Most tag teams in wrestling eventually have to break up at some point. Promotions will frequently determine that a duo has run its course and decide that the best move is to split them up. Tag teams often have one wrestler with more singles potential than the other. There are rare instances of teams with both wrestlers being just as talented and achieving the same level of success, like the Usos or Dudley Boyz. However, the odds are that one of the two wrestlers will flop on their own as the other succeeds.
We will look at the wrestlers that struggled immensely after their tag team run ended. These performers just couldn’t get over in the next chapter of their careers, as the team they were in likely was the best route for them. Let's find out just what made some of these talents so disappointing on their own.
10 Jim Neidhart
The Hart Foundation was one of the all-time great WWE tag teams, with Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart working perfectly together. WWE decided to end the team in favor of giving Bret a bigger singles push, where he became a successful main eventer for the rest of his career.
Neidhart struggled to stand out on his own and had a weaker run without Bret. The best use of Neidhart came when he was working as the enforcer for Owen Hart. Neidhart had many strong suits, but he just wasn’t meant to be a successful singles wrestler.
9 Mojo Rawley
The recent Hype Brothers tag team featured the combination of veteran Zack Ryder and newcomer Mojo Rawley. Both wrestlers had some chemistry together during their run in NXT, but the main roster stint was a disappointing one that forced WWE to end the team earlier than expected.
Rawley turned on Ryder, having had expectations of a bigger singles push. The football background of Rawley made him a hotter commodity for WWE. He never broke out in his limited opportunities and eventually lost his spot on television, and he's still struggling to get screen time today.
8 Charlie Haas
WWE found success with the pairing of Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas as World’s Greatest Tag Team. Both men had amateur wrestling backgrounds that made them an ideal fit, but WWE split them up within a few years to give Benjamin a singles push.
Haas struggled on his own, with quite a few character revamps. Tag team stints with Hardcore Holly and Rico each ended in failure. Haas started impersonating other wrestlers, which was a hit-and-miss concept that led to him flopping as a singles star.
7 Bart Gunn
The tag team scene of WWE in the mid-90s had quite a few with strange gimmicks. Bart and Billy Gunn played brothers in the Smoking Gunns tag team, cowboy-themed siblings. The Smoking Gunns won the WWE Tag Team Championship during their short time together.
Billy found more success with his next tag team partner Road Dogg, when they formed the New Age Outlaws to join D-Generation X. Bart would go on to struggle in every role. A tag team with Bob Holly failed to reach the same level of success. Bart winning the Brawl for All unexpectedly was his peak in WWE, but the company didn’t even care enough to push him after that.
6 Damien Sandow
The underrated act of The Miz and Damien Sandow (as his stunt double Mizdow) gave them a tremendous run together. Sandow was hilarious, mimicking the actions of Miz whether they were teaming or he was on the outside of the ring watching Miz wrestle.
WWE eventually ended the team, with the hopes of having Sandow get a bigger singles run as a face. The feud with Miz failed to gain any momentum and he slipped lower down the card. Sandow would tread water on the main roster for the rest of his run until getting released.
5 Stevie Ray
The tag team run of Harlem Heat saw Booker T and Stevie Ray win a record-setting ten WCW Tag Team Championship reigns together. WCW fancied Booker T as a singles star when Stevie was on the sideline for a few months with an injury.
The end of the tag team would see Stevie getting a singles run by joining the New World Order faction. Stevie was a lower tier member that struggled to break out. The group even relegated him to the B-Team for the jobbers of the group, officially ending his push.
Cody Rhodes and Goldust found success together as a tag team opposing The Shield. The brothers told emotional stories in the ring, with their legendary father Dusty Rhodes in their corner. This eventually culminated in Cody adopting the Stardust gimmick to completely change his persona.
Stardust was a huge flop as Cody could not get the gimmick over at all. This led to Rhodes requesting his release from WWE, when the company turned down his plan to end the gimmick. WWE felt there was still a chance it could succeed, but Rhodes knew it had flopped to the point of no return.
3 Big Cass
The NXT run of Big Cass and Enzo Amore made fans believe they could thrive on the main roster as both singles and tag team wrestlers. WWE ended the team quickly on the main roster, as they felt Cass had a higher potential to main event than Amore did.
Cass struggled in his feuds with Enzo, Big Show and Daniel Bryan after entering the singles picture. Backstage issues and injuries derailed any major plans WWE had for Cass. He ended up being released out of the blue like Amore, an unceremonious end to both of their careers in WWE.
2 Marty Jannetty
This is probably most infamous instance of a tag team ending with two wrestlers going in opposite directions. Shawn Michaels throwing Marty Jannetty through a glass window ended their team forever.
Everyone knows that Michaels went on to become an all-time icon for WWE, but Jannetty fell lower and lower down the card. Jannetty struggled as every push fell apart. His career could have gone very differently.
1 Ted DiBiase Jr.
The legacy faction led by Randy Orton saw Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase Jr. having a strong run together as a tag team. Both wrestlers showed great potential, after having impressive performances against Shawn Michaels and Triple H in main-event-caliber matches on PPV.
WWE had huge plans for DiBiase Jr. when the tag team ended. Reports indicated that DiBiase Jr. was even being considered as the person to eventually end Undertaker’s undefeated WrestleMania streak. WWE tried giving him his dad’s Million Dollar Championship and pairing him with Maryse, but DiBiase Jr. could not get over at all.