10 Greatest Tag Teams of the Attitude Era
There are many things that the Attitude Era did better than the modern-day WWE. Whether it was edgier, controversial storylines, or just extreme pushing of the boundaries, the Attitude Era had it all.
One thing it had in abundance though, was awesome tag teams. The kind of teams that would go on to become legends of the company—in both singles and doubles competition. There were plenty to choose from, and I'm sure everyone had their favourites growing up—I certainly had mine.
What defines a tag team as the "greatest" of a particular era? There are several factors taken into consideration for this list. The number of times the team picked up the highly prestigious tag team title belts is, of course, one factor that comes into play.
There's also the entertainment factor. Tag teams of the Attitude Era were highly entertaining to watch and listen to, and the teams who head up this list certainly had that credential in abundance.
Longevity also comes into play—whether the teams were successful as a pair for a prolonged period of time. Finally, there's overall success in the company throughout their respective careers.
The 10 teams on this list helped to contribute to one of World Wrestling Entertainment's golden ages—the Attitude Era.
So, lets take a look at the 10 greatest tag teams to have graced the Attitude Era.
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10. Too Cool
Perhaps more fondly remembered for their entrance theme and dancing, but Scotty 2 Hotty and Grandmaster Sexay were tag team champions on a solitary occasion, although Scotty did lift the belts with Rikishi—a later member of the stable.
They became embroiled in the huge McMahon-Hemsley storyline when they feuded with the likes of DX and The Radicalz, and they picked up the straps when they defeated Edge and Christian in May 2000.
They certainly had the entertainment factor—the moment at the Royal Rumble in 2000 when all three were in the ring on their own and proceeded to dance together before Rikishi eliminated both Scotty and Sexay was a highlight of the event.
9. Two Man Power Trip
OK, so they didn't last long, but these two make it onto the list due to their sheer status within the company. Also, they did manage to pick up the straps on one occasion.
After Stone Cold Steve Austin turned heel at WrestleMania X-Seven, Triple H aligned himself with Austin the following night on Raw, as they took out The Rock to help Austin win their rematch from the night before.
With Triple H holding the Intercontinental Championship (remember when it used to be so prestigious?) and Austin the WWF Championship, the two went in search of all the gold.
They had been feuding with the Brothers of Destruction for several weeks and squared off at Backlash 2001. Austin and Triple H put their titles on the line too, and it was The Power Trip who came good, becoming only the second team to hold all three of the company's three most prestigious titles—after Shawn Michaels and Kevin Nash did so in 1995.
The Power Trip disbanded in July of the same year, partly due to the Invasion storyline, but they were one heck of a tag team.
8. Brothers of Destruction
They're two of the most recognisable faces from the Attitude Era and are still going strong in 2013—even if Kane has now gone corporate.
Tag team champions on two occasions, the Brothers of Destruction caused havoc in the company in the early 2000s. Their earliest rivalry as a team came against the previously mentioned Two Man Power Trip, with both teams turning their attentions to each other after just forming.
The brothers picked up their first tag team belts in April 2000, beating Edge and Christian despite interference from The Power Trip. They would lose the belts to Stone Cold and Triple H later that year, and after an injury to Kane saw him out of action, Undertaker went alone.
By the time Kane had returned, the Invasion storyline was well underway, and the brothers defeated the Natural Born Thrillers in August of that year to become the WCW Tag Team Champions. At SummerSlam, they created history by defeating Diamond Dallas Page and Chris Kanyon in a steel-cage match to become the first ever unified tag team champions in the history of the company.
There's plenty of other reasons they make the list—they are two of the most legendary figures in the company over the past 20 years. For what it's worth, the Brothers of Destruction are well worth their place on this list.
7. Rock 'N' Sock Connection
In a similar fashion to the Two Man Power Trip, this is a team that was formed off the back of two hugely successful solo careers. Unlike Stone Cold and Triple H, though, the Rock 'n' Sock Connection was a solid face team.
Despite being rivals before their formation, their success was almost instant, as in their first match together as a team, they beat Undertaker and Big Show to win their first tag team belts. That started a flurry of tag teams exchanging the belts on a frequent basis—The Connection lost the belts in a Buried Alive match, due to interference from Triple H, but they were quickly regained two weeks later.
The Rock 'n' Sock Connection then dropped the belts to The New Age Outlaws, who had recently reunited. Their most memorable moment as a team, however, was to come just a few days later.
It is long regarded as one of the highest rated segments in Raw history—when Mankind and The Rock did a This is Your Life segment, which will forever be remembered as one of the best moments of the Attitude Era.
They split soon after this, but continued to sporadically reunite until 2004. With five reigns as tag champions, The Rock 'n' Sock Connection will forever be remembered as one of the most entertaining teams of the Attitude Era.
6. New Age Outlaws
Although they were embedded into D-Generation X for such a long time, the New Age Outlaws are rightly remembered as a team in their own right.
