Tag Team wrestling has become a large part of any professional organization. The combining of two men – two separate personalities forming one cohesive unit in an attempt to capture tag team gold together and share a piece of the mountain top.
There is a large number of great tag teams that have emerged over the years. The names which are synonymous with tag team wrestling: The Hardy Boyz, The Dudley Boyz, Edge and Christian, The Road Warriors, Demolition, The Hart Foundation, Harlem Heat, The Outsiders: the list goes on for miles.
These names and many more make up the greatest crop of tag teams to ever perform in any organization. They are respected and admired and have all had their moment in the sun as the top tag team of their respected promotion.
This article is not about any of that … In this piece we will take a look at some rather strange bedfellows. The teams who don't really look like much of a tag team. The odd pairings of superstars who competed together on the same side of the ring for one reason or another and managed to come out on the other side with tag team gold.
Some of the teams on our list actual found a way to put together successful title runs while others were short-lived and almost forgotten completely. In many cases, our tag teams come from other ends of the spectrum – different corners of the universe.
The whole concept of messing around with the tag team division really came about in the nineties with the WWE leading the charge of unsuspected tag team champions. Prior to this, most tag teams were set almost in stone until their inevitable split. However, shaking up the division has always proved entertaining.
These are the top 20 unlikely WWE Tag Team Champions:
20 The Miz and Big Show
Collectively known as ShowMiz, The Miz and Big Show captured the Unified Tag Team Championship in 2010 on Raw.
The unbalanced looking tag team won the gold in a Triple Threat Tag Team Elimination match which also featured the Straight Edge Society( CM Punk and Luke Gallows) and the watered-down version of D-Generation X (Triple H and Shawn Michaels), who were the champions heading into the bout.
ShowMiz would go on to successfully defend their titles at WrestleMania XXVI proving that they were not to be taken lightly. They would eventually lose their titles to The Hart Dynasty in April of 2010.
19 Ric Flair and Batista
Ric Flair is a sixteen-time World Champion and considered by most to be the greatest performer in all of professional wrestling. The Nature Boy has done and seen everything the world of wrestling has to offer.
In 2003, Flair would achieve something that had not yet been crossed off his list: WWE tag team gold. While an active member of Evolution, Flair would team with fellow member Batista and form an unlikely yet dangerous combination. The duo would win the WWE World Tag Team Championship on two separate occasions.
18 Matt Hardy and MVP
What began as a rivalry over the United States Championship developed into a brand new tag team. While on SmackDown; Matt Hardy would unsuccessfully challenge MVP for the United States title. This lead to MVP boasting about his superiority over Hardy.
While in the office of Theodore Long, MVP would inform the GM that he was so good that he could win the WWE Tag Team Championship with anybody prompting Long to grant him a title match with the next person that entered the room. That person was Matt Hardy.
The following week, Hardy and MVP would square-off against Deuce 'n Domino for the WWE Tag Team Championship – a match in which they were victorious. Their title reign would last a little over six weeks until their were defeated by the team of John Morrison and The Miz.
17 CM Punk and Kofi Kingston
CM Punk has always thought that his proper place in WWE was at the top – even though WWE has thought otherwise.
Despite winning the World Heavyweight Championship, Punk was still relegated to the mid-card. On the October 27th, 2008 edition of Monday Night Raw, Punk was once again given gold – this time with a tag team partner.
CM Punk was paired Kofi Kingston and placed in a match against Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase with the WWE World Tag Team Championship on the line. Punk and Kofi would take the gold that night – holding the titles until December when they were defeated by John Morrison and The Miz.
16 Kane and The Hurricane
Sure, their names are similar and they both wore a mask but Kane and The Hurricane were definitely not living in the same world. While one was living in a perpetual Hell, the other was living in a land of super heroes.
However, this unlikely tag team were successful in attaining the WWE World Tag Team Championship when they challenged Lance Storm and Christian back in 2002. Unfortunately for the masked men, their title reign was short as they would lose the gold a few weeks later back to Christian and his new partner Chris Jericho.
