Wrestling: The 50 Greatest Tag Teams of All Time

David LevinSenior Writer IISeptember 13, 2011

Wrestling: The 50 Greatest Tag Teams of All Time

0 of 55

    Again, you have spoken and I am listening.

    I listed the Best Talkers in Wrestling and now I am giving the "Greatest Tag Teams in History" a shot.

    I will be listing teams from decades ago, different wrestling promotions and even different federations. since the list is great and yes, there will be debate, I hope everyone can agree that names had to be left off and the rankings are based what I have seen over the last 30-plus years as a fan and writer.

    Any wrestler can be a tag team wrestler. But the good wrestlers who can work with their partner and use the psychology of the ring, cutting it in half and using the corner to their advantage is a true tag team expert.

    There were those who were good tag team wrestlers and held belts with numerous partners (Tito Santana) and those who formed a union that remained true and dominant (Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard).

    And there were those who were tag team partners for gimmicks or to promote an upcoming match between the two (Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Undertaker).

    These teams proved over the years that they were the best.

    It is my hope you enjoy this slideshow rather than see it as a battle zone.

    Let's leave the wrestlers to do that, shall we?

Honorable Mention

1 of 55

    Hey there. You know, we are counting down the Top 50 tag teams of all time, but there are more than 50 teams and we had to shorten the list. Here are teams that were good, but not good enough to make the cut.

    Mike Graham and Steve Keirn: Florida Championship Wrestling in its heyday featured them feuding with Dory Funk and the Masked Assassins.

    The Nasty Boys: They are friends of Hulk Hogan and maybe the ugliest wrestlers ever to be seen on a television screen.

    Playboy Buddy Rose and Doug Somers: A dominant tag team in the northwestern states and the Oregon promotion.

    The Moondogs: Spot and Rex will always have a soft spot in my heart.

    Eddie Gilbert and Tommy Rich: They were tag team champions in the Memphis territory in the mid-'80s, but began a feud that was gruesome and bloody.

    Jay and Jules Strongbow: A popular tag team in the WWF for years in the 1970s.

    Ric Flair and Batista: As Evolution's main tag team, they held the world tag team titles while Randy Orton and Triple H also held gold.

    Barry Windham and Lex Luger: They became a tag team out of necessity in Florida to battle Sir Oliver Humperdink. They became a tag team in the NWA and were partnered with Sting until Windham joined the Horsemen. 

    Sgt. Slaughter and Don Kernoodle: Were Mid-Atlantic champions in the early 1980s. Battled with Ricky Steaboat and Jay Youngblood.

    Randy Savage and Jerry Lawler: They were friends. They battled each other and they were a good tag team in Memphis until they left the territory for other success.

    Dino Bravo and Dominic DeNucci: They were a good tag team in the 1970s and held WWF gold.

    Nick Bockwinkle and Ray Stevens: May be an underrated tag team in the AWA. They were a dominant pair that had great success.

    Mr. Fuji and Mr. Saito: Fuji and Saito were a gerat heel pairing in the WWF in the early 1980s.

    Ricky Steamboat and Jay Youngblood: A good tag team in the Mid-Atlantic area. Held the world tag team titles and were involved in a vicious feud with Sgt. Slaugter and Don Kernoodle.

    Kane and Big Show: They are dominant and can battle with the best of them. They are just short of making the list.

And Now...On to the Rest

2 of 55

    Now that you have seen who is on the outside looking in, don't you want to see more?

    I thought so.

    Here are the Top 50 tag teams of all time. I know there will be a surprise or two.

    Here we go...

50. Sting and Ultimate Warrior

3 of 55

    Back in the day, there was this promotion called the UWF.

    Cowboy Bill Watts ran an outfit that showcased great wrestlers like Eddie Gilbert, Rick Steiner, Ted DiBiase and a tag team known as the Blade Runners.

    Sting and The Ultimate Warrior. They both came out in face paint and looked like muscled-up dudes who could just pummel their opponents.

    They were "Road Warriors" Lite.

49. Badd Company

4 of 55

    Pat Tanaka and Paul Diamond were a tag team in the AWA during the 1980s.

    They were AWA Tag Team Champions. They later went on to be known as the Orient Express.

    They feuded with the Midnight Rockers and The Guerreros.

48. The Masked Assassins

5 of 55

    They caused havoc in Florida Championship Wrestling and in the Georgia territories.

    Jody Hamilton (Nick Patrick's dad) was a big mauling wrestler who feuded with the likes of Dusty Rhodes (a theme in a few of these tag teams) and Mike Graham and the Briscos.

