WWE and Beyond: The Top 10 Women's Tag Teams in Wrestling History
Let's face it.
The importance of women's wrestling has degraded over the years.
It is partly due to Vince McMahon and the WWE, who have grown increasingly lax about promoting women's wrestling. It is partly because fans have progressively grown not to care about the division.
No matter what people say, though, women's wrestling has always been an integral part of pro wrestling, and the women involved deserve respect.
While many people can list off their top ten favorite male tag teams of all time as evidenced earlier this week by the roundtable discussions by Featured Columnists debating the subject, very few can even name 10 great female tag teams.
This is a real shame because some women's tag teams even today are so great that they could outwrestle any tag team in WWE today, male or female.
While WWE has never given women much time to succeed as tag teams, there have been some great women's tag teams all around the world.
The following are the 10 greatest women's tag teams of all time.
Warning: Some of my information is limited because online sources do not have a full account of the information needed.
They were powerhouses in WWE during their time. McCool made a lasting impression on the whole division, and Layla was able to elevate herself and McCool even further.
They are the only women's team in WWE history that has shared a Women's Championship. If there had been a tag team division for women at the time of LayCool, they would have been unstoppable.
Natalya and Beth Phoenix
Again, this is a shoutout to what could be in WWE. These two are easily the best women wrestlers in WWE. They have helped to give us the only WWE Divas Table Match.
Also, they are taking the role of LayCool lately and dominating the whole division. These two have the wrestling ability to be on this main list if they had any women's tag gold to their names.
10. The Beautiful People
This is my shout out to TNA. They deserve some consideration especially for being the closest to a mainstream organization that has women's tag team title belts, and the Beautiful People are the best the division ever had.
Angelina Love and Velvet Sky were basically a tag team without gold to hold, so they settled for giving Love the Knockouts Championship several times.
When the tag titles came around, it was only a matter of time before the Beautiful People held the titles.
They are to this day still the longest running Knockouts Tag Team Champions of all time.
I know that when they held the titles, they had a third member in Lacey Von Erich, but it has always been about Love and Sky.
9. The Canadian NINJAs
Shimmer Womens Athletes is one of the premiere women's wrestling promotions in the world today.
It has not been a long-standing organization as it was founded in 2005, but it has seen some of the greatest women's wrestlers in the sport today.
Women like Sara Del Rey and MsChif could outwrestle "stars" like Great Khali, Mason Ryan and Ezekiel Jackson without a thought.
The Canadian NINJAs are the best tag team in Shimmer so far as they held the Shimmer Tag Team Titles for almost two years, making them far and away the longest running tag champions in the company by over a year.
These two are a young team that are great competitors and well-decorated champions already.
8. Penny Banner and Lorraine Johnson
These two were not the most exciting or impressive team in history, but they own the longest running women's tag team title reign of all time at four years.
These two held the NWA Women's World Tag Team Championship from 1955 to 1959.
The history is a bit fuzzy on the exact dates of the reign, but it is still recorded as a four-year reign for the title.
Penny Banner herself was a fairly successful women's wrestler as she would go on to win the NWA Tag Titles two more times with different partners. She would also win three separate women's singles titles in various organizations.
She was also awarded with many honors after retirement including an induction into the Professional Wrestling and Stampede Wrestling Halls of Fame.
Banner was even honored with the Frank Gotch Award in 2008 which was awarded to individuals for bringing positive recognition to professional wrestling through work outside the ring.
The main reason this team was great was for the impact of the team's legacy and Banner's continued work.
7. The Glamour Girls
The WWF once had a women's tag team title. It lasted a grand total of six years and had only four different championship holders.
The main reason it had prestige at all is due to the fact that it was originally the NWA Women's Tag Team Championship and the holders of the title were some effective tag teams.
The Glamour Girls were the most decorated champions when they held the titles as they were graced with the titles twice (unlike all other teams) and held them for over three years in total.
Leilani Kai and Judy Martin (the Glamour Girls) both had good runs outside of the tag titles as well especially Leilani.
Leilani Kai would become a huge star, as she won almost every major women's title in every business including winning the WWF women's championship from Wendi Richter, though she would then lose the title at the very first WrestleMania.
These two were the closest the WWF ever had to a legendary tag team.
