It can be a bit difficult to start your career in pro wrestling without a little help. When debuting, many wrestlers are often featured in tag teams, but can also be used to try and get guys over that have been struggling to do so. While we get the occasional superstar tag teams made up of main eventers, teams are usually reserved for guys that are in need of that push they weren’t getting on their own.
Many times, both members of a tag team go on to become stars, with the Shield coming to mind in recent years. However, that isn’t always the case as some tag teams get split up, while only one of the wrestlers ends up with a solo push. Looking at some of the biggest names in wrestling history, you might forget that they actually had tag partners that didn’t make it, with a lot of them winning championships.
Let’s take a look back at some of those forgotten wrestlers that you probably didn’t realize were once paired with some of the most famous performers out there. Here are 15 of those star wrestlers, and what happened to their forgotten tag team partners.
15 15. Roderick Strong (Partner of Austin Aries)
Austin Aries got his big start back in 2004 when he joined Ring of Honor and aligned in a stable with Roderick Strong. In 2005, the duo would end up winning their first Tag Team Championship before they both moved to TNA. Strong and Aries were still stable members when they signed with TNA, and were often teamed up. While in TNA, however, Aries only won a tag title with Bobby Roode.
Roode and Aries have both joined the WWE since then, and are enjoying some mainstream success. Strong would also join the WWE in 2016 by teaming up with Aries once again, though he hasn’t gotten nearly the push that Aries has. While Aries is in the Cruiserweight Championship hunt frequently, Strong has been a midcarder with NXT.
14 14. Stevie Ray (Partner of Booker T)
Most wrestling fans know about Booker T’s long and successful history as a professional wrestler, and probably knew that at one point he was a multiple time Tag Team Champion. Booker T would end up winning 10 titles with Stevie Ray and the team was known as Harlem Heat. While Booker T went on to become a main event success over multiple promotions, most of us lost track of Stevie Ray.
What you might not have known is that Stevie Ray and Booker T are actually brothers. Stevie Ray would end up retiring from wrestling in 2002, opening up a wrestling academy with his brother. They even teamed up for a match in 2015 before Stevie Ray started up his own radio show on a weekly basis in Houston, Texas.
13 13. Tyson Kidd (Partner of Cesaro)
After cleaning up around the world in the independent circuit, Cesaro joined the WWE in 2011. Cesaro is one of those wrestlers that many fans hope see a solo push at some point in his career, but he has spent much of his time in WWE as a tag team member. Recently, Cesaro was able to win the Raw Tag Team Championship with Sheamus, and the two are still a tag team.
Before that, though, Cesaro was paired up randomly with Tyson Kidd. The two became good friends and even won the tag titles in February 2015. It was short lived, however, as Kidd suffered an injury that summer and hasn’t been in the ring since. Kidd has been recovering after Samoa Joe hit him with the Muscle Buster that nearly broke his neck. There was actually talk that the injury could be life threatening, but Kidd has been able to recover.
12 12. Jim Neidhart (Partner of Bret Hart)
When you think of The Hart Foundation, the first names that pop into your head instantly are Bret and Owen Hart. The Hart brothers were definitely the stars of the show, but they never teamed up to win the tag gold. Instead, it was Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart that wound up winning a pair of Tag Team Championships with Bret Hart. The first reign came in 1987, and the second one came in 1990, with both lasting over 200 days.
While Hart is still regarded as one of the best wrestlers in history, Neidhart didn’t get as much recognition. Neidhart has retired from wrestling, and unfortunately has had to struggle with some demons. In 2010, he was arrested for having controlled substances (among other counts) and had to spend six months in jail. Neidhart is trying to recover, as shown on some episodes of “Total Divas” with his daughter Natalya.
11 11. Dan Spivey (Partner of The Undertaker)
While playing a terrifying deadman zombie demon (or whatever he was really supposed to be) probably shouldn’t have worked, Mark Calaway made The Undertaker gimmick work to perfection. Before he was The Undertaker, though, he was known as Mean Mark Callous while with WCW. Back then, The Undertaker was paired up with Dan Spivey and manager Teddy Long to form The Skyscrapers.
