Tag team wrestling is a core part of WWE’s business. When used properly, tag teams can diversify the action on a card and offer opportunities for talents to get over, gain experience, and even garner mentoring by working with partners. Not all tag teams are created equally, though.
Some add up to more than the sum of their parts, redefine careers, stand the test of time, and demand reunions down the road. These are the Road Warriors, New Age Outlaws, and Hardy Boyz teams of the world. For every team of that ilk, however, there are usually several more that fizzle out or are clearly in place more to set up an eventual feud between partners rather than get the team itself over. This article takes a look at WWE’s current crop of tag teams, to assess five teams that will go in the Hall of Fame as a unit someday and five teams that are unlikely to be together in WWE in a year’s time.
10 Hall Of Fame Bound: The New Day
The New Day may be the most influential WWE tag team of the last decade. The trio of Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods, and Big E got together less than auspiciously, when WWE didn’t seem to have any better ideas for any of them. From there, they were so successful as a heel unit that fans more or less forced them back into a face role. Besides regularly starring in the tag ranks and collecting tag titles along the way, the trio got to host WrestleMania 33, and were the driving force behind positioning Kingston for his WWE Championship run.
Few teams in WWE history can compete with The New Day’s record of success, and while Kingston in particularly may well garner a solo Hall of Fame induction as well, it’s hard to imagine the team not entering the Hall as a unit.
9 Won’t Last A Year: The Revival
The Revival had a sensational run as the heel anchors of the NXT tag team division over a period of years. Their main roster tenure has been rockier, partly due to injury, though Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder also simply seem at odds with WWE management. The Top Guys have shown flashes of brilliance when given time to tell their stories, but those opportunities have been few and far between.
Where does The Revival go from here, having had their run with the Raw Tag Team Championship and seemingly settled back down into the middle of the pack? WWE may well book them into oblivion or split them up—that’s if The Revival sticks around long enough and doesn’t opt to leave the company altogether when their contracts expire.
8 Hall of Fame Bound: The Kabuki Warriors
It’s too soon to say with any certainty what the fate of the Kabuki Warriors—the team of Asuka and Kairi Sane, managed by Paige—will be. The women’s tag team division they’re competing in is only a few months old and still in the process of being defined, and this team in particular only took shape after WrestleMania 35.
The duo has potential, though. Asuka and Saine both proved themselves as elite workers during their NXT runs. Indeed, Asuka has had some great performances on the main roster, too, though uneven booking has largely limited her success. In a tag scene that is still developing, this could be a prime spot for the pair of Japanese stars to stabilize and define the division, and wind up more than worthy of a Hall of Fame induction.
7 Won’t Last A Year: Zack Ryder And Curt Hawkins
There’s a way of telling the story of Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins that makes them sound like an all-time-great team. After their humble beginnings as the Major Brothers, they enjoyed success back in 2008 as Edge’s lackeys, picking up a tag title reign during that run. Fast forward eleven years, and they struck gold again as a newly reunited pair, winning the Raw Tag Team Championship on the WrestleMania 35 pre-show.
While Ryder has weathered ups and downs and will probably have a spot in WWE for years to come, Hawkins comes across as more expendable. His biggest claim to fame outside these tag title reigns was the record losing streak WWE booked him for from 2016 to 2019. It’s unlikely WWE will maintain enough interest in this team to keep them together much past the current tag title reign.
6 Hall Of Fame Bound: The Viking Raiders
Many successful NXT acts flounder upon their main roster call ups, sooner or later getting lost in the mid-card shuffle and losing the unique characteristics that helped them stand out in developmental. While it’s still too soon to really tell what The Viking Raiders will accomplish, their dominant beginnings on Monday Night Raw are a good sign.
Though preceding big man teams from NXT like The Ascensions and Authors of Pain struggled, The Vikings Erik and Ivar are quite arguably the best of the lot for their combination of not only size and power, but startling athleticism. If given time and the right opportunities, they seem like a team that could easily be Hall of Fame-worthy in the future.
5 Won’t Last A Year: Daniel Bryan And Rowan
There are times when the WWE tag team division is flourishing, like when pairs like The Hart Foundation, Demolition, and The Rockers were featured, or when Edge and Christian, The Hardy Boyz, and The Dudleys traded the tag titles. Even SmackDown’s tag scene last year was often quite good. A team as good as The Bar often found themselves relegated to a supporting role, which says a lot/
Following the 2019 Superstar Shake-Up, roster moves, injuries, and teams splitting left the blue brand in dire straits when it came to teams. Daniel Bryan and Rowan winning the vacant tag titles offered an elegant enough solution, putting Bryan as a main event-level star at the helm of the division. However, this sort of team isn’t built to last, as Bryan’s services would be better suited to the upper end of the singles card. The duo will stay in the tag ranks for the time they’re needed, but don’t expect them to be teaming on a regular basis in a year’s time.
4 Hall Of Fame Bound: The IIconics
The IIconics—Peyton Royce and Billie Kay—aren’t the most polished tag team in the ring, but they have done what relatively few women have been able to during WWE’s current period of pushing female wrestling: Play out-and-out heels, even willing to go over the top for comedic purposes.
When The IIconics won the Women’s Tag Team Championship at WrestleMania 35, it confirmed that WWE saw a future in the pair. It’s unclear how long they’ll stay in the title picture, but Royce and Kay are synonymous with one another in the WWE landscape. The odds are they’ll stay a team for years to come and wind up Hall of Famers.
3 Won’t Last A Year: Anderson And Gallows
When WWE brought back Luke Gallows and signed Karl Anderson, too, they were immediately cast as a top tag team, capitalizing on their momentum and the stiff edge that they’d developed teaming in New Japan. The bloom quickly fell off the rose, however. In a matter of months they were just another team, heading for the bottom of the WWE tag team barrel.
With AEW off to a successful start, Anderson and Gallows are exactly the sort of team that could thrive working with other veterans of NJPW, permitted to work a harder-hitting style for a company that takes tag teams more seriously. Alternatively, as WWE and AEW shore up their rosters, a team like Anderson and Gallows could also follow the road less traveled and garner a surer top spot as a team in ROH or Impact.
2 Hall Of Fame Bound: The Usos
While tag team wrestling hasn’t been consistently great in WWE over the last decade, it is nonetheless impressive that Jimmy and Jey Uso have been tagging up for pretty much that entire stretch. They're growing better and better as a team, evolving with the times, and proving themselves as one of the company’s steadiest acts.
Were The Usos not so synonymous with each other (they're difficult for casual fans to so much as tell apart), either Uso might have gotten a singles push by now. Their linked identity means they’ll probably remain a team for the duration of their WWE tenure, though. Unless they wind up parting with the company on really messy terms, they’re all but a lock to wind up going into the Hall of Fame together.
1 Won’t Last A Year: Heavy Machinery
Heavy Machinery demonstrated potential in NXT, but were never featured as top players there, not getting enough time in developmental to really hone their act. WWE called up the big man duo in early 2019 as part of an effort to freshen the main roster. It’s telling, however, that the guys have hardly made TV since.
The best thing for Heavy Machinery would probably be a return to NXT, but after their lukewarm first impression it may be too late for WWE to invest in them now. As it stands, Otis and Tucker will probably be lucky to still have their WWE gigs in a year, and it feels especially unlikely that, if they’re still around, they’ll still be branded under the Heavy Machinery name together.