Welcome to the 10th and final installment of the House Afire GWWE Tag Team Cheat Sheet. What a long strange trip it’s been in Foreman’s basement. With this edition we’ve covered 82 teams (I wanted a round number but couldn’t help from adding two more teams.) To read about those teams check out the archives. Now that I’m done with these articles, I’ll be submitting my ballot soon and if you’d like to do the same, here’s the link to vote. Or if you just want to join the discussion you can do so in the Facebook group here.
I’ve enjoyed writing these articles and hope they helped serve as a quick reference guide to at least a few of you. I really appreciate those of you who took the time to read and provide feedback and discussion on the Facebook page and chat groups. I may never watch another WWE tag team match again, but I’m happy I had this opportunity to dive deep into this project and write about it. I’m kidding about not watching anymore WWE tag matches. I think.
For the last time, let’s get started and thanks for reading.
Killer Kowalski & Gorilla Monsoon
Years Teamed in WWE: 1963-1964, 1969
Total Matches: 39
Combined Days of Tag Title Reigns: 44 (United States Tag Titles)
Match Suggestions: n/a
Thoughts: Killer Kowalski and Gorilla Monsoon were the biggest, scariest and perhaps stinkiest and most wart-infested (if 1995 Hulk Hogan is cutting the promo) giant heels of their day. So, naturally when they joined forces, it was as a super monster heel team unlike any other. They defeated Skull Murphy and Brute Bernard in two straight falls on Washington, D.C. TV, winning the WWWF United States Tag Titles in the process. They would hold onto the belts for 44 days before dropping them to the Tolos brothers in two straight falls in December 1963. During their tenure as a team they challenged such popular teams as the Fabulous Kangaroos and Bruno Sammartino and Bobo Brazil.
Placement Range: If you’re looking for a team from the 1960s that faced the top babyfaces and had some star power, this would seem like the team. Super teams aren’t really my thing and I always hesitate to include teams that don’t have footage. With just 39 matches and a 44 day U.S. Tag Title reign, I’m not sure that’s going to convince me to put them on my list.
Tito Santana & Ivan Putski
Years Teamed in WWE: 1979-1980, 1983-1985
Total Matches: 71
Combined Days of Tag Title Reigns: 168
Match Suggestions: vs. Valiant Brothers (10/13/79 All-Star Wrestling), vs. Wild Samoans (MSG 1/21/80), vs. Jose Estrada & Doherty (11/17/79 All-Star Wrestling), vs. Wild Samoans (4/26/80 All-Star Wrestling)
Thoughts: I will never understand what the hell the company was trying to accomplish with the tag team matches on All-Star Wrestling in the late 1970s. Almost all the matches are too long and competitive to be squashes, but feature a top team facing a couple jobbers. Arm wringers and headlocks abound. Headlocks appear to be a specialty of Santana and Putski, as they would hold a headlock through several tags and false tags (which was weird for a babyface team anyway.) Now, I do love Tito (he was in my top 30 for GWWE), but this team is a bit dull most of the time. I like their match against the Valiants and occasionally they’d get something out of the jobbers of the week on ASW, due primarily to Tito showing fire. The team was probably a bit better in the ring than many others of the era (even with Putski), but I just don’t care for 1970s WWWF/WWF tag team wrestling.
Placement Range: Tito and Putski are a borderline case for me. I’m leaning for them taking up one of my last spots, but I’m not enthusiastic about it. Other candidates for those spots are either older teams with no footage, teams with really short tenures and good but not great matches or teams with extended mediocrity. I’m not sure how things will all shake out, but Tito and Putski will either be bottom five or 10 or miss my list.
