WWE: 7 Tag Teams Who Should Be in the Hall of Fame
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These tag teams delivered in the ring and induced fans into a frenzy.
The lost art of tag team wrestling may finally be on the verge of a revival. For years, it was the source of some of WWE's and other companies’ greatest stars and matches.
As many great tag teams that have wrestled for WWE, one might find it surprising to know that only a handful of them have earned an invitation to the WWE Hall of Fame. There are nearly as many celebrities already in as there are teams.
As of 2012, The Valiant Brothers, The Road Warriors, The Blackjacks, The Wild Samoans, The Brisco Brothers and The Funks are the only tag teams WWE has deemed Hall of Fame worthy thus far. The Von Erichs and The Four Horsemen are in as well, two larger groups that formed different tag team combinations.
In no particular order, these are the pairings who must join them, who must be inducted as soon as possible.
If the WWE Hall of Fame were an actual building, the tag team wing would be a near-empty hall waiting to be filled.
With as many influential and awe-inspiring teams that have wrestled together over the years, WWE would have no problem filling that area with worthy candidates.
Besides the seven teams listed in this article, the following deserve consideration as well:
The Midnight Express, The British Bulldogs, The Hardys, The Rock 'N' Roll Express, The Dudley Boyz, The Rockers, Ivan and Nikita Koloff and more.
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The Hart Foundation was one of the best teams in a period some fans consider the Golden Age of tag team wrestling.
Clearly, Bret Hart was a star, having going on to multiple world title reigns, classic matches and a Hall of Fame invitation as a singles wrestler. Jim "the Anvil" Neidhart was a key component to that team as well.
Bret struggled with interviews in the early part of his career, coming off as timid and stiff. Neidhart's exuberant personality and his infectious cartoon villain laugh carried the team's performances on the mic.
The Hart Foundation gelled together extremely well. Neidhart provided the muscle while Bret served as the tactician.
The two produced a litany of classic matches and enthralling feuds against the likes of The British Bulldogs, Demolition and The Rockers. Their Hart Attack finisher remains one of the best double-team moves in history.
The team later morphed into a stable that included Owen Hart, Brian Pillman and Davey Boy Smith. That version of the team was hated in the U.S. but adored in Canada.
WWE.com named The Hart Foundation the second-best team in company history.
Why not have them in the Hall then?
The Crusher and Dick the Bruiser
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Merciless, beer-guzzling powerhouses that dominated opponents in a straightforward, smash-mouth style, The Crusher and Dick the Bruiser won the AWA Tag Team Championship five times.
The two wrestlers were billed as cousins. Though they didn't look all that much alike, the similarity of their barrel-like builds and their brawling-heavy styles made them seem convincingly related.
In the '70s and beyond, they drew big crowds and gave fans all the no nonsense action they wanted.
In battles against Larry Hennig and Harley Race and most famously Mad Dog and Butcher Vachon, Crusher and Bruiser evoked images of barfights in Old West saloons.
They didn't work for WWE, but WWE has honored other wrestlers for work outside of the company. Verne Gagne and Nick Bockwinkel are perfect examples of that.
This is certainly a case where they should do the same. The Crusher and The Bruiser were among the very best of their era and inspired a number of teams who followed them.
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For 698 combined days, Demolition ruled as WWE World Tag Team Champions. From the late '80s to the early '90s, Ax and Smash (and eventually Crush) were dominating forces in the tag division.
Demolition were ideal heels; vicious, rugged and cutthroat. They served as the dark contrast to WWE's face teams of the day including The Killer Bees, The British Bulldogs and The Hart Foundation.
In their outrageous Mad Max-inspired outfits, the team stood out. Their ring work alone wouldn't have been enough to achieve stardom. It took a well-executed gimmick, a total package that created an unforgettable team.
Imagining the landscape during the tag team boom of their era without Demolition is difficult. They were asked to carry the belts for a long time, to serve as the villainous empire fans wanted so badly to see toppled.
