Cody Rhodes and Goldust and the 15 Most Successful Brother Tag Teams
Cody Rhodes and Goldust dethroned The Shield to become the latest set of brothers to win tag team championships together.
Wrestling has a long history of brothers teaming together, from the Von Erich clan to Primo and Carlito. But which of them made the biggest impact on the industry, climbed to the top of their division most often and accumulated the most accolades?
Rhodes and Goldust have just begun their journey and have a long way to go before they match the resumes of the Hall of Famers and legends who occupy this list. Fans will be watching to see if they can maintain their current momentum.
Should they stay together and continue to produce the kind of fantastic matches they have so far, this list will require rearranging.
For now, based on the number and quality of the championships they won, Hall of Fame entries, awards, popularity and impact, here are the most successful brother teams in wrestling history.
15. Fabulous Rougeaus
Jacques and Raymond Rougeau's championship mantle is bare compared to the teams above them, but they thrived in WWE's golden age of tag teams.
In the late '80s, The Fabulous Rougeaus battled against top teams like The British Bulldogs, The Hart Foundation and The Rockers. They were among the most memorable heel teams of their generation, helped by the harping presence of Jimmy Hart.
It was in Montreal that they achieved their championship glory, winning the Canadian International Tag Team Champion three times. In WWE, they were an underrated duo who couldn't overtake the top teams in a crowded division.
14. The Colons
Before Primo became one half of Los Matadores, he and his brother, Carlito, made an impact on WWE as a tag team.
The Colons quickly rose to the top of the tag team division in 2008. Not long after debuting as a team, The Colons won the WWE Tag Team Championships. Soon after that victory, the brothers unified those titles with the WWE World Tag Team Championships at WrestleMania XXV.
Add to that their successful run in Puerto Rico's World Wrestling Council, where they also won gold, and the Colons earn a spot ahead of the Rhodes brothers for now.
13. The Tolos Brothers
Known as the Canadian Wrecking Crew, John and Chris Tolos spent much of the '50s and '60s pounding their opponents and grabbing the audience's attention in a chokehold.
In addition to a slew of regional championships in Toronto, Detroit and Vancouver, the Tolos brothers had a successful run with the then-WWWF. They defeated Killer Kowalski and Gorilla Monsoon to win the now-defunct WWWF United States Tag Team Championships.
John and Chris are the first team on the list that is a member of the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame, but are surpassed by teams that are more widely known and oft-discussed.
12. The Dusek Brothers
Much like the Tolos brothers, the Duseks claimed a number of regional championships en route to induction to the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame.
The difference is that the Duseks were more of a clan with a number of combinations of brothers wrestling in the New York area and elsewhere. Wrestlers in the '30s had to contend with Joe, Ernie, Emil and Rudy Dusek.
Rudy had arguably the most successful singles career as he had marquee matches against the biggest names of the era. Ernie and Emil, though, were the championship-winning pair, capturing three different versions of the NWA tag titles.
11. Los Villanos
Five brothers made up the brightly-dressed masked Villanos.
But it was Villano III, Villano IV and Villano V who were the most successful combo. They won the AAA Americas Trios Championship, IWRG Intercontinental Trios Championship and the WWA World Trios Championship together.
Villano I and II won tag team titles as well, but more than championships this group's enduring popularity and impact on the industry have them ranked here. They are among the most famous groups in Mexico, hated as heels and remained a crowd-gathering act for much of both the '80 and '90s.
10. The Briscoe Brothers
Not to be confused with the Briscos, the loud-mouthed, rough-edged brawlers, The Briscoe Brothers have been Ring of Honor's most successful tag team ever.
2007's tag team of the year, as named by Wrestling Observer, has held the ROH tag titles more times and for longer than any duo in the company's history. Rumors often have them making the jump to WWE, though they would struggle to fit in with a PG environment.
Jay and Mark Briscoe are in a way a throwback to the hard-hitting teams of the past while forging ahead with a vulgarity and unsettling aura that makes them truly unique. When their careers wrap up, they could very well be higher on this list thanks to extended dominance and possible entry in some of wrestling's Hall of Fames.
9. Mike Sharpe Sr. and Ben Sharpe
During the '50s, the Sharpe brothers raked in championships in California.
They held the San Francisco versions of the NWA world tag titles from nearly all of 1952 and for a good chunk of 1951 before that. Like the Duseks and the Tolos brothers, they earned induction into the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame.
What puts them above those pairs of brothers is their impact abroad.
Mike and Ben Sharpe had a successful run in Japan where the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame says they gave "tag team wrestling a shot in the arm." American wrestlers are commonplace in Japan today, but the Sharpe brothers broke new ground, drawing crowds to see them in battles against Rikodozan and others.
