Over the course of wrestling history, there have been a lot of tag teams around. Some are top notch and stick together for years. Many are legends: The Road Warriors, the Rock n Roll Express, the Midnight Express, Harlem Heat, the Hart Foundation, the Dudley Boyz, the British Bulldogs, the New Day and so many more. A few are teams that seem odd pairings but then became major success like the New Age Outlaws, Money Inc, Beer Money, Kane & Daniel Bryan and more. You never know when two guys are going to just click together brilliantly and become a huge success. It doesn’t always work but the results when it does are always impressive.
Yet some guys get put into teams that are quite short-lived. A few may end up surprisingly successful, including winning the tag titles. WWE in particular, seems to have a fondness for throwing together the odd couple and seeing them have success. Sometimes it's to enhance a storyline, whereas other times, it may simply be for short-term comedic effect. Yet they can also end as soon as they began. A few times, it’s veterans or stars thrown together. Other times are rookies who go on to bigger fame later on. It’s amazing to see how many guys and teams were formed that fans today barely remember despite success. Here are 25 wrestlers you forgot were on such random tag teams to populate the genre more.
25 New Blackjacks (Barry Windham And JBL)
In the late 1990s, WWE tried to revive some classic teams in various ways. They decided to bring back the Blackjacks, a classic tag team who had reigned as champions several times in the 1970s. Playing the roles this time were Barry Windham, son of the original Blackjack Mulligan.
Joining him was a young Justin Hawk Bradshaw who had been faltering for a bit.
Despite looking good (complete with slicked black hair and mustaches), the two didn’t get much traction in WWE and soon disbanded. Bradshaw is better known today as JBL to show an interesting step in stardom.
24 The Allied Powers (Lex Luger & Davey Boy Smith)
By 1995, Lex Luger’s stock in WWE had fallen. His main event pushes had faltered and Luger was sinking lower in the card as Kevin Nash took over. So WWE put him and Davey Boy Smith together as the Allied Powers. The promise was there for them to be a top team, very popular and using their strength well but never got the gold. The key was when Smith turned heel to break the team up. By that point, Luger was so annoyed at his lack of success that he jumped to WCW for the first Nitro and showed how bad this team was for him.
23 The Dangerous Alliance (Arn Anderson and Bobby Eaton)
Arn Anderson is often called one of the best mid-card guys ever and that’s not a knock. He was a great multiple TV champion in WCW and his partnership with the Four Horsemen (especially Tully Blanchard) was terrific. Anderson had a few other partners with one of the odder being Bobby Eaton. As a long-time member of the Midnight Express, Eaton was used to great tag teams as he and Anderson paired up in early 1992 to win the tag titles. They then joined the Dangerous Alliance, a top level group of heels who dominated WCW for most of the year. Anderson has had many partners so his teaming with Eaton was brief but still got him some gold.
22 Booker T & Test
Andrew Martin always had the skills to be a big star but never quite got there. By 2001, his star was fading with bigger guys in WWE. Thus, it was decided that he would be tossed together with the Alliance, turning on WWE. This led to Test and Booker T joining up to win the tag team titles. Sadly, like so much of the Invasion, it was a total mess as the two didn’t gel that well in the ring. They lost the belts fast and Test never got to be a big guy while Booker found nice success in WWE to show who the real star of the team was.
21 Bret Hart & Goldberg
Bret Hart does not speak well of his WCW tenure. He regretted moving there as they never did right by him and it just led to a lot of bad stuff.
In late 1999, Bret was WCW champion and teaming with Goldberg to face Creative Control, the goofy enforcers for Vince Russo.
They ended up winning which set up an interesting dynamic as the duo were set to face off against each other for the World title at Starrcade. Just days later, they lost the belts to The Outsiders. The Starrcade match then became infamous for a recreation of Montreal and Bret getting his career-ending concussion, thus making this teaming more unique.
20 Hulk Hogan & Edge
Edge is well known as a top-notch heel and a huge singles star. He came to fame with Christian winning the tag titles amid some classic battles with the Hardys and others. In 2002, Edge was now a face when he and Hulk Hogan started working together. On a July 4th SmackDown, they won the tag titles together. It was a dream come true for Edge, a lifelong Hulkamaniac and they held them for a few weeks before having to drop them. Edge would be taken out by injury while Hogan was gone the next year but made this an intriguing pairing that boosted Edge up more.
19 3 Live Kru (R-Truth & Road Dogg)
Jesse James is well known for his amazing work with Billy Gunn as the New Age Outlaws. In 2000, the two had split and James was put with Ron Killings, then called K-Kwik. It didn’t last long as James’ personal problems pushed him out of wrestling for a time.
In TNA, they reunited and joined with Konan as 3 Live Kru, pushing themselves with a nutty hip-hop friendship.
They actually had a brief reign as tag team champions and some top feuds. James and Gunn would eventually reunite while Killings has had championships with Kofi Kingston and others so many will forget this “Crew” existed.