47. Greg Gagne and Jim Brunzell

6 of 55

    Verne Gagne's son Greg was a smaller, thinner wrestler who was better at tag team wrestling than singles competition.

    He and his tag team partner Jim Brunzell were better known as the High Flyers in the AWA.

    in the late 1970s, they defeated Blackjack Lanza and Bobby Duncum for the AWA world tag team titles.

    Brunzell later left the Association to join forces with B. Brian Blair to form the Killer Bees in the WWF.

46. Paul London and Brian Kendrick

7 of 55

    They held the WWF tag titles for over 330 days.

    Kendrick has gone on to success in TNA. But when the two were together and in sync, they were pretty bad ass and a good team,

    London had success in ROH before moving on to WWE.

    I wish the two were together in TNA. They would rock the joint.

45. Dick the Bruiser and Crusher

8 of 55

    They were two of Ric Flair's favorites growing up.

    The AWA had some great tag teams. This was one of them. While Dick the Bruiser was a multiple tag team winner with multiple tag team partners, Crusher was the one he gained most success with.

    Crusher was billed as Bruiser's cousin in the AWA.

44. Jimmy and Johnny Valiant

9 of 55

    Before he was the "Boogie Woogie Man," Jimmy Valiant wrestled in the WWF with his "brother" Johnny.

    The Valiants also had another brother, Jerry, who also tagged with them.

    They won multiple tag titles over the years.

43. Adrian Adonis and Dick Murdoch

10 of 55

    They held the WWF world tag team titles until they lost to Barry Windham and Mike Rotundo.

    They were an odd pairing that were actually a good combination.

    Both were brawlers who were old style wrestlers.

    Adonis was a world champion before in the AWA with Jesse Ventura.

    Murdoch and Dusty Rhodes held gold together as well.

42. Tarzan Tyler and Luke Graham

11 of 55

    In 1971, the duo beat Dick "The Bruiser" and Crusher for the WWWF tag team titles.

    Both were a little odd in the ring and on the microphone.

    Both were successful tag team champions with other partners and were also singles title holders in different regions and federations.

41. Barry Windham and Mike Rotundo

12 of 55

    In a time when The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff were popular heels in the WWF, these two Americans took the tag team stage by storm.

    Both steeped in NWA tradition, they won the WWF tag team titles and rocked arenas as proud of the US wrestlers.

    Fans loved how they came to the ring waving Old Glory and looking like rugged good looking guys next door.

40. Professor Tanaka and Mr. Fuji

13 of 55

    Fuji came to the WWWF in 1972. There, he created a tag team with Prof. Toru Tanaka. Both were managed by the Grand Wizard.

    Tanaka was the bigger and more massive of the two, while Fuji was the psychologist in the ring.

39. The Von Erichs

14 of 55

    David, Kevin, Kerry, Mike. Four names that were the hottest thing going in the early 1980s.

    The brothers experienced great success in the tag team ranks as well as singles competition.

    Kerry was an NWA world title holder. David was a Missouri and Texas Heavyweight Champion.

    Kevin was an American Heavyweight title holder and WCCW Champion. Mike held regional titles.

    They were a good tag team, but tragedy destroyed their family.

38. Stan Lane and Steve Keirn

15 of 55

    The Fabulous Ones. Wrestled in Memphis and Louisiana. Managed by Jackie Fargo.

    The looked a little odd coming the ring in top hats and pink tights to ZZ Top, but both could wrestle with the best.

    Lane went on to join the Midnight Express.

    Keirn went to the WWF to become Skinner.

37. Hollywood Blonds

16 of 55

    Steve Austin and Brian Pillman formed a good tag team in WCW under the guidance of Col. Robert Parker.

    They were a heel tag team with style. Austin also held the US Heavyweight title.

    Both were great in-ring performers.

    Ric Flair said the worst mistake WCW ever made was getting rid of Austin.

    Pillman died way before his time.

36. Harlem Heat

17 of 55

    Booker T and Stevie Ray were a good tag team in Texas and moved on to WCW.

    They won multiple tag team titles under the guidance of Sister Sherri Martel.

    Booker T went on to the WCW World title. Stevie Ray joined the nWo.

35. The Midnight Rockers

18 of 55

    Or The Rockers when they got to the WWF. Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty were a good-looking, quick tag team that won the hearts of millions of girls, much like the Rock & Roll Express had done in the NWA.

    Jannetty was a good worker but Michaels, as we all know, was the meat of this tandem. And the success of Michaels is something we do not need to explain.

34. Stan Hansen and Bruiser Brody

19 of 55

    Two independent guys who fans either loved or hated, and there was no in between.

    Both worked well together and ruled the Orient.