15 John Cena and Batista
On paper, John Cena and Batista look like a dominant tag team and perhaps they could have had their championship reign last longer than one week in if it happened earlier in their careers, but by the time these two won the gold, they were both at main event status.
Their championship victory came a few weeks prior to SummerSlam 2008 – where they would face off in a one-on-one match. In hindsight, their title win was simply a ploy to determine which superstar the crowd was going to stand behind as the pair stood in the ring, respectfully exchanging turns at raising a title above their head while the crowd booed or cheered.
14 John Cena and The Miz
John Cena vs The Miz for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania XXVII will probably always be remembered for the role The Rock played in determining the outcome of the match.
In the lead up to the main event bout, John Cena and The Miz would be granted a tag team title match against Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater. They would win the match and claim the gold. However, an immediate rematch would render their title reign just a few minutes long as The Miz would attack Cena, virtually handing the titles back to Gabriel and Slater.
13 Edge and Randy Orton
This next unlikely tag team of Edge and Randy Orton were better known as Rated RKO – a great combination of two excellent heels.
Rated RKO would defeat Ric Flair and Roddy Piper for the WWE World Tag Team Championship on the November 13, 2006 edition of Monday Night Raw. The pair would become a feared tag team and hold on to the straps until the night after the 2007 Royal Rumble.
Rated RKO would eventually part ways due to their pursuit of the WWE Championship.
12 The Rock and The Undertaker
The Rock and The Undertaker once held the WWE Tag Team Championship. This title reign is often forgotten and that's because it lasted just three days.
Rock and 'Taker won the gold from Edge and Christian back in December 2000 – an unlikely pair to say the least. The new tag team champs would have their titles taken away just three days later when Edge and Christian regained their gold with the help of Kurt Angle who was serving as special guest referee.
11 Stone Cold and The Undertaker
Fully Loaded: In Your House was a Pay-Per-View event produced by WWE during the influential Attitude Era. That nightm WWE Champion, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin would join a dark force when he teamed with The Undertaker to challenge Mankind and Kane for the WWE Tag Team Championship.
Austin and 'Taker would win the belts and continued to feud with Mankind and Kane following the event. The back-and-forth between sides would last until Mankind and Kane eventually regained their titles, resulting in tension between The Texas Rattlesnake and The Deadman and leading to a WWE Championship match at SummerSlam 1998.
10 Batista and Rey Mysterio
The most sentimental entry on our list comes from the unlikely tag team of Batista and Rey Mysterio who on December 16, 2005 won the WWE Tag Team Championship on SmackDown in dedication to their recently deceased friend and all-time wrestling great, Eddie Guerrero.
On the December 30, 2005 edition of SmackDown, Batista and Rey Mysterio lost the tag titles back to the team from whom they had won them, MNM (Joey Mercury and Johnny Nitro). This was due to an injury suffered by Batista – one which would sideline The Animal for several months.
9 Kane and RVD
The laid-back and relaxed Rob Van Dam teaming with the wound-up and wicked Kane turned out to be a very interesting tag team.
The pair would win the WWE World Tag Team Championship in March of 2003 and hold on to the titles until June – a decent reign for these polar opposites.
It was during his partnership with RVD that Kane's character would take on a drastic change. RVD was the man in the ring with Kane when, for the very first time, he would unmask and reveal his face to the world. Unfortunately for RVD, this also resulted in a chokeslam.
8 Stone Cold and Triple H
The Two-Man Power Trip was a tag team made up of two of the biggest stars in WWE history: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Triple H. The most vicious period of Austin's career came during his partnership with The Cerebral Assassin.
With Austin already the WWE Champion and Triple H the Intercontinental champion, The Two-Man Power Trip would face The Brothers of Destruction (The Undertaker and Kane) at Backlash 2001 with all the gold on the line.
The end result was that Austin and Triple H exited the arena with a title on each shoulder. The alliance of Austin and Triple H would come to an end when The Game tore his quadriceps – forcing him out of action for a lengthy period of time.
