In WWE, tag teams exist for one purpose and one purpose only: to be broken up. It’s an unfortunate reality that colors every tag team match. Only a few teams have stood the test of time in WWE; the vast majority are broken up in favor of creating two singles competitors. It’s not a reflection to the talent of the wrestlers, of course, or even the worthwhileness of tag team wrestling. The fact is, WWE is not interested in the tag division like they are with the rest. So even the best teams, the most dominant and the most entertaining, break up. Sometimes, when a partnership comes to an end, you get two massive stars. Other times, you get two major flops. Here’s a look at five partnerships WWE probably regrets and five that were good calls.
10 Regret: The Hype Bros
The Hype Bros were perhaps a team that was never meant to be in the first place, but that didn’t make it any better when they broke up. True, the veteran Zack Ryder didn’t have any desire to be in a tag team, and most certainly not a tag team in NXT. Mojo Rawley didn’t seem to be too hyped on it either. Surprisingly, the two really made it work for a while, and their debut was exciting. After floundering on SmackDown for a while, Rawley attacked his partner without a real concrete motivation aside from not liking to lose. Because of that, now neither of them are on TV at all.
9 Regret: American Alpha
Another team put together on NXT who found unlikely success is American Alpha. This duo may be one of the biggest NXT-to-main roster disappointments in recent memory. Through NXT and the WWE Network’s Breaking Ground, we got to see the charming, clumsy process of American Alpha finding their way. They went from the awkward “ready, willing, and Gable” promos to putting on matches of the year. On the main roster, though, that didn’t quite translate. Instead of working through it, WWE decided to make Jason Jordan Kurt Angle’s kayfabe son and ship him over to Raw. It’s not that either of their subsequent paths were all that bad, but we could’ve seen something special if WWE just had a bit more patience.
8 Regret: Enzo And Cass
From a PR standpoint, this is probably one of the worst tag teams maybe ever. Both Enzo Amore and Big Cass have since been released from WWE and have very icy relations with the company. A long time ago, however, they were the underdog team that was going places.
Their break up, which involved Cass staging his own attack, was borderline silly and seemed rushed. It did very little to propel either competitor’s career forward. Both struggled without what the other provided. Cass never gained a real sense of confidence on the mic and Enzo was already considered a joke — even if he was a joke with a championship belt.
Ultimately, good or bad, this was the least consequential split as the pair quickly lost their place in WWE altogether.
7 Regret: The Wyatt Family
There was a time where the Wyatt Family was easily the coolest act on the WWE roster.
Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, and Erick Rowan would light up the arena, literally. Their feud with John Cena was particularly on point, utilizing their creepiness and getting to the heart of what Wyatt was all about. Unfortunately, the loss at WrestleMania was a huge blow that seemed to spiral downhill from there.
The decision to break them up didn’t make a whole lot of sense, as the three were clearly stronger as a unit. Although it did result in momentary success, including an Intercontinental Championship run for Harper and a WWE Title run for Wyatt, they never got back to their old position. WWE put them back together and broke them back up once again. There’s a huge lack of momentum for the Wyatt Family members now, and even the buzzards seem underwhelming these days.
6 Regret: The Bellas
The Bella Twins are possibly the most marketable cross-over talents WWE currently has. Whatever your opinion of them, the girls sell merch and they put eyes on the product. Making them the centerpieces of the women’s division was a smart choice. Less smart, though, was the decision to make them the centerpiece by breaking them up.
SummerSlam was a great moment, but it was so quickly dissolved into a literal episode of Jerry Springer. Beyond the painful few months of classic lines like “I wish you died in the womb,” the biggest disservice to this quasi-tag team was that they didn’t even get to follow it through. If you need proof WWE regretted it, just look at how quickly they backed it up and pretended it never happened.
5 Good Call: The Shield
It’s easy to make the argument that The Shield is the most effective faction of all time. Their break up may have felt sudden or too soon at the moment, but the aftermath outweighed any disappointment fans felt.
After Seth Rollins took a chair to the back of Dean Ambrose, he became the guy in WWE. Ambrose became a major babyface the fans got behind. Roman Reigns, despite resistance from the WWE Universe, was undeniably an essential figure in WWE until having to leave due to illness in late 2018. All three are Grand Slam Champions and former World Champions, having achieved a level of success they never could as a stable.
4 Good Call: Miz And Morrison
In wrestling, there are few workhorses quite like the Miz and John Morrison. The pair came through Tough Enough together and became a tag team in 2007, breaking up in 2009 due to the Brand Split. The feud that followed elevated both competitors, but it’s really about what happened afterward that earned it a spot on this list.
After the Miz’s WWE Championship run, a Falls Count Anywhere match was used to write Morrison off WWE TV. He went onto being an absolute star in promotions like Lucha Underground, AAA, and Impact Wrestling. Meanwhile, Miz has been grinding it out in the WWE over the last decade, trying to be one of the most decorated and consistent competitors they have. The two are still friends and undoubtedly better for their time together.
3 Good Call: D-Generation X
With the hindsight of 2018, we now understand how much Triple H was capable of, and it seems silly to doubt he could carry the program on his own. Back then, Triple H was the sidekick. Michaels was such a special wrestler, that Triple H inevitably fell into his shadow. Until that day that Triple H cut a promo to take the reigns of DX and claimed that he was going to pick up the ball and run with it further than Michaels ever could. Without this unfortunate incident, Michaels would probably have done just fine, but we may never have seen Triple H come into his own. We would never know Triple H as “The Game.”
2 Good Call: DIY
Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa was probably the feud of the year in 2018. The two were never even meant to be a long-term tag team, they hardly knew each other when they were entered into the inaugural Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. Their talent and commitment to the story pushed it past just your average tag team break up. Ciampa’s betrayal cut so deep because fans had become really invested in the pair. Instead of just doing a typical squeaky clean babyface vs. dastardly heel, NXT decided to get creative and put depth into the relationship. They’ve put on some of the best matches of the year and aren’t even close to done yet.
1 Good Call: Edge And Christian
Edge and Christian aren’t biologically brothers, but they might as well be. The two grew up together in Canada and perused their wrestling dreams until they were both signed by WWF. The tag team went onto enjoy success in WWF, winning the Tag Team Championships seven times. It’s not a secret though that much like DX, Edge was a superstar, and that made Christian the sidekick.
Breaking up in 2001 after Christian won King of the Ring, both saw a lot of success in the singles division, most notably against one another. Edge’s premature retirement slammed the breaks on what was one of the best feuds between former partners. Edge is already a WWE Hall of Famer, with Christian surely close behind.