Years Teamed in WWE: 1987-1991, 2005
Total Matches: 510
Combined Days of Tag Title Reigns: 4 (unrecognized)
Match Suggestions: vs. Hart Foundation (SNME aired 4/28/90), vs. Brain Busters (SNME 3/11/89), vs. Brain Busters (3/18/89), vs. Brain Busters (1/23/89), w/Tito Santana vs. Rick Martel & The Fabulous Rougeaus (SummerSlam ‘89), vs. New Orient Express (Royal Rumble ‘91), vs. Twin Towers (WM V), vs. Haku & Barbarian (WM VII)
Thoughts: The Rockers are my favorite WWF team of all-time. They were far ahead of their time in terms of creating excitement with their speed, timing, double-teams and high-flying moves. Shawn and Marty had good matches with every team of their day. Whether it was tearing the house down with the Brain Busters or having a great big team-little team match with the Twin Towers, the Rockers always delivered in the ring. They were memorable characters and had over 500 matches with the company, which is some impressive longevity. Their matches against the New Orient Express at Rumble ‘91 and the SummerSlam ‘89 six-man are some good top-tier matches, as well as nearly anytime they faced the Brain Busters, and I’m just always impressed with their consistency. The only blemish on their resume is never winning the tag titles (well, never being recognized as tag champions anyway) and never achieving a main event level success. But they sure were over and HOT TAKE: they’ll be very high on my list.
Placement Range: While the Rockers are my favorite team, I didn’t consider them for No. 1 very long.Their tippy-top matches are a bit behind the elite teams, and some of those same teams have even better longevity. The lack of a title reign hurts as well. The Rockers will likely be in my top five, but it’s going to be No. 5, as opposed to a No. 1 contender.
The Fabulous Rougeaus
Years Teamed in WWE: 1985-1990, 1998
Total Matches: 429
Combined Days of Tag Title Reigns:0
Match Suggestions: vs. British Bulldogs (SummerSlam ’88), w/Rick Martel vs. Tito Santana & The Rockers (SummerSlam ‘89), vs. Dream Team (The Big Event 8/28/86), w/ Dino Bravo vs. Hart Foundation & Jim Duggan (Royal Rumble ‘89)
Thoughts: They don’t like country music, the don’t like rock n’ roll, al they ever listen to is Barry Manilow! They’re All-American Boys, as you can plainly see by the little American flags they wave. OK, to be fair at one point they were bland French Canadian babyfaces before they decided to relocate to Memphis, TN. Even then, they had some good matches, but things really took off with their heel run. They had good matches with the Hart Foundation, Dream Team and British Bulldogs, but my favorite is the six-man at SummerSlam ‘89. Add those matches to some great longevity with more than 400 matches with the company and the great character work of the All-American Boys and it’s easy to see why the Rougeaus are Fabulous.
Placement Range: I’ll have the Fabulous Rougeaus in the lower portion of the top half. They were good, but not great workers and their somewhat bland babyface characters and lack of a tag title run hurt them. They’ll be between 40 and 50 on my list.
Years Teamed in WWE: 1993-1994, 1998
Total Matches: 168
Combined Days of Tag Title Reigns: 216
Match Suggestions: vs. Steiner Brothers (9/13/93 Raw, Province of Quebec Rules), vs. Headshrinkers (5/2/94- Raw), vs. Bret & Owen Hart (Royal Rumble ’94),vs. 1-2-3 Kid & Marty Jannetty (Raw-1/10/94), vs. 1-2-3 Kid & Razor Ramon (Raw- 2/21/94), vs. Men on a Mission (WM X)
Thoughts: They are definitely NOT the Mounties! But they sure are an awesome tag team. Their Royal Rumble match with the Harts is a near classic and the catalyst to Owen turning on Bret because he’s too selfish (and rightly so IMO.) Their title win over the Steiners in the Province of Quebec Rules match and their matches with the Headshrinkers are all highlights. The Quebecers helped carry that division during a rebound time after the Money Inc.-Natural Disasters- Nasty Boys and before it sank back to the doldrums with Bodydonnas and hog farmers. Their match against Kid and Jannetty is a good match and great moment on Raw. The Quebecers held the tag titles for more than 200 days, showing they were a focus of the division. I wish they had more matches and the return in 1998 leaves a bit to be desired, but doesn’t diminish their previous work.
Placement Range: I really love the Quebecers work, but they did only have 168 matches with the company. They were a major focus of the tag division during that time, but longevity is going to ding them a bit. Jacques may wind up with back-to-back teams, as I have the Quebecers in the same range as the Rougeaus, in the 40 to 50 range.