Demolition may not have been recognized by other wrestling Hall of Fames yet, but for their WWE-specific success and the part they played in so many great matches, WWE needs to honor them.
Edge and Christian
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Long-time friends, Edge and Christian lived their childhood dreams of wrestling as a WWE tag team together and made the most of it.
They endeared themselves to fans with their fearless daredevil approach to wrestling. They threw their bodies from astounding heights, crashed through tables and ladders—all in the name of entertainment and pushing the envelope.
Time and time again, Edge and Christian had fans talking about them as much or more than the main event. It wasn't just their matches that fans loved. E&C were hilarious outside of the ring, two endearing goofballs with a penchant for knowing which new things to try.
The five-second pose, the ridiculous goggles and the fact that they were clearly having as much fun as the fans made for an incredible package.
WWE named E&C the best team in WWE history. Not everyone would go that far, but few would argue their Hall of Fame credentials.
Once Edge and Christian are in, The Dudley Boyz and The Hardys can't be too far behind.
The Steiner Brothers
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With as many championships and accolades that Rick and Scott Steiner have earned over the years, it's shocking that they've yet to join the other WWE Hall of Famers.
WWE thought highly enough of The Steiners to have them carry the WWE tag belts twice. WCW gave them the equivalent honor seven times.
In fact, it's likely that their success in WCW is one of the major factors in not being in the Hall. Despite a successful WWE run that saw the brothers appear on the first episode of Raw and earn tag gold, most of The Steiners' fame was earned elsewhere.
They were one of the pillars of the WCW tag team division and a popular attraction when they wrestled for New Japan Pro Wrestling.
Pro Wrestling Illustrated named them the best team of both 1990 and 1993. According to Wrestling Observer Newsletter, they were the best team in 1990 and gave the world the best match (vs. Hiroshi Hase and Kensuke Sasaki) in 1991.
The Steiners were consistently two of the best workers in the business wherever they wrestled.
The New Age Outlaws
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The most popular team at WWE's apex of popularity, Bad Ass Billy Gunn and Road Dogg Jesse James received massive reactions every time they entered the arena.
When James said, "Oh you didn't know, your ass better call somebody," it was always sounded like every person in the audience was saying it right along with him.
Gunn and James' defiant attitude fit perfectly into the era, adding depth to an already deep roster. Their feud with Mick Foley's various personalities, their five reigns as tag team champs and infectious personalities highlighted their brief career.
James and Gunn went on to wrestle for TNA under several names, but WWE is unlikely to recognize that as part of their Hall of Fame credentials.
For their part in swaying the Monday Night Wars, for the level of adoration they received from the fans, The New Age Outlaws deserve to be inducted.
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Michael Hayes inducted The Von Erichs into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2009. The fact that The Von Erich's greatest rivals, The Freebirds are not in as well is baffling.
Hayes, along with Terry Gordy, Jimmy Garvin and Buddy Roberts made for the perfect counterpart to The Von Erich's all-American charm. The Freebirds were flashy, arrogant and supremely entertaining.
The Freebirds innovated right from their start. The concept of a three-man (or more) team with interchanging members is a Freebirds creation.
In fact, the name for the gimmick where any two members of a team could be chosen to defend their tag titles is dubbed "The Freebird Rule."
The birth of wrestling entrance music can be attributed to Hayes and gang as well. The Freebirds entered arenas to the sound of Lynrd Skynrd's "Freebird" before Hayes recorded the group's own theme, "Badstreet USA."
Those innovations alone should earn them a Hall of Fame spot, but The Freebirds were also one half of wrestling's greatest feud. The Von Erich and The Freebirds created an intense heat night in and night out.
It was a well-crafted tension that went beyond their great matches, it captured the fans' attention like few stories in the sport have.
Sure the team had very little time with WWE, but their contributions to wrestling must be recognized. Wrestling Observer Newsletter already has The Freebirds in their Hall of Fame. WWE needs to follow suit.