Tag teams present a unique situation in professional wrestling. With two superstars performing as one team, the individual parts of that team can often get ignored, or turn into something much more than they were as solo performers. Endless tag teams have reached meteoric fame in WWE, only for fans to be virtually unable to tell you anything about the wrestlers in that team only a few months after they disbanded. In other cases, teams were pieced together using already established superstars, and in those instances, the tag team was forgotten in lieu of the individual, instead of the other way around.
The Attitude Era is generally considered the greatest period in WWE history, or at least it feels that way when you read angry comments on Internet. However, what many people longing for attitudes past seem to overlook is that there were a great deal of downsides to that era, as well. Some of these teams were incredible and are forgotten for political reasons, but plenty just weren’t that good, and it might be wise for WWE to pretend they didn’t exist.
WWE infamously ret-conned their World Tag Team Title history to begin in 2002, but fans know that has to be nonsense, considering the company existed for decades prior to that version of the belts being introduced. Nonetheless, when looking at a list of some of the teams to hold and compete for said titles only a few years prior to the reframing of history, maybe that wasn’t such a bad idea on their part. Read on to learn which 15 Attitude Era tag teams WWE is trying to hide from history.
15. Jeff Jarrett and Owen Hart
Jeff Jarrett doesn’t have the most favorable reputation with WWE these days, but Owen Hart was always extremely popular and beloved amongst his co-workers. The two formed a tag team during their shared final year in WWE, and quickly rose the ranks of the division. Although Jarrett’s well-known problems with management started not too long after the team disbanded, he was always considered a solid wrestler, and the tag team with Owen was elevating him from solid to pretty fantastic. Unfortunately, the team was the last chapter of Owen Hart’s career before his tragic fall and death in 1999. Both Hart and Jarrett regularly donned the infamous Blue Blazer gimmick during their time as a team, and considering the fact said character is no inexorably linked with death, chances are the team won’t ever be mentioned again. This is despite the fact they actually managed to win the WWE World Tag Team titles for a brief stretch. Who did they win them from? Well…
14. Ken Shamrock and Big Bossman
Similar to Hart and Jarrett, Ken Shamrock and Big Bossman were two talented solo competitors thrown together as a tag team in the late 90s. Both were members of Vince McMahon’s Corporation, and outside of The Rock they probably formed the most dominant part of that team. Shamrock was already Intercontinental Champion and Bossman was Hardcore Champion when they joined forces and became the WWE Tag Team Champions as well in late 1998. Bossman was posthumously inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2016, but neither the team, nor the title victory, were mentioned in the build up to his honor. It’s probably fair—considering both men were double champions while they held the titles, they barely defended them, and are one of the shortest tenured teams on the list.
13. The Godwinns
The Godwinns made their debut before the Attitude Era truly kicked off, and most of their success came during that short window of time before the business really exploded, but they stuck around long enough to make them worthy of mention, anyway. Phineas I. Godwinn and Henry O. Godwinn were classically stereotypical redneck pig farmers, and neither were particularly good wrestlers. They were voted Worst Tag Team of the Year by the Wrestling Observer Newsletter two years in a row, but that didn’t stop them from winning the WWE World Tag Team titles twice. Once the Attitude Era truly kicked off, WWE attempted to repackage the duo as a suit wearing bodyguard team called Southern Justice, but the damage was already done, as fans couldn’t take the two men presented as bumpkin slobs seriously. Years later, Phineas repackaged himself as a catering chef, and actually managed a much smoother transition.
12. Droz and Prince Albert
In many ways, Droz is a deceptively noteworthy figure in wrestling history, especially considering the fact his professional career lasted barely over a year. He debuted in WWE as a replacement partner and possible drug dealer to the Legion of Doom. The drug dealing part of that angle was highly controversial and quickly dropped, with Droz switching gears from pushing hard drugs to pushing piercings and tattoos, doing so with Prince Albert as his body artist and enforcer. Droz was paralyzed after a botch in a match with D’Lo Brown, and the team obviously ended with Droz’s career. Prince Albert is still kicking around the WWE Universe as a trainer and head coach in NXT, but given the terrifying nature of Droz’s accident, WWE tries not to bring him up that much, and the circumstances behind Albert’s debut are being quietly left out of the history books.