Owen Hart & Yokozuna
Years Teamed in WWE: 1994-1996
Total Matches: 82
Combined Days of Tag Title Reigns: 175
Match Suggestions: vs. Smoking Gunns(IYH 1), vs. Smoking Gunns (WM 11), vs. Allied Powers (IYH 2: Lumberjacks 7/23/95), w/Dean Douglass & Razor Ramon vs. Shawn Michaels & Davey Boy Smith & Ahmed Johnson & Psycho Sid (Survivor Series ‘95)
Thoughts: I really liked the dynamic between Owen & Yoko. When Owen brought out Yokozuna as his partner at WM 11 it was a great moment and a good match. They were better in the ring than I would generally expect, and I thought they had good chemistry with the Smoking Gunns in particular. They were the focal point of the tag division for a time, but it was pretty fleeting, as they only teamed together for a bit more than 80 matches.
Placement Range: Owen and Yoko are between 50 and 60 on my list. I liked their in-ring work and chemistry as a team, but there aren’t any mat classics out there, and they were a team for only a short time.
Years Teamed in WWE: 1999-2005, 2015-2016
Total Matches: 724
Combined Days of Tag Title Reigns: 328
Match Suggestions: vs. APA (7/9/01-Raw), vs. Hardy Boyz vs. Edge-Christian (SummerSlam ’00- TLC Match), vs. Hardy Boyz vs. Edge-Christian (WM X7- TLC Match), vs. Hardy Boyz vs. Edge-Christian (WM 2000- Ladder Match) vs. Edge & Christian vs. Hardy Boyz vs. Benoit-Jericho (TLC- SD- 5/24/01), vs. Edge & Christian (Royal Rumble ‘01)
Thoughts: Bubba Ray and D-Von helped reinvigorate the tag team division in 2000, along with the Hardy Boyz and Edge & Christian. The three teams feuded until mid-2001, having the famous series of ladder and TLC matches at WrestleMania 2000, SummerSlam 2000 and WrestleMania X-7 that were some of the best and most memorable matches in WWE history. In addition, the Dudleys had memorable characters, from their trademark “D-Von…Get the Tables!” catchphrase and subsequent table spots and their signature What’s Up Drop. In the early stages of their feud with E&C and the Hardys it was the Dudleys bringing the heat and having over characters. The Dudleys also had great longevity, teaming through 2005 (and with a return in 2015-2016, which wasn’t great but not the disaster of some other returns *cough* New Age Outlaws *cough*.) Your mileage on the Dudley Boyz work in a post TLC 3 era may vary, and there’s not a huge resume there, but I liked their work with Spike as The Boss. And hey, they main evented a PPV against Undertaker where Paul Bearer was buried alive in cement! So they’ve got that goin’ for them. But I’ll forgive them for that debacle and focus on their work with E&C, the Hardys and other teams from the early ‘00s and their 700 plus matches with the company.
Placement Range: The Dudleys have better top-tier matches than the majority of the teams with their ladder and TLC matches. Their longevity with the company can be matched by only a handful of teams. I think their non-TLC work is perfectly acceptable, though not always exciting, tag work. All that adds up to a top 10 finish on my list. I have them slotted at No. 8, just ahead of Edge & Christian due to longevity and thinking that both teams straight tag work was roughly equal.
Rock n’ Sock Connection
Years Teamed in WWE: 1998-2000, 2004
Total Matches: 27
Combined Days of Tag Title Reigns: 15
Match Suggestions: vs. Ric Flair, Batista & Randy Orton (WM XX), w/ Too Cool & Rikishi vs. Triple H, X-Pac, Dean Malenko, Perry Saturn & Chris Benoit (Raw 2/7/00, This is Your Life Rock Segment (Raw 9/27/99)
Thoughts: The Rock and Mick Foley are two of the greatest WWE superstars of all-time and formed a superteam during one of the hottest periods in company history. That said, their tag team proper was pretty crummy. When the Rock n’ Sock Connection was battling for the tag titles they were doing so against teams like the Big Show and Undertaker during Foley’s much maligned “sweat pants era.” However, both Rock and Foley are so damn entertaining and charismatic and that boosts them. For the first time I recommended a segment as opposed to a match with the record-setting ratings draw that was This is Your Life Rock. Foley and the Rock did team after ‘99 with better in-ring results. Both were part of the 10-man tag in Dallas after the Radicalz debuted and their handicap match against Evolution at WrestleMania XX is a favorite of mine.