6. Jumping Bomb Angels
The Jumping Bomb Angels were a great tag team that also wrestled in WWF for a time.
While the Glamour Girls were more decorated than the Jumping Bomb Angels, the Angels had two big advantages over the Girls.
One, the Jumping Bomb Angels held the most prestigious women's tag team titles: the WWWA World Tag Team Championships.
Two, they were simply better better wrestlers.
Noriyo Tateno and Itsuki Yamazaki were the Jumping Bomb Angels, and they would wrestle together for most of their careers.
They were the best tag team to come to WWF, but they were not nearly as decorated for their abilities.
5. Jumbo Miyamoto and Mariko Akagi
Not much is really said or shown about this team, but they hold a prestigious record with the WWWA titles.
They held them a record nine times as a team.
That is a huge accomplishments with the belts, though it is nearly impossible to find anything online about them or their wrestling.
Jumbo Miyamoto has also gained the titles a few times with other partners and held the WWWA World Championship five times.
Obviously, she was a serious player with the WWWA titles and this was the central team during their run.
Since I cannot say anything about their in-ring ability, I place them square in the middle purely on their stunning accomplishments.
4. Beauty Pair
The Beauty Pair are one of the most famous women tag teams in Japanese pro wrestling.
Jackie Sato teamed with Maki Ueda, and they would gain the WWWA World Tag Team Titles two times during their career.
They were an extremely mainstream team as the Beauty Pair also sang and generally gained a large following.
They even partially inspired an anime show in Japan called the Dirty Pair.
Jackie Sato was a solid wrestler. In fact, she would win the WWWA World Championship three times during her career.
Maki Ueda was a less successful star, but she certainly had ability.
What really made this team stand out was how mainstream they became in Japan.
The Beauty Pair is probably the second most popular women's tag team ever to wrestle.
We'll get to the first in a second.
3. Manami Toyota and Toshiyo Yamada
This team can easily be considered one of the greatest women's tag teams, even possibly the greatest based upon their in ring ability.
As a team, Wrestling Observer would award three of their matches with five star ratings along with awarding their match above as the Match of the Year for 1993.
They won two WWWA tag team titles along with the UWA World Women's Tag Team Championship.
It helps the whole team that Manami Toyota is still to this day considered to be one of the greatest female wrestlers of all time, who would hold many major championship and accumulate a total of 10 five-star matches to her name.
No matter how great their success looks, they were so great in the ring that they could probably outwrestle Air Boom without breaking a sweat as long as they were both allowed to go all out.
2. Double Inoue
On a technical level, Double Inoue is in the top two greatest women's tag teams of all time alongside Toyota and Yamada.
In fact, the video here shows a five-star (rated by Wrestling Observer) match they competed in.
Takako Inoue and Kyoko Inoue would wrestle together as legendary stars.
They captured the WWWA Tag Titles four times.
These two amazing wrestlers succeeded as a team and as individuals.
Kyoko Inoue in particular had some stunning matches with Manami Toyota as a singles competitor.
These two are easily one of the best women's tag teams of all time.
1. Crush Gals
One of the most popular tag teams I have ever seen wrestle (male or female).
Seriously, the fan reactions these two get are absolutely electrifying.
They apparently would help All Japan Women's Pro Wrestling (AJW) to have consistent ratings of 12.0 after they joined the company.
They are good wrestlers who are the most successful women's tag team champions of all time.
They held the WWWA Tag Team Championships four times, and they were easily the most popular and mainstream women's tag team ever seen in Japan or the whole world for that matter.
This is a team that any women's tag team would long to be.
No one will ever match the success and mainstream popularity that this team found.
Women's Wrestling as a Whole
In the end, I see all of these tag teams as important to tag team history as a whole.
They have continued to show that female wrestlers are not simply what WWE makes them out to be as of late.
These teams make tag teaming an art as much as LOD, The Hardys, the Steiners, or the Hart Foundation.
Women's wrestling has always played an integral part in pro wrestling history, and that will never change.
Thanks for reading!
This article is part of a collection of articles this week that act as a Women's Appreciation Week in wrestling. Other articles that will be released by great writers in coming days including John Cobbcorn, William Gullo and Chinmay. Also, check out Jon Fisher''s already published article: WWE Divas: How Trish and Lita Revitalized the Women's Division.