
11 Kenzo Suzuki and Renee Dupree
10 Manny Fernandez and Rick Rude
A rather odd pairing, Fernandez and Rude were managed by Paul Jones and while they billed themselves as “the Awesome Twosome,” they really weren’t that spectacular, Rude’s muscle work and Fernandez’s speed often clashing. They got a fluke win over the Rock 'N' Roll Express for the NWA tag team titles and would hold them for nearly four months against various challengers but never any spectacular matches as fans preferred better teams like the Express, the Road Warriors and others.
9 American Males
Before he became the ultra-muscled egotist, Marcus Alexander Bagwell was pushed by WCW as a clean-cut face they kept trying to get over to little success. They decided tag teams were best as he and 2 Cold Scorpio had a brief run as champs. Bagwell then worked with the Patriot as Stars N Stripes for another two reigns as champs but to little effect.
8 Matt Morgan and anyone
7 D.J. Peterson and The Trooper
Perhaps it’s fitting that the final AWA Tag Team Champions would be one of the worst. By 1990, the once great promotion was a shadow of its former self, a mess with barely any regular roster as guys were jumping off the sinking ship fast. The Destruction Crew were dominating as champions but were also making plans to leave as soon as they could. So at a TV taping, they would drop the titles to D.J. Peterson and The Trooper, a pair of longtime jobbers thrown together at random.
6 Eric Young and ODB
5 The New Legion of Doom
In 2005, WWE put out a DVD on the history of the Road Warriors that got folks excited and Animal came out to plug it. He found himself clashing with then tag champions MNM who arrogantly challenged him to a match, knowing Animal had no partner. Out came Heidenreich, the muscleman who’d been doing goofy poetry stuff and offered himself as Animal’s partner. That was rough enough but then Animal let Heidenreich come out in face paint and spiked shoulder pads to push them as a new LOD.
4 The Band
3 Deuce and Domino
2 Rick Steiner and Judy Bagwell
1 Ron Killings and Pacman Jones
Whatever else, all the other teams on this list can at least say that both members competed in the ring. Such is not the case with this. In one of their most insane attempts to get mainstream attention, TNA signed on Pacman Jones, the Titans player who was under suspension for his part in a shooting incident. TNA thought this would be a great move, ignoring the tiny fact that due to his NFL contract, Jones was barred from any physical activity in a wrestling ring. That didn’t stop TNA from having him and Ron Killings win the tag titles in bouts that involved Killings doing all the ring work and Jones just standing on the apron. A total and complete joke even by TNA’s standards and that it was seen as a step down for Jones shows the issues that company has had.
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