7 Hulk Hogan and Edge
Hulk Hogan is to the WWE what Babe Ruth is to MLB. The name Hulk Hogan will always be associated with professional wrestling – even those who are not fans still know the name Hulk Hogan.
Throughout his career, Hogan headlined every main event possible, becoming a twelve-time world champion in the process. However, a tag team championship was one notch never made on Hogan's weight belt.
In 2002, on an Independence Day edition of SmackDown, Hogan would team with a young superstar on the rise known as Edge and together the duo would defeat Chuck and Billy for the WWE World Tag Team Championship.
The dream of teaming with Hogan would soon be over for Edge, as they lost the titles a few weeks later at Vengeance to the team of Lance Storm and Christian.
6 Booker T and Goldust
One of the most obvious odd couples on our list, Booker T and Goldust formed an unusual tag team in 2002 which turned into a humorous and heartfelt relationship.
The strange tag team would find glory at Armageddon when they captured the WWE World Tag Team Championship in a Tag Team Elimination match featuring Christian and Chris Jericho, Lance Storm and William Regal, and The Dudley Boyz.
After losing the titles, Booker T and Goldust remained close – even during Booker T's world title program with Triple H where each man would come to the defense of the other.
5 Daniel Bryan and Kane
Night of Champions 2012: Daniel Bryan and Kane defeat Kofi Kingston and R-Truth for the WWE Tag Team Championship.
The root of this tag team stemmed from AJ Lee's rejection of Daniel Bryan at the alter on Raw 1000. The backlash of Daniel Bryan's anger lead AJ to enroll him in anger management classes along with Kane – which whom Bryan had been feuding.
The Daniel Bryan and Kane's tag team would become known as Team Hell No and produce some interesting television segments. Bryan and Kane would manage to hold on to the titles for two-hundred-and-forty-five days.
4 Stone Cold and Shawn Michaels
Shawn Michaels was the man who dropped the WWE Championship to “Stone Cold' Steve Austin at WrestleMania XIV – officially marking the beginning of the Austin-era in WWE.
However, a year prior to their 'Mania match, Austin and Michaels held the WWE Tag Tag Championship. On May 26th, 1997, Austin and Michaels defeated Owen Hart and The British Bulldog for the tag team gold.
The team would hold on to the straps until July 14, 1997 – when Michaels was forced to leave Stone Cold behind due to injury.
3 Stone Cold and Dude Love
The very same night that Austin lost a tag team partner, he also gained a new one. When Hart and Bulldog challenged for the titles, Austin decided to go into the match alone – refusing to choose a replacement partner for Michaels.
Late in the match, Austin would meet his new tag team partner when Dude Love made his official WWE debut (the third face of Mick Foley). The redneck and the hippie would come out victorious that night and a new team was born.
2 Shawn Michaels and John Cena
The coming together of two generations in Shawn Michaels and John Cena transpired on the January 29th, 2007 edition of Monday Night Raw when the two men defeated Rated RKO for the World Tag Team Championship.
That year John Cena would defend his WWE Championship against Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XXIII while the men were still tag champions. Cena was successful in his defense and this left a bad taste in the mouth of HBK.
The following night, Cena and Michaels placed their gold on the line in two ten team battle royals – coming out of the first battle victorious but losing the second when Shawn Michaels decided to throw John Cena over the top rope thus costing his own team their championship.
1 The Rock and Mankind
To say that The Rock and Mankind were an unlikely tag team would be an understatement. The Rock 'n Sock Connection did not look or sound the same. They did not come from the same background. They truly were different in every sense of the word.
Nonetheless, the team of The Rock and Mankind would win the World Tag Team Championship on three separate occasions – making this unorthodox tag team one for the record books.
During their time together, the pair would participate in the famous “This is Your Life” segment – which consisted of Mankind taking The Rock on a trip down memory lane. The segment helped produced one of the highest ratings in the history of Raw.