11. The Holly Cousins
Hardcore Holly left WWE in 2010, but his no-nonsense attitude and gruff demeanor made it hard for fans to easily forget him. In many other ways, his “cousin” Crash was even more memorable, with his hilarious antics defining the 24/7 Rule eventually introduced to the Hardcore Title. Hardcore Bob had been with WWE for several years before Crash was introduced in 1999, but the two immediately formed a strong tandem, and even managed to win the WWE World Tag Team titles from The Rock ‘n’ Sock Connection. In addition to the high profile win, the team humorously referred to themselves as “superheavyweights” in a fondly remembered gimmick. Unfortunately, that same gruff demeanor led to fans souring on Hardcore, and Crash tragically committed suicide in 2003. Although the team was viewed positively at the time, it would probably be too sad in hindsight to try and remember the Hollys.
10. The New Midnight Express
Before teaming up with his family and going Hardcore, Bob Holly was known as Bombastic Bob, and his partner was the “Bodacious” Bart Gunn. The other name attached to this team, The Midnight Express, belonged to a legendary tag team in the NWA and other territories throughout the late 80s. The most famous members were Bobby Eaton and Stan Lane, but the only holdover from that era to Bob and Bart’s was the fact they shared the same manager: Jim Cornette. The team served as part of the generally hated on NWA invasion gimmick of 1998, and although they were the NWA World Tag Team Champions during this era, fans would rather throw out the baby with the bathwater and forget those belts ever existed than have to live through the New Midnight Express again.
9. Fake Diesel and Fake Razor Ramon
Hindsight can be everything in a list like this, but in certain cases, it feels like WWE really should’ve known better. Fake Diesel and Fake Razor Ramon are probably the most glaring examples of that feeling. The real Diesel and Razor Ramon, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall, had just made the jump to WCW and WWE was already badly hurting from the loss. No one is exactly sure what Vince McMahon and company expected would happen when blatant doppelgänger replacements were introduced a few months later, but he shouldn’t have been surprised when fans absolutely hated the idea from the start. The team took bait-and-switch to an entirely new level—the fans knew they couldn’t possibly get what they were being promised, but even still, they were appalled by just how horrible what they actually got was.
8. The New Blackjacks
Another concept WWE likes to dabble with is nepotism, and the New Blackjacks were one of the company’s finest examples of their inclination towards familial favors. The original Blackjacks were two big, mean, tough Texans named Lanza and Mulligan. They dominated WWE and other companies throughout the late 70s, and were later inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. More noteworthy to recent fans is the fact Lanza was JBL’s uncle, and Mulligan was Barry Windham’s father (and Bo Dallas and Bray Wyatt’s grandfather). When both progenies found themselves in WWE in 1997, they were naturally paired up as the continuation of their family legacies. Unfortunately, Windham was well passed his usefulness as a wrestler, and JBL had yet to discover his, so the team was seen as a pale imitation and fizzled out in less than a year.
7. The New Rockers
The other attempts at “New” spins on classic teams seemed misguided, but there was something about The New Rockers that was downright insulting to the audience’s intelligence. Despite certain people trying to present evidence to the contrary, the original Rockers actually weren’t that big of a deal in WWE. They held the tag titles in the AWA and briefly, kind of, technically held them in WWE, but the Rockers were far more famous for the superkick that ended their friendship than any they were for winning any matches during their run. Shawn Michaels became one of the all time great solo superstars, but his partner Marty Jannetty was more-or-less left in the dust of his rise. Drug addiction and behavioral problems were only making things worse, but instead of firing Jannetty or sending him to rehab, WWE decided to nearly ruin the career of Al Snow by forcing him to team with Jannetty as Leif Cassidy. If nothing else but for Snow’s sake, the gimmick has rarely been mentioned since they disbanded.
6. The Unholy Alliance
The Undertaker is a truly iconic figure in WWE history, and with his size and unmistakable ring presence, The Big Show actually might not be that far behind him in terms of creating a lasting legend. As we mentioned up top, though, sometimes the whole can end up being significantly less than the sum of it’s parts, and when the two former legends teamed up to create The Unholy Alliance in late 1999, somehow their personas simply didn’t gel, and some truly terrible segments found their way to the airwaves. While the idea of two evil behemoths wrecking havoc seems like a simple one, WWE tried to complicate things by having the Undertaker read off long, rambling, downright insane soliloquies about training the Big Show in the desert, and when he did so fans found themselves yawning at the Dead Man for the first time. The tandem twice held the WWE World Tag Team titles, but broke up when Taker suffered a groin injury. He returned as The American Badass, and only re-engaged with Big Show to fight him.