    They would make their own schedules and if they did not like how things went in America, they took a flight right back to the Far East.

    Brody was popular in Texas and Florida. Hansen was AWA world champion.

33. Scott Hall and Curt Hennig

20 of 55

    They were a great tag team combination in the AWA.

    Hennig also won the AWA world title.

    But before tragedy struck the later in their careers, they were a young, good-looking tag team that was successful in Verne Gagne's promotion.

32. The Undertaker and Kane

21 of 55

    Their storyline is so dynamic and still works today.

    The Undertaker may be at the end of his career, but Kane still brings it every night. Both have been world title holders. Both have held tag team gold with other partners. Both are Hall of Famers.

    The Brothers of Destruction just had it going on.

31. Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage

22 of 55

    Two great wrestlers who worked well together but weren't dynamic.

    But for all their history and the storyline created by them joining forces, they get a slot on this list.

    Both were better a singles wrestlers in the WWF.

    But you cannot deny they gave yellow and red a whole new meaning.

30. Dusty Rhodes and Nikita Koloff

23 of 55

    If it weren't for Magnum TA crashing his car, this would never have come to be.

    The storyline was Nikita was so moved by the efforts of TA, that he wanted to change his ways and fight the good fight.

    They were a good tag team in a time when Russia and the US were on uneven footing.

    They proved they could bridge the gap.

    Both were better singles competitors.

29. Ole and Gene Anderson

24 of 55

    The original Minnesota Wrecking Crew.

    The Andersons would wear their opponents down and beat them to a pulp.

    And then they would make them submit, not pin them.

    How humiliating.

28. The Varsity Club

25 of 55

    Kevin Sullivan stumbled onto something pretty good in WCW.

    Steve Williams, Mike Rotundo and Rick Steiner. 

    All three accomplished wrestlers who enjoyed great success in the promotion and other regional outfits.

    All three could wrestle on their own as well, and when Sullivan got in the ring, he was just vicious.

27. Hector and Chavo Guerrero

26 of 55

    Maybe the most successful Mexican tag team ever. The Guerrero Brothers are some of the best tactical wrestlers ever.

    They were successful over the decades in Lucha Libre wrestling and in the United States. Eddie and Chavo Jr. may be the most popular in the family.

26. Adrian Adonis and Jesse Ventura

27 of 55

    The East/West Connection.

    Both heels were physical and bruisers.

    The AWA champions proved that two completely different styles could mesh together and become a great team.


28 of 55

    So, how are we doing so far?

    I know, I know. You want MORE!

    I know you want to see MORE, so here you go.

    Here is the rest of the list.

25. Money, Inc.

29 of 55

    Ted DiBiase and Mike Rotundo were a good tag team in the WWF. Rotundo as IRS was a great gimmick. The Million Dollar Man was always a great technical wrestler.

    They were two men who combined their skills with their lackey, Virgil and made a big splash in Vince's circus (I knew you were waiting for me to use that term).

24. Beer Money, Inc.

30 of 55

    James Storm and Robert Roode are the best tag team in wrestling today, period.

    Both are great building blocks in TNA and appear to be headed for a break-up. Roode is now the No. 1 contender for the TNA World Title.

    These two men feed off each other's momentum and it works. And both are great on the microphone, which makes them even more effective.

23. Steve Williams and Ted DiBiase

31 of 55

    They were an awesome team in the UWF. Williams and DiBiase could hold their own in the ring as a singles champion but as a tag team they were equally adept.

    The UWF was a really good breeding ground for champions like Williams, DiBiase, The Rock and Roll Express, The Midnight Express and Butch Reed.

22. Rocky Johnson and Tony Atlas

32 of 55

    The first African-American tag team champions in WWF history. They were big and strong and good looking.

    The Rock's dad and Atlas were known as the Soul Patrol and beat the Samoans for the title. They were at their height just before the rise of Hulkamania.

21. The Freebirds

33 of 55

    Michael Hayes, Terry Gordy and Buddy Roberts rocked the Southern roots wrestling in Texas and in Georgia.

    When Buddy Roberts left the group, Jimmy Garvin jumped right in and the group did not lose a step.

    They feuded with the Von Erichs but were favorites wherever they wrestled.

20. New Age Outlaws

34 of 55

    Don't make me do it.

    "You didn't know?"

    "You better go tell somebody!"

19. The Russians

35 of 55

    This may be a little low for them considering, but if you look at all the tag teams, the debate begins to get tougher.

    Ivan Koloff was the classic foreign heel and Nikita Koloff was the Russian assassin brought in to cause damage.

    Add Krusher Kruschev (Barry Darsow) and you had hell in the ring.