Placement Range: I’ve got them between 75 and 80. I prefer established teams to thrown together superteams, unless those superteams have a great match (Austin & Michaels) a huge match (Hogn & Mr. T) or a huge angle (MegaPowers.) In my eyes, the Rock & Sock Connection doesn’t check any of those boxes, but makes the list based on entertainment value, star power and that WM XX match.
Booker T- Goldust
Years Teamed in WWE: 2002-2003
Total Matches: 45
Combined Days of Tag Title Reigns: 22
Match Suggestions: vs. Chris Jericho & Christian vs. Dudley Boyz vs. Storm & Regal (Armageddon ’02), vs. Chris Jericho & Christian (No Mercy ’02), vs. UnAmericans (SummerSlam ‘02), w/ Kane & Bubba Ray Dudley vs. Lance Storm, Christian, William Regal & Test (Unforgiven ‘02), vs. Lance Storm & William Regal (Raw 1/6/03),
Thoughts: Booker T and Goldust had good chemistry together and entertaining backstage skits. They were good, but not great in the ring. I enjoyed their feud with Jericho and Christian, though think it resulted in a good TV feud and solid PPV matches, as opposed to a classic feud or matches. But I was really surprised to see how short their run was, with only 45 matches and a 22 day tag title reign. It seems like they left a lot in the tank with this team.
Placement Range: I did enjoy BookDust, but I can’t rank them on what could’ve been. They provided decent entertainment and solid matches, but no more really. That’s enough to make the list fairly easily, probably somewhere in the 60s.
Years Teamed in WWE: 2008-2010
Total Matches: 219
Combined Days of Tag Title Reigns: 258
Match Suggestions: vs. Jericho & Miz (Over the Limit ‘10), vs. ShowMiz (Raw 4/26/10), vs. Usos (MITB ‘10)
Thoughts: The Hart Dynasty seems like they should’ve been a lot better than what they were. Tyson Kidd’s a great worker as shown when he teamed with Cesaro, but David Hart Smith didn’t impress me in this stint (I don’t follow Japanese wrestling, so maybe he’s improved since then.) I thought the Hart Dynasty was mostly OK and might peak at good, with more longevity and longer title reigns than I would’ve thought. Earlier in this column I talked about extended mediocrity and this was the team I was talking about. They’re probably hurt by horrendous commentary, with the narrative always talking about their more talented, famous and successful relatives. And God help us all if they were facing the Usos when they were accompanied by Tamina (daughter of WWE Hall of Famer Jimmy Snuka, who was totally never CONVICTED of murder, so what’s the big deal?) One thing that hurts this team for me is that I watched several matches where I couldn’t tell if the Harts were faces or heels, either by the way it was worked or the reaction (because there often was no reaction.) That’s probably more a result of it being 2010 WWE and the product being cold, but I thought it merited mentioning. And to be fair, when the Hart Dynasty won the tag titles from ShowMiz they did get a strong reaction.
Placement Range: Like I’ve said about a few teams in the last few columns, I think the Hart Dynasty makes my list, but I don’t feel great about it. They’ve got enough longevity and title reigns I can probably convince myself, and I can see they were fine to good in the ring. They certainly lack a bit of charisma or an “It factor” and I haven’t found a stand-out match, but I don’t see any of the other contenders for those last spots having a better resume. So I’ll assume they’ll be in my bottom 10.