8. Jack and Gerald Brisco
One of only eight teams in the WWE Hall of Fame, Jack and Gerald Brisco were one of the top teams of the '70s, two former amateur wrestlers who relied on superior grappling skills.
The WWC North American tag titles and the NWA World Tag Team Championships are among the numerous championships to their name. Their feuds with Ricky Steamboat and Jay Youngblood and Wahoo McDaniel and Mark Youngblood were some of the most memorable of that era.
Jack had success teaming with others like Ciclon Negro and Haystacks Calhoun, but he and his brother are more firmly planted in fans' minds.
7. The Vachons
Few teams had as much of a reputation for toughness and nastiness than The Vachons.
The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame inducted Mad Dog and The Butcher in 2004. It was several years earlier, in the '60s and '70s, that the Vachon brothers teamed up to turn opponents into victims.
They won the AWA tag titles and held tight to them for nearly two years.
Their resume also includes regional belts in Canada, Texas and Georiga. The growling brutes remain two of the most memorable characters in wrestling. A lack of love from Hall of Fames as a team, though, has them unable to pass the list's top teams.
6. Harlem Heat
Booker T and Stevie Ray took control of WCW in the '90s.
They stand alone atop the WCW record books as having the most reigns as WCW tag team champs. Only the Minnesota Wrecking Crew and The Steiners have held those belts for longer.
They were as athletic as they adept at brawling. The addition of Sherri Martel in their corner made Harlem Heat even more memorable.
Eventually, one would assume that these brothers will make into one of wrestling's Hall of Fames. But even without that honor, their stranglehold on the top spot in the WCW tag division and twice winning the Tag Team of the Year award from Pro Wrestling Illustrated has them right behind the very best pairs of brothers ever.
5. The Wild Samoans
If Afa and Sika carried all the championship gold they won throughout their careers, they wouldn't be able to stand.
In the early '80s, The Wild Samoans were fascinating warriors who brutalized their opponents. Few teams remain as vivid in fans' minds as they have.
An induction into the WWE Hall of Fame, thrice winning the WWE World Tag Team Championships and the stockpile of titles they won in the territories all over the U.S. and Canada makes them one of the most successful brother pairings ever.
They are only ousted from the top spots by teams who had more award-winning matches and overall influence on wrestling, though the Wild Samoans were certainly pioneers as well.
4. The Hardy Boyz
The championships are easy to count, but Matt and Jeff Hardy's influence on pro wrestling is far more difficult to quantify.
The titles add up to seven as six reigns WWE tag champs and once wearing the WCW versions. Beyond that though, The Hardy Boyz were thrilling, innovative and willing to take just about any risk to win over the crowd.
They thrived when the tag team division was at it one of its hottest points, leaving fans memories of their ladder matches with Edge and Christian and The Dudleyz.
Pro Wrestling Illustrated named them the team of the year in 2000, a year where they took part in a classic Triangle Ladder match at WrestleMania 2000 that no one who saw it will ever forget.
3. The Funks
The Sharpe brothers are said to have opened the door for "gaijin" teams to be successful in Japan. The Funks ran through that door and piledrived folks in along the way.
Terry and Dory Jr. were accomplished in the United States, but they are seen as icons in Japan, thanks largely to their toughness and grit.
The Funks won the All Japan World's Strongest Tag Determination League three times and earned Best Bout honors in 1980. Back home, the brothers compiled a number of notable items on their resume as well, including a handful of championships in Florida and Georgia.
Add a spot in the WWE Hall of Fame and Terry and Dory Jr. easily earn this lofty ranking.
2. The Steiner Brothers
In WWE, WCW and Japan, Rick and Scott Steiner flourished.
In many ways, the '90s belonged to them. Both Pro Wrestling Illustrated and Wrestling Observer recognized them as the best team of 1990. They won the tag titles twice in WWE, seven times with WCW and two times in New Japan.
Whether battling Sting and Lex Luger or Hiroshi Hase and Kensuke Sasaki, the Steiners put on fantastic, critically-acclaimed performances.
In terms of titles and accolades, they are number one. It's influence and impact that has the next team of brothers ranked above them.
1. The Von Erichs
The measurable stuff is big for The Von Erichs, from entry to the WWE Hall of Fame to a surplus of championships with WCCW. Kevin, Chris, Mike, David and Kerry are the most successful team of brothers in wrestling history.
Their rivalry with The Freebirds remains in many minds the best we've ever seen.
They were the hottest commodity in a hot territory, looked at as warriors and heartthrobs, depending on the audience. The Von Erichs continued to be talked about and revered, though their careers are long over.
Wrestling, at its heart, is about connecting with the audience. And if one measures success by deep and lasting a connection is made, the Von Erichs reign here.