Ranking The Top 50 Tag Teams: The PWI Years (19-10)
This the third installment of listing the top tag teams that Pro Wrestling Illustrated compiled in 2003.
Nash used failed gimmicks like Oz, Vinnie Vegas, and Master Blaster Steel until reaching stardom as Shawn Michael's former bodyguard Diesel. As Diesel, Nash won the WWF World Title and was voted Wrestler of The Year.
Hall enjoyed success in the AWA teaming up with Curt Henning to hold the belts. After a brief stop in the WCW as Diamond Studd, where he briefly teamed with Nash, Hall went to the WWF to transform to a Cuban American wrestler named Razor Ramon. As Razor Ramon, Hall won the WWF IC Title four times.
In the WWF is where the friendship between the two would grow. They were members of the off-stage group name The Kliq, along with Triple H, 1-2-3 Kid and Shawn Michaels, who had great influence in the booking and would take care of their own.
Though Kevin Nash and Scott Hall were already accomplished and popular wrestlers by 1996, they were only scratching the surface.
The team left for the WCW and were instrumental in pioneering the "Invasion" storyline. The Outsider would appear on WCW programming and warn everyone that there are others who will join them in the movement. Of course, the movement was the formation of the New World Order with "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan
The Outsiders captured the WCW World Tag Team titles six times beating teams like Harlem Heat, Steiner Brothers, and Lex Luger/The Giant.
In May 1998, The Outsiders team broke up due to dissension within the nWo. After a brief reunion in late '99, the team was dissolved for good.
18—Ray Stevens & Pat Patterson
Too Too High!!! Don't deserve a spot in this list. Not sure why they qualified, since they held Tag Titles in the '60s.
I will move on....
This ranking is the opposite of the above. Too Too Low!!!
Hart Foundation was the ideal tag team. The Hitman was the mat technician with speed and cockiness, while The Anvil brought the power and fear. This combo led to the team winning two WWF Tag Team titles, defeating the British Bulldogs and Demolition.
The team split after losing to The Nasty Boys in WrestleMania VII, due to management seeing a successful singles competition future for Bret Hart.
16—Adrian Adonis & Dick Murdoch
Adonis and Murdoch, known as North-South Connection, were a team for a little more than a year.
They defeated Rocky Johnson and Tony Atlas in April of '84 for the WWF Tag Team Titles, which they held until January '85.
After losing the belts to Barry Windham and Mike Rotundo, the team split. Adonis of course became "Adorable" and Murdoch left WWF.
Marty Jannetty and Shawn Michaels were part of the trend that wrestling adapted to with their "face" tag team. It became popular to have a team which was young, fast, and popular with the female fans. That was exactly what teams like the Rock N' Roll Express, Fantastics, Strike Force, and the Rockers achieved.
Besides those characteristics, the Rockers were very talented. Today I watch Mid-South Wrestling matches, from the early 80s, which pitted a very young Shawn Michaels fighting the top heels of the time and it is no surprise the success he has garnered through the decades.
Jannetty and Michaels first teamed together in the Kansas City region while fighting for Central States Wrestling. They won the tag titles shortly after, but only for seven days. Afterwards Michaels left the organization and this new team seemed to be over.
In '86, both wrestlers were individually signed by the AWA and were quickly booked together to form the Midnight Rockers.
After ten months of chasing and battling Doug Sommers and Buddy Rose, they finally won the titles in January of '87. They dropped the belts in May to join the WWF, which didn't last long.
Rockers won back the AWA Tag Team titles from the "Original" Midnight Express later that year.
Surprisingly this would be the last tag team belts the Rockers would hold. For some reason, they did not win the WWF Tag Titles during the three years plus they would compete against the Hart Foundation, Twin Towers, and The Brain Busters.
14—Bobby Eaton & Stan Lane
There were three different variations of Midnight Express. The original was Randy Rose and Dennis Condrey (1980-1983), then Rose was replaced by Bobby Eaton ('84-'87), and then finally Lane replaced Condrey ('87-'90).
By '87, the Midnight Express was one of the best tag teams and had been feuding with the like of the Rock N' Roll Express, Fantastics, and the Road Warriors (famous Scaffold Match at Starrcade 1986).
Despite the success, Condrey left Jim Crockett Promotions which left Eaton without a partner. The bookers decided to pair Eaton with former Fabolous One member "Sweet" Stan Lane.
Instantly the new team captured the goal by winning a tournament to award the NWA United States Tag Team Champions. They held the belts for over a year before dropping them to the Fantastics in April of 1988.
During their time together, the Midnight Express held the NWA United State Tag Titles three times and the NWA World Tag Titles once. They were also voted Tag Team of the Year in 1987 by Pro Wrestling Illustrated.
13—Sgt. Slaughter & Don Kernodle
This team was rewarded the vacant NWA World Tag Titles which they held for six months when they lost it to Ricky Steamboat and Jay Youngblood.
The team split after the loss. Kernodle turned heel and teamed with Ivan Koloff, while Slaughter went on to having a successful career with the WWF and AWA as one of the most popular wrestlers of the 80s.
In 91', the All-American Hero turned heel and joined Iron Sheik to fight the Ultimate Warrior and Hulk Hogan.
Prior to fighting as a member of Midnight Express, Stan Lane teamed with Steve Kerin (aka Skinner) to formed a "playboy" teamed named the Fabolous Ones. The Ones are credited in being one of the first tag teams to aim for the female fans. They would enter in the ring with a bow tie (aka Chippendales) and suspenders to music of ZZ Top.
After winning titles in Florida, Memphis, and Texas they went to the AWA to capture the gold. Unfortunately for the Ones, there was a roadblock in their way named the Road Warriors.
During 1985, the Road Warriors and the Fabulous Ones feuding for the AWA Titles which did not change. But I have to give the Ones credit, there were many times that you thought these pretty boys were going to beat the bad arses from Chicago.
This spot goes to the whole family. In the early '80s, World Class Wrestling was the Von Erichs. David, Kevin, Kerry, and Mike were looked upon as the Superfriends and their foes (Freebirds, Gary Hart, Jimmy Garvin, etc...) were the Legion of Doom. That philosophy held to make this organization a success.
The Von Erich family have combined for over 140 championships, mostly from the WCCW organizations.
10—Dennis Condrey & Bobby Eaton
As mentioned earlier, there were three Midnight Express teams and this one was the second.
They held the NWA World Tag Team titles, the Mid-South Tag Team titles twice and Tag Team of the Year ('86).
Aside from the titles, the feuds with the Rock N' Roll Express and the Road Warriors were classic and help to define the Midnight Express as the top team of the 80s.
I hope to have the final nine teams presented by the weekend. Thank you for the interest and patience.
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