Spivey didn’t have long term success after the group split up like his former partner did, and piling injuries didn’t help. Spivey retired in 1995 to become a model and started his own construction company. Spivey still hangs around the Performance Center from time to time, since he lives in Florida. Though wrestling and modeling are far behind Spivey, he is enjoying his business success as his company has nearly 200 employees.
10 10. Heidenreich (Partner of Road Warrior Animal)
When it comes to tag team wrestling, very few did it as well as the Road Warriors. Teaming up with Hawk, Road Warrior Animal was able to win championships all around the world. While the two were in the WWE, they won a pair of Tag Team Championships and became members of the Hall of Fame in 2011. Sadly, Road Warrior Hawk would pass away in 2003, forcing Animal to find a new partner.
In 2005, Animal found his partner in the form of Heidenreich. The duo didn’t last long, as Heidenreich was released in early 2006. Heidenreich would start wrestling independently until retiring in 2009. Since then, he has been fairly quiet and staying away from wrestling. His name popped up in the 2016 class action lawsuit against the WWE, though he hasn’t discussed it much.
9 9. Raven (Partner of Edge)
The Rated R Superstar known simply as Edge was massively successful during his time with the WWE. Edge would end up winning the World Heavyweight Championship seven times, and the WWE Championship four times. Edge also had a lot of tag team partners along the way, winning titles with Rey Mysterio, Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit, Randy Orton, Hulk Hogan and, of course, Christian. Early in his career, though, Edge was paired up with none other than Raven, but the two didn’t win any titles together.
Raven had already had a long career at that point, and eventually left the WWE in 2003, joining TNA. Raven remained with TNA for seven years before departing in 2010. Since then, Raven has been wrestling independently with many different promotions that include Juggalo Championship Wrestling. He has even tried his hand in stand-up comedy over the past few years, which is a bit surprising.
8 8. Damien Sandow (Partner of The Miz)
Throughout his long run with the WWE that has lasted for more than a decade now, The Miz has had plenty of tag team partners. Though The Miz is well known for his run as the WWE Champion and multiple reigns with the Intercontinental Championship, he has also had six reigns as a Tag Team Champion. The Miz has won the title with the Big Show, John Cena and John Morrison, but the one that ultimately flew under the radar was Damien Sandow.
Sandow got himself over with the crowd despite his stunt double gimmick, but never got the big push he was looking for in WWE. Sandow eventually left in 2016, and started wrestling independently before signing with TNA. Now, it appears that Sandow will be heading back to the independent circuit as he announced recently that he is no longer with TNA.
7 7. Tyler Breeze (Partner of Roman Reigns)
Whether you love him or hate him, there’s no denying that Roman Reigns is very relevant in today’s WWE. A former football player, Reigns has won a lot of gold in his time with the WWE, including three World Heavyweight Championships and a Tag Team Championship with Seth Rollins. While Reigns was in the developmental territory for WWE, he won a tag title, but it wasn’t with Rollins.
Reigns’s partner was Mike Dalton, who you might know better these days as Tyler Breeze. Breeze showed a lot of potential while in NXT, though he hasn’t gotten the push that he deserves on the main roster. These days, he is teaming with another wrestler that showed a lot of early promise only to get knocked down the card; Fandango. We might see a better run from Breeze in the future, but WWE doesn’t seem to confident.
6 6. Master Blue Iron (Partner of Kevin Nash)
After going through a few gimmick changes early in his career, Kevin Nash really took off when he was Diesel and in the main event scene of the WWE. After moving to WCW, Nash found even more success. Throughout his career, Nash teamed up with some of the most well known names in wrestling history, winning gold with future Hall of Famers Scott Hall, Sting, Diamond Dallas Page and Shawn Michaels.