18. The British Bulldogs

36 of 55

    I loved this team.

    Davey Boy Smith was the powerhouse.

    Dynamite Kid was the aerial attack.

    Together they were ACES.

    A true find for the WWF.

17. Barbarian and Warlord

37 of 55

    They were the Road Warriors' main competition in the NWA.

    They were molded to be like their counterpart.

    As the Powers of Pain, they did more damage and could have been as good as the Road Warriors if given the same push.

16. The Wild Samoans

38 of 55

    With Capt. Lou Albano as their mouthpiece, all they had to do is wrestle.

    The Samoans were ugly, mean and nasty,

    And they were the classic heel tag team.

15. Doom

39 of 55

    Ron Simmons and Butch Reed were AWESOME.

    WCW World Tag Team Champions and they battled the Steiners tooth and nail.

    And with Woman in their corner, they were unstoppable.

14. Jack and Jerry Brisco

40 of 55

    I wanted to rank them higher, but I couldn't.

    No tag team wrestled with more real technique than these two.

    Jack and Jerry Brisco battled the Funks, the Assassins and others on their way to gold.

    They even battled as heels for a bit.

13. The Hart Foundation

41 of 55

    Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart were great in pink.

    They showed that power and skill could carry you far and were great WWF tag team champions.

    And with Jimmy Hart in their corner, it just meant craziness.

12. Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson

42 of 55

    They had magic. They had charisma. They were great together.

    And as you know, all the Horsemen could talk.

    But the great thing about them was they seemed real to us.

    And we loved every minute of it.

11. The Outsiders

43 of 55

    I know this one will get me the most heat, but they held the titles because of politics, not because of skill.

    Hall and Nash were big, strong and dangerous.

    And they were monumental in making wrestling the best damn show on television.

10. The Midnight Express

44 of 55

    Jim Cornette was a genius.

    The loudmouth could put teams together and he hit gold with Bobby Eaton and Dennis Condrey and later Stan Lane.

    There are classier managers, but not many who have the stroke he does.

    These guys battled the Road Warriors and The Rock & Roll Express on a continual basis.

9. Dory and Terry Funk

45 of 55

    They were both World Champions and were great tag team partners in the 1970s.

    Dory and Terry were popular in Texas, Florida and anywhere they wrestled, taking on the likes of Giant Baba, Jack Brisco and Harley Race.

    And when they went to the Orient to wrestle, they were nearly unbeatable.

8. Matt and Jeff Hardy

46 of 55

    Yes, they were champions.

    Yes, they were exciting.

    Yes, they took chances.

    But they are not higher because this is a crowded group now.

    But they were awesome when they were in the ring together.

7. Demolition

47 of 55

    Ax, Smash and Crush were AWESOME.

    They were multiple-time winners of the WWF tag titles.

    And everything they said they would do, they backed up in the ring.

6. The Steiners

48 of 55

    Rick and Scott Steiner were great amateur wrestlers who made the transition to the ring.

    Rick was the brute of the two. Scott was the more agile.

    And when they rocked back in a Steiner Recliner or a Frankensteiner off the top rope, it was OVER.

The Grand Finale

49 of 55

    I'm sorry, was there something else you wanted to see?

    I am so excited, I have goose bumps.

    I know what you are waiting for.

    So let's see who are in the final five spots of the list, shall we?

5. Degeneration X

50 of 55

    No other stable in the WWE made such a stir and caused such a roar as DX.

    The stable with Triple H, HBK, X-Pac, the New Age Outlaws and Chyna kicked ass and took names.

    And they were the reason Attitude worked in the WWE.

4. The Dudleys

51 of 55

    Devon and Bubba Ray were exciting and loved the tables.

    They won 20 tag titles and had great charisma in and out of the ring.

    And they will never be duplicated.

3. The Rock and Roll Express

52 of 55

    They were the hottest thing in the mid-80's battling the Andersons, The Road Warriors, Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson and The Midnight Express.

    They even had time for Ricky Morton to take a run at the NWA World Title and Ric Flair.

2. Edge and Christian

53 of 55

    Two friends, one combination, great champions.

    They have done it all in wrestling. Both have had great singles careers and when they were in the ring against Evolution, The Dudleys, The Hardys, etc., they gave us great matches.

    They are one of the best EVER in the WWF.

1. The Road Warriors

54 of 55

    When they came to Georgia Championship Wrestling, they knew nothing about the business. They were bodybuilders who needed to be molded.

    Ole Anderson gave them that chance.

    And with Paul Ellering, they delivered.

In Closing

55 of 55

    I hope you liked what you saw.

    You can now let the debating begin.