Drew McIntyre & Dolph Ziggler
Years Teamed in WWE: 2009-2012, 2018
Total Matches: 66
Combined Days of Tag Title Reigns: 49
Match Suggestions: vs. Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose (Hell in a Cell ‘18) vs. The Revival (Raw-9/24/18), w/ Braun Strowman vs. The Shield (SuperShow Down 10/6/18), vs. Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins (Raw-10/22/18),
Thoughts: That match that Dolph & Drew had with Rollins & Ambrose at HIAC was very near instant classic level. I really loved that match and thought the rematch on Raw from 10/22 where Ambrose & Rollins won the titles was just a small notch below (with added memorability for the Ambrose turn afterwards.) I also liked the six-man with Braun against the Shield at SuperShowdown and their Raw match against the Revival. I think Ziggler and McIntyre had really good chemistry and had good matches against nearly everyone they faced during their most recent run. And lest we forget, they were teammates on Team Johnny defeating Team Teddy at WrestleMania XXVIII. I can’t imagine anyone gives a shit about that, but I’ve been surprised at what voters value before.
Placement Range: I really love that match with Rollins & Ambrose at HIAC, and the Raw rematch and Revival match. Ziggler & McIntyre had a really good run, making the belts feel important and having good matches with everyone during their title reign. Not many teams can claim that type of match quality, which could lift them into the 40s on my list.
Years Teamed in WWE: 2010-2018
Total Matches: 996 (as of 12/14/18)
Combined Days of Tag Title Reigns: 586
Match Suggestions: vs. Slater & Rhyno vs. American Alpha vs. Orton & Harper- (SD 12/27/16), vs. American Alpha (SD 3/21/17), vs. New Day (SummerSlam ’17), vs. New Day (Battleground ’17), vs. New Day (Hell in a Cell ’17), vs. The Bar (Survivor Series ’17), vs. Tyson Kidd & Cesaro (Fastlane ’15), vs. Tyson Kidd & Cesaro (RAW 2/9/15), w/ Mysterio & Cody Rhodes & Goldust vs. The Shield & Real Americans (Survivor Series ’13), vs. Goldust & Cody Rhodes vs. Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins (Hell in a Cell ’13), vs. Harper & Rowan (2/3 falls Battleground ’14), vs. Harper & Rowan (Money in the Bank ’14), vs Real Americans vs. RybAxel & Los Matadores (WM XXX pre-show), vs. Goldust & Stardust (Night of Champions ‘14)
Thoughts: Going through this process, I’m convinced the Usos have the most good to great matches of any team in WWE history. Look at that list of recommended matches. I can’t even count how many teams had their resume bolstered by “that match or series with the Usos.” No other team has their longevity, as they’ll have more than 1,000 matches by the time the voting ends. Whether you measure by years, matches or whatever, you can’t find fault with their longevity. The Usos (who, are the sons of Rikishi, in case you’ve never heard that mentioned) did their best work in 2017 when they developed their heel personas and showed more personality, while also having some top-tier classic matches with New Day at HIAC and SummerSlam. When added to the remarkably consistent excellence makes the Usos a team to consider for the top spot.
Placement Range: So, when I began this series of articles, I thought the Usos would be my No. 1 team, which is why I scheduled them for the last edition. But, shortly into the process, I saw that no other team had the combination of great matches, longevity and star-power or charisma that the Hardy Boyz have (so the Hardys are my No.1, in case you were wondering.) Then, the Shield got combined into one team, making a super resume and the New Day had another good year, squeaking past the Usos. So, I have the Usos No. 4 on my list after thinking they might be No. 1. And if anything, they were even better in the ring than I expected. The Usos are a victim of modern WWE where nothing stands out and even great matches get forgotten the next month. That’s not their fault, and I’m still a huge fan of their work. I currently have them one spot ahead of the Rockers who I consider my favorite team and two spots ahead of the Revival who I think are the best workers to appear in WWE and have the best tag match in company history.
One team I didn’t get around to writing up was LayCool, but I do want to point you to Stacey O’Laughlin’s article on the team, as Stacey can make a better case for the divas than I (or anyone really.)
That’s it for the House Afire series. Thanks to those of you that stuck with me this long, I hope you enjoyed reading and these articles were of some value. I enjoyed writing them and the discussion that ensued. If you haven’t already, be sure to submit your ballot before Dec. 31.