18 Slater Gator (Heath Slater & Titus O'Neill)
With a name like that, how could this succeed? Heath Slater had been pushed as a good worker but then his nutty “One Man Band” gimmick that didn’t win fans over. He was put with a young Titus O’Neil with the nutty name of “Slater Gator.” They actually got wins over Goldust and Stardust but it didn’t take as the two just had little chemistry and a nutty pairing overall. Titus found better success with the Prime Time Players while Slater helped form 3MB before winning the tag titles with Rhyno and end this goofy experiment.
17 Ezekiel Jackson & Vladimir Kozlov
Ezekiel Jackson was a major project for Vince McMahon, the kind of beefy and strong worker he loves to push. Sadly, Jackson never connected that well with the crowds and bad promo skills. So he was put with Vladamir Kozlov, another big guy who failed to be a main eventer. Maybe someone thought these two could work well but they didn’t failing to connect in the ring, no chemistry and their partnership short-lived. Kozlov would actually be better with Santino Marella to show two beefy guys don’t go well together.
16 Ricky Steamboat & Dustin Rhodes
In late 1991, Dustin Rhodes and Barry Windham were doing well as a tag team challenging challengers Arn Anderson and Larry Zybsko. Windham was injured in an attack so at a Clash of the Champions match, they announced a replacement.
Out came a guy in a goofy lizard outfit before throwing it off to reveal….”NOT Ricky Steamboat!” Arn screamed out.
Fresh off a brief WWE run, “The Dragon” teamed with Rhodes to win the belts in a great match. Their partnership wouldn’t be too long before losing the belts but did give a classic WCW moment.
15 Cactus Jack & Kevin Sullivan
In the early 1990s, Mick Foley was doing good work in WCW and getting attention for his amazing ability to absorb punishment. He and Kevin Sullivan formed a rather offbeat team, both pushing themselves as total nut cases as they held the tag titles for a span amid some wild feuds with Brian Knobbs and Jerry Sags. Eventually, they split for a feud culminating in Sullivan beating Foley in a “Loser Leaves WCW” match. That led to Foley heading to ECW and soon launching himself to mega-fame. Yet this was one of the earliest moments of Jack achieving some serious attention in wrestling.
14 Sting & Booker T
For two men who became major names in WCW, Sting and Booker T didn’t really interact that much. That’s what made it notable at Uncensored 1996 as Sting and Lex Luger were the tag champions but Luger was part of the big “Doomsday Cage” main event. Thus, Booker T was paired with Sting to take on the Road Warriors in a Chicago Street fight. It was an overlong battle of half an hour before Sting and Booker won. They would work again in the Main Event Mafia in TNA but still intriguing how brief a teaming of two of WCW’s biggest names was.
13 Goldust & Yoshi Tatsu
Goldust has had his odd partners in the past from Booker T to brother Cody as Stardust. But this was offbeat by even his standards. Yoshi Tatsu had been pushed in WWE under the ECW banner and trying to take off as a singles worker. That didn’t click so he and Goldust formed a team under the classic “bizarre partners who can’t understand each other” act.
They seemed to have promise but in 2012, Goldust failed to properly keep Tatsu safe taking a triple power bomb from Titus O’Neal and Darren Young.
WWE released him shortly after with Tatsu also fading out to end another odd partnership for the Bizarre One.
12 The New Rockers (Marty Jannetty & Al Snow)
Everyone knows the story of The Rockers and how Shawn Michaels went on to become a major singles superstar while Marty Jannetty floundered on his own. Realizing Jannetty was better suited being a tag team wrestler, WWE placed Jannetty with a new partner to form the new Rockers. HBK's replacement? Leif Cassidy, who would later go on to be known as Al Snow. Yup, that was WWE's answer to recapture some of the magic of The Rockers. Needless to say, the new version didn't last long.
11 Eddie Guerrero and Tajiri
After famously hitting rock bottom, Eddie Guerrero clawed his way back to WWE in 2002. By 2003, he and Chavo were a hit with their “lie, cheat, steal” gimmick and fans loving their feud with Team Angle.
Just before Judgement Day, Chavo got a real injury and Eddie needed a partner.
Enter Tajiri, best known for his goofy antics with William Regal. He and Eddie won the belts and held them for a few weeks. When they lost them, Eddie turned on Tajiri, blaming him for what happened. Eddie bounced back by winning the US title and marked this as a brief partnership.
10 The Club (Mike Rotunda & Steve Williams)
Mike Rotunda had gotten attention in WWE teaming with brother-in-law Barry Windham to win the tag titles a couple of times. Moving to WCW, he was part of the Varsity Club, a team of heels all based on college athletes. He and Rick Steiner teamed for a bit before Steiner turned face and they traded the TV title between them. In 1989, Rotunda and Steve “Dr. Death” Williams made up The Club. At Clash of the Champions, they upset the Road Warriors for the titles thanks to a fast count from ref Teddy Long. It didn’t last long with Williams turning face later as Rotunda would find later success with Ted DiBiase to show his great work as a tag worker.