His first run in the WCW wasn’t too successful, though, as he was part of the Master Blasters when he debuted. Nash played the role of Master Blaster Steel, and teamed up with Master Blaster Iron. Iron was Cory Pendarvis, a wrestler that fell into obscurity and left the business with less than a year of experience. Nobody seems to have any idea what Pendarvis is up to these days, but he has stayed far away from professional wrestling.
5 5. Rico (Partner of John Cena)
John Cena is undoubtedly the most well known active wrestler in the entire world. With more than a decade as a main event talent for the WWE, Cena has had success both as a solo wrestler and as a tag team member. Cena has won tag titles with legendary wrestlers like Batista and Shawn Michaels, while also having reigns with The Miz and David Otunga, who are still employed by WWE.
Before Cena became the biggest wrestling star, though, he was a Tag Team Champion in Ohio Valley Wrestling. Cena was paired up with Rico Constantino, who also had title runs in WWE with Charlie Haas and Rikishi. Constantino was eventually released from WWE in 2004 and went to Japan briefly. In 2012, Constantino decided to get back into wrestling with the Future Stars of Wrestling in Las Vegas. He spends most of his time working with the Nevada Taxi Cab Authority, though, working as an inspector.
4 4. Tomko (Partner of A.J. Styles)
Since making his debut with the WWE at the 2016 Royal Rumble, A.J. Styles has become one of the most well known wrestlers in the world. Styles had already been a star, but those that didn’t watch TNA didn’t know what they were missing. Styles won a pair of Tag Team Championships while in TNA, with one of them coming with Kurt Angle as a partner.
The other one, though, was with Tomko as Christian’s Coalition in 2007. Tomko would actually join the WWE for a brief time between 2008 and 2009 before bouncing back to TNA. Tomko would leave once more in 2010, and started wrestling independently. Tomko spends most of his focus on his gym, however, as he owns a fitness center in Delray Beach, Florida.
3 3. Evan Bourne (Partner of Kofi Kingston)
Before he was a member of the New Day, and even before winning tag titles with R-Truth, Kofi Kingston was once paired with Evan Bourne. The team was known as Air Boom, and won the Raw Tag Team Championship in August 2011 against David Otunga and Michael McGillicutty of the New Nexus. Kingston is still enjoying success with the WWE, while Evan Bourne has underwent a name change and left the promotion.
Bourne now goes by Matt Sydal, and was wrestling independently around the world. Sydal has spent time with promotions such as New Japan Pro Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and currently Ring of Honor. Sydal has won a handful of titles away from the WWE, and was even able to be a part of a five star match in September 2016.
2 2. The Hurricane (Partner of Kane)
Throughout his career that has lasted for more than two decades now, Kane has had a lot of interesting tag team partners. Kane won multiple titles in the tag division, most notably with guys like The Big Show, Daniel Bryan, The Undertaker and Rob Van Dam. The one that really stands out (even more so than X-Pac) was The Hurricane. The two would be known as Hurri-Kane and won the titles in 2002, holding on to them for three weeks.
While Kane is still not retired from wrestling, The Hurricane has not been with the WWE since 2010. The Hurricane (Gregory Helms) took his gimmick around the world for multiple promotions including Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. In 2015, Helms joined with TNA and was involved with Matt Hardy for a brief time. If you listen to podcasts, you might recognize Helms since he still appears with Chris Jericho on a weekly basis.
1 1. The Spirit Squad (Partners of Dolph Ziggler)
Surprisingly, Dolph Ziggler has only been in one team that has won a Tag Team Championship. It came back when Ziggler went simply by Nicky, and was a male cheerleader with the stable known as the Spirit Squad. Under the Freebird Rule, all five members of the stable were recognized as champions. So what is the rest of the Spirit Squad up to now?
Mitch (Nick Mitchell) went into MMA before injuries started to pile up and even dated Torrie Wilson for five years. Johnny (John Jeter) retired in 2008 before making a brief return in 2014 and is now involved in the class action lawsuit against WWE. Kenny (Kenny Dykstra) has been wrestling around the world, and joined Ring of Honor in 2017. Mikey (Mike Mondo) would do the same thing, joining Dykstra as a tag team partner at Ring of Honor.
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