5. Kane and X-Pac
Kane’s character has gone through so many absurd twists and turns over its near 20-year existence. If WWE ever decides to commission the writing of a Remembrance of Kane’s Past, it could well end up the longest novel of all time. That isn’t likely to happen, so instead we’re left with an ever-changing Kane who’s main connection to his past is that he ignores it, because it would get too insane too fast if he ever tried to make sense of it. Part of his past saw him unable to speak, and that disability was overcome through the power of friendship. X-Pac was experiencing his final brush with popularity in late 1999, and was the first of many quirky “little buddies” who Kane would team with and slowly become humanized through. The team won the WWE World Tag Team titles twice, and was even voted the Tag Team of the Year by Pro Wrestling Illustrated magazine. Still, it would just confuse Kane’s history to bring any of it up, so the once immensely popular team has now been all but forgotten.
4. The Harris Brothers
The Harris Brothers were known by several names during their time in WWE, and it could be said their tenure spread over several Eras of wrestling. During the New Generation Era, they were two backwards redneck giants with wildly unkempt hair who called themselves The Blu Twins. Eventually they shaved their heads and started calling themselves The Grimm Twins, and then they settled on as Skull and 8-Ball. Neither brother was particularly talented with the whole wrestling thing, and many fans speculate they only got their jobs due to the rarity of seeing nearly 7-foot tall twins. Eventually their lack of talent showed them the door, but that’s not even the worse of it—the brothers have long been accused of being white supremacists. One brother had an SS tattoo covered up, while the other once wore a t-shirt advertising the neo-Nazi website Stormfront on TNA television. Even if they had talent between them, this horrible not-so-secret fact about their personal lives hopefully means they won’t ever show up in WWE again, now that they have the newfound novelty of being giant, twins, and old.
3. Too Much
The exact same tandem that made up Too Much is fondly remembered in the WWE Universe as Too Cool, but it’s worth noting there was actually a huge departure between the two forms of the team. Originally billed as “Too Hot” Scott Taylor and “Too Sexy” Brian Christopher, the two were comedy jobbers who mostly existed to serve as the punch line in segments with Christopher’s father, Jerry Lawler. Proving that branding is everything in wrestling, they almost immediately became shockingly popular once they dropped their braggadocious names for hip-hop inspired ones, and Too Much became Too Cool. In order to prevent fans from realizing the team was once Too Lame, WWE has acted as though the initial version of the team never existed.
2. The Headbangers
Like many teams on this list, The Headbangers hold a curious and unique place in wrestling history. Mosh and Thrasher weren’t incredible wrestlers per se, but they were both decent talents, and excelled together as an oft-goofy team of pranksters. By donning skirts, painting their faces, and wearing t-shirts advertising popular metal and industrial musicians of the day, the Bangers were definitely able to find their niche in wrestling. By wearing their musical influence on their sleeves, they also managed to connect with sections of the wrestling fan base that don’t have much representation in the sport. With moderate fan support, the Headbangers managed to win the WWE Tag Team titles once in 1997. Although they stuck around for several years after, they never hit those heights again, and in fact Mosh was instead shunted down the card and stuck with atrocious gimmicks until he found himself bitter and hating WWE.
1. Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko
It seems virtually impossible to talk about things WWE wants us to forget about without bringing up Chris Benoit. The darkest day in wrestling history, and therefore possibly the most highly publicized, came in June of 2007, when Benoit committed suicide after murdering his family. The damage done through the loss of life is immeasurable, but one more tangible way this has affected the world has been WWE erasing Benoit from their record books. Considering Benoit was such a huge and influential star, this impacted virtually every aspect of wrestling, including tag teams. Although they mostly only teamed as part of a larger group in WWE, Benoit and Dean Malenko were actually one of the most dominant tag teams of the entire 1990s. Along with The Public Enemy, they were one of only two teams to hold both the ECW and WCW Tag Team titles while those companies were still active. Of course, Benoit threw that legacy away alongside everything else he achieved when he committed his senseless crimes.