Tag team champions on five occasions, Billy Gunn and Road Dogg were one of the most popular "tweener" teams of the Attitude Era.
They won their first reign as tag team champions in 1997, beating the Legion of Doom—which was the same night as they got their "Outlaws" nickname, due to them "stealing" the win and promptly exiting the building in a car that was waiting for them.
Of course, they went onto join Shawn Michaels and Triple H in DX, becoming part of one of the most revered and loved stables in WWE history. Their entrance alone was worth the time to tune in, and when they sporadically reunite in today's WWE, they still get huge pops from the crowd.
5. The APA
I could have gone with naming them The Acolytes, but the Acolytes Protection Agency was one of the most enjoyable storylines of the Attitude Era, in my opinion.
Of course, as The Acolytes, Farooq and Bradshaw picked up the tag team belts on two occasions, where they feuded with teams such as X-Pac and Kane as they were embroiled in the Ministry of Darkness with the Undertaker.
The APA started when the Mean Street Posse agreed to pay The Acolytes for protection, starting off one of the most entertaining stories of the time. They further enhanced the gimmick by having their own office—the APA office—backstage every week, to much amusement of the crowd.
Despite their gimmick, they were still handy in the ring, and they had a third stint as tag team champions when they won a tag team turmoil match at No Way Out in 2002.
One of my highlights of the APA's time together was their hosting of a "Bar Room Brawl" in 2003, which, of course, Bradshaw won.
Whether it was drinking beer and playing cards backstage or causing havoc in the ring, the APA are rightfully on this list as one of the Attitude Era's greatest teams.
4. The Dudley Boyz
It seemed quite hard to leave the most decorated tag team in professional wrestling history outside of the top three, but there is some big competition amongst the top four.
They were the team who brought the tables phenomenon into the WWE, to utilize their signature move to great effect. Despite being villains initially—mostly due to Bubba Ray's obsession with driving Divas through tables—they quickly turned face in 2000 when they feuded with the heel DX.
Of course, they are most famous for their three-way feud with the Hardy Boyz and Edge and Christian in their infamous series of TLC matches, but they played a great role in the Invasion storyline, being part of the Alliance stable with Shane McMahon.
And without forgetting the fact that Stacy Keibler was once their manager at one point, the Dudley Boyz are one of the most iconic teams of the Attitude Era.
3. The Hardy Boyz
Whilst the Dudley Boyz are regarded as the team who introduced tables into the mainstream WWE, the Hardy Boyz can stake the same claim with ladders.
High-flying, exciting and entertaining, they were tag champions on an impressive six occasions and played a role in the most memorable tag team feud of the Attitude Era—the TLC matches.
Their unique in-ring style saw them instantly loved by fans, and when Michael Hayes became their manager, things got serious pretty quickly. They won their first belts as a team in 1999, when they defeated The Acolytes.
It's tough to split all of these great teams, but the Hardys' approach to the TLC matches pip them just in front of the Dudley Boyz. They were supremely entertaining and were superb to watch.
2. DX (Shawn Michaels and Triple H)
The original leaders of the most famous stable in WWE history. Brash, brutal and highly entertaining, Shawn Michaels and Triple H take second spot on the list of greatest tag teams of the Attitude Era.
They gave birth to D-Generation X, and although they only picked up the tag team belts on a solitary occasion, the impact they had on the Attitude Era was absolutely phenomenal.
Their original feud was against the Hart Foundation—seeing Michaels go up against Bret Hart once again in one of the most famous rivalries of the era.
Entertaining on the mic as well as in the ring, DX have a huge following all over the world as one of the most iconic teams of the Attitude Era.
After Michaels took a four-year hiatus from wrestling in 1998, Triple H assumed the role as chief leader of the stable and recruited the likes of X-Pac and the New Age Outlaws to see the stable grow and develop.
Without the initial teaming of Michaels and Triple H though, DX would never have been the huge success it was.
1. Edge and Christian
They started out as members of The Brood with Gangrel but eventually went on to become one of the most iconic tag teams in WWE history.
After Gangrel was out of the picture and The Brood had disintegrated, Edge and Christian went out on their own and become one of the most entertaining teams of the era—both in the ring and on the mic.
Memorably they used to come out and mock their opponents before matches with catchphrases such as "for the benefit of those with flash photography" and "reek of awesomeness" sticking long in the memory.
They were also a dab hand with the kazoo instrument too, as a quick YouTube search would remind you.
Of course, in the ring, they were part of the three-way feud with The Dudley Boyz and The Hardy Boyz in those legendary TLC matches. They were the first winners of the inaugural TLC match, too.
They would eventually split, but would both go on to claim the biggest singles titles in the company. Edge was forced into retirement due to injury, but has since been inducted into the Hall of Fame.
For my money, Edge and Christian were the most iconic tag team of the division during the Attitude Era.