9 Haku & Rikishi
Many hold Haku (or Meng in WCW) as one of the toughest guys in wrestling history. He had the tag titles with Andre the Giant but wasmostly an enforcer type.
In early 2001, he returned to WWE to join with Rikishi, who was trying to bounce back after his poorly executed heel turn.
They actually seemed to do okay, both big and tough guys and some feuding with the Dudley Boyz. However, Rikishi was taken out by injury for almost the rest of the year and Haku fading to end this tough pairing fast.
8 William Regal & Steve Austin
In 1993, the Hollywood Blondes were a fantastic team. Steve Austin and Brian Pillman clicked perfectly as arrogant heels who mocked opponents and had fantastic feuds with most anyone. However, WCW had planned (and revealed via some tapings) that by the fall, the tag titles would be held by Arn Anderson and Paul Roma. The plan was to do the title change at the August Clash of the Champions but Pillman was recovering from an injury.
In order to make the tapings work, William Regal (who had no relationship with the Blondes) was inserted so they could lose the belts. It was the only real interaction between Austin and Regal and a sad end to a great act in the Blondes.
7 The Awesome Twosome (Rick Rude & Manny Fernandez)
They were rather different. Rick Rude was rising up in late 1986 with his arrogant manner and womanizer act. Manny Fernandez was a wild cowboy type who was more into brawling. All they had in common was manager Paul Jones when they managed to upset the Rock n Roll Express for the tag team titles. While they had the name of “the Awesome Twosome,” they just seemed a weird pick to hold the belts. As it turned out, Rude would leave the NWA suddenly to join WWE and thus force them to claim a non-title TV match was “the title change” of the Express regaining the belts and ending the team on a bad note.
6 1-2-3 Kid & Marty Jannetty
Marty Jannetty had been a great partner for Shawn Michaels in the Rockers and a top team for years. But when they split, Shawn took off as a singles star while Jannetty had his issues. In late 1993, he teamed with the 1-2-3 Kid who was still a fresh high-flyer. On a special RAW, they beat the Quebecers for the tag team titles and seemed to do well for a bit. However, they lost the belts back after just one week and never got a serious run afterward. Kid would have other partners and odd how Jannetty got tag team gold with a less famous partner.
5 Team Canada - Bobby Roode & Eric Young
WWE fans know Bobby Roode and Eric Young well today. Young is the leader of Sanity and a former NXT tag champion. Roode got over massively with his “Glorious” entrance theme and then NXT champ. Roode was also over in TNA as champion and multiple tag champion with Beer Money. But before all that, the two broke out in 2003 with Team Canada, a stable of heels from north of the border pushed as a big deal.
They ended up holding the tag titles a few times while dominating TNA for a while before going their separate ways.
Roode and Young are still friends despite their careers taking different paths.
4 Spike Dudley & Tazz
Despite his small size, Spike Dudley got over with his daredevil attitude and willingness to take monster bumps from other guys. He and Tazz actually didn’t do much in ECW despite both being big names there. In late 2001, after the Invasion as over, Spike and Tazz started teaming up more and actually seemed to do well. In early January of 2002, they managed to upset the Dudleys to win the tag titles. They did well holding them about a month and a half before losing to Billy and Chuck. It wasn’t long afterward that Tazz retired to be a commentator and Spike going on his own to end this odd partnership.
3 Terry Taylor & Greg Valentine
After almost being ruined in WWE as the Red Rooster, Terry Taylor tried a new start in WCW. He was made over as “Terrance Taylor” and a slick look for him which was a blatant rip-off of Ted DiBiase (right down to being called “The Taylor Made Man.”) He and veteran Greg Valentine were tossed together and ended up winning the US tag titles. They lost them to the Freebirds and drifted apart and while it was a rip-off of a better act, Taylor had to be happy he no longer was forced to dress like a chicken.
2 Brian Pillman & Tom Zenk
Taken too soon, Brian Pillman was known for his amazing work as a high flyer and then his amazing “Loose Cannon” act. However, before all that, Pillman was a bright babyface when he joined WCW in 1989. He had a good singles run before being put together with Tom Zenk, then the “Z-Man.”
They did well, including winning the US tag titles.
They drifted apart for a while with each getting singles stuff and didn’t cross paths much but interesting how Pillman’s first major championship was with a rather forgotten name.
1 Hot Stuff Incorporated (Sting & Rick Steiner)
Long before either found fame, Sting and Rick Steiner were rookie workers for Bill Watts’ UWF in 1986. They were part of Eddie Gilbert’s Hot Stuff Incorporated stable and doing well together. They were soon joined in winning the tag team titles off of Chris Adams and Terry Taylor and did well as a team. Of course, things got bigger as Sting’s stardom was clearly there. After losing the belts to the Lightning Express, Sting turned face and began his rise to fame once the UWF was sold to Jim Crockett. Likewise, Steiner also rose up as a star with brother Scott. Yet it was together that the two first became champions.